FAQ

General Site Information

What steps are involved when choosing the turbine layout?

There are several considerations and steps that go into determining where to put wind turbines.

  • A year’s worth of wind data is gathered from a meteorological mast to generate a wind speed map for the site. An independent consultant is charged with creating this map.
  • Site constraints are determined – including  the location of wetlands, sensitive habitats and vegetation, steep slopes, lot lines, roads and water courses, aviation and radar, and environment, health and safety constraints as regulated by Nova Scotia Environment.
  • An independent consultant inputs the site’s wind map, terrain data, site constraints, and wind turbine technical information into a computer program to produce a turbine layout with the highest energy production.
  • An independent consultant conducts sound and shadow flicker modeling on the layout to determine if the farm meets the provincially mandated standards.
  • Finally, the layout is approved by the turbine supplier, ensuring that the wind conditions for each turbine location are within the turbine’s design parameters.

Ultimately the turbine locations are deemed safe and approved by Nova Scotia Environment.

Are the turbines equipped with lights?

Yes, each turbine at the Ellershouse Wind Farm must be equipped with red lighting to adhere to Transport Canada regulations. Red lights can be used as they are less visually intrusive. For more information on the regulations regarding lighting towers see the Transport Canada regulations page.

How many homes can the Ellershouse Wind Farm supply?

The facility provides enough energy for 6,500 homes.

What type of access is granted to snowmobilers, ATVers or hunters who have had access to the project site?

The landowner determines site access for all public and contractor use. Access is granted to snowmobilers, ATVers and hunters on a case by case basis. However, anyone on the site of the Ellershouse Wind Farm must adhere to ALL AREA safety procedures and policy.

Are there plans to increase the number of turbines or expand the project at a later date?

There are currently no future plans to expand the project.

 

Benefits of Wind Power

What are the benefits of wind energy?

Wind turbines produce electricity without the use of fossil fuels and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint. Wind energy also provides energy at prices that are predictable over the long-term to help avoid drastic fluctuations in energy prices that are common with fuel-based technologies. Wind power is a clean, domestic source of energy that helps increase the energy security of Nova Scotia.

What are the economic benefits for the local area?

This project provides positive benefits to the local community and businesses in several ways, for example, the Municipality of West Hants benefits from annual tax revenue of roughly $150,000 and the project continues to create jobs. During project construction, economic spinoffs included local accommodation rentals for workers and increased spending at local restaurants, stores, tourist attractions, and events/festivals.

What does the project team do to ensure that the local community directly benefits from the project?

AREA is a local company who understands what it means to support rural communities. We are committed to using as many local skills as possible. Potential work includes environmental studies, geotechnical investigation, engineering, land and snow clearing, road maintenance, turbine component transportation, turbine installation, collector system and substation construction maintenance. When sending out Requests for Proposals for project work, we specify that greater consideration is to be given to contractors who can provide local content on the job.

We want to hear your ideas on local benefits. Visit our Contact Us and Community pages to let us know your ideas on how we can contribute to the local community.

 

Environmental Health and Safety

Are there health effects associated with wind turbines?

Nova Scotia Environment requires proponents to undertake a rigorous Environmental Assessment process in order to minimize impacts on the environment and human health – the Minister of the Environment will only approve the Environmental Assessment once these conditions are satisfied. Modeling is required for shadow flicker and sound and the results of the modeling must adhere to guidelines adopted by Nova Scotia Environment. Several independent peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on health effects and hazards associated with wind turbines and have found no substantive evidence to suggest that people living near turbines experience health problems associated with shadow flicker, sound, infrasound levels, ice throw/shed, and electromagnetic fields. Major studies conducted are listed below.

How far can ice be thrown from turbine blades?

Typically, during periods of unbalanced icing, the turbine will detect the ice and automatically shut off, allowing ice to melt and directly fall off instead of being thrown. In general, ice is unlikely to land farther from the turbine than twice its maximum vertical extent (300 m). During winter conditions it is highly recommended that no individuals are to approach closer than 350 m unless approved by the AREA Site Supervisor.

How are the sound levels for residences being studied?

Nova Scotia Environment requires that as part of the project’s Environmental Assessment, a sound model will be generated including inputs such as residential locations, topography, turbine locations, and turbine size and sound power data. The model must show that the project turbines will not exceed a 40 dBA sound level at any residence. This is a sound level equivalent to a quiet library. We conducted pre-construction sound monitoring to determine baseline sound levels in the area. Post-construction sound monitoring is being undertaken to ensure we have not exceeded Nova Scotia Environment’s allowable standard.

A comparison of predicted sound modeling and measured sound results has been widely researched and findings show that sound modeling results are typically over-predicted and that conservative findings largely depend on site topography. For more information on a comparison of predicted versus measured sound results from wind farms, click here.

 

Community Engagement

What is the Community Liaison Committee and how can I join?

The Community Liaison Committee (CLC) serves as a link between the community and the project team. The CLC represents the community and brings forward community questions and concerns and likewise, the project team will share up-to-date project information with the CLC. Learn more about community engagement on the Community page.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the project?

Feel free to contact us on our contact page about any questions and concerns.