The Higgins Mountain Wind Farm Project is a partnership between 3G Energy Corp , Stevens Wind Ltd, and Elemental Energy Renewables Inc, three experienced Canadian wind development companies who are combining their talents and resources as partners to create this wind farm. Each has had extensive activities in Nova Scotia developing, constructing, owning, and operating wind energy projects, as well as elsewhere in the Maritimes and across North America. Members of the partnership were involved in the early years of wind energy in Nova Scotia, including building the three existing wind turbines at Higgins Mountain, and are owners and operators of 7 COMFIT projects located elsewhere in Nova Scotia as well as other wind and solar facilities located in the Maritime region. Members of the partnership are involved in creating community energy projects and indigenous energy projects in other provinces. Together we bring a diversity of experience, extensive knowledge of Canadian renewable energy markets, and local ownership and representation.
3G Energy established the concept of the Higgins Mountain Wind Farm Project in 2004, and partnered with Stevens Wind Ltd, a local Nova Scotian company that owns the three wind turbines currently sited on Higgins Mountain. Elemental Energy, a Vancouver-based renewable energy developer with projects across North America, joined the partnership in 2017.
A wind farm at Higgins Mountain began as an idea in 2004 and came to fruition in 2006 when 3G Energy and Stevens Wind collaborated on the three Vensys wind turbines currently situated adjacent to the proposed Higgins Mountain site. They have a total generation capacity of 3.6MW, enough to supply all residents and businesses that are in the immediate vicinity of the mountain.
In 2007 and in 2012, the concept of a larger wind farm at Higgins Mountain was submitted into competitive procurements organized byby Nova Scotia Power Inc (“NSPI”). Neither bid was successful.
In 2017, Elemental Energy joined the Higgins Partnership. The Higgins Partnership submitted a successful proposal to Emera, who in turn was competing in a competitive procurement organized by the state of Massachusetts. Emera proposed to deliver energy to Boston via an undersea cable, which would be supplied by six wind farms in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and hydro power from Newfoundland. Emera’s Massachusetts bid was submitted in July 2017, which included the proposed 150 MW Higgins Mountain Wind Farm Project. The Massachusetts bid winner was announced in Winter 2018, and Emera’s offer was not successful.
The Higgins Partnership awaits a future opportunity to supply energy to large utilities such as NSPI, Emera or municipal or commercial customers. Wind turbine technology has progressed substantially since 2006 and the proposed Higgins Mountain wind farm will be comprised of much fewer individual wind turbines spaced at greater distances from each other than the proposed project in 2007 and 2012.
The Higgins Partnership is currently engaging with local communities and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to share information on the long-term plans for the Project and open the lines of communication for future development. The Higgins Partnership truly believes in the importance of meaningful dialogue and is committed to early engagement.
A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) was formed in Spring 2019 to give the Higgins Partnership, local residents and interested parties a conduit to share information about the project as it progresses. A CLC provides a path for community input by two-way sharing of information in a transparent forum on project matters regarding approvals and permits or operations that have or are perceived to have environmental, social or economic impacts. The CLC currently is operational at the rate of approximately 2-3 meetings per year. Meetings are held in the Wentworth vicinity, or on the ZOOM platform as a result of COVID concerns. Community members wishing participate as volunteers are invited to contact Maryam Baksh of Elemental Energy, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Minutes of Meetings:
An Open House event was held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at the Wentworth Recreation Centre (13752 NS-4, Wentworth, NS). The public was welcomed to drop by between 2pm and 8 pm and there was a combination of presentations by representatives of the proponent and information boards made available describing the proposed project.. A copy of the presentation material can be downloaded at this link: Open House Presentation
An Open House event was held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at the Wentworth Recreation Centre (13752 NS-4, Wentworth, NS). The public was welcomed to drop by between 3 pm and 6 pm and there was a combination of presentations by representatives of the proponent and information boards made available describing the proposed project. For further information about this event, you can contact us at email@example.com. Copies of the presentation materials can be downloaded at these links:
What is involved in permitting? A minimum of two years of field studies in Nova Scotia is required to collect information on environmental sensitivities and to create mitigation strategies that will minimize ecological impacts. Strum Engineering has been retained by the Higgins Partnership to conduct environmental assessments including species-at-risk assessments, wetland studies, and bird and mammal surveys. The data collected will go into an environmental assessment report that is a key component of the permitting process for a potential wind farm, since long term energy contracts are contingent on obtaining provincial and in some cases federal environmental permits. Community and environmental data will help inform turbine siting and project design.
A wind farm project involves creating access roads through forested areas to where wind turbine generators are built, plus an underground foundation at each turbine. Energy from the turbines is collected at a central substation, and there will be collector power lines above ground following the access roads or traversing through forested areas to the substation. The central substation is where wind farm operations and maintenance will be coordinated, as well as where transformers will operate to bring the energy up to the high voltages compatible with NSPI’s transmission network. A high voltage transmission line will be built from the central substation out of the Higgins land domain to connect with an existing NSPI transmission line in the vicinity of Sutherland Lake.
The Province of Nova Scotia implements procurement of renewable energy through competitive processes. In early 2020, the Province announced an energy procurment called the Green Choice Program, designed to link demand for green energy from industrial, commercial and municipal customers to suppliers of such energy. The Province revealed draft details of this program in May 2021. Implementation of this procurement has been delayed until 2022.
In July 2021 a procurement entitled the Rate Based Program was announced, describing the Province's intention of calling for bids late in 2021. THis procurement event has been elayed untilMay 2022.The Higgins Partnership is intending to submit a bid to this procurement.
The Province has contracted with Customer First Renewables to provide Program Administrator services for both the above procurements, assisting in design, implementation and ensuring fairness.
It is common and understandable to have voices within communities that express concerns about wind energy projects. It seems less common to hear voices of those who appreciate the benefits of these projects. The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (formerly CanWEA) offers this small brochure which features projects that have come into being across Canada with positive outcomes. Download this link: Wind For My Community
Wind Turbines and Health: A Crticial Review of the Scientific Literature. Common concerns about visual and sound impacts, including low frequency sound, are explained in this detailed article. The authors are members of the American and Canadian medical science communities. Download with this link: Wind Turbines and Health
Wind Turbines and Human Health. This is an additional review of scientific literature covering the subject of wind energy projects and human health. In this review, the authors provide a bibliographic-like summary and analysis of the science around this issue specifically in terms of noise (including audible, low-frequency noise, and infrasound), EMF, and shadow flicker. They summarize findings from roughly 60 scientific peer-reviewed articles on these matters. They opine on the level of health impacts and they suggest best practices for siting wind turbines, to mitigate concerns. Download with this link: Wind Turbines and human health
For additional information about the Project and the Community Liaison Committee, please contact us at these coordinates:
Maryam Baksh, Project Coordinator, Elemental Energy, 604-558-8005, firstname.lastname@example.org