Nova Scotia Power has selected two small rural communities at opposite ends of the Atlantic province to become home to the utility's first two commercial wind turbines -- and plans to begin monitoring the wind resource at a third. Installation of the two 600 kW turbines, one from Vestas and one from Belgium-based Turbowinds, will begin in the fall. The utility spent six months consulting with the communities before making a decision. It had originally planned to locate both turbines on Cheticamp Island on the province's west coast, but backed down in the face of opposition from local residents concerned the turbines would ruin the scenery and disrupt great blue heron colonies in the area. This time Nova Scotia Power has strong community support. "Having one of the first turbines to make wind power is a real boost for our area. It puts us on the map," says Jean Melanson of the Municipality of the District of Clare in the province's southwest. Nova Scotia Power has issued a request for proposals for 100 GWh of wind power from independent producers, but also wants to develop its own projects. It is teaming up with New Brunswick Power to begin a year-long wind monitoring program at Amherst, a town of 10,000 located near the border of the two provinces.
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