Municipalities in Nova Scotia to establish wind laws

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The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM), which represents all 55 municipalities in the Atlantic Canada province, is looking for a consultant to develop a set of model zoning bylaws and best practice guidelines for local governments dealing with a growing number of wind power project permitting applications. "As wind energy projects become more common in the province, the need to clearly and coherently define how these projects will fit within our community will become greater," explains the UNSM in a request for proposals issued in September. The provincial government passed legislation earlier this year setting a renewable energy standard that will nearly double the province's green electricity supply by 2013 (Windpower Monthly, March 2007). During this period, the government says, the number of wind turbines in Nova Scotia is expected to grow by more than 600%, from 40 to more than 250. Government-owned Nova Scotia Power is in the process of reviewing bids received in response its request for proposals for up to 130 MW of renewable energy. But very few municipalities are prepared if projects planned for their jurisdictions are chosen, says the UNSM. In fact, so far only four have enacted wind turbine bylaws. "In some instances, municipal officials and staff have been juggling the implementation of wind energy project bylaws while dealing with potential projects in their municipality at the same time. This creates considerable frustration for all parties involved," the UNSM says. "Other municipalities will find themselves scrambling to respond to multiple wind energy issues concurrently."

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