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Charlottetown examines wind power

CHARLOTTETOWN — The municipal government in the Island capital is preparing for a future when a windmill in the backyard could well be the norm.

But Coun. Kim Devine says the road to residential wind power could be a long and winding one. She chairs council’s planning and development committee, which is preparing amendments to its zoning and development bylaw on windmills.

The current proposal, which is now at the public input stage, would allow windmills only on commercial and industrial establishments. Ms. Devine said Thursday that committee members felt the business community would be among the first to convert to wind power.

"They are the biggest users of electricity and thus would realize the highest savings," she said. "There is nothing in our bylaws right now governing the use of windmills and, considering the provincial initiatives, we thought it was time to address the issue."

As part of its plan to have all of its electricity generated from sustainable sources by 2015, the province has exempted home wind generators from provincial sales tax. It has also established a system of net metering, allowing private individuals and companies to sell power back to Maritime Electric, the main utility serving the province.

Ms. Devine said windmills tend to fit better in commercial areas, adding the public still has mixed feelings about a major... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

But Coun. Kim Devine says the road to residential wind power could be a long and winding one. She chairs council’s planning and development committee, which is preparing amendments to its zoning and development bylaw on windmills.

The current proposal, which is now at the public input stage, would allow windmills only on commercial and industrial establishments. Ms. Devine said Thursday that committee members felt the business community would be among the first to convert to wind power.

"They are the biggest users of electricity and thus would realize the highest savings," she said. "There is nothing in our bylaws right now governing the use of windmills and, considering the provincial initiatives, we thought it was time to address the issue."

As part of its plan to have all of its electricity generated from sustainable sources by 2015, the province has exempted home wind generators from provincial sales tax. It has also established a system of net metering, allowing private individuals and companies to sell power back to Maritime Electric, the main utility serving the province.

Ms. Devine said windmills tend to fit better in commercial areas, adding the public still has mixed feelings about a major move to wind power.

"There are concerns about noise, ice problems and the possibility of injury to birds," she said. But Ms. Devine said the city is not shutting the door on residential windmills. If the committee’s recommendations are accepted by council, she said the city will monitor the growth of commercial windmills.

"If they seems to be working out, council might then consider expanding to residential use," she said.

Andy Walker is a freelance writer living in Prince Edward Island.


Source: http://thechronicleherald.c...

AUG 20 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/4073-charlottetown-examines-wind-power
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