The Saskatchewan government says a large-scale wind energy project has been approved for the province’s southwest as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Blue Hill Wind Energy Project will be located south of Herbert, and is expected to have 56 wind turbines. It was originally supposed to be 77, but advances in technology have allowed for fewer to be needed.
Environment Minister Dustin Duncan says the project demonstrates the government’s commitment to renewable energy.
The 177-megawatt wind turbine project is being developed by Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp.
The turbines are expected to generate enough energy to power more than 70,000 homes in the province.
Construction is expected to begin in 2019, with possible service as early as 2021.
It will be the seventh privately developed wind power generation project in Saskatchewan.
The project was first announced in 2012 and originally planned for a site near Chaplin, but environmental concerns — it was too close to a migratory bird flight path — led to a need to change locations.
When the new location was first announced last year, at least one local landowner raised concerns.
Tom Donnelly, a retired farmer in the area, said Thursday the project was “generally pretty well accepted” despite some people having reservations about seeing turbines on the landscape.
One landowner who will have a turbine on his land, Larry Bonesky, said that environmentally, there were good things about the project.
“In the long run, it’s most likely a positive thing,” he said. “Anything can be a bit of an eyesore, but on this project where most of them are going, there is absolutely almost nobody there.”
Saskatchewan has consistently opposed a federal carbon tax which would put a price on carbon emissions.
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