Eastern Kings Wind Farm receives provincial approval subject to conditions
Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change Natalie Jameson approved the Prince Edward Island Energy Corporation’s Eastern Kings Wind Farm project under the Environmental Protection Act, subject to 17 conditions that include ongoing monitoring of the impact to the environment.
“This decision balances the needs of people, communities, wellness and the environment. It allows this renewable energy project to proceed and reduce greenhouse gases emissions that cause climate change while mitigating the project’s impact to the Island’s ecosystem,” said Minister Jameson. “By having an environmental management plan and wildlife protocols in place, setting up a committee to work together, and adding to protected areas, we can do this the right way for our kids’ sake.”
Approval of the 30-megawatt wind farm is subject to conditions that require the PEI Energy Corporation to:
- Prepare an Environmental Management Plan which covers each phase of the wind farm’s development (construction, operation, and decommissioning) to be approved by the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change (EWCC);
- Set up an Environmental Management Committee as a forum for people to bring forward concerns when the wind farm goes into operation, with suggested representatives including L’nuey, the Souris and Area Wildlife Branch, the Rural Municipality of Eastern Kings and local residents;
- Establish a conflict resolution protocol to deal with issues such as noise and shadow flicker;
- Purchase and legally protect from development a minimum 42-hectares of forested property within Kings County in order to compensate for the 14-forested hectares lost as part of the project;
- Invite L’nuey to provide an environmental monitor for the construction phase of the project and invite L’nuey’s monitor to visit the site prior to the construction to assist in identifying any culturally significant species of flora, including black ash;
- Conduct a two-year post-construction study in the project area monitoring any impact from the wind farm on bats and birds;
- Implement a protocol that requires reporting of bird mortalities to federal and provincial authorities;
- Develop mitigation measures that will be implemented should the project be shown to have a significant impact on birds or bats; and,
- Provide monthly updates to EWCC detailing the status of each of the conditions associated with the Environmental Impact Assessment.
A full copy of the Minister’s Environmental Impact Assessment approval is available online by going to Projects Under Environmental Review (Undertakings) and clicking the search button to view materials for the Eastern Kings Wind Farm project.
Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change
On October 23, 2019, the PEI Energy Corp. filed its environmental impact statement to expand the Eastern Kings Wind Farm. Regulated under the Environmental Protection Act, an environmental impact assessment review helps to determine any possible impacts, positive or negative, that a proposed project might have on the environment. The PEI Energy Corp. led public engagement, with a public meeting organized November 19, 2019. Public comments were received by EWCC until January 20, 2020. In total, 80 submissions were received by mail and email. A technical review committee – consisting of experts from both the Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island – looked at the impacts of the project on people, animals, plants, land, air, water and climate and proposed mitigation strategies. EWCC also reached out to the municipal authority and engaged in Aboriginal consultation with L’nuey. This approval addresses requirements pursuant to the EWCC’s environmental impact assessment process; however, there may be other approvals required from other departments, agencies, governments before the project can proceed.