Nova Scotia’s world-class wind resource now comes with its own map. “By 2013, nearly 20 per cent of all Nova Scotia’s electricity will come from green sources like wind,” said Energy Minister Bill Dooks to government, business and environmental representatives at the Power of Green conference in Halifax, today, Sept. 18. “Our wind resource is a tremendous opportunity for clean power, and now we have a map to show us that opportunity in detail.” Supported by a $78,000 grant from the province, researchers from Université de Moncton and the Applied Geomatics Research Group at the Nova Scotia Community College have created a wind atlas that illustrates how much wind is available, and where to find it. The atlas will serve as a valuable tool for future wind policy and planning. It will also assist smaller-scale wind developers without resources for mapping to assess the viability of potential projects. “The wind atlas identifies the best locations for wind development,” said project lead Yves Gagnon of the Université de Moncton. “It also provides a motivation for local entrepreneurs, small businesses, community groups, co-operatives and individuals to look at wind as a potential source to generate their electricity. “The atlas clearly shows that Nova Scotia has an important wind resource.” David Colville, NSCC’s lead researcher on the project, said the accompanying website will be useful to a wide range of people. “It will allow website visitors to interactively explore wind data, along with other mapped information such as the location of towns, roads and transmission lines,” said Mr. Colville. “People will be able to locate their own backyards and assess their wind potential.” Maps were created to show wind speeds at three different heights: 30, 50 and 80 meters above ground. Nova Scotia’s wind potential is greater at higher altitudes, but there are also excellent sites for smaller-scale turbines. These maps are available free on-line at www.nswindatlas.ca . Interactive features will be added soon. Nova Scotia’s Renewable Energy Standard will nearly double the province’s green electricity supply by 2013. During this period, the number of wind turbines in Nova Scotia is expected to grow by more than 600 per cent, from 40 to more than 250. Wind turbine locations are largely up to municipalities. To assist with wind development, the Department of Energy is working in partnership with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations to provide options for zoning and siting policies. Today, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities issued a call for proposals to develop best-practices guidelines and model wind turbine by-laws. Each municipality may have unique circumstances for wind-power generation, and one-size may not fit all. Model bylaws can serve as starting points for responsible local wind policy. The call for proposals can be found at www.unsm.ca.