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Nova Scotia municipality plans changes to wind turbine regulations

By Nancy Rubin & Colton Smith 


Wind turbine regulations in the Municipality of Cumberland are set to change.


On June 22, 2022, Cumberland Council approved a second reading of amendments relating to their wind turbine regulations. The Municipality of Cumberland’s Memo to Council highlights the following key takeaways from these amendments:


  • The addition of a large area in Wentworth to the Restricted Overlay;
  • Increasing separation distance from large turbines to dwellings from 600 metres to 1,000 metres;
  • Approval of turbines over 100kw by Development Agreement;
  • Decommission Bonds of 125% of removal costs less salvage;
  • The addition of a timeline for malfunctioning turbines to be repaired or decommissioned;
  • Refined definitions of turbines by capacity;
  • Defined domestic turbines as having a capacity under 15kw; and
  • Slightly relaxed requirements for domestic turbines.


These changes follow a Council resolution on December 22, 2021, directing staff to initiate a review of the wind turbine provisions of the Municipal Planning Strategy and the Land Use By-Law. The amendment process involved two community engagement periods in which feedback was received from residents of the Municipality of Cumberland, as well as a Public Hearing on June 15, 2022. More information on the amendments, the final documents, maps and next steps can be found here.


These changes provide clarity for wind proponents in Cumberland County hoping to be selected in the ongoing RFP for renewable electricity.

This client update is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Energy group.

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