This evening, EverWind Fuels will appear before the Council of the Municipality of Colchester County to present its plans for large new wind projects in the county.

It’s not the company’s first attempt to get the Colchester mayor and councillors on board.

Just five weeks ago, two men appeared before the council to present plans for the 16-turbine, 98-megawatt Kmtnuk wind project that EverWind and Membertou First Nation’s Wind Strength company are proposing for Colchester County.

Neither EverWind nor Wind Strength showed up to help out with the October 3 presentation to council, sending Oscar Urbina who was then with Renewable Energy Systems, and Angus Doane of Strum Consulting, in their stead.

To say that Urbina and Doane met strong headwinds from the members of the Council of the Municipality of Colchester would be, well, a gentle way of putting it.

A screenshot from the live stream of a darkened room, Colchester County Council Chambers, shows a man with a blue chequered shirt, dark hair and glasses in front of a computer monitor, and to his left, a man with dark hair and a dark beard, wearing a brown t-shirt, looks on.
Oscar Urbina (left) and fellow presenter Angus Doane (right) presenting to Colchester Municipal Council Credit: Municipality of the County of Colchester

Neither seemed positioned to answer the myriad questions from Mayor Christine Blair and the councillors, some of whom were visibly frustrated and fuming because of the lack of answers, as the Halifax Examiner reported here.

A second chance for EverWind

However, this evening EverWind is being granted a second chance to plead its cause before the Colchester Municipal Council.

On November 9, Chief Administrative Office Dan Troke announced that there would be a “special council committee presentation meeting” on November 14, for “a proponent relating wind turbine development projects.”

That proponent, of course, is EverWind.

Since the last EverWind appearance in front of the Colchester Council, the company registered its Kmtnuk project for environmental assessment with Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change. It did the same for another large wind project — the 15-turbine, 89-megwatt Bear Lake wind project at the intersection of West Hants, Chester, and Halifax municipalities.

At this evening’s council meeting, EverWind will be unveiling plans for yet another wind project in Colchester County, called Windy Ridge.

Windy Ridge will be far, far larger than either Bear Lake or Kmtnuk.

EverWind presentation materials provide this project map showing the location of the 74 wind turbines of the proposed Windy Ridge and Kmtnuk wind projects in Colchester County between Folly Mountain in the west and McCallum Settlement in the east with private land shown in yellow and Crown land shown in green.
EverWind map prepared as part of the presentation for the North River open house with information about the Windy Ridge and Kmtnuk projects. (The scale is incorrect, suggesting the distances are much greater than they are.) Credit: Contributed

The massive 58-turbine, 340-megawatt Windy Ridge wind project would stretch from Folly Mountain in the west, north almost to Highway 246 that links New Annan with Wentworth, and then on its eastern side it would abut the Kmtnuk project near McCallum Settlement just to the west of Highway 311.

For comparison, Nova Scotia’s largest existing wind farm, the 102-megwatt South Canoe facility in Lunenburg County, has only 34 turbines.

The turbines EverWind intends to use at its Kmtnuk and Windy Ridge sites will be up to 125 metres tall, with blades over 81 metres long. To put that in perspective, the height of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge is only 103 metres. The distance between the water of Halifax Harbour and the bridge deck at centre span is just 47 metres.

An EverWind flyer that landed in mailboxes throughout Colchester County states that the wind farms will be “low density,” with approximately one turbine every 436 acres. EverWind’s two wind facilities proposed for the county will have a total of 74 turbines, which means the projects will spread across 32,264 acres in the county, some on Crown land.

However, much of Windy Ridge will be on land EverWind is leasing from Northern Pulp. The land is part of the 475,000 acres that Northern Pulp purchased from Neenah Paper in 2010 with a $75 million loan from the government of Nova Scotia.

Since June 2020, when Northern Pulp sought creditor protection in the British Columbia Supreme Court, the company — owned by Paper Excellence that is now Canada’s largest pulp and paper producer — has not been making payments on that loan. Court documents show Northern Pulp still owes the province nearly $65 million of that $75 million loan.

At the EverWind open house for its Kmtnuk and Windy Ridge projects held in North River on November 10, the Halifax Examiner asked EverWind representatives how much the company was paying Northern Pulp to lease the land.

EverWind director of corporate development Daniel Lee replied, “We cannot comment on private agreements with private landowners.”

Asked how much land they were leasing from Northern Pulp, Lee said he would get back to us on that.

We are still waiting.

Two letter-sized pages of paper on a wooden table. One with a teal-blue header has "EverWind Fuels" and "Support our billion-dollar green energy investment in Colchester?" in white print at the top, and then "Get involved!" in green print. It then lists three steps. One is to "call/write your Colchester councillor." Two is to "Speak at Colchester Council's cote on November 16th." Three is "Attend our Open Houses." To the right is another paper, headed Wju'snetwiknaq Wind Strength and EverWind Fuels and RES, which provides lines for "signatures of support for Colchester Wind Project Development."
At its November 10, 2023 open house, EverWind was not just providing information but seeking signatures of support for its wind projects and encouraging calls to Colchester councillors Credit: Joan Baxter

Disappearing the “hydrogen side” of the EverWind project

At the October council meeting, Councillor Marie Benoit asked Oscar Urbina, who was presenting the Kmtnuk project on behalf of EverWind and Wind Strength, why the energy from a wind farm in Colchester County would be used to produce green hydrogen in Point Tupper, in Cape Breton, which in turn would produce ammonia for export to Europe.

Urbina replied that he would “probably” be able to get someone from the “hydrogen side” of the project to answer that question.

Since that meeting, EverWind seems to have been carefully tailoring and sweetening its messaging to sell its wind projects to the public and politicians in Nova Scotia.

That means hyping local benefits, and conspicuously downplaying the actual raison d’étre of the wind farms, which — in case anyone forgot — is actually not to provide Nova Scotians with domestic green energy for greening the grid and helping the province wean itself off coal so it can meet its climate goals.

Rather, according to the first page of the environmental assessment document EverWind submitted to Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change for the hydrogen and ammonia plants it intends to build in Point Tupper, “The purpose of the Project is to produce Certified Green hydrogen and ammonia to support the global demand for agricultural fertilizer products while reducing the carbon footprint of conventional ammonia production methods.”

EverWind says it plans to convert nearly all the “green hydrogen” it produces in Point Tupper into “green ammonia” for shipping to Germany, where it can be used in “agriculture, refrigeration, water purification, and the production of chemicals.”

In 2022, EverWind signed MOUs with two German utility companies — E.On and Uniper — for the export of a million tonnes a year of green ammonia to Europe by 2026.

For the hydrogen and ammonia to qualify as green, the company needs to produce them using 100% renewable energy. And that means an enormous amount of wind energy. Hence the need for the Bear Lake, Kmtnuk and Windy Ridge wind farms, and another even larger one — with more than 300 turbines — slated for Guysborough County.

But you won’t find that even mentioned in the PR materials EverWind has been pumping out since its sorry performance before the Colchester Municipal Council last month. 

EverWind pulls out all the PR stops

There is no mention of ammonia for export in the glossy flyer that landed in mailboxes in Colchester County. The flyer is full of even glossier promises to citizens, and promises of riches that would flow to government coffers and communities and homeowners near the wind farms.

Front page of a two-sided flyer from EverWind Fuels and Membertou First Nations Wind Strength, with a blue-green background and green and white print promoting EverWind's green hydrogen project in Nova Scotia, and open houses for two proposed wind farms in Colchester County.
EverWind flyer delivered to mailboxes in Colchester County in November 2023.

Nor is hydrogen or ammonia for export mentioned in EverWind’s ads that have been appearing at the very top of my social media feeds for the past couple of weeks.

Those ads extol the purported local benefits of the wind projects, almost as if the company were a charitable organization set up only to benefit Colchester County, and not a private, for-profit venture founded and run by New York-based former private equity luminary, Trent Vichie.    

EverWind’s social media ads boast that the wind projects mean:

  • Millions in direct payments to local homeowners
  • Millions in ‘community vibrancy’ funding
  • Local jobs with bursaries for education

Although a note at the bottom of the Instagram ad suggested there were four comments, when I clicked to see them, there were none, and I was invited to start the conversation. I then made my own comment, asking if and why comments were being deleted. That comment was deleted. I repeated the exercise three times. The comments all disappeared, as if EverWind didn’t want to hear what anyone had to say.

Screenshot of an EverWind ad on Instagram shows two men wearing lime green safety vests and yellow hard hats looking into the sun at a large wind turbine, with the text "$152 million in new tax revenue for Colchester County" written at the top of the ad, which has a teal-blue background. The ad lists benefits EverWind says its wind projects will bring. While it says "View all 4 comments" there is only one comment, one I made, which was later deleted. My comment says, "So, EverWind, your public consultation doesn't extend to the social media where you are advertising it? Comments deleted as soon as they come on? (This is my third such comment and I am still hoping for an answer.) Screenshots piling up."
Screenshot of EverWind Fuels’ Instagram ad and my comment, which like the two previous ones I made on the ad, was deleted. Credit: Joan Baxter

Last week, EverWind also held three open houses for the wind projects — in Debert, Truro and North River — as well as a “business info session” at the Best Western in Truro.

EverWind poster for its "Wind Farm Business Info Session" November 9th, 10am - 1pm, Best Western Glengarry in Truro. The poster contains a list of the kinds of procurement of materials and services that the wind farms will entail. At the bottom of the page, in dark green text on a light green background, "TELL YOUR COUNCILLOR YOU SUPPORT CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS IN COLCHESTER!" To the right is a WR code where EverWind invites companies to register.
Poster for EverWind wind farm business info session in Truro on November 9, 2023 Credit: EverWind

Crucial Council meeting later this week

As for this evening’s presentation to Colchester Municipal Council, it looks as if EverWind is taking no chances this time by sending hired help to speak about its projects as it did in October. Representatives at the North River open house held on November 10 told the Examiner that EverWind founder and CEO Trent Vichie himself will be presenting to the Council.

The presentation comes just two days before a crucial meeting of the Colchester Municipal Council.

On November 16, the council will “consider second reading for amendments to the Wind Turbine Development By-law.”

The notice of intent for the meeting continues:

If approved, the amendments will mean no new development license applications for wind turbines will be received until December 31, 2024, when a county-wide Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law is completed.”

Should the council approve the amendments on Thursday, EverWind will have to rethink its schedule and plans.

The company plans to start constructing the Kmtnuk wind facility by the summer of 2024 and commission it by December 2025, and Windy Ridge in the fall of 2024, for completion in early 2025 or mid-2026.

EverWind presentation slide entitled "Project Schedule" that shows the estimated time of year and year for the various phases of the development of Kmtnuk amd Windy Ridge wind projects, from environmental studies conducted as the first stage, to target commissioning as the final step.
EverWind project schedules for its Windy Ridge and Kmtnuk wind projects in Colchester County (from its November open house presentation)

‘We’re confident we’ll get the result we’re looking for’

EverWind representatives seem nonplussed by this possibility, convinced their recent efforts to sway opinions have helped dispel concerns about and opposition to the projects.

11 baseball caps with khahi camouflage colouring, and EVERWIND embrodered in teal-green on the front, displayed on a table.
EverWind swag to sweeten the November 10, 2023 open house in North River. Credit: Joan Baxter

At Friday’s open house in North River, the Examiner asked what EverWind would do should council decide to pause all wind applications until December 2024.

The reply from Adam Langer, EverWind’s director of public affairs:

After the last few weeks, we’ve had really productive conversations with members of council and with residents, as well as the other two levels of government. What we heard from them was there was a need for some more information and understanding, on Council and in the community. So we’ve spent the past number of weeks focusing on that. And through the course of that process, we’ve been able to provide a lot of answers and contacts for people that I think has shifted opinions. So that has been our focus. And I think with our efforts and after our presentations next week that this won’t be this won’t be a concern. We’re pretty confident in our project and that we’ll get the result that we were looking for.

Langer continued:

I can’t speak for everybody’s opinion on the project. There are definitely have been some who had voiced their opposition, and after speaking to us, have a better understanding of the project and we’ve gotten them to be more on side. Again, as with any project, you’re never going to have 100% support. There are always going to be different differing opinions in the community. And it’s our job to listen to those opinions and make sure that we hear those concerns and do our best to mitigate them. And we’re confident that that our efforts will pass in a while. And in the future, we’ll continue to give the community comfort that we’re doing what we should.

Cold comfort for some

Some people in the area are anything but comforted by EverWind’s project presentations and PR on the wind projects.

Pink clouds, a pale blue sky and a setting moon reflect on a still lake that is surrounded by trees right to the water's edge.
View across Johnston Lake at site where EverWind will erect wind turbines for its Windy Ridge project on Northern Pulp land. Credit: Jim Langille

Jim Langille is a landowner on Johnston Lake, with a view of the Northern Pulp lands where EverWind will be erecting its massive wind turbines. He contacted the Examiner after he attended a meeting at a local recreation club on the evening of Sunday, November 12 where EverWind gave a presentation about its wind projects.

“I was shocked as a landowner to find out for the first time that a massive wind farm is in development in Colchester,” he said.

Until this meeting, Langille had never heard of EverWind or its green hydrogen and ammonia project, something he finds very worrisome.

Langille is certainly not alone in his concerns.

In an email to the Examiner, Gregor Wilson of the citizen group Protect Wentworth Valley, wrote:

The wind energy produced from Everwind is ultimately for export to Europe. It is an incredibly energy inefficient system. Most experts acknowledge the best use of wind energy is to replace local use of coal or other fossil fuels.

The sheer size of the Everwind project areas in the Cobequid Mountains is daunting. Throughout this massive area are hundreds of wetlands. All sequester large amounts of carbon … Everwind also needs to clear huge amounts of carbon-sequestering forests, many of which are old growth or mature forests. Many wetlands and old growth forests of the Everwind projects area are known hotspots for the endangered Nova Scotia mainland moose and many other Species-at-Risk.

Many experts acknowledge the cheapest and easiest way to combat climate change is to protect more land, such as the remarkable forests and wetlands located through Everwind’s project areas. There are several massive Crown land parcels in the project area that would be much better suited for provincial protected areas for carbon sequestration and for essential Species-at-Risk habitat …

After the recent fatal extreme rain events [in Nova Scotia] it is important to recognize the important protection these wetlands and forests offer to the residents downstream in seven major watersheds below.

“’Green’ hydrogen for export is greenwashing,” Wilson added.

This evening’s special Colchester Council Committee meeting at which EverWind will present its Windy Ridge and Kmtnuk wind projects will be held from 5:00 to 6:30pm, both in-person in Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 1 Church Street, Truro, and virtually via Zoom.

Joan Baxter is an award-winning Nova Scotian journalist and author of seven books, including "The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest." Website:; Twitter @joan_baxter

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  1. I couldn’t find the account you were commenting on – not sure why? But I did comment this on some related posts on adjacent accounts: “ This is a subsidy suck in Nova Scotia at the expense of Nova Scotians who want a green grid. Using a sketchy bankrupt Indonesian company’s land in Nova Scotia to build wind farms at taxpayer expense to export ammonia to Germany doesn’t exactly scream “above board””