JANUARY 16, 2024 UPDATE:
The project partners will be hosting a public open house for the Neweg Energy Project on February 21, 2024. More information about the event will be posted here on the website and advertised locally in the coming weeks.
Natural Forces is partnering with the Mi’gmaq United Investment Network (MUIN) to develop, construct, own, and operate the Neweg Energy Project. MUIN was created by the Mi’gmag First Nations in New Brunswick as a profit-sharing entity to explore economic opportunities, investments, and partnerships that can produce results for the Mi’gmaq communities in New Brunswick and their members. The project partners announced the partnership and signed the power purchase contract together with NB Power on January 16, 2024. Please see the press release here for more information.
We are hosting an information session on February 21, 2024, from 4-7 pm at the Penobsquis Fire Hall (12231, NB-114, Penobsquis, NB E4G 2Y . The session will be a drop-in style to allow for flexibility with schedules.
About The Project
Phase II of the Wocawson Energy Project is called the Neweg Energy Project. The Neweg Energy Project is located adjacent to the operational Wocawson Energy Project in Kings County, New Brunswick, approximately 20 kilometers southeast of the Town of Sussex. Please visit the Wocawson Energy Project website here for more information about that project.
The Neweg Energy Project consists of 6 wind turbines with a collective installed capacity of approximately 25 MW. This size of project represents sufficient electricity generation to power approximately 8,000 New Brunswick homes. It is adjacent to Mitton Road (also known as Armstrong Road), which leads to a network of forestry roads throughout the project site. The original Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Wocawson Energy Project also evaluated the Neweg Energy Project as a second phase. The environmental impact assessment received approval on July 27, 2020. More information is available in the EIA section of this webpage below.
The Neweg Energy Project will provide a clean, stable source of electricity to help meet growing energy demands in New Brunswick through the generation of emission-free energy.
Project Milestone Timeline
As we develop this project, we are committed to providing the public with updates and the results of our environmental studies in this section.
July 2020: The project received EIA approval
April 2023: The project received a one-year extension on the EIA approval to start construction activities.
October 2023: EIA approval was granted for minor changes to the access road and equipment laydown area.
January 2024: The power purchase contract was signed between the project partners and NB Power.
February 2024: A public open house will be held on the February 21, 2024, from 4-7 pm at the Penobsquis Fire Hall (12231, NB-114, Penobsquis, NB E4G 2Y.
The community benefits the project will bring include electricity to power approximately 8,000 New Brunswick homes annually. Produce emission-free electricity that will both increase energy security and displace generation from fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Provide annual tax revenue to the local and provincial governments over the life of the project.
- Create local employment and contracting opportunities during the development, construction, operation, and decommissioning phases of the project.
- Increase own-source revenue to the Mi’gmaq First Nations through project ownership.
- Contribute to energy security in New Brunswick and displace generation from fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural Forces has engaged with, and continues to engage with, stakeholders through a number of avenues, including newsletters. Each of the newsletters circulated to date is linked below. Interested in receiving our newsletters?
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Feb 2024 Newsletter
The Neweg Energy Project has been discussed previously with the community in the open houses for the now operational Wocawson Energy Project. The previously presented information can be found on the Wocawson Energy Project website here.
The project partners are hosting a follow-up open house on February 21, 2024, to provide an update on the Neweg Energy Project. More details will be posted here on the website and advertised locally in the coming weeks.
The information to be presented at the open house will include site maps, results of environmental studies, and the schedule for the activities on site. All materials presented will be posted here on the website following the open house.
February 21, 2024, 4-7 pm
Penobsquis Fire Hall (12231, NB114, Penobsquis, NB E4G 2Y1
What is the process?
- Assess the wind resource
- Survey for environmentally sensitive features
- Optimize turbine location to capture the wind efficiently and minimize impact on sensitive features
- Begin consultation with regulators and the public
- Conduct and present the Environmental Impact Assessment for environmental approval
- Apply for road, work and construction permits
- Clear trees for roads and turbine pads
- Build access roads and pad areas
- Pour the turbine foundation
- Assemble the wind turbine
- Connect to the NB power electrical grid
- Commission the wind turbines to start producing power
- Conduct post-construction wildlife monitoring
- Monitor remotely for real time alerts when additional maintenance is needed
- Operate for 30 years
Decommission or Retrofit
- Assess wind turbines after 30 years
- Decommission wind turbines in 3-6 months
- Reclaim the site to its former state OR
- Receive approvals and permits to retrofit the turbine to continue harnessing energy
Environmental Impact Assessment
Since the original submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment for Phase I in 2018, initial locations proposed for Phase II were relocated due to additional understanding of the project site and additional regulations from the province. Due to the change in the turbine positions for the Phase II of the project, an addendum to the Environmental Impact Assessment was submitted to the province for review in January 2020. This addendum served to assess the potential environmental impacts of the project at these new locations, the following studies have been completed:
- Bird and Bat surveys
- Wetland and Watercourse surveys
- Vegetation and Habitat Surveys
- Archeological Assessments
On July 27, 2020 the Phase II Addendum was approved. In summer 2023, additional fieldwork was completed to study minor updates to the project, such as an alternative access road, a laydown area, and slight realignment of the collector lines. On October 12, 2023, EIA approval was granted for these minor updates.
The addenda to the EIA is attached below:
The original EIA submission for Phase 1 can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Natural Forces undertakes rigorous environmental impact assessments ahead of construction for all projects to determine existing environmental sensitivities and potential impacts on the project to the environment. For the Neweg Energy Project, this information was reviewed by provincial government officials and was open for public comment. All of this information is available above.
The proposed turbines will be set back at least 1.0 km from all the houses.
A study done by Health Canada in 2014 investigated the health effects of wind turbine noise. This study found that wind turbine noise was not associated with self-reported sleep, illness, or stress level issues. The summary of these results can be reviewed on the Health Canada Environmental and Workplace Health webpage.
The majority of the Neweg Energy Project infrastructure will be located on provincial Crown land. As such, the project partners have worked closely with the province to use the land for this purpose.
The project partners are also working with a number of private landowners to gain access to certain portions of the project site through Easement Agreements.
During construction, Natural Forces makes every attempt to hire local contractors using our in-house construction management company, Natural Forces Construction, to ensure smaller contractors are able to participate.
Wind turbines have moving parts and therefore some sound can be expected. However, well-designed wind turbines are generally quiet in operation, and compared to the noise of road traffic, trains, aircraft, and construction activities, the sound from wind turbines is very low. As wind turbine technology has evolved, the sounds emitted have decreased. The further away you are from a project, the less sound it will make. This site has trees and other barriers that would break a lot of the sound before it reaches homes. A typical wind project would have a noise level of between 35-45 decibels. For reference, the compressor of a refrigerator produces 40-45 decibels. (Check out the Energy Nova Scotia Wind Page for more information). Stories of excessive noise often come from areas where the turbines are very close to homes. Natural Forces follows the minimum standards for distance from residences laid out by local regulations, or a typical minimum of 1 km.
For more information contact:
Meg Morris, Project Manager