BORDEN-CARLETON – About a dozen people gathered in Borden-Carleton Thursday evening to hear about a proposed Maritime Electric project in their community.
As part of its preparation for the project, Maritime Electric has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment to the provincial government, and Thursday’s meeting was an opportunity for residents to provide feedback and ask questions as part of that process.
Maritime Electric wants to install high voltage power transmission lines from existing high-powered lines in Maple Plains, through Albany and tie into its Borden-Carleton substation. It also wants to relocate a secondary, non-high-voltage line to run in tandem with the high-powered lines.
Kim Griffin, a spokeswoman for Maritime Electric, said the company has endeavoured to keep its proposed power route away from as many homes and businesses as possible.
“It’s certainly the best route we could find,” she said.
Griffin added that the company wants to make these changes to create redundancy in the Island’s power grid and increase the province’s overall energy capacity.
Residents who attended Thursday’s meeting had a few questions, but no one expressed any major concerns with the company’s preferred route, or its alternate route.
Borden-Carleton Mayor Dean Sexton was in attendance and said, following the meeting, that no residents had approached him with any concerns.
However, Coun. Mary MacDonald-Pickering did have questions about the potential impact of the project on Amherst Cove School, especially in relation to health concerns regarding electromagnetic fields.
There are a number of existing high-voltage transmission lines behind the school, which are separated by a large field, fence and wetland.
MacDonald-Pickering indicated that the project had been raised at the school’s last parent council meeting, with some parents expressing concerns about the electromagnetic fields produced by the lines.
Maritime Electric committed to reaching out to the school’s principal and parent council, if need be, to answer any of their questions and provide more information. It also assured MacDonald-Pickering that the voltage of the power lines already behind the school is not changing, and has been the same for decades, though the exact amount of power travelling through the lines will increase at any given time.
High voltage transmission lines have proven controversial in various parts of the world because some believe the electromagnetic fields they create have deleterious impact on health, though no scientific link has been conclusively established.
More information about the project and the environmental impact assessment is available by searching for Maritime Electric on the province’s website, www.princeedwardisland.ca.