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Colchester has regulated large wind turbine projects since 2009. This was brought about by a growing interest in wind energy coupled with a recognition that such developments could be disruptive to residents in the absence of any standards. Council chose to regulate wind turbines through a county-wide bylaw rather than through a municipal planning strategy and land use by-law, understanding it could only manage how these are established and not where.  In other words, it presumes turbines can be established in Colchester and sets out standards relating to administration, setbacks, conditions of operation, public consultation, decommissioning and enforcement. To view the full by-law click here and to view the Sound Monitoring Compliance Policy click here.


Review Process, Issues and Input:


In February 2022, a motion was approved by Council to suspend any future applications for large-scale wind turbine developments for a period of up to one year. Council identified four key issue areas: 

  • Setback distances from existing residential uses
  • Turbine height limitations
  • Adequacy of decommissioning requirements
  • Noise generation 

The review process and survey that follows will therefore focus on these areas of concern as they relate to large scale wind turbine projects.






Wind Turbine Survey 


The survey comprises 6 parts and should take no longer than 3 minutes to complete. Your feedback is a vital part of the review process of the Wind Turbine Development By-law and we want to hear your thoughts! 


To request a printed copy of the survey, call 902-897-3170 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Printed copies are also available to pick up in the Municipal Building at 1 Church Street, Truro, in the Community Development office. 







Wind Energy In Colchester 


There are currently 8 large scale wind projects located in the Municipality. The following summarizes Colchester's current requirements in the Wind Turbine Development By-Law regarding the four Council identified key issue areas: 

  1. Setbacks: Colchester has a minimum separation distance of 1000m or 1 km. 
  2. Height Restirctions: Colchester does not have any height restrictions for large scale wind turbine developments.
  3. Decommissioning Plan: Colchester has a decommissioning plan requirement at the time of application for a license. While the Municipality does not require bonding or sureties, the by-law provides for financial penalties if the work is not completed within one year of turbine inactivity or revocation of a license.
  4. Sound: Colchester has a maximum allowable sound pressure level of 36 dB. A further requirement that a post-construction field study must be completed within one year of operation of the project to confirm that threshold is not exceeded. 

In April 2022, Colchester staff examined wind turbine requirements of twenty-two municipal units across Nova Scotia and compared them to Colchester's. The following document summarizes these findings. 

pdf Wind Turbine By-law Comparison (86 KB)