Digby Wind Farm Landowners Also Facing Liens

taxlienforeclosuresBy Gillian Cormier AllNovaScotia.com
13 November 2009

One of SkyPower’s creditors is looking to put liens on properties owned by people who planned to lease land for a wind farm in Digby.

The Terrain Group Inc, based in Dartmouth, filed a statement of claim this week against SkyPower and 17 landowners, representing 14 plots of land in Gulliver’s Cove, Digby county.

The Terrain Group claims it is owed $42,950 for professional surveying services on the lands.

However, with a third party sale of SkyPower’s assets looming, the problem may soon be resolved.

SkyPower, a 50-50 partner with Scotian Windfields in the 30 megawatt Digby Neck wind project, filed for creditor protection earlier this year following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, its principal shareholder.

Barry Zwicker, ceo of community-funded organization partner Scotian Windfields, says his understanding is the matter will be cleared up by the end of this week.

“A number of individuals and companies that have been working on this project have not been paid for all of the work they have completed”, said Zwicker.

Zwicker says the tentative closing date for the sale of SkyPower’s assets is November 30. The identity of the third-party buyer has not been made public.

The Toronto outfit says it has already raised US $15 million as part of a creditor protection filing that will enable it to ensure there is a quick and efficient sales process.

Zwicker says because SkyPower is under creditor protection, liens are the only mechanism available. He says Terrain Group will not perfect the lien and is not sure if lien is possible under CCAA protection.

He also says the liens are not a hardship to the property owners until they go to sell their properties.

“Before that ever happens, the project will be underway, the lien removed, companies will be paid”, he said.

He spoke to many of the property owners and says they understand the situation.

The property owners who are involved in the dispute are Bernard McBride Jr, Gloria McBride, Vernon McBride, Coralee Bremner, Martin McBride, Frederick Newton Ross, Sharon Ross, Jerry Schofield, PC Futures, Linda Lewis, Linda A Lewis, James Bennett Sr, Beverly Bennett, Chester Fogg Jr, Marie Fogg, Alan Fogg and Larry Lewis. All agreed to lease land to SkyPower/Scotian Windfields to erect turbines.

The defendants have not yet filed a defence. Statements have not been proved in court.

The Digby Neck partners have one of the half-dozen long-term supply contracts that were signed by NS Power with independent power producers in 2008, for delivery in late 2009.

Kevin Downie is solicitor for Terrain Group Inc. Stephen Wallace is listed as principal of the company.