Against the wind

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - News

BY RICHARD MA­HONEY

Staff The On­tario gov­ern­ment has shelved new large- scale wind power projects. But cit­i­zens in North Stormont and The Na­tion con­tinue their cam­paigns against in­stal­la­tions that have al­ready been ap­proved for their mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Op­po­nents have an ally in Stormont-Dun­das-South Glen­garry Con­ser­va­tive MPP Jim McDonell who has been sub­mit­ting to the prov­ince thou­sands of let­ters from cit­i­zens try­ing to have the wind farm plans scrubbed.

The Na­tion Rise wind project in North Stormont “was ap­proved by the In­de­pen­dent Elec­tric­ity Sys­tem Op­er­a­tor de­spite meet­ing none of the rated cri­te­ria,” Mr. McDonell con­tends,

“The com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing abut­ting landown­ers, op­posed the project from the get-go, and the town­ship de­clared it­self an un­will­ing host. De­spite these clear mes­sages, the IESO al­lowed the project whose power is com­pletely un­nec­es­sary to meet de­clin­ing power de­mand in On­tario. Re­cently, the gov­ern­ment sus­pended its sec­ond stage of wind and solar pro­cure­ment be­cause it re­al­ized the over-paid power would not be needed in our grid and would have to be off- loaded to our neigh­bours, again, at a cost. Na­tion Rise should face the same fate – the com­mu­nity doesn’t want it and the prov­ince doesn’t need it.”

The 100-megawatt Na­tion Rise Wind Farm would be built on about 22,000 acres owned by 40 landown­ers who have signed agree­ments with EDP Re­new­ables.

A to­tal of ap­prox­i­mately 45 to 50 wind tur­bines will be erected; the num­ber will be de­ter­mined by the tur­bine model and its gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity.

Dec­la­ra­tions that The Na­tion and North Stormont were “un­will­ing hosts” did not pre­vent the In­de­pen­dent Elec­tric­ity Sys­tem Op­er­a­tor (IESO) from ap­prov­ing the Parc éolien Gau­thier near St-Bernardin and the Na­tion Rise Wind Farm near Crysler.

In Septem­ber, En­ergy Min­is­ter Glenn Thibeault sus­pended the sec­ond round of its Large Re­new­able Pro­cure­ment (LRP2) process, halt­ing the pro­cure­ment of solar, wind, hy­dro­elec­tric, bioen­ergy and en­ergy from waste projects over 1,000 megawatts in size.

The rea­son for the de­ci­sion is that the prov­ince does not need that ad­di­tional power.

EDP Re­new­ables is seek­ing ap­proval to be­gin con­struc­tion of the Na­tion Rise Wind Farm in 2019.

If it goes through, almost 1,200 ru­ral res­i­dences could be af­fected, cau­tions the Con­cerned Cit­i­zens of North Stormont, a group that is wor­ried about the health im­pli­ca­tions posed by noise and vi­bra­tions cre­ated by the tur­bines.

“Wind en­ergy projects have the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate en­v­i­ron- men­tal noise which un­der cer­tain cir­cum­stances may rep­re­sent an an­noy­ance to some sur­round­ing res­i­dents,” EFP notes on its web page. “As with any wind en­ergy project un­der­taken in On­tario, a noise study will be con­ducted to min­i­mize these ef­fects.”

De­spite mora­to­rium on new large-scale wind power projects, two area pro­pos­als have not been shelved Pro­po­nent in­sists that it wants to foster a work­ing re­la­tion­ship with North Stormont

Tur­bines will be placed at least 550 me­tres away from any neigh­bours. “Noise mod­el­ling will be used to pre­dict sound lev­els and as­sist in de­ter­min­ing tur­bine lay­out to min­i­mize the po­ten­tial for noise an­noy­ance,” the com­pany says.

“EDPR Canada places great im­por­tance on com­mu­nity en­gage­ment as it is an in­te­gral part of the en­tire life­cy­cle of any suc­cess­ful wind en­ergy project.”

The firm first pre­sented its pro­posal to North Stormont coun­cil in 2012.

In 2015, coun­cil voted against all wind project pro­pos­als within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. “Fos­ter­ing a work­ing re­la­tion­ship with North Stormont is a key to the suc­cess of the Na­tion Rise Wind Farm in or­der to best de­velop the Project and to en­sure the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and com­mu­nity are en­gaged in the de­vel­op­ment and de­liv­ery of the project,” EDP says. “We are com­mit­ted to con­tinue pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar up­dates to coun­cil and staff through­out the life of the project and to have open di­a­logue re­gard­ing the pro­gres­sion and de­vel­op­ment of the project.”

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