Library from Saskatchewan
The proponents of a large wind energy project near Assiniboia, Sask., have moved to calm fears about an influx of temporary and out-of-province workers amid COVID-19. Construction is resuming on the Golden South Wind project just outside the town. It broke ground last summer and when complete it is expected to provide 200 megawatts of wind power through 59 turbines. It is located on about 34,000 acres of leased agricultural land in the rural municipalities of Stonehenge and Lake of the Rivers.
The U.S. requested a committal for extradition from the Attorney General of Canada following the indictment and included a record of the case saying nine people would testify against him, six of whom said they dealt with Enviro-Energies. A Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench judge approved the extradition order in August 2017, and the appeal was heard last May.
A 177 megawatt wind turbine project is getting a second chance in southwest Saskatchewan, but first has to pass the test with the province and landowners in the area.
The Ministry of Environment announced Monday it has denied Algonquin Power’s idea to build a 177-megawatt wind farm with a possible 79 turbines near Chaplin Lake, some 150 kilometres west of Regina.
There are many reasons why wind power has fallen into disrepute. It is not the most reliable source of electricity. Turbines are only 30 per cent efficient at best and they must be taken offline in adverse weather conditions, which cause malfunctions. At one wind farm in Britain, diesel-powered generators are on standby to cut in when the turbines are shut down.
The area is listed as having "hemispheric importance" by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network. The only other place in Canada to have this designation is the Bay of Fundy.
"There are hundreds of thousands of birds who will pass north of that lake every year, and they will go directly through this gauntlet of 77 wind turbines," Herriot said. He noted that four per cent of the global population of piping plovers nest there. Other well-known shorebirds, like the sanderling, pass through the area at counts of 50,000 or 60,000 each spring, he said.
"Why put them there? Why not go to a place where there is not an internationally significant, globally important nesting and migrating area for shorebirds?" Although Herriot is in favour of more wind turbines in Saskatchewan, he is concerned for the birds' safety. "Yes, we've got to deal with climate change and our carbon footprint, but we can't do it at the expense of wildlife," he said.
Ultimately, councillors wouldn’t change a bylaw that would have allowed for meteorological test towers to be constructed. The decision followed a heated debate in February that left the community divided. So he couldn’t install a test tower,
The Saskatchewan government has ordered its power utility SaskPower to remove 105,000 so-called smart meters installed at homes and businesses across the province, following concerns about eight unexplained fires associated with the units.
RES Canada has been in contact with landowners within the area and there is some opposition, as well as some support," explained Jeannie DesRochers, Reeve of the R.M. The company is offering compensation for people who would be living near the turbines. But DesRochers said there are concerns about land values and health effects.
The thought of a windturbine farm in the RM of South Qu'Appelle is stirring up a mix of reaction in the community. "We don't want it," said Renalda Pickering, a resident of the RM.