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Amaranth defers hearing on more turbines

The aspiring applicants were asked to withhold their applications until the council had received its peer review of CHD's environmental screening report, along with the Environment ministry's review of the same document and other studies including a "wake model" to show the effects of CHD's proposal.

Four new proponents are seeking rezoning for about 25 wind turbines in Amaranth, in addition to about 20 proposed by Canadian Hydro Developers as part of its Melancthon II wind project.

Schneider Power Inc. of Toronto appeared before an packed gallery at the council last Wednesday night, along with three other proponents, in an effort to obtain rezoning for two wind-monitoring towers as a preliminary step toward building two five-turbine plants.

Schneider was the only one to address the council.

The aspiring applicants were asked to withhold their applications until the council had received its peer review of CHD's environmental screening report, along with the Environment ministry's review of the same document and other studies including a "wake model" to show the effects of CHD's proposal.

"The wake model would give us a better idea of why the turbines are positioned where they are," said Deputy Mayor Don MacIver in an interview outside the meeting.

Last Wednesday's proposals might have raised some confusion in the minds of the councillors. Whereas the CHD plan distributes the turbines over a wide area, all four of last week's proponents had small clusters of five towers in relatively... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Four new proponents are seeking rezoning for about 25 wind turbines in Amaranth, in addition to about 20 proposed by Canadian Hydro Developers as part of its Melancthon II wind project.

Schneider Power Inc. of Toronto appeared before an packed gallery at the council last Wednesday night, along with three other proponents, in an effort to obtain rezoning for two wind-monitoring towers as a preliminary step toward building two five-turbine plants.

Schneider was the only one to address the council.

The aspiring applicants were asked to withhold their applications until the council had received its peer review of CHD's environmental screening report, along with the Environment ministry's review of the same document and other studies including a "wake model" to show the effects of CHD's proposal.

"The wake model would give us a better idea of why the turbines are positioned where they are," said Deputy Mayor Don MacIver in an interview outside the meeting.

Last Wednesday's proposals might have raised some confusion in the minds of the councillors. Whereas the CHD plan distributes the turbines over a wide area, all four of last week's proponents had small clusters of five towers in relatively small areas.

As well, Mr. MacIver said the new proponents would tap directly into adjacent Hydro lines, rather than to create a 34.5-kilovolt transmission line to a substation to connect to the Hydro One grid.

He said there's apparently a 10-megawatt platform in that respect.

(Schneider, proposing five turbines in each of two plants, favours 1.8 megawatt generators. The others - Fred Clark of Trillium Power Energy Corp., Winston Dahlstrom of Helix Synergy Inc.; and Irene Powers of Green Breeze Wind Farm Development Inc., as well as CHD - use General Electric's 1.5 MW variety. Although Trillium is proposing about nine MW in Amaranth, it recently announced plans for a 710 MW installation along the shores of Lake Ontario.)

Mr. MacIver described the current application as "the tip of the iceberg." Because more applications are expected, he said the council wants to determine where the turbines would best be located.

At the moment, however, it is not looking at specific locations but at general areas of the township based on residential and air-strip setbacks, among other things. "It is a consistent and prodigal approach to good planning," he said.

The new applications, and the current delay in assessing the CHD proposal, come at a time when the Ontario Power Authority is quoted as saying, "Without immediate action to expand generation capacity and undertake significant demand-side measures, Ontario faces an electricity shortfall in the long term. New initiatives are restructuring the province's power system in order to address this critical challenge. "

The council has been in consultation with its solicitor throughout the process, he said, to be certain it is following a proper planning prescription. "If it goes to an OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) hearing, and I hope it doesn't, and if asked if we followed proper planning, we can say, 'yes, we did,' " he said.

"Council supports green energy. It's just a question of planning. So far, we have no answers."

Mr. MacIver, whose farm is on 25 Sideroad and likely within the viewscape of CHD's proposed locations, is an environmental scientist employed by the federal Department of Environment.

Are members of Amaranth council affected directly or indirectly in any fashion by the turbines?

Mayor Bob Currie, who has avoided voting on anything related to the proposed wind farm, would have maybe two turbines on his property. He has therefore declared a pecuniary interest in the project. His personal position on green energy was made clear some time ago when he said, "I do not want to see the air I breathe."

His position at the time reflected in part a statement attributed to Dr. David Suzuki by the Toronto Star: "Some people think wind turbines are ugly. I think smokestacks, smog, acid rain, coal-fired power plants and climate change are ugly," Suzuki wrote, calling those who take a NIMBY approach to wind "counterproductive" and "hypocritical."

Councillor Bob McLean, who lives on the 2nd Line, out of the study area, appears at council meetings to favour a balanced approach to discussions.

Councillor Percy Way is on the 7th Line below 15 Sideroad, possibly within the viewscape.

Although not necessarily committed in opposition, he won applause from opponents recently when he told them at a council meeting he would favour turbines "only if everyone in the township benefits," and further, in effect, that he would wish to see the generated power fed directly to consumers in the township.

Councillor Jane Aultman lives in Waldemar, a subdivision in the south of the township.

She has also been noncommittal at council, preferring to wait for peer reviews and the ministry's findings on the ESR.


Source: http://www.citizen.on.ca/ne...

JUL 27 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3680-amaranth-defers-hearing-on-more-turbines
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