First solar, now wind. Soon, Greater Sudbury could become a major alternative energy contender.
The planning committee will hear on Monday about the concept for a 150-megawatt wind farm to be located between Garson and Falconbridge, and north of Highway 17.
It would bisect the Garson-Coniston road and spread northeast, and would include 30 to 50 wind turbines, a transformer substation, low-voltage electrical collector lines, access roads, a high-voltage line, as well as work areas.
According to a site inspection, more than 10 bodies of water lie within 120 metres of the proposed project.
Online sources indicate that 150 megawatts could power as many as 50,000 typical U.S. homes annually.
"The project could be beneficial to the community, potentially providing an increased municipal tax base, rental payments to local landowners and significant financial contributions to the city, as well as jobs and the use of local service providers during construction and operations," the Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. concept indicates.
The municipality could reap significant financial benefits. Through a community benefit contribution, Greater Sudbury could see $2,500 per megawatt of power over 20 years added to the collective coffers -- as much as $350,000 annually for the 150-megawatt project.
The farm proposal is part of a broader Liberal government plan to foster more green energy sources in Ontario. In fact, the Falconbridge site is only one of 68 wind farms in which the provincial government is currently involved.
Prospective projects are ranked according to various criteria, with extra points awarded when affected municipalities are supportive.
According to a report that will be presented on Monday, city staff is recommending the project to council in one of two ways.
Firstly, council can show their outright support for the wind farm.
"This resolution's sole purpose is to enable the registered proponent (Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc.) to receive rated criteria points," the report states.
Alternatively, staff is recommending that Paul Baskcomb, the city's general manager of growth and development, negotiate an agreement with Renewable Energy Systems in support of the project.
To learn more about the project, go to www.falconbridgewind.com.
Source: Mary Katherine Keown