Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Canada
Amaranth Township Council will seek to have the Canadian Hydro Developers existing transformer substation included as an issue at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing into the Melancthon II wind-turbine project. Mayor Don MacIver told township CAO Sue Stone to advise the CHD lawyers accordingly, after the council had heard a recording of noise levels near the substation, said to be as high as 65 decibels, at Wednesday’s meeting, In playing the recording, Paul Thompson, a neighbour of the substation, said there is a constant hum from the transformer — constantly at 40 dB, he said — but rising for about 10-20 seconds to as much as 65 when the CHD transmission goes back on grid after being off for a time, according to his recorded demonstration, although the under-construction sound barriers are intended to reduce it to 31 dB. Mr. Thompson said the sound reflects off a metal shed on his property. “If you listen (long) it gets in your head, and you can’t get it out,” he said.
The associated environmental and health impacts are real. Rural residents will not be persuaded to “do their part” knowing that corporate marketing and provincial promotion overstates the benefits of this power source and plays down the negative impacts. Until developers site these projects in more appropriate areas and earn, not demand respect, they will continue to face costly delays and opposition.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek believes council is satisfied with the Environmental Screening Report (ESR) for the Kingsbridge II Wind Power Project. About 15 township residents and 15 representatives from EPCOR, including Paul McMillan, senior vice president of Ontario, and Michael Smith, manager of policy and programs environment, as well as Stantec Consulting Ltd., filled the council chambers on Dec. 19 to hear the review of the ESR.
A series of discrepancies in Allan Kettles application to extend his Kettles Hill Wind Farm has led to the Municipal Planning Commission turning it down. Kettles was told that he would not be allowed to proceed with the 45-turbine extension due to some serious omissions in his application. The application was rejected at a Nov. 7 meeting on the grounds that there were persistent changes to the project land parcels, there was not a complete list of all the involved landowner signatures approving the project and a noise analysis, setback data and an accurate site plan were all absent from the application.
After months of planning and preparation, there’s a concrete plan in place for a proposed wind farm in the area. In a recent letter to Brock Township, AIM (Air in Motion) PowerGen Corporation unveiled the preliminary design for the project, which would likely include 18 turbines. According to the letter, AIM has signed option agreements with local landowners. In all, approximately 90 landowners in the area have signed letters of interest in the projects, with the majority of the properties lying north of Highway 48 and west of Regional Road 23. According to the township’s deputy clerk-administrator Thom Gettinby, the letter is simply meant to inform council of the company’s plans and is not a formal application.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek believes council is satisfied with the Environmental Screening Report (ESR) for the Kingsbridge II Wind Power Project. About 15 township residents and 15 representatives from EPCOR, including Paul McMillan, senior vice president of Ontario, and Michael Smith, manager of policy and programs environment, as well as Stantec Consulting Ltd., filled the council chambers on Dec. 19 to hear the review of the ESR. Mark Kozak and Peter Prier, of Stantec, presented a summary report of the ESR. Council was presented with the four-inch thick ESR at their previous meeting and requested that a representative of Stantec present a summary at their next council meeting. Council also decided to hire a company to do a third party review, following discussions from the previous meeting and EPCOR agreed to pay for this review. John Kerr, of Gamsby and Mannerow Ltd., presented the independent review of the ESR on behalf of the township. Van Diepenbeek said following the meeting that council seemed satisfied with the summary report and independent review and had no concerns with either. Council also received a report from Jacques Whitford Engineering on health, safety and nuisance concerns, as well as a report from the Huron County Health Unit on the effects of wind turbines on human health.
Bluewater Council considered a proposed zoning by-law amendment to introduce regulations governing the location of wind energy facilities within the municipality. Council anticipated to defer the by-law to permit further discussion. That recommendation was later passed. In a report from Senior Planner, Craig Metzger, it is recommended that the by-law amendment be approved. It is also recommended that the draft for the site plan guidelines be adopted by council. The zoning by-laws for Bayfield, Zurich and Hensall are proposed to be amended to permit small scale wind energy facilities (under 50kW) subject to certain location restrictions while prohibiting all commercial scale wind energy facilities in the area covered by these zoning by-laws.
The company behind a $275-million wind farm wants to start work in the spring, although the plans appear to be bogged down in bureaucracy. Canadian Hydro, a Calgary-based company, already operates a 45-turbine facility in Melancthon Township. The company is seeking approvals for 88 more turbines in the second phase of the wind project in Shelburne, Ont. The project is facing a great deal of opposition and will require hundreds of approvals — from the federal government to the township.
Pending approval of an environmental screening report, Windrush Energies hopes to start construction of two wind turbine projects in East Luther Grand Valley next year. The report will likely be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment for review in the new year, says company chair John Pennie.
Southgate Council has received a proposal to install a weather test tower, as a first step toward a possible wind farm. This was proposed to council by John Pennie of Windrush Energy, and Derek Tennant of Flesherton Wind Energy in the hopes of finding a suitable wind farm location. Tennant says this tower will be at a site in former Proton township to determine if or where a suitable site for a wind farm may exist. He says the tower would test weather conditions for about a year.
With the first phase of a 99-megawatt wind farm in West Cape now underway, the president of Ventus Energy Inc. says company staff are already thinking about other potential projects. Ventus, created three years ago, already has 25 projects under development in six provinces, totalling more than 5,000 megawatts.
Residents will not see any large-scale turbines spinning in Uxbridge for at least another year, after a bylaw was passed Monday morning. Council adopted a recommendation from Heather Brooks, manager of development services, to extend a bylaw set last December prohibiting wind structures over 144 feet tall for a year, to allow the Township time to develop a policy and Official Plan amendments in regard to them. The turbine policy, adopted following public review in September, states large commercial turbines are allowed outside Uxbridge’s urban area so long as the builder mitigates any visual or lighting or other physical impacts including shadow flicker impacts, electromagnetic impacts and overshadowing, all concerns raised at prior public meetings regarding a planned wind farm project at 10700 Durham Rd. 1.
Kincardine residents are voicing their displeasure about the number of wind turbines being set up. Janice McKean owns a Bed & Breakfast on Highway 21 in Kincardine across from the proposed Cruickshank wind turbine project. McKean says the Cruickshank project would affect her business as well as the ecosystem. She says an industrial wind farm is not compatible with the natural surroundings.
A wind farm opponent in Kincardine says a former councillor’s vote shouldn’t have been made. While Enbridge Wind Farms was looking for another zoning approval - opponent Andy Robinson was voicing his concern about past votes. Robinson says former Kincardine Councilor Howard Ribey should never have been at the table for any wind farm votes because Ribey is a pubic proponent of wind energy and is under contact with Enbridge to host windmills on his Bruce Township farm.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. is hoping to complete the wind turbine provisions bylaw in January now that EPCOR has submitted plans for the Kingsbridge 2 wind power project. “If the public has any further comments to make, they should make them now,” said Monica Walker-Bolton, of the Huron County planning department. Walker-Bolton said she is still at the information gathering stage. She said she has emailed relevant agencies for information but is not getting much response. She is also waiting for further information from the Health Unit.
It’s going to be almost two years before the second phase of wind turbines near Shelburne are online. CEO of Canadian Hydro John Keating says the project has been delayed in the permitry stage. The second stage of the project has been undergoing environmental assessment, however the province has put that on hold pending a native land-claim outcome.
An application for a wind farm on the edge of town, by developer Allan Kettles, has been rejected by a planning committee made up of the Town and Municipal District of Pincher Creek.
TransCanada Corp. is set to take another step on a path that will make it one of Canada’s largest windpower operators, with plans to build an up-to-$300 million US wind farm in the mountains of Maine. The company said Wednesday it is about to seek formal approval to build a 44-turbine windfarm in the Kibby Mountain Range, just south of the Quebec-Maine Border. The $250 million US to $300 million US project will see the 124-metre-high turbines built along 22 kilometres of ridge line in the Kibby Mountain Range just south of the Quebec border.
The proponents of a wind farm in northern Leamington were greeted with skepticism by some residents but welcomed by others during a public meeting Tuesday night. Advantis Energy held its second meeting in Leamington, this time to see if and where residents would support a 10 megawatt wind project in northern Leamington between Concessions 8 and 11 and between Highway 77 and County Road 37. The proposal is for four towers that would be 65 to 85 metres at the hub of the turbine.
A small wind farm could be on the way to an area near Malden Centre. Gengrowth is proposing a wind farm that would consist of four to six turbines in the area. According to a notice placed recently in the local newspapers, they expect to secure a power purchase agreement from the Ontario Power Authority and plan to begin construction in June 2009. The project would be known as the South Side Wind Farm.