Kincardine News staff
Wednesday August 16, 2006
Kincardine News – The Wind Farm Action Group (WAG) isn’t impressed with Enbridge’s new 121 metre wind turbine setback.
“That’s just the setback from my property line,” said WAG member Tony Clark. “(Enbridge) never addressed the distance turbines should be from residences.”
The 121-turbine wind project plan calls for 350 m setbacks from residences, while WAG has requested 900 m setbacks. Clark said turbines are at least 1,500 m from residences in Germany and up to two miles in California.
“They’ve learned the hard way. We’re making the same mistakes they made 10 years ago,” Clark said.
The 350 m setback from residences isn’t nearly far enough, as 600-foot turbines are being tested in Europe and could eventually make their way to Canada, he added.
One of the problems is the lack of rules and regulations set forth by the provincial government and the apparent zeal of Municipality of Kincardine council to accept the wind project, Clark said. WAG is currently waiting to find out whether the Ministry of Environment will accept it and Bruce County’s request to have the project bumped up to a full Environmental Assessment, before moving forward with its objections. The county dropped its request last week at an agriculture, tourism and planning committee meeting, after Enbridge agreed to go to 121 m setbacks.
If this 121-turbine project gets the green light, Clark sees a bleak future for the Lake Huron shoreline.
“There will be 1,000 turbines between Goderich and Tobermory and Kincardine Township will have as much as Bruce. The people of Kincardine Township have to wake up to this fact.
“This is probably the biggest and most serious thing to hit Bruce County and our elected representatives aren’t taking it seriously.”
He said turbines will drive down property values, which will lower tax assessments, meaning less dollars in the municipality’s coffers – much more than what the turbines will generate in tax dollars.
“It’s going to gut Kincardine.”
He is upset with Kincardine Mayor Glenn R. Sutton, who requested county council vote on dropping the EA request last week, instead of waiting for the county’s regularly scheduled meeting, Aug. 17.
“What’s in it for Sutton? Why is he so willing to do this to the people of the municipality?”
He said the mayor seems to be so gung-ho about the area becoming the “˜Powerhouse of Ontario’ he is missing the bigger picture.
“Do the people of Kincardine want it to be the Powerhouse of Ontario?
“He’s going to devastate the township.”
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