Grand River Conservation Authority is keeping a close eye on FPLE Canadian Wind’s proposal to build wind turbines generally along County Road 109, eastward from Arthur and extending into East Luther Grand Valley.
FPLE is the Canadian branch of Florida Power and Light, arguably the largest electrical wind energy company in the world. It has also made overtures to Amaranth Township council, and has secured leases with several landowners there.
In a letter to FPLE project manager Michael DeBock in Burlington, resource planner Liz Yerex of the Grand River Conservation Authority said earlier this month that the study area includes wetlands and “many” tributaries of the Conestogo and Grand rivers.
As such, “these areas are subject to the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation,” she said.
In a phone interview Monday, Ms. Yerex said she hadn’t been given any numbers for the proposed wind farm installation. However, she said the study area covers approximately two concessions on either side of Road 109.
At Wellington North Township Monday, CAO Lorraine Heinbuch was unaware of FPLE, but said Schneider Energy is in the process of applying.
She was surprised that a company would undertake an environmental assessment without having applied in some fashion to the municipality.
In any event, Ms. Heinbuch said the township has a moratorium on wind farms, pending inclusion of such in the Wellington County Official Plan.
Wetlands and streams “are precisely what we are trying to protect,” she said when told of Ms. Yerex’s letter. (The GRCA letter had been copied to deputy clerk Cathy More, who was not available at the time of the call.)
Ms. Heinbuch explained that Wellington has a county wide OP, but each municipality has its own set of zoning bylaws.
Mr. DeBock could not be reached for comment.
In other wind-farm issues, a Quebec company, E.O. Electric Inc., is applying for a 10-megawatt installation near Honeywood, and has a temporary meteorological tower in place to assess winds, Mulmur CAO Terry Horner said Monday.
And, in Amaranth, township council is appealing the ministry of environment’s recent acceptance of the Environmental Screening Report for the 88-turbine Melancthon II project.
By Wes Keller
29 March 2007
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