Reactions were mixed to plans by Hydro One to build a new high voltage transmission line from Bruce Power to Milton.
About 150 residents came to an information session in Hanover on Tuesday to pour over maps and hear the details of the $600 million expansion that would affect 400 property owners, about half of them located between Kincardine and Southgate.
The 180-kilometre high voltage line, which is set for completion by December, 2011, would provide an additional 3,200 megawatts of electricity on top of the current 5,000 megawatts.
The increased capacity would accommodate two Bruce A generators being refurbished (about 1,500 megawatts) by 2009.
About 700 megawatts of wind power is in the Bruce, with another 1,000 megawatts of future potential.
Not everyone at the meeting agreed with officials of Ontario Power Generation that a new transmission line to run beside two existing lines from the Bruce to Hydro One’s Milton switching station is the most cost efficient or necessary.
“I don’t think overall this the best use of the land. We’re now going to have three sets of towers. We’re gobbling up a huge amount of land,” said Rob Cooper, who will lose 60 metres off the front of his property near Hanover.
He would like to see other options promoted such as upgrading the smaller 230,000 volt line to match the 550,000 volt line or installing very high voltage lines that are common in Quebec and other jurisdictions.
“I’m sure there is a need in the Toronto area for more power but they haven’t convinced me this is the best way or the only way. I’d like them to present the other options rather than just say they are not acceptable,” Cooper said.
“They tell me the other options don’t meet the needs but they don’t tell me why. They don’t give me any details.”
Meetings held this week in Kincardine, Hanover and Holstein were part of the approvals process that will take place over the next 18 months including the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and an environmental assessment (EA) approvals.
Planners have considered and rejected several other options, claiming the proposal for the new line meets the terms of reference and is consistent with provincial land use policy of expanding existing corridors over building new ones.
Brockton councillor Chris Peabody said he was disappointed there was so little information at Tuesday’s meeting on how residents who oppose the line can fight the proposal.
He would like the government to provide experts to help opponents make their case during the environmental assessment.
By Don Crosby
5 May 2007
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