Nesting birds have developers Alberta Wind Energy Corporation back before the Municipal District’s planning commission seeking to relocate three turbines on their proposed wind farm near the Oldman River Dam.
Arthur Lee from the company says that a pair of nesting ferruginous hawks and prairie falcons have been spotted close to three of the proposed turbines. Alberta Sustainable Resources guidelines recommend that wind turbines are located at least 500 metres away from nest sites. As a result, Lee says that AWEC is looking for permission to relocate the turbines some 400 metres from their original sites.
The 26 -turbine wind farm already received approval from the Municipal Planning Commission in July last year. The new nest findings are the result of an ongoing environmental study – a condition of receiving the development permit. Lee says that when AWEC received the permit it had made the MPC aware that if any nests were found during the environmental study they would have to apply to relocate the turbines. These environmental studies will continue until the end of the year, however Lee is doubtful they will reveal any further information that requires the relocation of a turbine. “I’m confident we’ve found everything,” he said.
Lee said that there will be some change to the noise impact of the turbines, but that it will still fall below the EUB’s recommended levels.
“The new configuration meets the permitted sound levels,” he told local residents at a public meeting on the proposed changes on Tuesday night.
AWEC is also seeking to relocate two other turbines by two and 10 metres respectively. Lee says the moves are insignificant and have been made to capitalize on the wind. “We’re looking at the bulk of the changes being those three turbines,” he said.
The MPC will make a decision whether to approve the changes on June 7. AWEC has two turbines installed at the site, Lee says that the remaining 24 will wait until the transmission line upgrade between Pincher Creek and Lethbridge, which has been earmarked for the end of 2008. Lee says the delays to the line and the need to relocate the turbines haven’t had a big an effect on the project’s development. “There’s a two-year waiting list for the turbines anyway ,” he said.
By Jocelyn Mercer
Pincher Creek Echo
25 May 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding