First Nations, Enbridge reach wind farm agreement; Details not released pending formal signing Friday
Two local First Nations have given their approval to the Enbridge wind power development in the former Bruce Township.
Chief Randall Kahgee of Saugeen First Nation and Chief Ralph Akiwenzie of Chippewas of Nawash First Nation are to meet Friday morning with Scott Dodd, director of operations for Enbridge Ontario Wind Power.
The three men will sign what a news release calls “a landmark heritage and environmental agreement” regarding the wind farm.
The signing is scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Saugeen band office but First Nations spokesperson David McLaren, who issued the news release late Wednesday afternoon, would not discuss the content of the agreement.
He said there would be no comment by anyone at this time.
“The chiefs are the best people to talk to and they won’t talk until Friday,” he said.
McLaren would not say how long the parties have been negotiating the agreement.
Construction began on the 110-turbine wind farm in July after the objections of some local residents were dismissed by the Ontario Municipal Board.
Eight weeks of hearings followed an appeal by about three dozen residents represented by the Windfarm Action Group, which asked the OMB to overturn municipal rezoning that allowed the development to proceed.
The company had hoped to have 20 to 30 turbine foundations built before the end of the year. The turbines are to be erected in April and are expected to go into operation next summer.
When completed, the wind farm will be one of the largest in Canada, producing 182 megawatts of power.
By Jonathon Jackson
22 November 2007
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