Usually an Ontario Municipal Board referral is made either by a proponent objecting to a delay in rezoning, or by groups of residents objecting to a municipal council’s approval of a project.
But there’s a different kind of twist at Grand Valley. There, in East Luther Grand Valley Township, a small wind farm proponent has referred its objection to an Amaranth Township approval of two severances on the Amaranth side of the town line dividing the two municipalities.
A prehearing has been scheduled for Jan. 15, 2008, for Windrush Energy’s appeal of the approval of two severances on the property of George Pullen.
J. C. Pennie, one of the principals of Windrush, says Mr. Pullen was an early objector to his company’s 9 megawatt (MW) development at Ashton Ridge, north of Grand Valley. But that’s not why Windrush is objecting.
He said zoning for the wind farm was approved in ELGV two years ago. Now, late in the game, the nature of the severance indicates that the intention would be to turn them into residential lots. If so, residential structures could be too close to the turbines, There are agreed-to setbacks.
He said he had spoken to Amaranth council prior to the severances and outlined the problem. As well, he said he is not objecting to a third severance, nor even to the two severances per se. “There are ways (in which the severances could be made compatible with the wind farm).”
Ashton Ridge is a small installation approved by the Ontario Energy Board under the Standard Offer Program, which encourages renewable energy installations of 10 MW capacity or less. Ashton would ultimately have two farms of 9 MW each, i.e. 6, 1,500 MW turbines in each.
Energy from the installations would be relayed to the existing transformer for the local grid near Davison’s Bus Lines east of Grand Valley, taken there by underground cable according to previous information.
The appeal against Amaranth’s decision comes at a time when the OMB is withholding its final decision and order on Canadian Hydro Developers proposal for 22 turbines in Amaranth as part of the Melancthon II wind-farm project.
Unlike Ashton, the CHD proposal involves a second large transformer at its substation where it feeds to Hydro One’s 230 kV grid. The second transformer is at the heart of the problem for CHD, and there is some misunderstanding among residents about the Ashton requirements for a transformer.
Meantime, at the firm’s head office, executive vice-president Ann Hughes said Canadian Hydro “believes that it is important to be a good neighbour. We have implemented and tested a number of noise mitigation measures. Canadian Hydro is proactively working with experts to create a viable solution to addressing our neighbour’s concerns regarding noise at the transformer.”
By Wes Keller
29 November 2007
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