The Melancthon Township portion of the 132-megawatt Melancthon II wind farm will be under construction this spring, but there has been no apparent resolution of substation noise complaints that are holding up the Amaranth Township portion.
Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. has confirmed that the foundations for Melancthon’s 66 turbines, along with access roads plus an expansion of its operations and maintenance building have all been completed.
“The Company continues to await the final Order from the (Ontario Municipal Board) approving the Amaranth Township portion(22 wind turbines, and expects that such an order will be issued prior to construction re-commencing in the spring of 2008,” CHD says in a news release.
The wind farm was the subject of OMB hearings in both townships. The Melancthon portion won approval last July, but the final OMB order for the entire project has been withheld pending a resolution of the transformer substation noise complaints.
CHD says it expects the plant to be operational by the end of November, but the delays have raised the estimated capital cost $10 million, to $285 million from the previously estimated $275 million.
Meantime, Amaranth CEO Sue Stone said this week that there has been no indication of when the OMB hearing will recommence. Hearing officer Norm Jackson had indicated it could be convened on a week’s notice.
At the substation, neighbour Paul Thompson said there has been some activity at the transformer, but he doubted there had been any progress “as far as I’m concerned.”
In a discussion outside an unrelated meeting recently, Mr. Thompson said the prescribed noise monitoring program was continuing. However, he said the monitors had failed to pick up the sounds of a stereo although it could be heard by the naked ear.
The problem at the substation is that the wind farm requires a second transformer. Mr. Thompson and at least two other neighbours say the second transformer would double the noise impact.
Mr. Jackson has indicated he would withhold his decision and order until the transformer issue has been resolved.
By Wes Keller
24 January 2008
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