Approval of the Melancthon II wind project by the Ontario Municipal Board Monday was “only one of a number of provincial and county approvals,” Canadian Hydro Developers executive vice-president Ann Hughes said in a phone interview from Calgary Wednesday morning.
CHD still requires a Certificate of Approval from the Ministry of Environment for the Melancthon II transformer substation, including approval of sound definitions. “We’re hoping for that before the end of the month,” she said.
In the OMB decision and order, the existing General Electric transformer at the substation must be replaced. Ms. Hughes said the two new ones are on order but not delivered as yet.
Preparation of the transformer site can’t commence before the C of A is in place. And the transformer can’t be replaced until Hydro One sets a time for it, as the 230 kV grid would have to be briefly shut down while making the connection.
In a prior interview, CHD CEO John Keating said the existing transformer would be kept as a spare. He said that in any event the company likes to have spares.
Individual site agreements must be signed by participating landowners as well as Amaranth Township. The form of those agreements was settled, among other things, within the minutes of settlement with the township. “We hope to complete the individual site plans this week, but it might go over into next week.”
Beyond that, CHD requires building permits from the county for all installations. Ms. Hughes didn’t expect any problem with that, as the county’s building department is already familiar with the installations in Melancthon I.
The 66 turbines of Melancthon II in Melancthon Township won OMB approval last July. The sites for those have already been prepared. Preparation includes access roads and pads to support the towers. Ms. Hughes said CHD has spent “a lot of money” in that preparation, but she wasn’t certain whether the pads had been installed.
Whether site preparation for Amaranth’s 22 tur- bines can be done in the spring might be a problem. She hadn’t determined whether or not load restrictions might be an impediment.
The 88 towers and turbines, as well as the individual turbine transformers, have been in storage locally for the past year.
The transmission lines are to be underground. They’ll be placed there using equipment that was designed and patented by the Tait brothers of East Luther about 30 years ago, but sold by them to a major company.
CHD had previously announced that it expected Melancthon II to be in commercial operation by this November. It said the delay in the planning approvals would have no effect on its 20-year contract with Ontario Power Authority.
13 March 2008
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