A commercial wind farm operator in Melancthon is asking the court to dismiss a $1.25 million lawsuit brought against it.
Canadian Hydro Developers says its transformer in Amaranth “has not produced excessive or disturbing noise at any time,” as claimed by a neighbour.
Paul Thompson filed the lawsuit in February seeking compensation for damage and special damage from Canadian Hydro Developers and property owner Hendrika Broeze. Canadian Hydro leases land from Broeze for its transformer.
Thompson claims noise from the device has caused “substantial and unreasonable interference” with his home and industrial equipment repair business since it began operating in early 2006.
His claims have not been proven in court.
The transformer handles electrical flow from the Melancthon I Wind Project, which includes 45 wind turbines.
Canadian Hydro recently received approval from the Ontario Municipal Board to move ahead with the second phase of the project – 88 more turbines and a second transformer to be located on the same property as the first.
During the OMB hearing, Canadian Hydro announced plans to swap out the existing transformer with a quieter model. The second transformer is also to be of the quieter variety.
“Since the transformer began commercial operations … Canadian Hydro has undertaken, and continues to undertake, significant efforts to further reduce potential sound emissions from the transformer,” offers the statement of defence.
Those efforts include noise monitoring and construction of a sound barrier around the transformer perimeter.
“Since that time, all noise level measurements taken near the transformer and on neighbouring properties have been compliant with noise guidelines issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment,” the defence continues.
In his statement of claim, Thompson acknowledges the acoustic barrier has lessened the transformer noise. However, he says it continues to interfere with his sleep and is the source of stress and tension in his life.
The Amaranth man further maintains transformer noise has rendered his property, which has been in his family since the 1800s, “undesirable, or significantly less desirable,” therefore decreasing its value.
The developer insists that if there are damages from the transformer, which it denies, those damages are the result of Thompson’s “abnormal sensitivity” and suggests he has failed to mitigate those damages.
“Canadian Hydro has undertaken … significant efforts to further reduce potential sound emissions….”
Canadian Hydro statement of defence
By Richard Vivian, Staff Writer
11 April 2008
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