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Second phase wind turbines on the rise

Canadian Hydro Developers has been working at the north and south ends of the 88-turbine Melancthon II wind farm project by switching the substation transformer at 15 Sideroad Amaranth and erecting towers for the Melancthon Township portion of Phase 2.

In the meantime, the 45 turbines of the Melancthon I plant have been idle since June 2 while two transformers are being prepared for tapping into Hydro One’s 230-kilovolt transmission line, likely on the target date of June 29.

In a phone interview from Calgary, Canadian Hydro CEO John Keating said all 88 turbines, towers and their equipment have been in storage. The 66 platforms and access roads for the Melancthon portion of Phase 2 were completed prior to Christmas 2007.

He said five of the towers are to be at their sites this week. Movement of those out of storage to the site and their erection on the platforms will proceed in a scheduled and orderly fashion such as to minimize whatever disruptions might occur with the movement of heavy equipment.

Ontario project manager Geoff Carnegie, speaking from his new post with the company in Calgary, said both transformers at the substation would be surrounded by four acoustical walls. The changes are in accordance with the minutes of settlement between CHD and Amaranth Township at the recent Ontario Municipal Board hearing.

The existing transformer is a General Electric model. Its replacement is said to be quieter. Two or more substation neighbours had complained of the noise from the first transformer. One of those, Paul Thompson, had launched a lawsuit against CHD and the property owner over the noise.

Since the case has not come to court as of yet, his allegations remain untested.

Mr. Keating said none of the work on the 22 Amaranth Township sites has begun because of the wet soil conditions.

He expected the work on platforms, access roads and laying of underground cable would start soon, with commercial production to commence in the spring of 2009.

Ontario now has seven major wind farms in production, with a combined capacity of 771 megawatts.

Completion of Melancthon II would boost that capacity to about 900 MW for plants constructed under the Ontario Power Authority’s request for proposals program.

Small projects under the standard offer program are in addition.

Meantime, CHD’s Wolfe Island 200 MW project has won provincial environmental approvals.

By Wes Keller
Freelance Reporter

Orangeville Citizen

19 June 2008