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Melancthon residents question turbine plan  

Credit:  Bill Tremblay, www.orangeville.com 14 September 2011 ~~

Mingyu Tang, senior vice-president of Dufferin Wind Power Inc., said he would “have no problem” living in one of the homes encompassed by his company’s proposed wind farm in Melancthon.

Although Tang was reluctant to answer if he would live in the area, he eventually said he has faith in the 550-metre setback created by the provincial government.

“It’s part of the law,” Tang said. “I trust the research.”

However, residents of the area did not display the same level of civil obedience during the Public Information Centre (PIC) held at the Horning’s Mills Community Hall on Monday (Sept. 12).

The Melancthon PIC was the first of four meetings held throughout Dufferin County to introduce the community to the revamped 49-turbine proposal.

Dufferin Wind Power Inc. and Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) Ltd. entered into a share purchase agreement with China Longyuan Power Group Corporation Limited in July, to develop the 100 MW wind farm.

Dave Pitcher, whose one-acre property would be surrounded by the wind project, said the PIC failed to ease his concerns about the project.

“They’re skirting around the truth,” Pitcher claimed. “It’s basically what we expected.”

Pitcher added the proposed turbines would destroy the view currently enjoyed by his family despite the 550-metre setback.

“Your eyes can see as far as they can see,” Pitcher said. “We’re going to be looking into turbines.”

Tang said he understands why wind turbines cause concerns for nearby residents, adding anti-wind power groups often mislead others.

“They don’t know how wind turbines work,” Tang said.

There is no link between wind turbines and an increase in noise or decrease in property value according to Tang. He also believes people often blame the turbines for unrelated problems.

“Lots of people can find an excuse,” Tang said.

Deputy Mayor Darren White said the municipality has yet to gauge if the turbines have an effect on property value.

“We haven’t really seen, as of yet, any detrimental effect on property,” White said. “But until you sell your house, you don’t know.”

Melancthon is a prime location for establishing wind power as it is has the highest elevation in southern Ontario according to Coun. Nancy Malek. She added the municipality is already 65 per cent covered by wind turbines.

“The Minister of Energy Brad Duguid said at the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) conference there are communities dying to get windmills,” Malek said. “We’ll ask for the list.”

Malek recently asked council to send a motion to the provincial government requesting a cap on the number of turbines within a municipality.

“We are the smallest municipality and a great guinea pig, I think, for quarries and windmills,” Malek said. “I think we have done our job. It’s time to take it to another community.”

A PIC is required under the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process. During the meeting, residents are asked to fill out a comment sheet to assist the proponent ease community concerns.

“The project has changed dramatically because of previous comments,” Rebecca Crump, the REA project manager said. “At this stage comments are still feeding into the system.”

Source:  Bill Tremblay, www.orangeville.com 14 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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