Mayor John Oosterhof said options are limited for the municipality to prevent a wind farm from operating within its borders. “When the government is pushing them, what are you going to do?” Oosterhof said. “The controls have been taken out of our hands. We could say no and the province says yes.” The mayor added turbines create an “eyesore” within the township.
Grand Valley will soon be the home of nine wind turbines.
Veresen Inc., the developing partner of the Grand Valley Wind Farm, is preparing the site for the delivery of the turbine materials.
“We’re very excited about it,” Julia Ciccaglione, Veresen’s vice-president regulatory, said. “It’s a green source of energy and we look forward to seeing it in operation.”
The turbines will be situated between the Luther Marsh Conservation area and County Road 25. The project also includes a substation and an underground electrical collector system.
Site preparation includes widening and creating roads to allow delivery of the turbines.
“They are quite long and we have to make sure there is the right turning radius on the road to get into the site,” Ciccaglione said.
Delivery is expected within the next two months and Veresen plans to have the wind farm generating electricity by April.
Ciccaglione said residents should anticipate traffic delays when delivery begins.
“We will work to ensure there is minimal disruption to the community,” she said. “We have a traffic plan that will notify residents when the turbines are delivered to the site.”
The Grand Valley project will be Veresen’s first operational wind farm and is expected to generate less than 20 megawatts of electricity.
“We do have similar projects under development, but this will be our first project in operation,” Ciccaglione said. “We have been looking at wind development for several years.”
Ciccaglione said Grand Valley is an ideal location for using wind to generate electricity.
“It might sound obvious, but the site of wind facilities is so dependent on the wind regime and small changes in wind capacity,” she said.
“How often the wind blows really determines appropriate siting.”
Although the project’s future was decided at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in 2009, Ciccaglione said municipal staff been cooperative with the company’s plan.
“Once that (OMB) process was allowed to conclude, it laid the path forward for the municipality and ourselves to be able to develop the project,” Ciccaglione said.
Mayor John Oosterhof said options are limited for the municipality to prevent a wind farm from operating within its borders.
“When the government is pushing them, what are you going to do?” Oosterhof said. “The controls have been taken out of our hands. We could say no and the province says yes.”
The mayor added turbines create an “eyesore” within the township.
“You don’t want to randomly scatter them all over the place,” Oosterhof said. “There is no aesthetically pleasing design that comes out of this.”
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