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Amaranth wind farm developer being sued

A Toronto lawyer said Wednesday that Wind developer WPD Canada and a farm that signed a lease to host wind turbines near Stayner are now both being sued.

The claim seeks an injunction and $2 million in damages related to the proposed Fairview Wind Farm.

“This claim seems unique because the owner of the proposed farm is also being sued,” said lawyer Eric Gillespie. “Landowners who decide to allow turbines may need to look carefully at their legal position and potential liability.”

The claim focuses on alleged devaluation of property. Plaintiff Sylvia Wiggins and husband John listed their home for sale in 2011. Showings started but they say ended shortly after the project was publicized.

They say recent data shows that when a wind company bought out homes near another Ontario project, on resale the company lost almost 35 per cent of their value. “These kinds of things appear to be happening with wind farms. We decided to do something now,” said Mr. Wiggins.

WPD, a leading developer of wind farms in both North America and Europe, is also proposing a three-turbine wind farm in Amaranth near Whittington. The Whittington Citizens

Coalition, led by resident Jocelyn Chant, has led opposition to the project near the Mono-Amaranth Townline and 15 Sideroad.

The proposed wind farm, to be constructed this year, comprises three turbines with a name plate capacity of 2.3 megawatts each. They differ from the familiar, 1.5 MW ones in the Melancthon- Amaranth wind farm with respect to both output and size.

Under the Green Energy Act, the province has dictated a setback of 550 metres from the nearest non-participating receptor (home).

The setback is a major concern to Diane Griffith, whose Mono home faces the town line, directly to the east of the middle of the Whittington project’s three turbines.

Part of her concern is that her location is directly downwind from the turbines, considering that noise tends to be carried by the wind.

The 6.9-MW project is proposed by Mississauga based WPD Canada Corp., part of an international group.

Launched in 1996, WPD became a leading developer in Germany and is now established in over 21 countries including Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Poland, Australia, Taiwan, Argentina, Chile and Panama.