Mono Council and town staff face the task of sifting through two boxes of documentation before they issue a report and their recommendations on a proposed wind farm in Melancthon.
Dufferin Wind Power Inc. is a proposing a project that would include 49 turbines with a combined nameplate capacity of 100 megawatts.
“We have to respond with our position,” said Mayor Laura Ryan after Tuesday’s public council meeting. “Our concerns are that there will be a requirement for a line to run through our municipality and a substation built.”
Dufferin Wind Power is 70-percent owned by China-based Longyuan Power Group Corp. Ltd., which is reportedly Asia’s largest and most profitable wind energy developer.
The Melancthon project could generate more than $4 million of new industrial assessment for that town. Still, there is opposition to it and Mayor Ryan said she also had her misgivings.
“The province has to have a better handle on the placement of turbines,” she said, further suggesting that the provincial government takes a “hit and miss” approach to wind farms. “That is very disturbing.”
Mono planning director Mark Early has received the company’s documentation, thus commencing a 90-day review period.
Mr. Early reported to Council that “the reports are voluminous. “However, a link has been provided on the Town website indicating that these documents have been received and will be made available on disc for pick up at the Town office, for those who wish to review the documents.”
He is expecting to have a draft report prepared by mid-April. The company has indicated it would like to hold a public meeting some time in May.
The aim of the project is to interconnect with the provincial electricity grid at a designated point on Hydro One’s existing 230 kV transmission line in the Town of Mono.
It would be done via a dual-circuit 69kV power line that will be located along municipal rights-of-way in Melanchthon, Mulmur, Amaranth and Mono. The majority of the line will be attached to existing Hydro One distribution poles.
Dufferin Wind Power has already staged a public meeting, where some members of the local community asked the company to evaluate the possibility of instead using the former Toronto, Grey, and Bruce (TGB) railway line that runs from the project area to Hydro One’s Orangeville transformer station as a means of connecting the wind farm to the provincial grid.
“We are in the process of exploring the feasibility of that option,” Dufferin Wind Power wrote in a report to the town, “which, instead of the planned dual circuit 69 kV line along municipal rights of way, would involve the installation of a 230 kV power line along the former
TGB (Toronto Grey and Bruce) railway line that runs through the Townships of Melancthon and Amaranth and the Town of Shelburne.”
As part of its feasibility evaluation, the company has submitted a proposal to Dufferin County for a utility easement along the abandoned rail line.