TROUT CREEK – A proposed wind farm to be located in Laurier is moving forward to public consultation.
“If people have concerns, we will do our best to mitigate them,” said Mathieu Archambault, Director of Energy Projects for Schneider Power Inc., the company proposing the project.
The proposed Trout Creek Wind Farm will encompass more than 450 hectares of Crown land approximately one kilometre southeast of Trout Creek. The area being studied is located south of Forestry Road, west of Ralph’s Road, and east of Highway 11.
A public meeting is being held on Aug. 21 at the Trout Creek Community Centre as a mandatory requirement of the Ontario Renewable Energy application review process. Schneider Power has already received Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program approval.
“We’re just planning on having an open discussion on what we’re going to do,” explained Archambault. “After that it’s just a matter of getting a building permit and completing the financing.”
Prior to Schneider Power’s meeting, residents are planning a meeting of their own, which is being held at the community centre on August 14 at 7 p.m.
Wind energy opponent Kevin Smith of S.T.O.M.P. (Stop Turbines in Maple Hill Powassan) says the group will be represented at the public meetings.
“We will be there to protest and hopefully between now and then will be able to raise awareness in Trout Creek as well,” said Smith in an email.
S.T.O.M.P. has held a series of well-attended information sessions in opposition to the proposed development of private land in Powassan. The meetings have highlighted the negative affects of wind energy, including health, financial and environmental impacts.
The project is proposed to consist of up to four wind turbine generators with a maximum sound power level of 106 dBA. Also included in the plans for the site as a permanent meteorological tower and a maintenance building. Access roads will also be created during construction, as well as temporary crane paths, each being eight metres wide.
Up to nine trucks per turbine are required to transport the parts during the construction phase and a “laydown” area must be created for the assembly of the parts, which will require the clearing of vegetation and topsoil to be replaced with two feet of gravel for each turbine.
Neil Lang, secretary-treasurer of the Laurier local roads board, says he expects to attend the meeting alongside a few of his neighbours.
“As far as I know, the people on the lake are not for it,” he said, noting he is opposed to the project. “I think different people have different reasons for that, but we’ll need to go to the meeting to get all of the info.”
Schneider Power’s public meeting is set to run from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Trout Creek community centre is located at 181 Main St.
A written description of the project is available for public viewing at www.schneiderpower.com.
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