November 13, 2012

Mayor MacIver blows back at Dufferin Wind

By Bill Tremblay | Nov 13, 2012 |

Amaranth Mayor Don MacIver was the first to take advantage of Dufferin Wind Power Inc.’s open door policy at its new Shelburne project office.

The company, which plans to construct a 49-wind turbine project in Melancthon, officially open the doors to its office at 219 First Ave. East on Friday (Nov. 9).

“I hope you all find it comfortable and inviting, that’s what the office is all about,” said project office manager Michelle Sage. “We want to have a place where it’s an open door policy.”

Dufferin Wind recently submitted an application for Renewable Energy Approval (REA), which is required for provincial approval to operate the wind farm. As well, the company has filed a Leave to Construct application with the Ontario Energy Board to build a 48 km-long 230 kV transmission line that would follow Dufferin County’s rail corridor. The company’s other option for transporting electricity was two 69 kV lines that would run through Melancthon, Amaranth and Mulmur to connect to the grid in Mono.

During the announcement of the project office, MacIver questioned why a 230 kV line is necessary for the rail corridor option, which would run through his municipality.

“If you can put two 69 kV lines through Mono, why can you not bury two 69 kV lines through Amaranth?” MacIver questioned. “And relieve some of the stress and pressure that residents are coming forward with in terms of potential health hazards, etcetera.”

The mayor explained Amaranth has experience with both above and below ground power lines.

“The buried line that went to Eighth Line to the transformer was a success story. No one even knows it’s there,” MacIver said.

Above ground installations, however, are a “disaster,” according to the mayor.

“It wasn’t EMF (Electric and Magnetic Field) or anything else,” MacIver said. “It’s just visual impact, it was ice coming off the lines and hitting windshields.”

Burying the transmission line isn’t a cost Dufferin Wind is willing to bare. An underground line may cost anywhere from $1.9 to $2.6 million per kilometre.

“No doubt it’s expensive, but it’s a big project,” MacIver said, noting the larger line leaves spare capacity.

Crump added two 69 kV lines are not compatible with the grid when following the rail route.

“In order to connect to the Orangeville transformer station, Hydro One requires a 230 kV line coming in,” she said.

MacIver also asked if transporting electricity through Orangeville might secure a local power supply.

“Is there local benefit here that when the lights go out elsewhere, you’re feeding into the grid that helps to feed Orangeville?” he asked.

Crump said any energy generated by Dufferin Wind would be fed to the provincial grid.

“I think we would have to talk to Hydro One,” Crump said.
“Have a really good chat.” MacIver replied. “We’re interested in secure energy supplies and not having the Long Island type of experience that is going on there.”

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