A wind turbine noise report for the proposed Armow Wind Project is being questioned after residents and a municipal councillor say they discovered inconsistencies.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert told Kincardine council during its meeting last Wednesday that upon reviewing maps at an open house for the wind energy development project last Monday residents allege that the placement of turbines on one of the maps is different from GPS co-ordinates.
“When you looked at the map 90 per cent of the turbines were incorrectly located on the map,” she said.
Faubert said as a result she believes there could be some inaccuracies in the noise report.
“It’s not fair, it’s not just to go to an open house where reports are inaccurate,” she said.
Jody Law, a project developer with Pattern Renewable Holdings, which is developing the 180-megawatt project with Samsung Renewable Energy, told The Independent last week that comments were made to him about the mapping at the open house but he is concerned that accusations are being that have not been substantiated.
“They believe they have identified some disconnects with some of the data,” he said. “I know Jacqueline (Faubert) is presenting it as errors in the reports.”
Law said he and the other developers on the project have gone back to the sound consultant to take a thorough look at the report and the maps.
“From our side, we still need to get to the conclusions,” he said. “We have our folks working on it and we’ll get a response to them (municipality) as soon as we get some results.”
At Wednesday’s meeting, Faubert said Pattern and Samsung should restart their 90-day review period for the project reports and hold another open house.
Mayor Larry Kraemer said it is imperative that the information provided by the developers be accurate, but said the developers should have the opportunity to explain the report.
“I think asking Pattern and Samsung to come and speak to the issue would be quite appropriate and then determine what the response would be,” he said. “Otherwise it would be like having the sentence before the trial.”
Kincardine CAO Murray Clarke said the municipality should contact the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and demand a new 90-day review period and call for an independent review of the report, to which council agreed.
Law the project is actually past the 90-day review period and that 90 days is a minimum requirement and not a firm deadline. He added that whatever response the companies receive from the municipality will be considered.
In related news, project developers say Samsung and Pattern are adhering to Kincardine’s wind development policy by respecting its airport buffer zones.
Law told The Independent last Wednesday that the Kincardine municipal airport is not included in the project design.
“You’ll notice that the south west corner (of the project design) is empty,” he said. “We do abide by the airport buffer as requested by the municipality and the pilots.”
Law said the two open houses held last Monday, one in Kincardine at the Best Western Governor’s Inn and one at the Whitney Crawford Community Centre in Tiverton, went very well. He said roughly 100 people attended in total, with a larger crowd at the Kincardine open house.
“We got a lot of information to a lot of people,” he said.
He said while the first open house held late last year was successful, Samsung and Pattern were able to present more detailed information to the public about the project at last week’s open houses, including the results of archeological and biological studies.
Law said developers are in the process of gathering comments received at the open houses and general comments and compiling documents to send off to the province for review. Documents include a construction report, wind turbine description report, design and operation report, decommissioning report, consultation report, noise report, archeological report and water body study, among others.
Law said he expects the reports will be sent to the province within the next couple of weeks, but it will likely be several months before the companies receive a response.
“That’s the longer part of the process,” he said.
Law said Pattern and Samsung have not met recently with the municipality’s ad-hoc committee in regards to the project but has been working with the municipality’s CAO’s office.
“We’ve been working back and forth on the MOU (memorandum of understanding),” he said.