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Mishap sees school wind turbine relocated

The proposed Cochrane High School (CHS) wind turbine will be relocated after discovering the planning for the five-kilowatt turbine placed it on Town of Cochrane-owned land.

But the turbine isn’t moving far, assured Stephanie Bennett, a CHS science teacher. Remaining on the northern edge of the football field, the turbine will be moving several metres to the east, still standing west of the scoreboard.

“We still want to maintain as great a distance as we can for the residents on Fourth Avenue,” said Bennett. “I don’t think it will effect the process at all. We’re still at least three metres from the field’s scoreboard.”

Community residents have been contacted about the relocation, she said.

For those opposed to the turbine project, the move of the Evance 9000 small wind turbine is the least of their concerns.

“Yes, the move is indeed small,” said Brenda Samborski, a spokesperson for the No Turbine in Town Coalition (NTT). “We still have a huge issue about the placement of this turbine in our urban residential area close to our homes and schools…. Evance themselves recommend the turbine should be located away from busy public areas.”

The proposed location is close to three schools, an arena, a playground and a busy parking lot, Samborski added.

Proposing to build the small wind turbine on Town-owned land was an honest mistake, said Bennett, one that was pointed out to Cochrane High’s Sustainable Development Committee by the Town of Cochrane.

Rocky View Schools board approved the project on Jan. 10.

Bennett said the committee hasn’t been asked to submit another proposal to the school trustees for revision and approval, but added that this would be a step the committee would take if needed.

Alberta Utilities Commission must approve the turbine project before erecting the electricity-generating structure.

A map of the new location has been posted on the CHS website cochrane.rockyview.ab.ca.