Transmission lines from a West Lincoln wind farm will not run overhead down Mountainview Road in Beamsville.
Representatives from Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC) met with Lincoln’s Corporate Priorities Committee during their Feb. 25 meeting to provide an update, and request the support of the Town of Lincoln, for a proposed high voltage transmission line to run down Mountainview Road.
When representatives from Stantec Consulting Ltd., a consulting firm hired by the NRWC, last met with Lincoln council in August 2012, they were met with backlash from not only the Mountainview Niagara Escarpment Community Association (MNECA), but council as well.
“We considered all the information presented and all the priorities raised and we’re now proceeding with a buried line through the Niagara escarpment plan area along Mountainview Road as submitted in our NEC (Niagara Escarpment Commission) permit application,” said Randi Rahamim, spokeswoman for the NRWC. “That development for an application was submitted to the NEC in mid-November and specified a buried solution through the plan area.”
The MNECA, headed by Harald Thiel, was angered the NRWC wanted to put 80-foot high power lines down Mountainview Road that would create an eyesore next to his business, Hidden Branch Vineyards and Winery, as well as disrupt the economic and tourism hub of Beamsville.
The MNECA was created “specifically to deal with what was happening on Mountainview” in February 2012, according to Thiel. He said they are “very pleased” to see the newly proposed burying of the lines.
“Suffice to say, I think that was something that we never imagined would happen so quickly,” he said.
The MNECA was prepared for a long legal battle and had raised $75,000 for legal and consulting fees to defend their cause.
The new application, if approved by Lincoln town staff and council, is to be presented to the NEC March 21 and involves 7.1 km of power line, of which 2.6 km would be above ground with the remaining 4.5 km buried.
During the months after the meeting in August, the representatives were asked to include 30 per cent of their design drawings and an explanation of any costs to the town or utilities. The group complied with the requests citing any costs would be minimal and paid by the NRWC. These costs would include any damage to the road.
“We’re committed to restoring the roads to preconstruction condition at our expense,” said Rahamim.
Coun. Geoffrey Barlow asked the representatives how long the construction process would take, noting constituents would be affected.
The process is thought to take about three months, at a rate of about 100 m per day, depending on weather. Stantec representative Al Leggett added there would be a “traffic control plan” in place to allow access to the road during these months.
Objecting to an interruption of business during “peak months,” Thiel said commitments were made by the NRWC that the months of construction would not fall within the summer and early fall months pointing out there are seven wineries located along Mountainview.
“If people have to fight their way through construction zones to make it to our wineries, our sales will go down tremendously,” he said.
Staff is still reviewing the 30 per cent design submitted by representatives and has yet to make a final decision on whether or not to approve the application.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding