The companies developing industrial wind turbine installations near both Grafton and Centreton have announced the Clean Breeze Wind Park projects will not proceed for financial reasons.
The grassroots organization opposed to these developments on the Oak Ridges Moraine – raising not only environmental concerns but those related to depreciated land value and health effects related to the setback rules for wind turbines – remains vigilant, however, going ahead with its community information meeting on April 11.
“I’m very encouraged that in the short term we’ve been able to stop these two projects,” The Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills’ spokesperson Gwyer Moore said in an interview Monday.
But concerns remain over the prospect of the wind development partners selling the Feed-In Tariff contracts to other developers on these sites, or others, in Northumberland, he continued.
For that reason, the Alliance is proceeding with the community information meeting at 7 p.m. in the Baltimore Community Centre next Monday.
“There is an ongoing risk that they or other developers will attempt to gain approval for other turbine projects in our community,” states an Alliance media release. “This (April 11) meeting is an important opportunity to hear from qualified speakers about the various issues, and have your questions answered.”
The Alliance is also meeting individually with the remaining six municipalities in Northumberland. The goal is to have all of them take actions similar to those taken by Alnwick / Haldimand Township, which has indicated to the provincial government it has concerns about the process of the Green Energy Act which sites alternative energy projects (such as wind and solar) without municipal approval.
The Alliance wants each municipality in the county to pass resolutions indicating they would not be “willing hosts” for green energy, Moore said.
Despite attempts to reach Zero Emission People and its project manager, Bill York, for comment, and to contact Wind Works Power Corp. of Germany which also issued a media release about the halt to the Centreton- and Grafton-area wind turbine developments, no e-mails or telephone calls were returned by press time.
Wind Works Power Corp. only referred to the change in plans in one line of a media release about many of its projects; in contrast, the Zero Emission People media release about its reversal plans was lengthy.
“… Wind Works has decided to discontinue the development of the Clean Breeze and Collie Hill (Norwood area in Peterborough County) projects in Ontario due to insufficient economics,” the Wind Works March 28 media release states.
The Zero Emmision People statement read, in part, that even though the “10 proposed wind turbines could produce enough clean, zero-emission energy to power approximately 5,000 average homes, i.e. all (the) homes in Cobourg” and “offset 24,000 tons of carbon” the company is not going forward with the two proposed projects in the neighbouring township of Alnwick / Haldimand for financial reasons.
“Despite these impressive numbers, recent feasibility studies for the projects
have resulted in borderline economics. Therefore, the company has decided to
cease development of the projects.”
Public meetings that were to be held by the company, in conjunction with the township later this month and in May, have also been cancelled, the release stated.
The Zero Emission People media release went on to offer suggestions about how people can reduce their own carbon footprint on the earth, including better ways to insulate homes and save money. It included a quiz about energy use and urged people to go to its website (www.zeroemissionpeople.com) for other energy-savings related ideas.
The Alliance for the Protection of Northumberland Hills (www.protectnorthumberlandhills.org) has not only made public presentations about wind turbine power concerns, and is continuing to do so, but last January it launched a civil suit against the developers of the Grafton-area wind turbine project which proposed up to five of the 10 towers in the Grafton- and Centreton-area projects.
The thrust of the lawsuit was potential land devaluation to neighbouring properties should the turbines be erected, Moore said. The lawsuit was at the early stage of a statement of claim being made and awaiting a statement of defence from the developer.
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