Despite fierce opposition from a community group, the province has stamped its approval on a wind farm in South Dundas.
The Ministry of Energy gave the green light on Friday, along with a list of conditions for EDP Renewables before they begin erecting turbines near Brinston.
It’s a blow for the South Dundas Wind Opposition Group, which has been lobbying for a township moratorium on turbines for weeks.
Council opted to wait for a counter-presentation from EDP before making a decision; the company will be meeting with politicians tonight.
“The decision was to go back and analyze the information (from SDWOG) and we would also invite EDP Renewables to come to council this week and discuss or answer some of the concerns,” said Mayor Steven Byvelds.
Byvelds said he still expects a motion calling for a moratorium to be presented at the Tuesday meeting, though it will be too late to slow EDP’s project.
Construction on the 10-turbine development is expected to begin later this summer, with 30-megawatt energy generation to launch late this year or early 2014.
A spokesperson from the company said they have gathered significant public input while laying out the scope of the project.
“One specific instance of changes made due to outside consultation was the redesign of electrical collection cable onto private property that was originally planned to be placed in public right-of-ways through the town of Brinston,” said Ken Little in an email.
Byvelds said his chief concern over the project is signing a road-use agreement with EDP, which is one of the conditions of the province’s approval.
He said the contract will ensure the developer pays for any damage to municipal roads as a result of construction – not the township.
Otherwise, Byvelds said it’s fruitless to continue looking for ways to block the development, especially now that the Ontario government has offered its support.
“We can’t continue to oppose a project we can’t oppose,” he said. “I don’t see any point on wasting our resources on it.”
He said the moratorium resolution may still gain support from his council colleagues, but he would prefer to rule on each proposal individual rather than approve a general prohibition.
“I don’t see any reason to deal with it before they come here,” he said.
EDP will also be required to log all complaints of possible adverse affects of the turbines as part of the province’s criteria, as well as establish a monitoring program to gauge how the construction impacts bird and bat populations.
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