Dawn-Euphemia Township has joined over 60 other municipalities in Ontario in declaring that it’s not a willing host to wind turbine developments.
The council met Monday night for its regular meeting, but because so many people in the community attended, the meeting was moved across the road to the township firehall to better accommodate the crowd. Even then, some people were forced to stand outside of the room.
Part of the reason for the public’s interest was a proposal from an Austrian-based wind turbine company that has issued a proposal to develop between 41 and 35 wind turbines in Dawn-Euphemia. The turbines would be located in the former Dawn Township.
Michael Schnare, administrator-clerk, said Tuesday the proposal from rpGlobal is very preliminary and in its infancy.
He noted that another company, Mainstream, has a proposal to build 33 wind turbines in Dawn-Euphemia, in the former Euphemia Township. That proposal has been on the books for several years, and was originally proposed in 2008 by a former company, then known as IPC.
So far, there are no turbines erected in Dawn-Euphemia.
The township was among the first in Ontario to grapple with the issue of wind turbine development when the former IPC approached the council in September 2008 and laid out its initial plan. The council’s response then was to seek a health study from the Ontario government in regard to the turbine proposal. That study has never been conducted.
On Monday, the vote to declare Dawn-Euphemia a non-willing host for wind turbines was approved in a recorded 3-1 vote. Mayor Bill Bilton abstained from the vote and discussion, citing a conflict of interest.
The township council’s declaration in regard to its status as a turbine host will have little bearing on whether or not rpGlobal or Mainstream are permitted to site, build and develop turbines in Dawn-Euphemia. That authority is invested with the Ontario government, through its controversial Green Energy Act, which became legislation in 2009.