Dennis Sanford, a party to the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing later this month, is taking strong exception to the filing by Dufferin Wind Power (DWP) of an application to expropriate a number of private properties along the proposed route for a 230 kv transmission line.
In an email being circulated, Mr. Sanford describes DWP as “a bully,” and says in effect he would have expected nothing different “given the dealings of Dufferin Wind.” He asserts that, in effect, DWP is set to steal the property by expropriation.
But the expropriation is not of title to the property at issue, but for easements within the properties to accommodate the proposed power line and access to it for construction and maintenance.
It was not entirely unexpected. Dufferin County CAO Sonja Pritchard said the county continues to negotiate with DWP and is expecting the negotiations to succeed. In fact, she hopes to be able to report positive results to a special meeting of county council that’s been called by Warden Laura Ryan for Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.
Ms. Pritchard said an expropriation would mean that compensation would be arbitrarily set based on market values. She said negotiations would be more beneficial to the county, but wouldn’t speak for the three private property owners not identified in Appendix C of the public version of the application filed by DWP.
Mr. Sanford, whose email is being circulated, appears to be familiar with all the affected parties but he hasn’t returned phone calls.
The transmission line at issue is actually in two sections at different voltages. From the turbines, it would be a 34.5kv line to a 100MW transformer within the farm, and from there a 230kv line that would be mostly overhead except for a portion within the populated part of Shelburne.
The 230kv line would end with a connection to the Hydro One grid at the Orangeville transformer station near Shannon Court in Amaranth.
At a recent open house in Shelburne, Jeff Hammond of DWP pointed out that, in effect, the wind farm itself and a transmission line from Melancthon to the Hydro One station are interdependent. The wind farm is of no value without a means of getting the electricity to the provincial grid, he said. And the transmission line is of no value without power to put through it. Both undertakings are approved, and there is also “leave to construct” the power line, but the approvals are being appealed to the Environmental
Review Tribunal at Grace Tipling Hall in Shelburne. That hearing is scheduled to begin Aug. 20.
Longyuan Canada Renewables is the major shareholder in DWP, along with Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) which comprises a group of farmers who initiated the project in partnership with 401 Energy.
Both undertakings are approved but the approvals are being appealed in the ERT.
The application to expropriate states: “A portion of the proposed transmission line will traverse a former railway branch line now maintained by the County of Dufferin as a rail corridor for a distance of approximately 31.2 km. The County has expressed several concerns about the applicant’s desired use of the rail corridor.
“The remaining 15.6 km of the proposed transmission line are located on private lands.
“An applicant is not required to obtain all necessary land rights as a prerequisite to the approval of a leave to construct application. Staff also noted that a party that is granted leave to construct but cannot secure the rights necessary to build the approved transmission facilities can bring an expropriation application to the Board pursuant to section 99 of the Act,” the application for expropriation states in part.
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