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County sets special meeting on DWP transmission line

At a rare August special meeting tonight, county council will go behind closed doors to discuss progress in a rail-corridor easement agreement with Dufferin Wind Power, and is expected to approve a roads agreement in open sessions when it rises from in camera.

The roads agreement is an issue separate from the easements. The county’s main concern on roads appears to be with intersections but Melancthon, which “reluctantly” signed its roads agreement with DWP on July 31, has concerns with culverts and access roads among other things, Mayor Bill said in a phone interview.

At the county, CAO Sonja Pritchard said in an interview that county staff would report on negotiations with DWP and seek direction on how to proceed from here. The rail-corridor easement and several private ones are currently subjects of applications to expropriate.

The easements are required for a proposed 230 kv transmission line that’s planned between a transformer at the 100 MW wind farm and a connection to the provincial grid at the Orangeville substation in Amaranth.

DWP has Environmental approval for the wind farm and transmission line, but the approval is subject to the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing that’s set to begin in Shelburne on Aug. 20. The company also has “leave to construct” the power line from the Ontario Energy Board.

The roads agreement is a separate issue.

Ms. Pritchard said there are several intersections that need to be upgraded to accommodate the length of the DWP loads, presumably the turbine towers. The company would be responsible for temporary upgrades, she said.

DWP, which began as a partnership of a group of farmers and 401 Energy of Markham, is now 70% owned by Longyuan Power of China, one of the world’s largest wind power producers and 30% by Farm Owned Power (Melancthon).

It is reported that Longyuan would become 100% owner when the wind farm goes into commercial operation.

Although DWP’s present contract with Ontario Power Authority is for 20 years, the easement agreements it’s seeking would be for 45 years.