Whether or not Dufferin Wind Power (DWP) gains a negotiated easement for its 230kv power line along the county-owned rail corridor depends on whether the line must be buried, according to a communication from DWP.
However, DWP is insistent that portions of the line be overhead, and has indicated that it will not negotiate with the county unless it is to be built in accordance with plans approved in its “leave to construct” from the Ontario Energy Board ( OEB).
Failing negotiations, there is an application to expropriate the required easement.
There is an inconsistency between the County of Dufferin minutes and the position outlined by DWP.
According to the minutes of the county’s in camera meeting on the transmission line’s easement, it was “Moved by Councillor Taylor, seconded by Councillor Mills, that staff be directed to continue negotiations with Dufferin Wind Power Inc. for an easement agreement with Dufferin Wind Power for a transmission line. –Carried.”
But, according to an emailed comment by Connie Roberts of DWP. “On the matter of negotiations for an easement agreement with the county: Dufferin Wind Power was informed on August 15th that Dufferin County Council will not negotiate the proposed power line easement unless Dufferin Wind agrees to install the line underground the entire length of the line.
“County Council also directed County Staff to discontinue negotiations and to not speak further with Dufferin Wind on this matter unless the Company agreed to its demand.
“As stated publically on numerous occasions, Dufferin Wind is prepared to install the power line underground in parts of Shelburne and Amaranth and the remainder of the line overhead as per the project’s approved Leave To Construct from the Ontario Energy
Board,” reads the email from Ms. Robers. Discussions of the easement might be problematic. DWP does hold a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for its proposed 100 MW wind farm and the power line to the Hydro One’s Orangeville Transformer Station on County Road 11.
But the REA now is subject to the findings of Ontario Energy Review Board (ERB) that’s under way at Grace Tipling Hall, Shelburne.
In the meantime, DWP is sufficiently confi- dent in the outcome that it is storing its turbines at a Stratas gravel pit in Melancthon and has undertaken preservicing of the wind farm site by agreement with lawyers representing appellants of the REA approval.
The company also outlined in an open letter how it has supported and intends to continue supporting community charities. Specifically, it said it had contributed $19,450 so far and is putting a plan in place to contribute $20,000 to charities in its first year of commercial operation.
Ms. Roberts confirmed that the amounts are separate and apart from contributions to be made to the corporate township of Melancthon in accordance with agreements.
In Melancthon, DWP had made required road improvements and intersection controls in connection with its movement of turbine materials to the gravel pit for temporary storage.
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