December 21, 2013

Appeal completed; ruling could take months

By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star | Friday, December 20, 2013 |

A decision into the appeal of the Goulais Wind Farm project may not be rendered until mid April.

An Environmental Review Tribunal heard arguments for more than two days earlier this week from opponents who don’t want to see a wind farm created in Goulais.

The appeal was filed by Heyden resident Doug Moseley with the assistance of Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) and the law offices of Eric Gillespie. The appeal was also supported by the Save Our Algoma Region (SOAR) groups.

In October, it was announced that the Goulais Wind Farm project had been approved by the provincial government.

The decision, posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, said the renewable energy approval has been issued to SP Development Limited Partnership to engage in a renewable energy project for a Class 4 wind facility that will have a total capacity of 25 MW.

The 11-wind turbine facility must be built and operational within three years.

But opponents argued that the industrial wind turbines are harmful to human health and disruptive and destructive to the natural environment and wildlife habitat.

They also argued that the wind turbines contribute to the rising cost of electricity and are totally unnecessary to produce clean energy in Ontario.

Involved parties will file their final written submissions to the tribunal by Jan. 20 and a decision on the appeal is expected to be made before April 22.

Earlier this month the ministry also gave its approval for a 60-MW wind farm about 80 kilometres north of the city proposed by Blu Earth Renewables and Batchewana First Nations.

The partnership proposed a project that included a 36-turbine wind farm on Bow Lake, just south of Montreal River and close to the shores of Lake Superior. It’s expected that the project will generate enough renewable electricity to power about 15,000 homes.

The project has also faced opposition from area residents and a group studying the history of the Group of Seven, who argue the area is culturally significant due to it being the site of numerous projects depicted in Group of Seven Works.

There has been no word whether an appeal of the approval will be filed.

[rest of article available at source]

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