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Windfarm opponents claim victory as Stoneboat project is called off

Wind farm opponents are cautiously heralding the news that the Stoneboat Community Wind Farm was cancelled.

The company announced late Thursday that it was scrapping its plans to place five wind turbines on privately owned property between Stewart Line and Sharpe’s Line on the east and west sides of Dranoel Rd., north of Hwy. 7A.

The turbines would have overlooked the Devil’s Elbow ski resort and put plans to build a multi-million dollar Buddhist retreat in the immediate area in jeopardy.

Scott McFadden, deputy mayor of Cavan Monaghan, said the project fell off the rails when two of the three private landowners pulled out of the project.

But there’s one big question that’s stopping McFadden from celebrating.

He didn’t know if the company’s FIT contract with the Ontario Power Authority was cancelled.

“That’s the billion-dollar question,” he said.

If it’s not, he said, it could mean that the project could just be moved somewhere else in the Township.

City of Kawartha Lakes councillor Heather Stauble said she had been in contact with the company behind the Stoneboat Wind Farm, and was told that the Stoneboat project was cancelled and, to the best of their knowledge, the FIT contract hasn’t been transferred somewhere else.

“Which doesn’t mean no,” she said.

If the FIT contract is cancelled, she said, then it’s wonderful news.

But there are three more wind turbine projects slated for the area, and Stauble said they’ll continue their fight against those projects.

McFadden said Stoneboat was in the very early stages of development, and years away from construction.

The Sumac Ridge development, which is located in the Manverse Township area, has been approved by the province, though opponents are appealing that decision.

It’s the project that’s the furthest along and Peterborough’s MP says it could jeopardize the Peterborough Airport.

Dean Del Mastro sounded the alarm earlier this week after learning that one of the five Sumac Ridge turbines could restrict the type of landing approaches allowed at the Peterborough Airport.

“It’s one specific turbine, the one with the highest elevation,” he said Friday. “It’s a very serious issue for the airport and its operators.”

Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott issued a statement Friday expressing her support for the decision to kill the project.