Nextera Energy Canada is still on track to begin constructing 14 wind turbines near Priceville this summer, after Grey County council granted a trio of approvals Tuesday, says company spokeswoman Josie Bird.
County council passed bylaws that authorize East Durham Wind Inc., a subsidiary of Nextera, to transport oversized/overweight cargo – turbine components – on county roads, modify an intersection on Grey Road 4 and install certain structures and equipment related to the development over or under county road allowances.
“We’re very happy to continue to move forward. We’ve had a very good working relationship with Grey County and we’re looking forward to continue moving this project forward,” Bird said in an interview Wednesday.
Grey County Coun. Duncan McKinlay said he supported granting the county approvals, but that doesn’t mean he supports all components of the Green Energy Act.
He said the county bylaws were developed after “months and months” of negotiations with the company. The agreements now include higher standards for the work, he said.
“These appeared to be the best we could do within the framework that we have to work in,” McKinlay said.
Bird said the final approvals needed for the project to proceed are in the hands of West Grey council, which also has to approve permits to allow the company to transport oversized/overweight cargo on its municipal roads as well as entrance and building permits.
The wind turbine project, which has been in the works since 2006, was awarded a Feed In Tariff contract in 2011.
Bird said the plan is to finish constructing all 14 turbines by late fall.
The Ministry of the Environment approved the development, which will have a generating capacity of 23 megawatts of electricity, in January.
However, it was appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal by Leonard Van Den Bosch. He claimed toxic chemicals contained in the concrete bases of three turbines next to his property will leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater that feeds the nearby Saugeen River. The toxin would threaten the redside dace, a threatened species of fish found in the river and some of the creeks on his property, he said.
Van Den Bosch is asking for mitigating measures to protect the environment and the health of people who take their drinking water from the river.
Bird said the company’s approvals still stand, despite the appeal.
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