The Ontario Energy Board has sided with WPD Canada, granting the wind turbine company the OK to locate the distribution system for the Fairview Wind project in a township road allowance.
Township officials attempted to argue to the energy board that WPD’s application to establish a location for its facilities not be allowed.
Fairview is a proposed eight-turbine project, with turbines located north and south of County Road 91. The distribution system would service two turbines south of the 21/22 Sideroad, running north on Fairgrounds Road to the Hydro One infrastructure on County Road 91.
The project is awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on its renewable energy approval in order to move ahead.
Township CAO Stephen Sage declined to comment on the energy board’s decision. He did state a report to council on the decision will be brought forward after municipal staff review the energy board’s conditions.
The project has courted controversy, with two of the proposed 450-foot-tall turbines to be located within a two-kilometre radius of the Collingwood Regional Airport.
Airport officials have said that’s too close for comfort, and could be a safety hazard – especially for pilots in the landing or take-off phase.
In its 10-page ruling released Thursday, the energy board dismissed that argument, along with several others put forward by the municipality.
One of the matters addressed by the energy board was whether the township refused WPD’s requests to meet to negotiate an agreement regarding the location of facilities within the road allowance.
The board decision states that, based on the evidence, “the township consistently refused to meet with the applicant, citing the renewable energy approval process for such refusal.”
The board also determined the majority of the municipality’s comments were “outside the scope of this proceeding.
“The board concludes that the township should have used the opportunity available to it … to pose questions and obtain responses that are within the scope of the proceedings,” wrote Emad Elsayed, the energy board’s presiding member on the application.
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