Some Haldimand council members are concerned about a “sizzling” noise coming from Samsung Renewable Energy’s transmission line.
Ward 1 Coun. Leroy Barlett said he witnessed an usual noise along Haldimand Road 20 where the transmission line runs.
“It’s a sizzling of those lines up ahead,” he told council at the Jan. 13 committee meeting.
Bartlett said he feels this is one of a number of “significant issues” related to Samsung’s transmission project.
“We have towers that I think are put in the wrong spot,” Bartlett said. “Now, we have these concerns from residents about the sizzling or crackling of the lines.”
He suggested council send letters to the province and Samsung about these issues, and added that he feels residents “shouldn’t have to live through” this.
Bartlett’s concerns were backed up by other councillors at the meeting when Ward 2 Coun. Fred Morison said he also heard the noises as well.
Morison described the transmission line noise as “bacon frying.”
“If you got these things making noise then there’s obviously a lot of power getting out that shouldn’t be at all,” Coun. Craig Grice added. “Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we should find that out.”
At the committee meeting, Tyson Haedrich, Haldimand’s director of engineering services, suggested they invite representatives from Samsung to come to Haldimand to address the issue at council.
“We are aware of the noise issue. We’ve gotten several calls about it,” said Haedrich, adding that staff has been out to Haldimand Road 20 and heard a “buzzing” noise when there’s moisture in the air.
“I’d like to see (Samsung) here to explain it because it was a surprise to us, too,” Haedrich said. “There’s no question there’s an issue. We’ve been out there and we heard it.”
But as for Bartlett’s concerns about the location of the poles, Haedrich said those poles “have all been approved, and they’re in locations that are deemed safe.”
While staff suggested inviting Samsung to address the sizzling noise, not everyone around the table thought that would fix the issue.
“(Samsung is) only going to tell us that they’re following the rules from the Ontario Energy Board,” Mayor Ken Hewitt said. “It really comes down to (is Samsung) in compliance with what the province has approved? If they’re meeting those standards then really it’s a provincial matter.”
He said the only solution he sees is if there’s a provincial regulation that forces Samsung to address the noise.
“I don’t want to give the wrong impression to the public that we’re going to change what the province has established,” Hewitt said.
Samsung Renewable Energy has finished installing 111 poles along Haldimand Road 20 as part of its transmission project.
“We are in the process of conducting some final tests and analysis of the transmission line,” said Tim Smitheman, manager of communications, government and public relations at Samsung. “We are working with the local residents and the municipality on any concerns that have been raised.”
Samsung would not provide specific comments regarding council members’ description of a sizzling noise.
On Jan. 12, the company announced, through a press release, that construction on the Grand Renewable Wind project has finished and the project has reached commercial operation.
The wind project consists of 67 Industrial Wind Turbines in the South Cayuga area, which has a nameplate capacity of about 149 MW – enough to power 50,000 Ontario homes a year.
Samsung is currently working on the Grand Renewable solar project, which would see 425,000 solar panels constructed in Haldimand County. The project, which will have a nameplate capacity of about 100MW, is expected to reach commercial operation this spring.
Throughout Samsung’s construction projects, Haldimand County staff has expressed their frustrations in dealing with contractors and the company.
The county even went as far as suspending Samsung in June for failing to comply with the county’s road use agreement – particularly, the company’s obligation to deal with daily dust control.
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