Depending on the interpretation, South Dundas may have been given slim to virtually no chance of having more wind turbines located within its boundaries according to the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
The Circuit and Station Transmission Availability Tables made public recently by the IESO announced there was “no availability” for five circuits serving the Brinston area 0f the municipality.
EDP Renewables planned expansion announced several weeks ago proposed a 50-100 megawatt windmill project northeast of Brinston and suggested the municipality would see the location of 30 to 40 turbines in that development. EDP Renewables are the developers of the South Branch Wind Farm in South Dundas.
A third wind farm development, the Nine Mile Wind Project slated for west of Brinston, was announced at the municipal council’s most recent meeting by Chicago-based Invenergy as “slightly smaller” at 50-90 megawatts and with 20 to 25 wind turbines. The Chicago group said they had lease agreements totalling some 11,000 acres in the area and had to date paid more than $500,000 to South Dundas landowners.
However, the “no availability” announcement may be more double speak or public relations spin than it is a closure to additional development of wind farms in the area. Spokesperson Alexandra Campbell of IESO said the information is in actuality based on very conservative estimates for power needs. “No availability” doesn’t necessarily mean no projects can connect, according to Campbell.
Although the IESO tables – described by their author simply as guidelines – show no availability on the five circuits for Brinston; capacity will handle 550 more megawatts of power than is currently provided.
James Murphy, Invenergy’s VP of business development, told St. Lawrence News “While there are connectivity challenges for this round of requests for proposals (RFPs), it is the first of two RFPs. Wind energy is the most competitive form of new energy supply and will continue to be a growing part of Ontario’s supply mix.”
“The Nine Mile project remains under development and we are committed to our landowners.” Murphy added.
EDP Renewables Project Manager Ken Little was not available for comment.
EDP Renewables and Invenergy have until Sept. 1 to decide if they intend to pursue an RFP.
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