PARIS – Brant council is not eager to embrace a proposed wind farm project for the southwest area of the county.
Council did not agree to a request from Helmut Schneider, president of Prowind Canada Inc., for a quick vote of support for the company’s application to the Independent Electricity Systems Operator to erect a two-acre wind farm in an area bounded by Fairfield Road in the north to Concession 13 in the south, Bishopsgate Road in the east and Middletown Line Road in the west.
Schneider showed a video pitching Prowind’s activities in Oxford County, where it operates the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm project.
According to the business plan for the Brant project, five to 10 turbines producing 500 kilowatts would be constructed. A vote of support from Brant council would give the company a better chance of having its application succeed.
Prowind Canada is an Ontario-based renewable energy developer that has been operating in Canada since 2007, and is part of the Prowind group of companies that includes Prowind GmbH and Busmann Umwelt GmbH.
The Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm is owned in partnership with the Oxford County Energy Co-op and Six Nations. Schneider said Prowind wants to follow that successful template in developing a wind farm in Brant.
“What we’ve done in Oxford could work well in Brant,” he said.
He told council that he met with 14 farmers in the prospective area, who he said declared they are interested in the proposition.
Schneider said he wanted council’s support in time for the company to file the application by Nov. 18 for the current round decisions.
“If council does not support the application, I will not move forward,” he said.
Several councillors noted that wind farms have generated controversy in several municipalities.
Councillors Robert Chambers and David Miller, who represent the ward that contains the prospective site, said they have received calls of concerns about the project.
“In just about every community where these turbines are put in there is a lot of opposition,” said Chambers, noting that the construction of the Gunn’s Hill project “has been very divisive” since it was first proposed and is still a lingering source of animosity.
“It’s really hard to support this with such short notice,’ said Miller. “We’ve already heard some negative comments.”
Council supported a motion from Chambers that the presentation be received.
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