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Land reclassified to accommodate wind farm

The oft-delayed NaturEner Wild Rose 2 Energy Inc. wind turbine project was up for discussion again Tuesday, as the company applied to have seven additional property titles south of Dunmore reclassified to be part of its Wind Energy Facility district.

NaturEner director of renewable development Dave Trofimenkoff spoke at the public hearing for the reclassification and answered councillors’ questions, mainly on the subject of when Cypress County might actually see the proposed project – in development for years – built.

Trofimenkoff said he anticipated the project would generate $80 million in direct investment in Cypress County, and when completed would pay landowners more than $1 million a year in lease fees for the 25-year life of the project.

However, he also admitted his company would have to wait until December, when the Alberta government announces its first round of renewable energy contracts, before he would be able to tell council more on construction timelines.

“If all goes well, we will be starting in the fall of 2018; with construction continuing through 2019,” said Trofimenkoff. “But it is dependent on the current bid process that’s happening in Alberta. We won’t know until December but if we win, we will try hard to start construction in 2018.”

After receiving no objections from any adjacent property owners, council voted unanimously to extend NaturEner’s Wild Rose 2 WEF re-classification proposal for the seven additional property titles.