Dutton Dunwich council didn’t take much time to shift focus on “troubling reports” out of Chatham-Kent after taking care of business on its regular agenda during the last council meeting.
The word “concern” was echoed around the council table many times in reference to news of a wind turbine near Merlin that buckled in half sometime overnight Jan. 19.
Mayor Cameron McWilliam said what is of particular concern is the structure was originally owned by the same company that wants to build even taller turbines in Dutton Dunwich.
“Is there even any proper field testing done on these, especially when you are going to that extra height?” McWilliam told The Chronicle.
“A taller turbine is definitely going to have more structural stress,” he added.
The Strong Breeze Wind Project proposal includes setbacks from homes of 550 metres, the same distance as the Raleigh project in Chatham-Kent.
“The recent events in Raleigh Township in Chatham-Kent of a wind turbine collapse has got people more concerned about the safety issues of these turbines,” Coun. Mike Hentz said.
“I would like to move that this council is aware of that,” he added.
Coun. Ian Fleck also weighed in on the discussion.
“I’ve had a number of people concerned also about the (setback) distance now because the company is proposing taller ones (in Dutton Dunwich),” Fleck said.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense that the province is going to allow the same setbacks for larger structures,” McWilliam said.
Council has been critical in the past of a proposal to construct a wind farm in Dutton Dunwich.
The proposal to build about 20 wind turbines in the municipality is still moving through due process, despite the provincial government’s later decision to halt any further green energy wind projects.
“A lot of concerns that people have, have not been answered; well water, noise and this just adds to the pile of answers they deserve,” Hentz said.
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