An updated Road Users Agreement (RUA) for the decommissioning of industrial turbines in the White Pines Wind Energy Project in Athol and South Marysburgh is on its way for approval at October’s council meeting.
Tanya Redden, the County’s construction supervisor, notes in her report at today’s committee of the whole meeting, that parties involved want decommissioning work to be started as soon as possible to avoid heavy loads during spring thaw when roads are more susceptible to damage.
The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) approached Prince Edward County, seeking an amendment to the Road Use Agreement to permit the removal of turbine parts in two phases: to support portions of the infrastructure to
be sold to a third party and WPD to remove the remaining pieces of
infrastructure as part of their decommissioning of the entire project.
There are four turbines erected of the nine that had been approved for the White Pines Development (WPD) in South Marysburgh before the provincial government terminated the project July 25, 2018 under The White Pines Wind Project Termination Act.
The original RUA spoke to decommissioning of the turbines in the distant future at their end of life. Due to the cancellation of the project, a replacement RUA will update and remove irrelevant, or outdated information.
“A third-party consultant engineer, EXP Services Inc., was retained on behalf of WPD and the municipality jointly, to complete a road evaluation in June 2020,” said Redden. “This visual evaluation of the road surface condition allowed for a post-commissioning evaluation to compare with previous reports, while establishing a pre-decommissioning baseline for the haul routes.”
She notes a comparison of video footage in 2017 and 2018 with 2020 shows damages on various roads including County Road 10, Murphy, Lighthall, Royal and County Road 49.
“The third-party evaluation only accounted for road surface damage, other damages and repairs required outside the road surface, such as ditching, signage, roadside safety devices, intersection reinstatements, etc., were evaluated and assessed a repair value by municipal staff and provided to WPD.”
Road assessment of damages will be completed by a third-party engineering consultation and following agreement on the final damage total, WPD will pay the municipality. Costs to include, but not limited to: signage, ditches, landscaping, trees, swales, roadside safety devices, etc.
Staff expects funds would be received in 2021 and the road repairs would take place in 2022. The recommendation to approve entering into a replacement RUA will not result in negative financial implications to the municipality, Redden’s report states.
She notes conversations on the RUA have taken place over the past several weeks between County staff, the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and WPD.
“All parties are in favour of the replacement RUA to outline additional terms relating to the decommissioning taking place.”
She notes the new agreement specifies that WPD abandon any installed conduit in place for assumption by the municipality.
“This may allow for future use and will minimize disturbance in these areas again that would be required for the removal of the conduit.”
The RUA does not govern or apply to any work on or related to private properties. Work on or related to private properties is dealt with by the province, WPD and the property owners. The private property decommissioning not involved in the municipality’s RUA includes, but is not limited to the transformer substation, private property land and vegetation reinstatement.
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