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Proposed wind farm reviewed

A proposed wind farm west of Lomond, Alta., is the focus of an upcoming Alberta Utilities Commission review.

The Buffalo Plains Wind Farm has applied to build 83 wind turbines in an area between Lomond and McGregor Lake in southern Alberta’s Vulcan County. The project would have a maximum generation capacity of 514.6 megawatts.

According to AUC data, the turbines would each have a hub height of 115 metres, rotor diameter of 170 metres and an overall height to blade tip of 200 metres. A substation, overhead and underground collector lines are also part of the project.

The AUC said written submissions regarding the project are due Feb. 24. It is also holding an online information session that requires pre-registration. Details on involvement can be found on the AUC website under “Have your say” and under “review process.”

“The AUC generally considers that persons who own or reside on property located within 2,000 metres of the proposed project boundary have rights that may be directly and adversely affected by its decision on the applications and therefore have standing,” said posted information from the commission.

“Persons with standing will be legally entitled to participate in the hearing process if they choose to, and will qualify for intervener funding, which may include costs for legal representation and expert witnesses. Standing for other participants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.”

ABO Wind, a German company, is the entity behind the project.

The Lomond area project involves 24,000 acres of privately owned farmland. The company has held two open-house meetings and provided newsletters about the project.

If approved by the AUC, it expects to start construction in winter 2021 and start commercial operations in winter 2023. The project is expected to create 300 construction jobs and 10 to 15 permanent jobs at completion.

Company data indicates changes were made to the original plan based on community input.

“The project conception plan originally included 125 turbines and has been reduced to 83 wind turbines. These adjustments have been conveyed to stakeholders through mail out packages and newsletters, as well as through our website at www.buffaloplainswindfarm.com,” ABO Wind said.

There have been some local objections to the wind farm proposal. In earlier stages there were complaints about lack of consultation and concerns about road access and placement of underground lines.

More information on the AUC proceedings can be obtained at 403-310-4282 or info@auc.ab.ca.