Wind Developer leaves Melancthon Council out of the loop

By WES KELLER Freelance Reporter

A 100-megawatt wind farm, co-owned by 401 Energy and Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) proposed for North Dufferin would be situated between 15 Sideroad in the south and the Melancthon- Osprey town line, on farms generally between the Fifth Line OS in the west and the Melancthon- Mulmur town line.

Maps provided to Melancthon council by Dillon Consulting show that as well, there would be a triangular area from about 20 Sideroad north to Osprey and west to County Road 2.

The transmission line generally is proposed for the Fifth Line south to 30 Sideroad, then south on the Fourth Line to 20 Sideroad, thence to the First Line East of Hurontario St., and from about there to connect to the 230 kilovolt Hydro One transmission line, according to the Dillon draft.

The wind farm is in the early stages of planning. Ian Henderson, assistant to the president of 401 Energy, says the early draft is being sent to the township for its review and input.

Mr. Henderson was not, however, able to answer many of the questions put to him earlier by the council. He said, for example that the specific locations of such as turbines, access roads and substation had yet to be chosen.
The council had asked about the use of township roads during construction, and about inclusion of a “concrete batch plant” in early documents. Mr. Henderson couldn’t identify the roads as specific turbine locations hadn’t been chosen. He said there could be a plant only if the cement is not available locally.

He said the Renewable Energy Approval guidelines (REA) require all possible facilities to be listed.

The project, if approved, would have between 33 and 44 turbines, depending on whether each has a capacity of 2.3 MW or 3 MW. There would be a 35 kilovolt transmission line to the transformer substation.  It would be owned 51% by the farmers and 49% by 401 Energy.

The council had questioned why 401 Energy had not met earlier with the township.

“If the company is committed to ongoing public consultation as they state in a March 10 letter, why did they not meet with Council and/or staff before submitting very generalized information on what appears to be a major wind power project,” it asked.

Mr. Henderson responded that it “has always been the intention” to meet with the council and staff, and will do so during the REA process. In his written response, he invited the council to arrange for such a meeting.