Wind farm project for Stayner; Eight turbines proposed

Michael Gennings, Staff, www.simcoe.com 

STAYNER – A Mississauga-based company plans to erect eight wind turbines on land just southwest of Stayner, The Sun has learned.

Wpd Canada Corp., a subsidiary of Germany-based Wpd, says it plans to place the turbines on private property bound by Airport Road, County Road 91, Nottawasaga Concession 6 and Nottawasaga Sideroad 18-19.

The project is subject to what’s known as Renewable Energy Approval (REA) from the province before the turbines can be erected.

Wpd has dubbed the project the Fairview Wind Farm. The company plans to use the turbines to create electricity that can be sold to Hydro One.

“We’ve been looking at this project for three years,” Wpd Canada president Ian MacRae told The Sun. “One of our engineers was driving by the new Stayner transformer station, noticed it being built and thought this [wind turbine project] would be a good opportunity. We checked out the wind resource and took it from there.”

MacRae noted that due to confidentiality he could not disclose who owns the land where they plan to erect the turbines.

In the draft Fairview Wind Farm Project Description Report, the company notes it is in the final stages of negotiations with a turbine manufacturer for eight turbines.

For the project to take place a lot of work is still required.

The company states that REA related technical studies will be ongoing until early 2011.

Wpd plans to have its first public open house regarding the project in September 2010.

MacRae said he didn’t know exactly where that open house would be held but said people interested in the project should look for information about the meeting in local newspapers.

“We’ll give at least 30 days notice,” MacRae added.

Draft REA related reports will be available to the public in March 2011, the company notes. MacRae said this information will be available on the company’s website.

A second public open house will be held in spring 2011.

Wpd said it expects to receive project approval from the province in December 2011.

Construction of the turbines and related infrastructure would start in May 2012, the company states, and the commercial operation of the turbines would begin in February 2013.

The company notes the infrastructure should last approximately 25 years.

Due to stipulations in the Ontario Green Energy Act, the project is not subject to any municipal approvals in terms of whether it can go ahead. That authority rests solely with the province.

Still, MacRae said Wpd plans to let Clearview Township comment on its REA-related documents once they are complete.

“We need to keep them abreast of what we are doing,” he said.

Clearview Township Mayor Ken Ferguson said it was only a few months ago that he started hearing rumours about the project.

“Yeah I started hearing rumours about it a while ago. Nothing came to the township. But now we’ve been e-mailed [by the company Wednesday], outlining their intentions.

“My take on it? On the project? I don’t know how to answer that. We’re basically not in the picture thanks to the Green Energy Act. I do respect the wishes of the farmers and people doing what they want with their property but in excluding the municipality and the county decision-wise, that’s wrong. What they’ve done [Wpd] is just let us know officially where they’re at,” Ferguson said.

The mayor questioned whether using the land for a wind farm is best but said he’s not prepared to state his personal opinion.

“I’m caught in the middle,” he said. “I know these people that own the land and their neighbours. But I’ll stick to my question: Is this the best use of our agricultural land? I’m all about new technologies but is this a new technology? As far as I’m concerned this is an old technology from Europe. A lot of my questions, concerns, have never been answered satisfactory by anyone.

“I’m not saying I’m for or against. I don’t feel that I know enough. Will it affect our municipality in a positive way? A negative way? I don’t know.”

Since it was founded in 1996, Wpd says its facilities have come to generate some 1,692 megawatts of power.

MacRae said Wpd is the largest wind farm company in Germany.

Wpd also has wind farm projects – in various states of development – in more than a dozen other countries, including Australia, Finland and Chile.

For more information on the company and its Stayner project, visit www.canada.wpd.de.

11 thoughts on “Wind farm project for Stayner; Eight turbines proposed

  1. When a Mayor of a town says he doesn’t know what to say about a major Industrial Installation coming into “his” township then it’s time that Mayor considered stepping down.

    Uninformed and out of touch would be one criticism here… stronger words could be used but then that’s not nice!

  2. Well WPD, We have heard that Australia is pretty pixxed off, Sweden is stopping subsidies! Don’t know much about Finland or Chile…. But I do know this.

    Industrializing Rural Residential Agricultural land and making it Industrial does not sit right. The community of people near the future site spent a lot of hard earned money to build retirement homes in the country. They invested in the community. They wanted to live in the country. They wanted to leave their country homes to their families.

    When one wealthy neighbour who owns much land can make money from a venture that will actually hurt the life savings of their neighbours, this does not sit right with me either. This to me does not fall under Free Enterprise. If that is the case, everyone should be able to open a factory in their front and back yards in rural agricultural residential areas.

    I suppose that if I get used to living amongst 40 story tall pulsating machines that flash red lights in the night sky, I might learn to like it! I might decide to move away on principle and build my house in the heart of Industrial land ,say Commissioners Street at Cherry Beach in Toronto! Or Maybe I should rethink this, How about I use the Green Energy Act and get approval in our new INDUSTRIAL TOWNSHIP and open up a WATER TRUCKING COMPANY? I could bottle our nice water from our new well and name this company… “Creemore Springs Water Farm” I could do very well. Maybe end up with 100 semi’s hauling water. What? not sound GREEN to You? Neither are wind turbines…Please do the research. If my neighbour can be industrious then so can I right??? If that all fails, maybe I can rent out my lovely little house on the adjacent 100 acres beside the wind factory. There are a lot of Bikers that love to come to the area, maybe they would like a new headquarters. After all I have heard that Harley’s are as quiet as a refrigerator just like the wind power brochures have assured me the wind turbine factory will be. I am so glad that WPD INC. thought enough of the view here to name their factory “Fairview” This shows me that they have excellent taste and appreciate the the incredible views in Clearview , Guess that’s what our tourist attracting Township is all about… the clear views of Nottawasaga Bay, the Blue Mountain ski hills, Midland and the charming twinkling lights of Stayner. Too bad about the wildlife though, oh well they can just head north as usual…oops, I forgot … Georgian Bay is in the way. Turbines up the Escarpment to Tobermory…
    to the west…. the east seems to be inundated with the turbines too. Guess they will have to head to Toronto, only one turbine there and it’s a small one beside the Gardner Express Way and the very commercial CNE grounds.

  3. Yup, and that showboat CNE wind turbine has an operating capacity of less than 13% over the last 5 years — i.e. it hardly ever works! — so the wildlife fleeing rural lands should be relatively safe.

    BIG WIND = BIG LIE

  4. A mayor saying they don’t know and are not for or against is a movement in the right direction. Maybe not enough but a lot better than going on how great the project could be for the township/county or municipality when in truth they have no idea. Hopefully they will learn enough to understand how harmful and wasteful industrial wind complexes are.

  5. Zen: 4 years ago they were all tripping over each other pushing all projects through because the wind industry told them their community would become the “leader” in Ontario. So easy to manipulate, isn’t it?

    Now the wind industry is just using that same game with the McGuinty government who has the goal of becoming the wiind “silicon valley” of the world!

    These politicians all must have some serious ego problems. The public is nowhere on their list of priorities, that’s for sure.

  6. Melodie:

    See my response to your previous post about house values.

    You may like the business proposal I made.

    Just make money!

  7. I have been told that the WPD wind turbines use mechanics that date back to the second world war and are not very efficient–why would we not look to the USA where they have turbines that are a lot smaller but very much more efficient.
    I have also heard that the structures are mostly synthetic material–if this is true there is a lot of pollution created in the manufacturing process.
    I know for a fact that a lot on my property has dropped to half its value since the turbine announcement–this means that all the property around these turbines will lose half their value–does this mean our assessment and taxes will also drop?
    Does this mean that beautiful Ontariariario will not be quite as attractive to tourists?
    In 24 years from now,when these turbines are no longer functional (they were never viable) will WPD pay the millions it will cost to remove them along with the tons of concrete holding them up?
    The Liberals are jeoprodizing a desicrated future Ontario landscape for one hour of glory–
    How shameful, and very political!

  8. Betty: Regardless of the technology, wind is the limiting factor. It is not a power dense medium and energy from wind changes dramatically with wind speed. It will always have limitations and predictability is another of those limitations. Anyone who lives off of the grid, dependent on solar and wind require resources (usually money) and a large battery array for storage. They have to continuously monitor what they have prior to turning anything on. The grid is not a battery and putting wind on the grid creates no gains for consumers. There is no way to predict, regardless of what wind predictive tools being advertised, how much power will come from wind in the next hour, day or days. Knowing how much wind was produced in the last hour does not help grid managers as they deal with the future as to how much power is needed and when. Wind provides nothing but sporadic changes in grid stability that create inefficiencies to reliable power production and grid management.

  9. Well said zen2then. The money wasted on this endeavor could be so much better spent on really green solutions. The leaders of the G20 & G8 concurred that the alarmist ideology and fears of catastrophic proportion were exaggerated. We have time . We are green minded people. We are environmentalist. I have every faith that our Green generations are committed around the world to find solutions for energy and it’s distribution. Wind was just one first attempt that needed to be explored. An old idea with modern twists that in reality proved to be unreliable, obscenely expensive and as it turned out not very green at all. Let’s hope that as new ideas and technology comes along that we embrace it in a much more democratic way and not let our Province be exploited by any industry that has such an obvious ulterior motive….. and ego centric sense of entitlement.

  10. I agree with the above posts as I think we need to make a stand and ensure the province does not come into our small townships and tell us what we will do with our properties. Also with the subsidies these companies are getting for producing any amount of enery is ridiculous as we are paying the subsidies. A double wammy.
    I am running for Mayor of Clearview mainly because we need a voice in clearview that will reflect the voice of the residents that live there.

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