Melancthon reaches deal with turbine developer

By Richard Vivian, Orangeville Banner

Developers of a Melancthon wind project will give the municipality $28,000 annually for the next 20 years as part of an agreement all-but finalized by township council last month.

The contributions are part of a larger deal reached with International Power Canada (IPC), which intends to install seven 1.5 MW turbines in the township, as well as 11 in neighbouring Grey Highlands, known as the Plateau Wind Project.

Council’s deal covers a long list of issues including road access, hauling routes, tree preservation, turbine maintenance requirements, decommissioning and more.

“That was something that staff and council had requested of us and … we were happy to oblige,” David Timm, IPC’s vice-president of strategic affairs, said regarding the yearly payments. “It’s a contribution to the municipality over the life of the project, and to a fairly substantial dollar amount.”

This funding agreement is likely the last of its kind, said Mayor Debbie Fawcett, noting the Green Energy Act of 2009 took away much of municipal councils’ ability to negotiate with developers.

“It is a bonus to us,” the mayor said, noting funds from a similar agreement with another developer are used to increase road maintenance. “In the wintertime, we didn’t have road service after 4 o’clock unless it was an emergency. Now we do.”

Melancthon council approved the deal “substantially” as it was presented to them during an in-camera session at a special meeting held July 10, explains township CAO Denise Holmes. “There’s still two items that are outstanding that need to be dealt with,” she said.

Timm hopes to finalize the deal with Melancthon and garner all the required provincial approvals in time to begin work on road and turbine foundations in the next few months.

“Turbines would start to arrive later in the fall, and erections would happen through the fall and winter in order to meet an anticipated spring commissioning,” he said of the project’s expected timing.

In related nEws, the number of people involved with another Melancthon wind project has increased several-fold in recent months. Paul Boreham, president of 401 Energy, said he’s been “deluged” by residents who want to participate in the Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) development.

If ultimately approved, the initiative would see area residents and farmers own 51 per cent of a wind farm containing between 33 and 43 turbines, rather than simply lease land to an outside company.

“There are hundreds of people now involved,” Boreham said, noting there were about a dozen shareholders initially involved. “My feeling is capitalism for everyone. Capitalism only works when everyone can participate in it.”

The precise placement of those turbines is one of several matters being negotiated with the Ministry of the Environment as 401 Energy works toward a certificate of approval. Boreham hopes to have the turbines online by October of 2011.

While a map of the project’s study area features lands owned by The Highland Companies, which is behind a controversial quarry plan, Boreham confirms they are not involved in Farm Owned Power.

At one point, The Highland Companies considered installing wind turbines on their properties — not as part of the 401 Energy effort — but opted not to move ahead with them, explained company spokesperson Michael Daniher.

“We did research it. The company decided not to proceed and it has no plans to proceed at this stage,” he said.

There may, however, be a second project coming from Boreham and his group. He said the response from Melancthon residents to Farm Owned Power has been so great he’s planning to launch a 100 MW wind farm as well.

“I had over 100 people phone me that weren’t from our area but are still from Melancthon,” he said of those who wanted to get involved but couldn’t because they are located outside the study area. “I want to throw it open as quickly as I can to everyone, whether they’re farmers or not.”

12 thoughts on “Melancthon reaches deal with turbine developer

  1. Horrible doesn’t begin to describe it.
    How little do those “farmers” know what they have done for a few bucks or should I say a few pieces of silver.
    May all of them, and I mean every one of them, be given a one-way ticket to the hot place and burn there forever instead of re-locating to a turbine-free paradise because they can’t stand the product of their own creation.

  2. Now they have money for road service….

    Have they factored in the higher power cost? Have they thought about increased costs of street lighting? Have they considered higher heating costs? Have they factored in the increases that labour will need to pay their power bills?

    Most people stop after the first calculation. They never say — if I get an advantage here, will it create higher costs over there?

    The sacrifice a global optimum for a local optimum and end up with higher overall costs. Then they express puzzlement as to how the situation was created, and who created the situation.

    …and then the blame game starts… and all because of now debunked sloppy record keeping in the GHCN! Gored again!

  3. And when the BRIBE Money doesn’t cover the decommissioning in 20 years (at least $300,000 per Wind Turbine) will the Wind Company reimburse the few landowners that still exist then for the costs?………NOPE!

    Adios Melancthon!……………you just signed your Death Sentence!………….it will be a nice “Ghost Town Tour” in 2030!

  4. So do I have this right, They are getting $28,000 for 7 turbines,$4,000 a turbine for 20 years and IPC is happy to pay it?

  5. And I ask — what will the local government pay out to pave the way for these blood sucking turbines?

    Why do we almost never see cost estimates prepared by the municipalities. Are they math challenged?

    I think that Clarington is leading the way in challenging the fundamental assumptions of the business deals and the utility of the machines. Hopefully others will follow suit.

  6. Well I know Essex signed a totally inadequate agreement with IPC last Oct. Pocket change road agreement, no right-of-way payment and $1500 per turbine, no decommissioning plans and for 40 flipping years. Shame on our council and everyone involved in this farce.

  7. They are going to decrease the property values in this area and wind up with less property tax revenue in the end.

    As you say these people have very poor math skills.

    IWT power production is inflationary and will drive up the costs of goods and services for all in Ontario.

  8. Well, Mr. Boreham, I’m still waiting for the money I put into building my house where I was LATER and without my agreement surrounded within a 3 km radius by 18 Vestas 1.65 MW IWT’s.

    Even though I no longer sleep in my home, I still own it and have all my worldly possessions there, have to use my computer and telephone there. I still need to look after the activities of daily living there.

    When am I going to enjoy this wonderful CAPITALISM which you extol when I haven’t been able to enjoy my home since the IWT’s were commissioned in November of 2008?

    Mr. Boreham, your version of CAPITALISM only seems to work for YOU.

  9. Very well put Johana
    You would be doing all of us a service to send your comments to :

    Editorial
    Tracy Duguay, Managing Editor
    Orangeville Banner

    banner@orangevillebanner.com
    FAX 519-941-1350

    Metroland Media Group Ltd.
    37 Mill St.
    Orangeville, Ontario L9W 2M4

    This information about the Orangeville Banner was copied from their editorial page.

    I would love to see your response on the that article repeated in this paper.

  10. Could any body from the area tell me how to access Melancthon’s town website? I would like to know what else they got that Essex didn’t.Our council just gave them to keys and said do what ever you want. The only question that got asked at the meeting was if their lawyer’s watch was a rolex !

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