By WES KELLER, Freelance Reporter Orangeville Citizen
A 100-strong group of Mono and Amaranth wind turbine opponents who attended a Whittington wind farm open house at Orangeville Fairgrounds Tuesday to have their concerns answered by the proponent.
The group, Whittington Citizens Coalition, formed a week ago with about 30 people led by resident Jocelyn Chant, had grown to more than 100 by Tuesday night and, said Ms. Chant, had received at least 20 calls from people wanting to join following the open house protest.
“We intend to raise a stink,” said Ms. Chant.
There is to be a huge revival-style meeting toward the end of October, probably at the Collins spinach warehouse in Mono. She wasn’t certain of the location or date but said a large crowd is expected to attend.
The proposed wind farm west of the Mono- Amaranth Townline and north of 15 Sideroad would be constructed by 2012. It comprises three turbines with a name plate capacity of 2.3 megawatts each. They differ from the familiar, 1.5 MW ones in the Melancthon-Amaranth wind farm with respect to both output and size.
The Stantec study of the proposal does not appear to include size specifications but, typically, a 2.3-MW turbine would have 153- foot blades, hub at a height of 262 feet, and a height of 415 feet to the tip of the topmost rotor.
By comparison, the 1.5- MW blades are about 116 feet and the maximum height of the top one would be 328 feet.
Under the Green Energy Act, the province has dictated a setback of 550 metres from the nearest non-participating receptor (home). The second-phase setbacks in the Melancthon- Amaranth project were negotiated to 450 metres.
The setback is a major concern to Diane Griffith, whose Mono home faces the town line, directly to the east of the middle of the Whittington project’s three turbines.
Part of her concern is that her location is directly downwind from the turbines, considering that noise tends to be carried by the wind.
Ms. Griffith gave credit to Jocelyn Chant for organizing the protest. She said the group handed the proponent a three-ring binder of petitions and studies along with a list of questions, many of which went unanswered.
Ms. Chant said there were “well over 100 signatures on the petitions against the wind farm..
The 6.9-MW project is proposed by Mississaugabased WPD Canada Corp., part of an international group.
“WPD is a developer and financier of wind farms, photovoltaic and biogas projects around the world,” says its company description on its website.
“The company has been active in Canada for the past three years developing a substantial pipeline of project opportunities, initially as the largest shareholder and primary financer of a partner company and now as WPD Canada Corporation.
“After launching the company in 1996, WPD became a leading developer in Germany where it contributed to over a decade of sustainable development
and) is now established in over 21 countries including Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Poland, Australia, Taiwan, Argentina, Chile and Panama.”