Sanity Prevails in Quebec: Wind farm south of Montreal scrapped

Mayors of some local municipalities, organized an opposition group to protest the scheme

CBC News
A wind farm slated to be built south of Montreal has been cancelled after popular opposition and an unfavourable environmental review persuaded the provincial government to kill the plan.

The wind farm near Saint-Valentin, 40 kilometres southeast of Montreal, would have had 25 turbines generating up to 50 megawatts of electricity — enough to power more than 30,000 homes at full generating capacity.

But the community was starkly divided over the proposal, with some residents supporting wind power for its ecological benefits while others, including the mayors of some local municipalities, organized an opposition group to protest the scheme.

In its final report on the wind farm plan, Quebec’s environmental review agency, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement, said Friday that the project should not go ahead without substantial modifications. The turbines and power lines would obtrude on some of the province’s best agricultural land and would interfere with the migration route of geese and other species, the agency said.

“While wind energy represents is a tremendous wealth-creation opportunity for regions, this development isn’t possible without support from the area,” Quebec Natural Resources Minister Nathalie Normandeau said in a news release.

The environmental review did not raise any major concerns about the wind farm’s possible effects on neighbouring residents, saying its distance — 750 metres from Saint-Valentin and a kilometre from the community of Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix — was enough to satisfy noise requirements.

The review did say, however, that the wind farm’s backers, a subsidiary of energy giant TransAlta, didn’t properly consult local residents.

In a statement on Friday, the Calgary-based company said it agreed that modifications should be made to its proposal, and added that it has been planning different ways “to improve the project and address the concerns of the population.”

5 thoughts on “Sanity Prevails in Quebec: Wind farm south of Montreal scrapped

  1. Ha! Ha! Ha!
    ….as per usual – response from proponent is:
    – they are not communication/engaging the citizens – dah! – properly!
    Citizens must be confused…………
    High Alert!
    they’ll be back, this time with ‘chocolate chip cookies’ –
    but, for now – brushing up on:
    Communication skills 101

    Response from proponent:
    The review did say, however, that the wind farm’s backers, a subsidiary of energy giant TransAlta, didn’t properly consult local residents.

    In a statement on Friday, the Calgary-based company said it agreed that modifications should be made to its proposal, and added that it has been planning different ways “to improve the project and address the concerns of the population.”

  2. Good news, nice to see a win for the good guys — at least for now — but it’s reported TransAlta’s not done yet. Unfortunately, here in Ontario, we have yet another mega wind project, this one twice the size of the one in Quebec, right on top of the MegaQuary in Melacthon (six times the size of the megaquarry). How many pitched battles do citizens have to fight to make developers understand we don’t want them in our communities? The new project has a protest site at http://dufferinwindpower.com just launched yesterday (the notice of proposal just went out last week!)
    Anyway, it seemst TransAlta’s not done yet, with this report from the TransAlta website:
    “TransAlta has taken note of the conclusions within the report and the press release issued by the Quebec government stating in that the project cannot be constructed in its current form. TransAlta is in agreement that modifications must be made to the project and has been working since the spring to study and analyze different options and potential solutions to improve the project and address the concerns of the population. These options and alternatives are currently under review and any changes will be formally presented in due course.” They’re not giving up now.

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