County to stand firm on Dufferin Wind proposal

DufferinChris Halliday, Orangeville Banner
You can ask all the questions you want and shout as many complaints from the rooftops within earshot, but you have to take a stand. That’s what county council did when it comes to Dufferin Wind Power Inc.’s proposal to run a hydro line along its abandoned rail corridor on Thursday night (Feb. 7). “It is nice to ask questions, but it’s still not a position,” said Amaranth Mayor Don MacIver. “When you take a position, you therefore object.”

That position will be forwarded to several provincial approval authorities, including the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) through the Renewable Energy Application (REA) process and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The commenting period on the province’s environmental registry expired on Tuesday (Feb. 12). So, where does county council stand? First and foremost, it wants a moratorium placed on all wind development until results from Health Canada’s study into potential health affects caused by turbines are shared publically. “There should be a moratorium placed on this enterprise,” MacIver argued. “It behooves us to do that.”

Now on to demand number two. The county’s objects to overhead transmission lines, and demands Dufferin Wind bury the 230 kV transmission line from its proposed wind farm in Melancthon to the transformer station in Amaranth. Several councillors lamented the cost to run an underground line compared to an overhead one has been hard to pin down. For comparison sake, Dufferin Wind vice-president Jeff Hammond estimated last year it would cost about $390,000 to $460,000 per km for an overhead hydro line and more than $2.6 million per km for one underground. “There isn’t a price on the health on our citizens. So tough, if you do anything, you bury it,” said Amaranth Deputy Mayor Walter Kolodziechuk. “The health of our citizens is not for sale.” Read article

3 thoughts on “County to stand firm on Dufferin Wind proposal

  1. It’s unfortunate Haldimand County council doesn’t have the backbone this council has. Way to take a stand.

  2. Cost of burying the line — about $1 Million per mile in the USA — costs are higher here — for whatever reason.

    Burying power lines is not cheap. A 2009 Edison Electric Institute study said the cost would be $1M per mile! This is mostly due to converting existing lines running above ground. Ideas such as pairing undergrounding with road expansion efforts or neighborhood projects involving roadway reconstruction or large-scale water and sewer line replacements could be more cost effective.

    There is even a “Power underground” nonprofit that promotes burying lines who is trying to raise money for a study of the costs and benefits.

    For wind companies — multiply by 5 times — just to level the playing field.

    If you read the comments on that article some of the engineers have concerns about burying High Voltage (HV or HT) lines. Others think that up to a point it’s ok.

    • Yes, everything about operating the turbines safely is too expensive…..buried power lines, placing them at safe distances from homes, spacing them out properly for maximum efficiency and noise reduction. So they continue to operate them in an unsafe, inefficient, severely overpriced manner. Time to shut them all down and admit it was a huge mistake, and the money would be better spent teaching people how to conserve and researching better means of producing energy.

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