Wes Keller, Orangeville Citizen
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has granted a conditional “leave to construct” the Dufferin Wind Power’s (DWP) proposed 230- kilovolt power line along the county-owned former CP Rail corridor and several privately held properties.
The decision was posted to the Environment Bill of Rights on July 5, three days after a date was set for a preliminary Environmental Review Board hearing in the approval of DWP’s 100MW wind farm, which included the transmission line.
Dufferin CAO Sonya Pritchard said in an interview Tuesday that the leave to construct includes a requirement that agreements with affected landowners would be a condition of approval. However, she said it also notes that DWP could have cause to expropriate if agreements cannot be reached. The county and DWP have been negotiating behind closed doors for several months, but agreements must also be reached with owners of all properties the power line would cross, Ms. Pritchard said.
The agreements would be long-term. “Although the County requested that the appropriate term of the agreement in respect of the rail corridor lands should match the projected economic life of the facilities, the Board believes that it is reasonable for the term for a land easement agreement to match the physical life of the asset, as its future economic potential cannot be accurately forecast at this point in time. In this regard, the 45-year term proposed by DWP in the land agreement to be submitted to the County with respect to the rail corridor lands is acceptable,” the OEB ruled. Read article