By Barb McKay
The Armow Wind Project has been given the green light by the province to go ahead.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment issued a report on Wednesday stating that it had issued renewable energy approval to SP Armow Wind Ontario LP to build a 180 megawatt wind facility, comprising 92 wind turbines.
The project is being developed by Pattern Renewable Holdings and Samsung Renewable Energy and construction is expected to begin next year. The Ministry has attached a number of conditions to its approval as a result of comments it received from the municipality and from residents.
As part of the approval, Samsung and Pattern must carry out an acoustic emission audit of the sound levels produced by the operation of the equipment to ensure compliance with the ministry’s noise emission limits; implement the pre and post construction Natural Heritage monitoring program, which includes bird and bat monitoring; implement mitigation measures as discussed with NAV Canada; notify the Ministry of complaints received alleging adverse effect caused by the construction, installation, operation, use or retirement of the facility; and prepare a traffic management plan to be provided to the local planning board and local services boards.
Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer told The Independent on Friday that council hasn’t had an opportunity to discuss the wind project approval yet, but said he was certain it would be a topic of conversation at the council table in the near future.
“Hopefully both council and Pattern/Samsung will be guided by the memorandum of understanding and the design and commitments that have been made will guide the process,” Kraemer said.
The memorandum of understanding, signed by the municipality and the Armow Wind Project developers, requests that elements of the Kincardine’s wind development policy are followed, including burying lines and increasing setbacks to 700 metres from the province’s minimum of 550 metres.
Kraemer said he took note of the stipulations attached to the provincial approval for the project.
“It is very focused in the way the license was handed out,” he said.
In a statement released Friday, Pattern and Samsung said, “Throughout the project proposal stage, we have conducted extensive community consultation and look forward to continuing to work closely with the community. In the coming months, we will be establishing a community liaison committee as a way of collaborating with community members, sharing information, discussing issues and concerns and keeping the lines of communication open during construction of the project.
“We are very excited to be a continued part of the Kincardine community. The Armow wind project, which is using wind turbines made right here in Ontario, will bring many benefits to Kincardine, including job creation, significant annual property taxes, a dedicated community benefits program funded by the project and will generate enough clean, renewable energy to meet the annual needs of 55,000 homes.”
For further information, visit http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTE5MDI4&statusId=MTgwNzUz&language=en.