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First meeting of Armow Wind community liaison committee held
By Liz Dadson

Technology

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About a dozen members of the public met with proponents of the Armow Wind project at the first community liaison committee held Feb. 4 in Kincardine.

The 11 members of the public on the committee include:

  • Allan Grunder, landowner within one kilometre of the project; and a retired agricultural research scientist
  • Allen Wickert, landowner next to the project and local business owner; and is vice-chairman of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre, representing hospitals in Kincardine, Walkerton, Chesley and Durham
  • Don Rosart, currently owns property near wind turbines
  • Gordon Campbell, served on Kincardine Airport committee discussing turbine setbacks; had previously served on Hydro committees and been involved with building and planning as well as public works, while serving on Kincardine council
  • Bonnie Wayland, member of the business community
  • Direnkumar Navi Dave, local resident and student who studied wind energy, power generation and distribution in engineering technology course
  • Jutta Splettstoesser, co-founder of "Friends of Wind; member of the local agricultural business community
  • Bill Tennyson, local business owner for more than 20 years
  • Linda Bowers, represents the Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce; and is on the executive committee for the Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation
  • Candy Hewitt, Kincardine councillor for Ward 2 (Kincardine Township); and was part of the liaison committee for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) with Samsung representing on inter-municipal wind turbine working group
  • Bob Plater, landowner/farmer; 10 years on Tiverton council in a range of capacities - Bruce County council, head of council, finance and health committees

The liaison committee meeting was facilitated by Mark van der Woerd of AECOM and was attended by eight people associated with Samsung-Pattern (SP) and the Armow Wind project, including spokesmen Jody Law and Brian Edwards.

The purpose of the committee is to act as a liaison, facilitating two-way communication between SP Armow Wind and members of the public with respect to issues related to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the Armow Wind project.

The committee is to provide a forum for Armow Wind to provide regular updates with members of the public.

And the committee is to ensure that any issues or concerns resulting from project are discussed and communicated with Armow Wind.

The liaison committee not only provides knowledge about the project to the public, it helps Armow Wind better understand public concerns and the public perception of the project. 

The committee will also engage in meaningful and open dialogue in order to identify opportunities for improvements and mitigation, and work toward resolving or minimizing conflicts and gaining support/acceptance for the Armow Wind project.

Four liaison committee meetings will be held over a two-year period.

At the initial meeting, Law gave an overview of the project - a commercial wind energy generation facility which will produce about 180 megawatts (MW) of power, developed by SP Armow Wind Ontario LP, a partnership of Samsung and Pattern. It obtained approval from the MOE Oct. 9.

Law said that even though the project is currently under appeal, with the final statements just wrapping up Feb. 21 before the Environmental Review Tribunal, Armow Wind is still required to continue to meet its Renewable Energy Approval (REA) requirements.

That's why the liaison committee has been set up.

"We have approval so we have to continue to meet certain requirements under the REA process," said Edwards.

Law said all feeder lines in this project will run under the ground, and a new substation will be built at the north end of the project.

 



Mark van der Woerd of AECOM facilitates the first Armow Wind community liaison committee Feb. 4 in Kincardine

Edwards said once the tribunal has rendered its decision and it's favourable, the project moves into construction phase and that's when the liaison committee can help out by providing information about snowmobile trails, roads used by school buses, etc.

"We need to know how we can mitigate the impact of construction on the community," he said.

Once construction begins, the process involves: field and brush clearing, building access roads, foundation pouring and construction of the substation, blade and nacelle installation, commissioning of the turbines and site restoration, said Edwards.

He said the hub and blades will be built on the ground and then attached by crane.

Edwards said the Mennonite community has been contacted and issues discussed, such as school routes and road detours. "We will talk again once we are closer to a definitive construction schedule."

Trucks would transport the turbine pieces, at a rate of one turbine per day, said Edwards. It takes 12 trucks to bring all the parts for one turbine.

Van der Woerd said public delegations are welcome at the liaison committee meetings which are also open to the public and the press.

He said future meetings will include topics, such as the construction schedule, communication, traffic plans, awareness of hunting in the area, construction noise and turbine noise, and lights on the turbines.

"We are going to be asked by the community about the noise and the lights," said Tennyson. "It would be good to have some information on that."

The next meeting of the liaison committee will be in the fall of 2014, for discussion of construction plans. Further meetings will be held in the spring of 2015, and late summer or fall of 2015.



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