EDP Renewables will pay almost $2.7 million to compensate for road deterioration caused from the construction of the South Branch Wind Farm.
South Branch project manager Ken Little and South Dundas council and staff gathered Monday at the South Dundas Municipal Centre in Morrisburg to announce the figures determined through an extensive road user agreement between EDP, the United Counties of SDG and the municipalities of North and South Dundas.
As a result of the agreed upon formula, SDG will receive $1.697 million.
“This money provides fair compensation for the deterioration to the roads,” said Benjamin de Haan, County Engineer, United Counties of SDG. “The Counties appreciate the cooperation and corporate responsibility shown by EDP throughout the evaluation process.”
“Today’s settlement with EDP has enabled us to protect our county and municipal roads system. We wanted to make sure taxpayers in SDG were compensated for any damaged roads and infrastructure during the construction, and this agreement does just that,” said Eric Duncan, Warden, United Counties of SDG.
According to United Counties councillor, South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke, it is intended that those funds will go towards counties roads infrastructure in South Dundas.
However, it will be up to Counties council to determine where best to allocate the settlement funds.
The Township of North Dundas will receive $118,590 for local roads compensation.
The Municipality of South Dundas, where the bulk of road use occurred for the Brinston-area wind project, will receive compensation of $868,500.
According to South Dundas mayor Evonne Delegarde, those funds will go into South Dundas reserves, until council receives a report, including recommendations from public works manager Chris Bazinet about how the money is best spent.
Bazinet said that Irish Headline Road received the most damage during the wind farm construction, he revealed that his recommendations for expenditures, will be based on the details of the asset management plan.
Ken Little said that this amount of payout for road use is probably higher than normal for a project the size of the 30 mW South Branch Wind Farm, but it is reflective of the length of road they needed to use.
“This was a long delivery route,” said Little.
The South Branch Wind Farm delivery route encompassed about 35 km of Counties roads, 23 km of South Dundas roads and 3 km of Irish Headline Road, which is a boundary road shared between North Dundas and South Dundas.
The allocation of the money received is at the discretion of council, not necessarily meaning immediate roadwork to the delivery route routes.
This week, work on one of the northern turbines of the South Branch Wind Farm is taking place, with the replacement of a main bearing.
EDP is working towards future wind farm projects in North Stormont and South Dundas.
Little said that if capacity is available, they are looking at an area east of the South Branch Wind Farm.
Available capacity will determine the size of the project proposal.
Next week, a committee formed to make recommendations to council regarding the $30,000 annual South Branch Community Fund will hold its first formal meeting.