Big wind decision deferred

EDP Renewables is proposing its second wind farm project in South Dundas that could bring millions of dollars into the community and municipal coffers, and last week they asked South Dundas council to provide them with a resolution of support for the project.

After hearing the presentation from the project’s proponents, council opted to defer EDP’s request for support.

According to Tom LoTurco of EDP, “Municipal council support significantly increases the likelihood the proposed project will be selected in the large renewable project bid process.”

The South Branch II wind farm being proposed is up to 75 MW in size and would consist of between 24 and 36 turbine locations, mostly east of County Road 16, bounded by the North Dundas border and stretching just east of County Road 31. Waddell Road is the south boundary.

If such a project is selected by the province to go ahead through the upcoming competitive bid process, the host community receives community benefit funds of $1,000/MW annually. The host municipality would receive property taxes in excess of $100,000 annually for a 75 MW project.

New for this project is a municipal benefit fund which would pay out $3,500/MW directly to the host municipality annually, bringing $6,500,000 to the municipality over the project life.

LuTorco also said that a similar road use agreement that paid out $2.7 million to local municipalities will be in place again if the project is selected to move forward.

LuTorco said that, “The South Branch II project will allow EDPR to establish a stronger presence in the township – additional, stable long term jobs and expanded operations and maintenance and administrative facilities.”

“This would mean long term, good paying jobs,” he said.

He added that providing support gives the municipality an opportunity to influence the proposed project in this early planning stage and through the REA process.

“We are already here, and we want to be here,” said LuTurco. “We want to double-down on our commitment and be here for the long term.”

Council said that they want to wait until after EDP hosts its public meeting regarding the project to decide whether or not they will provide municipal support for the project.

The public meeting hosted by EDP takes place August 5, at Matilda Hall. Council’s next regular council meeting takes place August 11.  

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