Not a willing host? Not so fast, wind position could waver

Presently, South Dundas is not a willing host for future wind projects, but that could change.

At the May 5 South Dundas council meeting, mayor Evonne Delegarde read the resolution passed October 1, 2013. 

That resolution, originally brought forward by South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke, stated that, “Due to the fact that Ontario has a considerable generating capacity and only 25 per cent of the current wind power generating approved by contracts are currently connected to the power grid, the Municipality of South Dundas hereby declares that any future proposals will not be supported until the supply and demand for generation demonstrates a need.”

That motion was forwarded to the Minister of Energy and the Premier of Ontario at the time.

After mayor Delegarde read the resolution at the last week’s council meeting, she said that she would like to direct staff to forward a copy of it to EDP Renewables who at the last meeting spoke about plans for a new project east of the South Branch Wind Farm that could mean up to 40 new turbines to the area.

She also said it should be forwarded to the other company who plans to discuss another proposal with the municipality at an upcoming council meeting. 

But the rest of council did not agree with Delegarde’s direction.

“I originally brought that resolution forward, but a lot has changed in the last two years,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke.

He said that he would like to see the location of the proposed towers  before taking that stance with those interested in South Dundas for future projects.

He said that a lot of the fears regarding the South Branch project never materialized. 

He suggested that, had two of the towers been erected in different locations there would not have been nearly the opposition to the project.

He also said that property values have not been affected.

“Let’s see the plan first, and then make a decision based on the plan,” said South Dundas councillor Marc St. Pierre, who was not part of the council that passed that 2013 resolution.

The other new council member Bill Ewing, who is the South Dundas representative of the Rideau St. Lawrence Utilities board, said that he would like to have a better understanding from the RSL perspective before making any decision.

South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan did not participate in these discussions having declared a conflict of interest in the matter.

Under the new provincial program, municipal support is one of the factors considered in the awarding of contracts. 

EDP has not yet officially asked for that support.

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