Jeff Green | Feb 09, 2006
Feature Article - February 9, 2006
Feature ArticleFebruary 9, 2006
Wind power to be explored near Denbigh
by Jeff Green
Addington Highlands Council has given its blessing to a proposal by Vector Wind Energy and the Conestoga Rovers Engineering firm to look into wind power generation on Crown land near Denbigh.
The project’s proponents have obtained initial data identifying three one kilometre square cells where the necessary combination of high average winds and proximity to high power lines exists. They intend to apply to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for tenure on those lands, and will then begin a rigorous investigation of the wind generation potential of those sites.
“This is not an overnight project,” said Mike Benson of the Conestoga Rovers, in introducing the project to council. He noted that it could take several years to move from the initial concept to constructing a functioning wind farm.
“The first part is figuring out - do we have a suitable site? What we are looking for is simply the township’s blessing to go ahead and do the necessary work to see if a wind opportunity exists. It is not a cost situation for the township.”
Benson introduced Robert Miller of Vector Wind Energy to present an overview of Vector Wind Energy to Council.
Vector Wind Energy is an Ottawa-based wind development company with different kinds of wind projects in various stages of development throughout Canada . In Eastern Ontario, they have three projects under development: at Carruthers Point in Kingston ; Taylor Kidd Industrial Park in Millhaven; and on Amherst Island . It is the general practice of Vector, and most wind energy companies, to develop wind power on private land. In the past, they have not ventured onto Crown land for their projects.
Thomas Levy, an Ottawa based wind engineer with the Conestoga Rovers, presented a wind speed map to council, pointing to three sites north and northwest of the village of Denbigh that have average wind speeds in excess of 7.0 metres per second at 80 metres above ground level. Once the partners are granted the right to explore the resource from the Ministry of Natural Resources, they will conduct more detailed studies of the topography and the wind patterns at the chosen site(s). At a later stage, if the project seems viable, an anemometer will be placed at a 60 metre height for a period of months to determine the viability of the resource.
Obtaining approvals to actually set up a commercial wind farm on Crown land could be complicated, and Mike Benson said that he considered it essential to have the township involved as an advocate for the project in order to secure provincial approvals down the road.
Reeve Ken Hook made reference to a factor that could complicate the situation further. Most of the Crown land in the township, including the pieces that are being looked at for wind power, is located within territory included in the ongoing Algonquin Land Claim.
Nonetheless Council was enthusiastic in its response to the presentation. “We’re in a very exciting time,” said Councillor Louise Scott.
Paul Isaacs, a community member with an interest and expertise in alternative technology, attended the meeting and exhorted council to make a strong statement in favour of the project.
“I would suggest that the municipality look at this as a great opportunity and decides to get on board early.”
Another parcel of Crown land in Addington Highlands, located in the Vennachar area, has received approval for exploration, but in that case whoever it is that has received approval has not contacted the township yet.
“We appreciate you people coming in through the front door,” said Reeve Hook to the representatives from Conestoga Rovers and Vector Wind Energy.
Council passed a resolution in support of the wind power application and decided to establish a standing committee on wind power.