Simcoe County joins Clearview and Collingwood to appeal wind farm decision
Published Thursday, February 25, 2016 12:50PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 25, 2016 6:08PM EST
The County of Simcoe will join Clearview Township and the Town of Collingwood to appeal the Ontario government’s decision to approve a wind turbine project just west of Stayner.
Councillors approved a motion at a council meeting Thursday to file a notice of appeal to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Clearview councillors decided Wednesday night the township will appeal the projects approval.
“As Clearview Council continues to protect the best interests of the Township and its residents, Clearview has decided to continue the battle against the process that the Liberal Government has implemented with the wpd Fairview Wind Project,” said Mayor Christopher Vanderkruys in a press release.
Earlier this month, the province issued a renewable energy approval for the project.
Green energy company WPD Canada, plans to build 152-metre-high turbines in Clearview as part of a $50M development project.
Once constructed, the company estimates the turbines will feed 39,838,000 kWh annually into the local electricity grid; equivalent to the average annual power usage of 2,276 homes.
The Town of Collingwood and Township of Clearview have been opposed to the project because several of the massive turbines would be near the Collingwood Regional Airport. The towns argue the turbines pose a safety risk to pilots.
A recent economic study commissioned by Collingwood and Clearview stated the turbines would be a blow to expanding the airport and business.
On Feb. 18, Collingwood council decided to file an appeal to the province over the decision.
Environment Minister Glen Murray defended the decision during question period on Monday when he said the government extended the consultation period on the wind farm by six months to a total of 30 months, and considered over 350 submissions.
Murray said NAV Canada, the private company that owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation service, found no safety concerns from putting the wind turbines near the runway for the Collingwood airport.
A wpd Canada spokesperson told CTV News the company will go ahead with the project despite the appeals.
The company said it’s not surprised by the appeals and that this all part of the process. wpd Canada plans to begin construction by the spring or earlier summer, unless there is a ruling otherwise.
The appeals will be heard by the Environmental Review Tribunal and could take up to six months to rule on.
The deadline for the appeal is Friday.
-With files from The Canadian Press