On March 2, 2015 NextEra Energy Canada- a subsidiary and former division of Florida Power and Light made a proposal to the Addington Highlands town council for a local Industrial wind turbine project. The proposed development would include up to 100 wind turbines in the township, with an additional 50 in North Frontenac.
On May 4, an additional proposal was made to the Addington Highland township council. This proposal by UK based company RES is calling for a development of 30-50 3 MW (525 ft. tall) wind turbines north of Denbigh off of Highway 28. View the map of the proposed locations here. The combined proposals represent a project that would create a "wind farm" of 180-200 wind turbines- the largest industrial wind farm in Canada.
Each tower requires two and a half acres of cleared land, plus a road and cleared area the length of the blade. Therefore 150 turbines would actually require 375 acres plus roads. Towers have to be spaced out to collect the most wind.
The proponent has until the end of August 2015 to submit their bid. One of the determining factors in the selection process is whether the municipality is on board with the project. They hope to sign an agreement with the township saying that the Addington Highland Council support the proponent's bid to create the wind turbine project. Addington Highland's town council will vote on whether or not to support the project on July 6, 2015.
If their bid is unsuccessful in 2015, they reserve the right to re-apply in subsequent years.
Under the Green Energy Act, councils cannot prevent the farms from being built, but can indicate that they are against it, which would adversely affect the proponent selection process. On the other hand, approval by council would help to assist the proponent in becoming a successful bidder.
Two alternate transmission corridors have been proposed. One runs south from Addington Highlands through North Frontenac to come out near Plevna. The second parallels Hwy. 41, narrowly skirts Bob Echo Provincial Park and comes out near Kaladar
The proponent uses up to 620 metric tons of concrete for each turbine. That means 93,000 metric tons of concrete will be poured in Addington Highlands and Forth Frontenac to support these turbines.
Some Background Information
In 2009 the province passed the Green Energy Act which was created to “expand renewable energy generation encourage energy conservation and promote the creation of clean energy jobs.”
All new green energy projects fall under one of three categories:
- FIT Feed-In-Tarif, 10kw - 500kw production
- Micro-FIT Micro Feed-In-Tarif, < 10kw
- LRP Large Renewable Projects, > 500kw
While the individual project requests or RFP's for Large Renewable Projects are not available to the public the bidding process is outlined on the government’s website.
During the process all applicants are required to participate in community engagement activities that include two municipal meetings where the project is disclosed and community concerns can be addressed. A points system is used that will benefit projects if they have a formal municipal agreement resolution, general municipal agreement, agreements from abutting land owners and aboriginal participation. However while these agreements will assist in winning a project proposal they are not required for a project to be approved.
In fact according to the Green Energy Act the province can approve Large Renewable Projects without the consent of municipalities and have done so in several instances in Ontario.