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Charles Edey, President of Leader Resources Services Corp., said that there had been miscommunication when it came to understanding wind energy and installations of wind turbines.
Edey was speaking to Saugeen Shores Town Council on Monday, January 10th regarding the proposed Aaron Elderslie and North Bruce wind energy installations, both of which are owned by American T. Boone Pickens' company, American Wind Alliance.
He said that, although American owned, the company was primarily local, with 25 local employees and accessing various supplies and services from some 200 local vendors. He said that, since 2003, more than $12 million had been injected into the local economy. New Councilor, Marcel Legault, however, asked where the $12 million was in the economy and Edy admitted that it was mostly for land-owner payments.
Edey also explained that Saugeen Shores would be the recipient of revenues in terms of annual tax levies and payments to land-owners that could be construed into 'monies to Saugeen Shores' taxpayers'.
Of the $223,000 annual tax levy fo the Aaron Elderslie project, Saugeen Shores will received $42,000 and of the $920,000 in land-owner payments, $180,000 will go to Saugeen Shores land-owners/taxpayers.
"We know that the world of energy is changing," said Edey. "We see small solar and wind projects and there is no doubt we are moving to a distribution society that is anchored by nuclear energy and are moving away from the energy that has been supplied by fossil fuels.
Within the Aaron Elderslie project, there is the potential to have nine turbines in the Saugeen Shores area. The two projects will produce 115 megawatts of power and construction will begin in early 2012. "We now have the site locations and have had an archeological review completed, have done an environmental mapping of the areas, have met with Saugeen First Nations, the Metis people and others and the transmission corridor has been selected," Edey explained.
Edey also went on to say that a Provincial government fund was in place to ensure that, in the event a turbine is decommissioned after 20 years, all evidence of it will be removed and the land will be returned to its pre-turbine state.
Vice Deputy Mayor Doug Gowanlock expressed his concerns over the set-back limits and that a complete health study has not been completed. He also raised the issue of land/lot sterilization and also said that it had been difficult to access where exactly the turbines are to be situated.
Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau suggested to Edey that there should be at least four more public meetings where the public's input can be heard.
Mayor Mike Smith summed up the presentation with his concerns that the issue had become a "for and against' situation. "This has become out of control and we are pitting one against another. The Province has a big part to play in this whole thing and Minister Wilkinson said recently "... it is the Province that approves these projects although there is municipal consultation in the process."
Smith also asked that Edey provide the 'numbers' he had quoted to Council in writing.
For Edey's statement, click the video symbol
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011