Wind farm proposed near Ontario NORAD base
If you thought that putting utility-scale wind power projects near Ontario’s small airports and even a skydiving school was not very smart (but got approved anyway), wait til you read this news: a wind power developer is proposing a wind “farm” on Crownland near North Bay, where there is not only an international airport but also a NORAD base.
The Mayor is going to meet with Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray, who has already mislead the Legislature by saying aviation safety is completely out of his hands.
Note that the first public meeting on the project is being held tonight, despite the fact that Ontario’s new large-scale renewable power process doesn’t begin until March 2nd.
City of North Bay opposes wind farm
North Bay Nugget, February 20, 2015
North Bay is opposing a wind farm proposal north of the city due to its proximity to Jack Garland Airport.
Mayor Al McDonald, who’s scheduled to meet Tuesday with Ontario’s Environment Minister, Glen Murray, said he will be requesting that the province deny Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.’s proposal for a wind farm on Crown Land in the unorganized Merrick Township.
McDonald said the wind farm, which is separate from a proposed project in Mattawan Township, would fall within a 15-kilometer radius of Jack Garland Airport, reducing safety for all aircraft using the facility.
He said the city needs to protect the airport equipment and flight paths, noting the wind farm may also jeopardize the city’s efforts to attract new space and aerospace firms to its industrial business park.
The mayor pointed to the multi-million-dollar investment to resurface the airport’s 10,000-foot runway and develop its industrial business park, suggesting the wind farm proposal council be a barrier to the city’s economic development efforts.
He noted open air space was one of the factors Swiss Space Systems (S3), which plans to test and launch sub-orbital satellites in the city, selected North Bay.
“We have invested a lot of money up there,” said McDonald, noting the city recently learned of the proposal. “There could be a significant impact to the city.”
Innergex spokesman Francois Morin could not be reached Friday for comment about the project or its status.
The Quebec-based firm is also looking to build wind farm in the Mattawa area comprised of as many as 60 turbines with an anticipated capacity of 150 megawatts. Referred to as the Nodinosi Wind Project, the proposal involves a partnership between Innergex and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.
A public meeting regarding the project will be held Monday at the Mattawa Senior Citizens Club from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
McDonald is meeting with Murray during the combined Rural Ontario Municipal Association and Ontario Good Roads conference in Toronto, which runs from Sunday until Wednesday.
The mayor will also be meeting with Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro during the conference about the possibility of locating an MNR fire management headquarters at the airport industrial park. In addition, he will discuss the Ontario North land Transportation Commission with Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle; and the proposed Cassellholme redevelopment with health ministry officials.