Nextera Bornish wind project approved by MOE – 45 wind turbines

“If the Company determines that it must deviate from either the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan, the Natural Heritage Assessment and Environmental Impact Study, the Natural Heritage Assessment – Addendum Report or the Natural Heritage Assessment – Addendum II Report, described in Condition K1, the Company shall contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Director, prior to making any changes to either of these documents, and follow any directions provided.

Full Bornish Wind Approval

Copy of IMG_0380

Active Eagle Nest 187m from Bornish substation, 634m & 741m from turbines.

Environmental Registry
Proponent:
Bornish Wind G.P Inc, as general partner for and on behalf of Bornish Wind L.P.
390 Bay Street, Suite 1720, Toronto Ontario Canada M5H 2Y2
Instrument Type:   Approval for a renewable energy project – EPA s.47.3(1)

A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Bornish Wind LP (NextEra Energy) to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of up to 45 turbines, rated at 1.6 MW generating output capacity, with a total name plate capacity of 72.9 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Bornish Wind Energy Centre, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as for the interconnection route. The wind facility will be is located in the Municipality of North Middlesex in Middlesex County.

The REA requires the proponent to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility in accordance with specific terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions, as summarised below, require the proponent to:

  • construct and install the facility within 3 years of the date of the approval,
  • construct and install the facility in accordance with the documentation considered for the issuance of this approval,
  • receive all required permits under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 prior to construction or installation,
  • properly decommission the facility upon retirement of the facility,
  • comply with the ministry’s noise emission limits at all times,
  • carry out an acoustic immission audit of the sound levels produced by the operation of the equipment,
  • carry out an acoustic emission audit of the acoustic emissions produced by the operation of the wind turbine generators,
  • manage stormwater, and control sediment and erosion during and post construction,
  • monitor surface water quality before and after construction of the facility,
  • conduct water taking activities in an environmentally responsible manner,
  • design, construct and operate a spill containment system to current and best standards,
  • implement the pre and post construction Natural Heritage monitoring program, which include bird and bat monitoring, including determining the significance of wildlife habitat for bald eagles, then following the alternate project layout if significance is confirmed,
  • prepare a Traffic Management Plan to be provided to each municipality and enter into Road Users Agreements,
  • create a community liaison committee with members of the public and with the company,
  • properly address any archaeological resources discovered,
  • maintain records of the operation and maintenance of equipment and inspections and complaints related to the facility,
  • notify the ministry of complaints received alleging adverse effect caused by the construction, installation, operation, use or retirement of the facility, and
  • notify the ministry prior to a change of ownership.

This renewable energy project has been approved in accordance with the requirements of Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Regulation 359/09.

NOTE: Regarding Third Party Hearing Provisions

Third Party Hearing Provisions are listed immediately below. The Leave to Appeal Provisions indicated in the section titled “Leave to Appeal Provisions” at the end of the posting do not apply to Renewable Energy Approvals issued under 47.5 of the EPA.

Any resident of Ontario may require a hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) within 15 days after the date this Decision was loaded to the Environmental Registry (see top right of decision notice) by written notice served upon all of the following:

Appellate Body:
Secretary
Environmental Review Tribunal
655 Bay Street
Floor 15
Toronto
M5G 1E5
Phone: (416) 212-6349
Fax: (416) 314-4506

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario:
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
1075 Bay Street
Suite 605
Toronto Ontario
M5S 2B1
Phone: (800) 701-6454

Issuing Authority:
Vic Schroter
Director, Section 47.5 Environmental Protection Act
Environmental Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 12A
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1L5
Phone: 416-314-8573

Proponent:
Bornish Wind G.P Inc, as general partner for and on behalf of Bornish Wind L.P.
390 Bay Street, Suite 1720
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2

An applicant for a hearing shall state in the notice requiring the hearing, (a) a description of how engaging in the renewable energy project in accordance with the renewable energy approval will cause, (i) serious harm to human health, or (ii) serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment; (b) the portion of the renewable energy approval in respect of which the hearing is required; and (c) the relief sought.

Further information is provided on the ERT’s website at: http://www.ert.gov.on.ca/english/guides/index.htm.

If you have any questions about the hearing process please consult a lawyer or contact the ERT.

Comment(s) Received on the Proposal:   189

Public Consultation on the proposal for this decision was provided for 15 Days, from November 23, 2012 to December 08, 2012.

As a result of public consultation on the proposal, the Ministry received a total of 189 comments: 137 comments were received in writing and 52 were received online.

Additionally, a copy of all comments are available for public viewing by contacting the Contact person listed in this notice.

A selection of these comments are available:
Effect(s) of Consultation on this Decision:

All comments received were reviewed by the ministry and considered during the review of the application. These concerns and comments have been summarized below:

Concerns related to health and safety

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has built safety requirements into Ontario Renewable Energy Approval Regulation (O. Reg. 359/09). For wind facilities, a proponent must meet section 53 of O. Reg. 359/09, which prohibits a proponent to place a turbine closer than the height of the turbine to a property boundary (unless a Property Line Setback Assessment is completed).

The facility has been sited in accordance will all applicable permitting regulations and requirements. Minimum setback requirements have been met, the noise report meets MOE guidelines and the applicant has committed to implementing appropriate construction and operational health and safety protocols, as well as a complaint resolution process.

Further, a condition has been imposed in the REA to operate and maintain the facility in accordance with good engineering practices and as recommended by the equipment suppliers.

Concerns about consultation process and incomplete documentation

While mandatory consultation requirements are specified in REA Regulation (O.Reg. 359/09), it is not prescriptive in regards to the techniques or methods used. The MOE has reviewed the proponent’s Consultation Report and deemed that it satisfies the legislative requirements outlined in O. Reg. 359/09.

The applicant conducted an extensive consultation program that commenced in 2008, including hosting several public meetings, releasing draft REA reports for public review, conducting a telephone town hall, and numerous meetings with local residents, government agencies and Aboriginal communities.

MOE has imposed a condition in the REA requiring the proponent to create a Community Liaison Committee for the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park project. This Community Liaison Committee will be made up of individuals in the community and company representatives. The aim of the committee will be to act as a liaison, facilitating two way communications between the Company and members of the public with respect to the project. It will provide a forum for the Company to provide regular updates to the community.

Concerns related to noise

MOE staff have reviewed the noise assessment provided by the proponent. MOE’s noise engineers have confirmed that the project will meet MOE’s Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms. Further, the noise assessment and the facility meet the requirements of O. Reg. 359/09.

If the public has any noise concerns, incidents to report, or has any complaints they would like to raise relating to a wind facility operation, they should contact their local District or Area Office. MOE’s first level of field response is provided by environmental officers working out of MOE’s District or Area Offices.

Concerns about the length of time of the EBR comment period

Most proposals for instruments are posted on the Environmental Registry for 30 days. Additional public participation opportunities may be provided at the discretion of ministry decision-makers after taking into consideration such factors as the complexity of the proposal in question, level of public interest, and extent and nature of mitigation measures that may be required to prevent harm to the environment.

The ministry provided 60 days for the public to provide comments on this project.

Community input

Opportunity for public comment on this project has been provided since 2008.

In addition, the MOE posted the proposal for the project on the Environmental Registry, allowing for a total of 60 days for public comment directly to the ministry.

The applicant also held a telephone town hall in respect of this project on June 19, 2012.

MOE has imposed a condition requiring the proponent to create a Community Liaison Committee for the Bornish Wind Energy Centre. This Community Liaison Committee will be made up of individuals in the community and company representatives. The aim of the committee will be to act as a liaison, facilitating two way communications between the Company and members of the public with respect to the project. It will provide a forum for the Company to provide regular updates to the community.

Concern related to proximity of project to conservation areas

The Bornish Wind Energy Centre project area is not located within 120 metres of any provincial parks, conservation areas or areas of natural and scientific interest.

Significant woodlands have been considered as part of the Natural Heritage Assessment for this project. Mitigation measures for development in close proximity to these features have been established.

The project has been reviewed and determined to meet all applicable setback requirements.

Request for a moratorium on wind turbines

When developing the REA regulation, MOE drew upon extensive existing scientific research from around the world. Reviewing a large body of peer-reviewed reports and studies enabled MOE to develop a regulation that was based on the best available science to protect human health and the environment. MOE continues to review emerging scientific and engineering studies to ensure Ontario’s REA regulation remains in line with the latest and best in science.

Impacts on natural environment and wildlife

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has reviewed the Natural Heritage Assessment and provided a Confirmation Letter as per section 28 (2) of O. Reg 359/09. MNR provided a letter for this project confirming that the applicant used applicable evaluation criteria or procedures accepted by the MNR for the determination of the existence and boundaries of natural features; site investigation and records review; and evaluation of the significance or provincial significance of the natural features.

A bird and bat monitoring plan has been developed in accordance with MNR’s guidelines. This monitoring plan has been reviewed and approved by MNR.

A condition is being imposed in the REA to require the applicant to implement its bird and bat monitoring plan, as submitted in its REA application.

Concerns related to finality of transmission line

The transmission line route presented in the REA submission is the route that the applicant has included in its documentation. If the applicant were to use a different route, it would be required to consult with all appropriate stakeholders and go through an REA amendment process.

Cumulative impacts

Cumulative effects of noise from wind turbines are assessed in the noise impact assessment and found to be compliant with the ministry standards.

Wind turbines do not generate adequate electricity and are not efficient

The Province of Ontario has identified wind as one component of a diversified energy mix for the province, as identified in Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), the agency responsible for supply procurement, and the Independent Electricity System Operator, the agency responsible for the reliability of Ontario electricity system, have both researched, modeled and proposed a target for wind (10% by 2030) that ensures an efficient and reliable system supply to meet Ontario electricity demands while satisfying the Government’s and the Ontario public’s goals for new supply.

Impact on farmland

The role of the MOE with respect to energy proposals is to ensure that they comply with regulations that have been put in place to protect human health and the environment. The Ministry of Energy takes the lead on the development of renewable energy projects, and the OPA issues contracts under the province’s Feed In Tariff (FIT) program to purchase power. The FIT contracts awarded to project developers restrict the development of solar facilities on prime agricultural lands, e.g. Class 1 and Class 2 agricultural land, as determined by the OPA in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. However no such restriction exists for wind facilities, and the development of wind turbines on agricultural land is determined by the developer in collaboration with the landowners.

Wind turbines occupy only a small fraction of the land they are sited on, and farming or grazing may continue undisturbed. In general, a turbine in a typical wind facility including foundation and access roads will use 1 to 1.5% of a typical 40 hectare farm parcel.

Concerns related to drainage impacts

All municipal drain crossings will be permitted and constructed in accordance with the provincial Drainage Act.

Decommissioning concerns

As part of the REA approval, there is a decommissioning condition. This condition requires the proponent to comply with all commitments made in the REA documentation. Further, consultation with the local District Manager of MOE will be required in order to meet all the requirements at the time of decommissioning.

MOE has included a condition for the proponent to contact the ministry prior to decommissioning of the facility, to ensure that the lands can be restored to their original use.

Concerns related to stray voltage

MOE staff have been advised by the Ministry of Energy that electrical phenomena such as stray voltage occur on all electricity distribution systems, and are not unique to systems located near wind generators. The Ministry of Energy also advises that none of these phenomena have been identified by Health Canada as hazardous to humans.

The applicant will ensure that the project is built and maintained according to the standards in place as prescribed by the Distribution System Code and the Electrical Safety Authority

The project is not proposing to connect to the local distribution system that serves barns and houses in the area, so it will not directly impact that service. However, the applicant will continue to work closely with Hydro One to mitigate any potential impact on local distribution customers should a situation arise.

Support for the project

Comments noted and considered.

Out of scope comments

A number of comments were received that were not project specific. As they did not pertain to this project, MOE staff did not consider these comments in the decision making process.

Note – This is the end of the decision notice. Please disregard the “Leave to Appeal Provisions” section below.

Leave to Appeal Provisions:

Any resident of Ontario may seek leave to appeal this decision, by serving written Notice, within 15 days of April 26, 2013 upon the following:

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario:

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
1075 Bay Street
Suite 605
Toronto Ontario
M5S 2B1
Phone: (416) 325-3377
Toll Free Phone: (800) 701-6454

Issuing Authority:

Vic Schroter
Director, Section 47.5, Environmental Protection Act
Environmental Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 12A
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1L5
Phone: (416) 314-8573
Toll Free Phone: (800) 461-6290

Proponent:

Bornish Wind G.P Inc, as general partner for and on behalf of Bornish Wind L.P.
390 Bay Street
Suite 1720
Toronto Ontario
Canada M5H 2Y2

Appellate Body:

Secretary
Environmental Review Tribunal
655 Bay Street
Floor 15
Toronto
M5G 1E5
Phone: (416) 212-6349
Fax: (416) 314-4506

An applicant for a hearing shall state in the notice requiring the hearing, (a) a description of how engaging in the renewable energy project in accordance with the renewable energy approval will cause, (i) serious harm to human health, or (ii) serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment; (b) the portion of the renewable energy approval in respect of which the hearing is required; and (c) the relief sought.

Further information is provided on the ERT’s website at: http://www.ert.gov.on.ca/english/guides/index.htm

If you have any questions about the hearing process please consult a lawyer or contact the ERT.

The attached Certificate document is intended for posting on the Environmental Registry in order to provide the reader with the substantive content of the issued instrument. Please note the official version may be differently formatted or otherwise contain minor variations from this version.

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Posted on April 29, 2013, in Bornish Project, Environmental Review Tribunal, Government, Green Energy Act, Ministry of Environment, Next Era. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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