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County passes land use reclassification for wind farm overlay

Posted on October 22, 2019 by 40 Mile Commentator

Justin Seward

Cypress County council passed second and third readingfor a land use reclassification overlay for the RDF Renewables Wind Energy Facility District at their Oct. 16 meeting . The company’s project is 10 Kilometres southwest of Irvine and west of Highway 41.
“The bylaw was approved to allow for EDF Canada to submit their development permit application,” said Kaylene Simpson, the county’s planning supervisor.
The overlay will allow for the activity and use of wind turbines and other related infrastructure, while still allowing for agriculture activities to continue on each parcel.
EDF Canada will have to submit individual application for each of the wind turbines substations with being on different land titles and then the project’s decision will be in the hands of the Municipal Planning Commission, said Simpson.
It was prior to the last two readings passed however, council directed administration at the Oct. 1 meeting to find out more about the decommissioning and reclamation of the project after 25 years when the wind project might not be around anymore.
“I did have discussions will Alberta Environment and Parks and they recently released a directive surrounding reclamation in 2018,” said Simpson.
“But they don’t identify any type of security that has to be provided through that process. They did indicate that they received concerns from both Rural Municipalities of Alberta as well as the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association in relation to reclamation and collecting security.
“It’s something to my understanding that Alberta Environment is currently under going and researching.”
Simpson says EDF Canada came forward and committed themselves to addressing reclamation and security within their contract agreements with landowners.
“As a part of that contract they’ll be going back to landowners and providing a security bond to each individual landowner so they at least have money on the side, if in the event EDF isn’t able to abide by the reclamation requirements.
The $250 million wind farm will have 48 Enercon E138 , 4.2 megawatt wind turbines.

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