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Concerned Cypress County Owners Group loses request to reconsider approval of Buffalo Trail wind farm

Posted on May 4, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

Southern Alberta Newspapers

A group of Cypress County residents who opposed a wind farm proposal new Medicine Hat have lost an initial request to have its approval reconsidered.

Concerned Cypress County Owners Group were intervenors this winter as the Alberta Utilities Commission considered the Buffalo Trail wind farm, proposed by Engie Canada, between Medicine Hat and the Cypress Hills.

It was approved on Feb. 8 after the group expressed concern about the unsightliness of the proposal and fears for the health of those living near the towers and wildlife. They argued the negative impacts outweighed benefits, but decision from AUC panel determined that project was in the public interest.

CCCOG then applied to have the decision reconsidered, but the AUC ruled on April 21, that without new evidence or substantive argument the previous panel made errors in applying the law, the review would be dismissed.

In its ruling the commission states that such reviews are possible in the regulations to correct errors, not to allow a second chance to argue against a decision with similar evidence.

“(Legal practise) requires the review applicants to identify a specific error in the original decision, and does not allow a review applicant to re-argue an issue decided in the original decision unless a specific error is identified,”the decision reads.

The Buffalo Trail wind farm would be built south of the Trans-Canada Highway spanning Highway 41, and intersecting two other approved wind farms owned by a different company.

Up to 65 turbines would be capable of producing 400-megawatts at peak capacity.

EDF Renewables commissioned the Cypress energy centre in late 2022, and plans to built the Bull Trail wind farm on the east side of Highway 41, south of Irvine.

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