AUC turns down Garden Plain wind project request

Windmills of the Halkirk Wind Project pierce the sky on Nov. 7, 2018, as the sun sets low. BluEarth Renewables Inc. has applied to construct a 19 windmill project in the Hand Hills near Delia, Ab. ECA Review/T.Huxley
Written by Submitted

Garden Plain Wind Energy 1 Inc., a subsidiary of TransAlta Corporation, applied for an approval of 36 wind turbines to be located on private land 30 kilometres north of Hanna earlier this year.

In their application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), Garden Plain submitted 37 potential locations for the turbines and stated that it intended to confirm the final 36 turbine locations before final approval.

In October, the energy company provided a response to the commission’s information requests.

In one of the responses, they requested approval for all 37 locations so they would have the ability to use an alternate location should one of the other sites fall through.

Since then, the AUC has made a decision to turn down their request and overall final layout as it conflicts with rules set out in AUC policy.

In other words, the additional turbine location has to be removed before a decision is made because issuing an approval with more turbines than what would be constructed is not allowed.

An approval also pinpoints the turbine locations which would need to be amended if not all of the turbines are built.

“In addition, approving a wind project with more turbine locations than required could cause unnecessary constraints on other potential projects in the area because Rule 012: Noise Control requires that an applicant accounts for any existing and approved, but not yet constructed, energy-related facilities,” said Giuseppa Bentivegna, Commission Counsel who forwarded the ruling on behalf of the AUC.

The Commission has directed Garden Plain to file its final layout for 36 turbines and a noise impact assessment to accompany it.

Each proposed wind turbine will have a height of 110 metres with a blade length of 67.2 metres and is rated at 3.6 megawatts.

The project would also consist of an underground collector system, access roads and meteorological towers.

It would be located 30 kilometres north of Hanna parallel with Sullivan Lake on approximately 6,100 hectares of privately-owned land in both the County of Paintearth and Special Area No. 2.

The area will continue to be used for grazing and other agricultural purposes.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author