By Chad Ingram
Published Oct. 5 2016
Minden Hills councillors heard presentations on two solar projects proposed for the township during their Sept. 29 meeting.
Both proposals are for small-FIT projects that is 500-kilowatt installations occupying up to five acres although Abundant Solar Energy’s vice president of business development Melissa Clark told councillors the company’s installations typically occupy about 3.6 acres.
“It was my understanding after we were here last year there was a process put in place” Clark said. “We take your process seriously.”
Earlier this year Minden Hills council passed a renewable energy policy that lays out an evaluation framework for solar project proposals which are vetted by the township’s renewable energy task force.
One of the proposed sites is a property near Gull Lake just north of Sandy Bay Road.
There are a number of waterfront properties across the road and Clark said the company had spoken to 26 landowners.
“The way we look at it that’s going to be a 20-year marriage and you best have good relations” Clark said. “None of the properties along the waterfront would actually see the array.”
According to Clark the only property that might get a glimpse of the project is a property to the east.
“There’s certainly lots of natural vegetation” she said.
The second project is proposed for a property off of Blairhampton Road near Carnarvon.
Council referred the proposed projects to the renewable energy task force with Reeve Brent Devolin noting a recent announcement by the provincial government to axe some renewable energy projects may yet mean changes for the FIT program.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Sept. 27 the government would cease plans to sign $3.8 billion worth of solar and wind projects in favour of saving Ontarians $2.45 per month on their hydro bills.
Earlier this month Wynne who is polling at about 16 per cent approval was booed over hydro rates at the International Plowing Match.