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Chaplin Wind Project Denied


This morning the province announced it had denied a 79-turbine wind project near Chaplin, Sask that was to be located on the north side of the Trans-Canada highway across from the Chaplin Nature Center.

The environment ministry said it received 137 responses during a public review period of Algonquin Power & Utilities' proposed wind farm in 2015. It said all but one of those responses supported wind energy, but expressed concern about this particular location.

The decision was made after completing an assessment process, which included feedback from the public and environmental non-government organizations.

They were also worried about the destruction of natural habitat to build the proposed 79 wind turbines.

The province has developed new guidelines to inform wind producers which areas of the province are too delicate for projects to be considered in the future.

It says there is a five km buffer zone around environmentally-sensitive areas including national and provincial parks, ecological reserves, important bird areas and certain rivers.

A spokesman for Algonquin Power said the guidelines released today provide more clarity for potential wind farms.

"Saskatchewan's blessed with many good sites," said Jeff Norman, Algonquin's vice-president of business development.

He said Algonquin is eager to find a new location for its proposed 177 megawatt wind farm, and plans to amend its contract with SaskPower accordingly, Norman said a new site would be chosen for the wind farm over the next two months.

"I think it's important to point out the project did meet all the technical guidelines," said Norman.

The Government of Saskatchewan said this was the first wind electricity project to undergo an environmental impact assessment.

The government says it is still committed to its promise of generating half of its power from renewable energy by 2030.

Sources:

http://cjme.com/article/878054/birds-block-wind-energy-project-near-chaplin-sask

http://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/saskatchewan-government-developing-wind-energy-siting-guidelines

SaskPower.com

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