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GDF told to dismantle turbines

UPDATE: Eight turbines near Ontario airport ‘must be removed’

GDF Suez Canada said an order to tear down eight turbines that exceed height restrictions near a municipal airport in Ontario came as a surprise.

The developer recently completed construction of the 99MW Erieau wind farm in Chatham Kent, as reported in reNews. Crews installed 55 Vestas V90 1.8MW turbines on 80-meter towers. Commercial operation started 22 May.

Transport Canada said the eight turbines, which have a 125-meter tip height, exceed the maximum allowable height of 45 meters above ground level. The federal regulations protect a radius of approximately 4 kilometers around the airport, said Transport Canada spokesperson Brooke Williams.

“Transport Canada is enforcing safety rules and requires the removal of the impeding wind turbines,” said Williams.

GDF feels that it has satisfied all Transport Canada requirements, GDF Canada VP David Timm told reNews.

“Transport Canada was aware of the locations of the turbines and we understood that they had approved them,” said Timm. “So we were very surprised by the letter that we received yesterday.”

The agency said it twice advised the developer that height restrictions are in effect around the airport.

Transport Canada is prepared to work with GDF to set a practical deadline however “the impeding turbines must be removed,” said Williams.

GDF is reviewing the request. “We’ll be seeking an opportunity to discuss the matter with Transport Canada as soon as we can,” said Timm.

Height limit: Eight turbines at 99MW Erieau ordered removed (Vestas)

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