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GDF to fight turbine removal

Canadian agency says eight units at Erieau project exceed height limits

GDF to fight turbine removal image

GDF Suez Canada intends to appeal a federal order to remove or lower eight turbines at the 99MW Erieau wind farm in Ontario.

Transport Canada said the turbines, which have a 125-meter tip height, exceed a 45-meter height limit within a four-kilometer radius of the Chatham-Kent municipal airport.

The federal agency in 2013 asked the developer to voluntarily comply with its request to dismantle the turbines, said Transport Canada spokesman Clay Cervoni.

“When this was not achieved, Transport Canada issued a notice requiring the company to lower or remove the wind turbines in compliance with the Chatham airport zoning regulations,” said Cervoni.

The notice sets a 31 December 2014 deadline.

The developer was surprised by Transport Canada’s demand to remove the turbines, GDF spokesperson Bonnie Hiltz told reNews.

“GDF understood that we had received all the required approvals prior to construction,” said Hiltz.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent had asked the agency to grant an exemption as the affected turbines are in a “no fly zone” south of the airport.

Chief administrative officer Don Shropshire said: “It has been clearly established by multiple aeronautic consultants that there is no safety issue with the location of the eight turbines or their impact on airport operations at the Chatham-Kent airport.”

However, said Cervoni, “Transport Canada will not approve any exemptions to allow the contravening wind turbines to remain in place.”

GDF intends to file an objection to the Transport Canada order within 30 days and seek a hearing before the Transport Minister, said Hiltz.

Image: 99MW Erieau wind farm was commissioned in 2013  (GDF)

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