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Quebec — Negative public response to wind turbine project resounds

Sarah Rennie — The Gleaner — October 22, 2012

Cars and trucks lined both sides of the Ridge Road Tuesday evening as the Town Hall parking lot in Godmanchester overflowed with residents concerned over a proposed project that would see ten wind turbines erected in the municipality. The atmosphere was charged as residents packed into the small room so tightly they were pressed against walls and out the door in the back. A resounding hesitation that quickly gave way to a booming “no” echoed throughout most of the evening’s exchange between the municipal council, the project promoter, Mr. Jean-Claude Desgroseilliers of Troc International, and the public.
In a brief introduction and explanation of the proposed project, Mr. Desgroseillers suggested the wind in Godmanchester was similar to that of Saint-Remi, Saint-Isidore and Sainte-Martine, where the Monteregie Wind Turbine Project is currently under construction by Kruger Energy.
The project on the table in Godmanchester would see the implantation of ten 2.3-megawatt turbines with a rotor diameter of 92 meters within the municipality on the New Erin Road and the Rang 4. The turbines were designed specifically for sites with less wind, and it is the technological advancement in turbines that has rendered Godmanchester a viable location, despite the fact a project was abandoned several years ago due in part to insufficient wind.
Mr. Desgroseillers suggested that his project would follow the stricter standards outlined in the most recent version of the Haut-Saint-Laurent MRC’s modified interim control bylaw, regardless of the fact the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy recently rejected it. According to the current interim control bylaw, now being re-worked by the council of Mayors and the MRC, the 2.3 MW turbines would have to be installed at a minimum of 500 meters from the nearest residence, whereas M. Desgroseillers promises his turbines will be installed 900 meters from residences. The MRC is now considering a recent interim control bylaw approved by the government in the Haut-Richelieu that restricts wind turbines to 2,000 meters, or two kilometers from the nearest residence.

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