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Skydive Burnaby’s appeal of Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc.’s plans to erect two wind turbines on Station Rd. has been dismissed by Ontario’s environmental review tribunal.
Mike and Tara Pitt filed their appeal in October 2013 over concerns their business established in 1948 and its skydiving clients would be at risk by the towers to be built 1.5 kilometres west of Skydive Burnaby on land owned by the Loeffen family, a partner in the wind energy company with Rankin Construction.
On Wednesday, tribunal vice-chair Dirk VanderBent handed down his decision.
He said the appellants did not provide sufficient evidence to suggest its skydivers will be seriously harmed by collision with the two wind turbines or interaction with their turbulence wakes.
Tara Pitt said Thursday morning that Skydive Burnaby had no comment to make at this time.
Tom Rankin said he and his stakeholders are “very happy” with the tribunal decision.
“I think it’s a pretty comprehensive document,” he said of the 87-page decision [see attachment at left column of page] that now clears the way for Wainfleet Wind Energy to complete its five-turbine project for which three towers have been erected off Concession 1.
Those three will be brought online when the other two are finished, likely within six weeks, he said.
Rankin said he stands behind his wind-energy project as a necessity to counter climate change.
“We’ve won three lawsuits now and two hearings,” he said.
“I’m proud of what I’m doing and I won’t back off.
“I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Greg Furminger – May 15, 2014 – St. Catharine’s Standard
Wainfleet Wind Energy’s five turbines working in tandem are estimated to generate 26 million kWh of power annually, enough electricity to for 2,500 homes and representing a greenhouse gas reduction of about 14,000 tonnes a year. Each Vestas V100-1.8MW turbine owned by Wainfleet Wind Energy stands 95 metres tall, with a blade diameter slightly larger at 100 metres.
Among controversy surrounding the Wainfleet project was township council’s decision last December to apply $40,000 in taxpayer money toward Skydive Burnaby’s legal bills for its appeal.
That decision was ultimately rescinded in January following public backlash and on the advice of the municipality’s legal counsel.
The tribunal decision handed down Wednesday followed three weeks of hearings over January and February and subsequent conference calls with involved parties in March and April.
Skydive Burnaby turbines appeal dismissed | St. Catharines Standard.