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Migratory birds defeat Chaplin windpower project


September 19, 2016
By Anthony Capkun


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September 19, 2016 – Due primarily to a concern relating to migratory bird activity in the area, Saskatchewan’s Environment Minister Scott Moe announced a windpower project planned by Algonquin Power near Chaplin will not be approved for its proposed location.

“The government will continue to move forward with green energy, with a goal of 50% of power generation from renewable energy sources by 2030,” Moe said. “Ultimately, there were potential negative impacts to birds and migratory corridors, as well as other risks, that led us to conclude this is not an appropriate location…”

The ministry reports it received 137 responses during the public review process in 2015; all but one supported wind energy, but expressed concern over the development’s specific location.

Algonquin Power had proposed to build the 177MW windpower facility on behalf of SaskPower. It would have included a maximum of 79 wind turbines, about 50-70 km of access roads, and 110 km of trenched transmission lines.

This was the first wind electricity project to undergo an environmental impact assessment, says the ministry. Moe added the experience gained during this review and consultation was invaluable in the development of new siting guidelines for future wind and other renewable energy generation projects.

Chaplin is located along the TransCanada Highway about 90 km west of Moose Jaw.