Advertisement

Alberta Utilities Commission seeks public feedback on Lomond wind project

Click to play video: 'Lomond wind project awaits Alberta Utilities Commission approval' Lomond wind project awaits Alberta Utilities Commission approval
The Buffalo Plains Wind Project in Lomond, Alta., is in a new phase of planning and now awaits public consultation and approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission. As Emily Olsen reports, the project would be the largest of its kind approved in Canada – Feb 2, 2021

The Buffalo Plains Wind Project in Lomond, Alta., is in a new phase of planning and now awaits public consultation and approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).

A number of people in the Lomond area have spoken up about concerns with the proposed project in the last year. Some have created Facebook groups to share research on possible negative impacts.

Read more: Proposed wind farm prompts concern from residents of Lomond, Alta

“Controversy around applications that we are considering is not a new thing for the Alberta Utilities Commission,” AUC spokesperson Geoff Scotton said Tuesday.

“At the same time, we have a role as a provincial regulator to examine those applications and — using a public interest lens — determine whether or not the project is in the public interest of the province of Alberta, bearing in mind legislation.”

Story continues below advertisement

Scotton says the AUC is interested in hearing concerns like these as part of its community feedback process this month.

“[The process is in place] to ensure that everyone has a chance to have input, but also that that input has an opportunity for opposing parties to examine it,” Scotton explained.

An information session and Q&A will be offered on Feb. 16 and 17. Feedback will then be accepted until Feb. 24.

Read more: HALO participates in collaborative wind farm rescue exercise in southern Alberta

A statement from the company ABO Wind on the proposed project said in part:

“…If approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission, the project will represent more than $500 million investment and demonstrates Alberta’s continued attractiveness to international companies.

“The project will create more than 300 jobs during construction and approximately 15 long-term maintenance jobs during operation and contribute several million dollars in annual property tax payments to Vulcan County…”

Story continues below advertisement

ABO Wind says it’s the largest single-phase wind project proposed in Canada and would offset more than 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to removing more than 130,000 passenger vehicles.

Read more: Southern Alberta witnessing ‘unprecedented’ surge in renewable energy projects

ABO Wind expects to receive a response from the AUC by this summer.

If approved, ABO Wind officials hope to start construction in 2022 and be fully operational by the end of 2023.

Sponsored content