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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wind Farm vs. Wind Farm in Alberta

The Alberta Court of Appeal has refused to grant leave to a wind farm developer to appeal a decision of the Pincher Creek Subdivision and Development Appeal Board made in favour of a competitor.  Heritage Wind Farm Development Inc. wanted to challenge development permits granted to Oldman 2 Wind Farm Ltd.  The Municipal District of Pincher Creek had allowed a land use by-law variance for several of Oldman's proposed wind turbines on the basis that the development would not "unduly interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood" or, "materially interfere with or affect the use, enjoyment or value of neighbouring parcels of land".  Heritage had plans to install its own wind farm on properties adjacent to the Oldman properties. 

Heritage submitted to the Board a report by Garrad Hassan Canada Inc. (Report). The Report identified two possible adverse effects on Heritage from the proximity of OM2's turbines to adjoining land Heritage leased for the purposes of its own wind farm: the proximity could cause increased fatigue loads and mechanical wear to the Heritage’s turbines and reduce their energy generating capacity. The Board’s minutes outlined the extensive evidence it heard, noting that OM2's decision about where to place its turbines was affected by many matters, including the location of raptor nests and irrigation pivots.

After hearing the arguments made by Heritage, the Court of Appeal found that the test for leave to appeal the Board's decision had not been met.  Leave could be granted on a question of law or jurisdiction if it was of sufficient importance and if the proposed appeal had a reasonable chance of success. 



Read the decision at: Heritage Wind Farm v. Pincher Creek.