Council rescinds approval of solar projects
By Chad Ingram
Minden Hills council has rescinded approval for 11 solar power projects given a support resolution by the township’s previous council.
During their Oct. 8 meeting, councillors were visited by Vlad Glebov of Green Life Power.
As Glebov explained, he was not seeking a new support resolution, as the previous council had granted a support resolution for 11 micro-FIT (feed-in-tariff) projects in the township in August of 2014.
That support was for projects of up to 500,000 kW on properties of up to five acres, for which the company had arranged lease agreements with landowners.
None of the proposed projects had changed, but, as Glebov explained, the company was seeking confirmation from council that the resolution had not been rescinded, something it needed to do for the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator in order to apply for funding.
“Given this council’s concerns with respect to solar, this report was prepared,” said planning administrator Ian Clendening.
Clendening’s report provided council with three options: to grant the company the support it was looking for; to require it to provide notice to adjacent landowners and give them sufficient time to provide feedback; or to rescind support altogether.
“At the time, we did not have a staff-directed policy having the applicant notify abutting landowners,” said Clendening. “Really, it’s a question of what council feels comfortable with.”
Minden Hills council has refused to grant support resolutions to number of proposed solar projects in recent months, citing, among other concerns, the number of applications coming forward.
Councillor Jeanne Anthon has said she would like to see some kind of standard evaluation framework for Haliburton County’s four lower-tier townships established at the county level.
“Certainly, we’ve seen many of these proposals before, and I think we need to be consistent in how we approach them,” said Reeve Brent Devolin.
Devolin said he favoured rescinding the support resolution and was hoping the province would be making changes to the FIT approval process in the next round of the program.
Councillor agreed, the motion to rescind passing unanimously.