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wpd transmission line planned for underground

wpd questions

Jason Alford, community liaison representative, wpd Canada, chats with visitors at the open house

Jason Alford, community liaison representative, wpd Canada, chats with visitors at the open house

At an open house Monday, wpd Canada shared a map and some information on a transmission line to carry electricity produced by turbines for the White Pines wind project.

wpd told residents the plan is for the line to be buried underground – along the municipal right of way – except for two bridge crossings, where the line is to be placed in conduits along the exterior of the structure.

This project, notes wpd’s Kevin Surette, should not be confused with the Ostrander Point project where some citizens are being contacted by Hydro to discuss placement of poles on their properties.

“We do know that Hydro One is doing some work in the area to upgrade the systems to accommodate the Ostrander Point project but that is completely unrelated to the White Pines project,” he said.

wpd's Kevin Surette chats with a visitor to the wpd interconnection line open house

wpd’s Kevin Surette chats with a visitor to the wpd interconnection line open house

The 28km line will begin at a transformer substation to be built off Royal Road, east of Dainard Road, to a second substation to be built near the Picton Transformer Station on County Road 5.  Subject to confirmation through detailed design, the majority of the line is to be installed underground, except at the bridge along Crowes Rd, north of Scott’s Mill and along the bridge over the Mill Pond. Click here for full document and maps.

“We want the transmission line to be underground within road allowances,” said Ian MacRae, president of wpd Canada. “We are currently working with the municipality, but we understand it is their desire to see the line buried as well.”

He noted that although the cost to bury the transmission line is higher than placing the line on poles above ground, maintenance costs over the life of the project for a buried line are significantly less. The buried transmission line will be insulated with XLPE, a hard plastic.

In addition to the REA approval, wpd will be required to seek approval of the transmission line proposal through a Leave To Construct application with the Ontario Energy Board. If permitted to proceed, wpd anticipates work would begin sometime in the summer of 2014.

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) condemns wpd’s open house for setting a new low in public consultation.

“The developer provided little solid information other than the route of the 29-km transmission line from the White Pines wind power project to the Elmbrook electrical substation,” said Henri Garand, chairperson. “A chart on display included an important disclaimer on the proposed construction plans: Subject to confirmation during detailed design, the intention is to install the majority of the Interconnection Line underground within the road right-of-way.

“In consequence, the open house and wpd spokespersons, including Canadian president Ian MacCrae and Paul Deol, from the German parent company, did not satisfactorily answer the APPEC board’s questions and would give no firm commitment on underground installation.”

Garand said County citizens are unable to comment fully on the project because there are no geological and hydrological studies, no detailed pre-construction feasibility study, no confirmation of road allowances or alternatives along forced roads like Maypul Layn; no complete impact assessments on heritage properties along the route and no visual impact analysis of above-ground installation should it prove necessary.”

“The event was simply a show and tell without real substance, as hollow as it was premature,” said Gord Gibbins, APPEC president. “It served no purpose except wpd’s feigned compliance with Ministry of Environment regulations.”

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