Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Public information meeting for innovative utility-scale landfill wind turbine project a success

There was a good turnout yesterday evening in Saskatoon to hear Kevin Hudson, P.Eng. and Rod Neufeld, P.Eng. discuss the proposed 2 MW utility-scale wind turbine project at the Saskatoon landfill. This innovative project in only one of a few projects in the world which will reclaim parts of a landfill to install a utility-scale wind turbine and generate clean energy. The project is proposed by the City of Saskatoon utility, Saskatoon Light & Power.

Residents of the residential community of Montgomery in the city of Saskatoon which borders on the existing landfill were in attendance and expressed common concerns relating to sound, shadow flicker and equipment failure. The turbine is proposed to be set back 700 meters from the nearest residence so problems with sound, shadow flicker or equipment failure are very minimal if existent at all. Residents of Montgomery seemed generally more concerned about the fact that the landfill itself was not being closed and other large projects such as a new bridge and freeway will also be constructed in their area in the future.

Personally, I was a bit disappointed as the residents of Montgomery failed to see the opportunity to capitalize on the new Green Energy Park which is proposed to include a number of renewable and/or low impact electrical generation facilities, including a Tall Wind Turbine, Landfill Gas Power Generation Facility, Turboexpander Power Generation Facility (in conjunction with SaskEnergy), and potential to add fuel cells, heat recovery and solar power generation in the future. Instead of being referred to as “the community next to the landfill”, Montgomery could become “the community next to the Green Energy Park” and could move towards incentivizing homeowners in the community to develop their own renewable generation projects on their homes and become a true low-emissions “green” residential community.

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