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Wind company fined for environmental offences

DCN News Service
Wind company fined for environmental offences

CHATHAM-KENT, ONT.—A company that develops renewable energy projects has been fined $11,000 for two environmental offences, including failing to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) by installing a transformer substation.

Gesner Wind Energy Project operator, Saturn Power Inc., pleaded guilty to the two offences, which also included failing to submit an annual bird and bat monitoring report on time, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), explains a December 2015 release from Ontario’s ministry of the environment.

Operating from New Hamburg, Ont. the company works on renewable energy projects and also operates a wind energy project, the Gesner wind farm, in Muirkirk, Ont.

According to the ministry, the REA was issued for the Gesner wind farm, where, during construction, it was discovered that the project needed construction of a transformer substation, which the REA did not include approval for.

"Approval of a transformer substation is significant because of the potential for transformer substations to produce noise," explains a release. "The company constructed the substation without seeking an amendment to the REA."

The approval also requires the company to conduct a monitoring program to assess the impact of the turbines on birds and bats. Reports are to be provided to the ministry, but in this instance were not submitted on time.

On top of the $11,000 fine, there is a victim fine surcharge of $2,750. The company was given three months to pay the fine.

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