Saugeen Shores May Join Wind Coalition File Photo

Saugeen Shores council is going to take a look at joining a municipal coalition looking to restrict the operation of wind turbines.

Council has been approached by North Perth councillor Warren Howard regarding the coalition, which is hoping to create a bylaw that would place noise restrictions on wind turbines during overnight hours.

Howard says the coalition plans to craft the bylaw and then defend it in court, with hopes the courts will agree with their belief that municipalities have jurisdiction to create and enforce noise regulations on wind turbines.

He says it’s going to take about $300,000 in legal fees to create the bylaw and then go to court, so they are looking for as many municipalities and private donors as possible to share the costs.

Saugeen Shores Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau says he agrees with the method the coalition is taking regarding wind turbines, and will be tabling a resolution asking council to join the cause.

He says the Green Energy Act has made it clear that municipal governments can’t stop wind turbines from being built, but they can attempt to limit the negative impacts some people living near wind turbines have reported.

Saugeen Shores has only one industrial wind turbine within its boundary, the Unifor wind turbine in Port Elgin, which has more than 100 homes and cottages located within the 550-metre setback typically mandated for wind turbines.

So far, four municipalities have pledged to join the coalition,
including North Perth, Kincardine, Huron-Kinloss and Plympton-Wyoming.