Minto supports local solar projects

Council here will provide a resolution of support for a proposed solar project on former rail lands here.

Dennis German of London-based German Solar said the company is planning to submit FIT (Feed In Tariffs) 5.0 applications to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator for five small scale ground-mounted solar projects in Minto rural areas of Minto.

As part of the application process, priority points are awarded to those applications with municipal council support and German asked Minto council at the Nov. 1 meeting to provide documents indicating the town’s support.

Councillor Ron Elliott asked if there would be any danger to the public posed by the solar panels. German replied there would be security fencing around the panels, although there is no danger of electrocutions from simply touching the panels.

Minto resident Bill Sinclair, who lives near one of the proposed locations, asked how close to residences the panels could be.

German’s presentation stated that if he receives a contract offer there is a public process involved before panels can be installed.

Minto CAO Bill White pointed out in a staff report that supporting the project does not impact the town’s position on other proposed energy projects in the municipality.

“In 2013  the town opposed an  application for a  10MW $40 million solar farm on  6396 16th Line … It was  these large renewable projects that were suspended by the province (on) Sept. 26, 2016,” the report explains.

“Passing the municipal support resolution would not affect the town’s concerns about a 10MW solar farm where it to be proposed again. The Town is still on record as not a willing host for industrial wind turbines; passing the municipal support resolution under FIT 5.0  does not impact on this position.”

Council supported a staff recommendation to provide the resolutions of support as required for the five projects proposed by German Solar.