Committee to study merits of roof-mounted wind turbines

A city committee will look at whether roof-mounted wind turbines should be encouraged.

A city committee will look at whether roof-mounted wind turbines should be encouraged.

There has been growing interest in harnessing the wind to produce electricity. However, the city’s existing land use bylaws do not allow for wind turbines as a permitted or a discretionary use.

To determine whether it’s worthwhile changing the land use bylaw to create a set of regulations for wind turbines, Parkland Community Planning Services wants to undertake a pilot project to look at the latest wind technologies.

The municipal planning commission voted unanimously to endorse the idea, and planners will now form a steering committee to research roof-mounted wind turbines.

Planner Tara Lodewyk said they want to test a turbine in a residential area and at another site in a commercial or industrial area. A partnership with a wind turbine supplier will be sought and potential locations for a test run narrowed down. A budget will be drawn up and taken to city council, which must give the pilot project final approval before it can go ahead.

Lodewyk said part of the project will involve sifting through the often-conflicting information on the impacts of wind turbines. Some say they pose a threat to birds and bats; others say there is no problem. Opinions differ on how much noise they create as well.

“It’s really inconclusive — the information that’s out there.”

If given the green light, the steering committee hopes to have wind turbines in place long enough to see how they perform during all four seasons. At the end of the study period, a report will be prepared with recommendations on whether bylaws should be changed to allow the turbines.

Lodewyk said if approved by council, the project will be used to determine if there will be operational concerns, such as vibration in the building below. Planners will also gather public input on the appearance of the turbines, gauge support while at the same time educating people on wind power potential.

Commission member Doug Janssen wanted to see more “hard costs” for wind-powered systems laid out for residents to give them a sense of whether turbines are worth pursuing.

Paul Goranson, the city’s Development Services director, said it can be expected that people will ask if wind power is economically viable as a power source. “Right now, the answer is no.”

Commission member and city manager Craig Curtis said he also wants planners to look into the potential for pole-mounted wind turbines in industrial areas.

Turbines mounted on poles 10 to 20 metres are more common and have been allowed in industrial areas in some municipalities. Laebon Homes has received Red Deer County approval to install a 10-kilowatt turbine on a 12-metre pole next to its head office in Burnt Lake Industrial Park.

Curtis does not expect it to take as much work or require a year-long pilot project to review the feasibility of industrial park turbines.

The steering committee is expected to bring a proposal for council approval in time for budget deliberations early next year.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Photos: Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month