A group of landowners along the proposed transmission route for the 54-megawatt Loyalist Solar Project plans to visit Stone Mills Township council Monday.
Tracy Asselstine, one of the residents along the 17-kilometre route — which runs along Centreville Rd, County Rd. 27, Marlin’s Road, Edges Road, Murphy Road and Sheffield Bride Road — said the residents are pushing for transmission cables to be buried underground.
“As things stand now, we understand that part of the 17-kilometre route will be buried underground, in the road shoulder, mostly in front of people’s homes,” she said. “For the long stretches of road in between homes, the lines are to be put up on poles 52 feet above ground with six strands of wire.”
Asselstine said the route is planned on picturesque landscape with old-growth tree canopy.
“There will be thousands of trees cut if the lines are on poles,” she said. “There are also concerns for birds and wildlife as well as interference with the delivery of Internet service and a loss in property value.”
She acknowledged it would be more expensive for the project’s proponent Loyalist Solar LP ( a partnership between the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and BluEarth Renewables Inc. to bury cables, but said underground there’s less chance for weather damage to lines, minimal maintenance costs and less worry about decommissioning.
The landowners have been circulating a petition at businesses in Camden East, Newburgh, Tamworth and at Star’s Corners. Asselstine said the response thus far has been encouraging. An online petition at avaaz.org has also received 117 signatures. Both petitions will be brought to Monday’s 6:30 p.m. meeting.