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1 Flesherton Solar Park May 4th Project Description Report 2011 Draft Local Flesherton Solar Park is a 500 kW ground mount project that is attempting to develop electricity for the local community, while minimizing negative production, impact to its environment. for local customers! 2 Table of Contents 1.0 BACKGROUND 1.1 Ownership and Legal Description 1.11 Flesherton Solar Park Limited Partnership 1.2 Benefits of Flesherton Solar Park 1.3 Economic Benefits 1.4 Flesherton Solar Park Strategy 2.0 GENERAL INFORMATION 2.1 Contacts 2.2 Authorizations required 3.0 ENERGY SOURCE 3. 1 How do photovoltaic tiles work? 4.0 FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY 4.1 Facilities 4.2 1 installation Equipment 4.22 Operations Technology and Equipment 4.221 Solar Panels 4.222 Inverters 4.223 Racking 4.3 System Specifications 5.0 CLASS AND NAME PLATE CAPACITY 6.0 ACTIVITIES 6.1 Access Road Construction 6.2 Site Preparation 6.3 Installation of support structures 6.4 Underground cable installation 6.5 Distribution Line Erection 6.6 Site Security 6.7 Operations 6.8 Maintenance and Inspection 6.9 Decommissioning 7.0 Description of Environmental Effects 7.1 Project Site Description 7.2 Preliminary Records Review 7.3Potential Environment Constraints 7.31 Natural Environment 7.32 Social Environnent Local production for local customers! 3 7.33 Environment components 8.0 MAPS 8.1 Site location 8.2 Soil Map 8.3 Environmental Map 8.4 Project Preliminary layout 8.5 Project setbacks map 8.6 Solar Park Photo log 9.0 Appendix 9.1 Photovoltaic Module Specifications 9.2 Inverter specification 9.3 Tracker specification 10.0 Preliminary Construction Plan Local production for local customers! 4 1.0 Background In October 2009, the Government of Ontario passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act with the express purpose of creating renewable energy in the province. The act promoted a feed-in tariff program that was modelled on a successfully implemented program in Germany. The government, through the Ontario Power Authority, instituted a program of purchasing power from the private sector at various levels, depending on energy source (wind, solar, biogas), as well as project size and/or project type. The incentives for generating energy currently can be considered lucrative and have successfully “jumpstarted” the green energy industry in Ontario. The program includes Ontario content rules, though contested by foreign organizations as being a means of unfair trade practices, which have created jobs and investment in the industry throughout the province. Some estimates put the number of jobs created as high as 50,000. The program has its detractors, both energy source specific (not wanting wind farms in my backyard) and general (lack of municipal authority to stop or control green energy development). The incentives offered to the private sector to produce electricity also have drawn comment. Press coverage has been mixed in respect to the program’s implementation: Solar feed-in-tariff reductions in July 2010 Local hydro distribution companies failing to meet demand for connection and transmission of energy produced Although the program has been overwhelmingly successful in generating private-sector energy projects, implementation has been met with some key roadblocks: An antiquated hydro grid cannot handle transmission of produced electricity from point of production to end customers. Distribution availability tests and connection impact assessments have delayed projects. Particularly, large projects that have significant Local production for local customers! 5 distance to transformer stations have been delayed by the technical limitations of the grid; The domestic financial community has been slow to respond to the funding of projects; And the limited supply of Ontario content approved equipment has hampered installations. Fortunately, domestic supply is quickly improving. At present, the ability to implement projects has been limited by infrastructure bottlenecks, which include lack of connection capabilities to the hydro grid, as well as lack of transmission capacity to bring the produced electricity to end users. 1.1 Ownership and legal description The Flesherton Solar Park Limited Partnership will develop and own the project in partnership with Solar Utility Network Inc. The land is controlled by Flesherton Solar Park through a 20-year lease agreement between Flesherton Solar Park and Nancy and David Petch, with options to extend the lease for an additional 30 years. The legal description of the property is as follows: Parts of lots 145 and 146 concession 1. Part of lot 145 concession 1 All of lot 34 concession 1 Grey highlands, Ontario 1.11Flesherton Solar Park Limited Partnership Flesherton Solar Park Limited Partnership is a single purpose partnership, whose mission is to develop, build and operate a 500 kW solar park for the benefit of the Village of Flesherton. 1. 2 Benefits of Flesherton Solar Park The benefits of Flesherton Solar Park are as follows: o Offers the traditional benefits of a solar green energy installation : o A decrease in the amount of local air pollution when compared with traditional forms of energy production; o No emission of carbon dioxide, reducing global greenhouse gases; o Quiet, clean, low-maintenance generation. Local production for local customers! 6 o Provides a level of energy that can be connected to the grid with limited strain because the Flesherton Solar Park takes advantage of the three-phase transmission that borders the property ; o Strategically located to end users such as residents of the Village of Flesherton and the water treatment plant adjacent to the project property; o Project uses land that is currently underutilized due to poor soil conditions for farming; o The location is unobtrusive to the community’s scenic but remains close to residents for maximum energy benefit; o Use of tracker technology and the project’s overall size offer a relatively small footprint requirement for installation; o The project is small enough that it will not present a high risk of creating a long feed-in problem for the grid; o Tracker technology offers energy production maximization from the area’s relatively heavy snowfall; o Tracker technology minimizes the amount of groundcover required to create a 500 kW solar park; o Installation can be completed with relatively little disturbance to the community due to the project’s location; o Tracker technology, which uses a ballast system for implementation, offers the opportunity to have a clean and simple decommissioning execution. 1.3 Economic Benefits The Flesherton Solar Park has many economic benefits to the community: o Ground mounted project is a cost effective ( 44 cents )means for energy production in the context of other solar projects ( micro fit ground mount, 64 cents; micro fit roof mount, 80 cents; or commercial rooftop, 71 cents); o Project will use local installation crews and electricians; o Project supplies (concrete etc.) will be sourced locally; o Project servicing will be done by the local community; o Local production for local use -- the project is not expected to pose significant connection or transmission demands on the grid; Local production for local customers! 7 o Primary limited partners are from the community. 1.4 Flesherton Solar Park Project strategy Flesherton Solar Park strategy is based upon these principles: o Develop a solar park that is limited in size to minimize the negative impact on the total ecosystem where it resides. This would include the current capabilities of the grid, as well as the community of Flesherton. o Park is to be situated close to end users to minimize transmission requirements of the Ontario hydro grid; o Use land that is classified 4-7 with minimal agricultural value; o Focus on ground mount projects with state of the art light sensitive tracking systems to maximize effectiveness and effectively deal with the area’s heavy snowfall; o Use light sensitive tracking technology to maximize electricity production yield per acre and per solar panel; o Minimize the project’s environmental impact. Rationale: o Small-scale projects, such as Flesherton Solar Park, can be located closer to transformer stations with capacity and limit “long feeder” transmission issues; o Total space requirements (about 15 acres) diminishes space requirements versus similar fixed ground mount projects (50 % more land covered by solar panels); o Trackers with ballast engineering can be effectively and efficiently dismantled at the end of the park’s economic life, with minimal long-term environmental impact; o The Ontario Power Authority currently offers a 44-cent rate per kW hour produced on ground mount installations, which is the most cost effective rate among the solar energy categories. The cost effectiveness of the Flesherton Solar Park reduces the financial burden to the taxpayer compared to more expensive forms of solar energy production, such as commercial rooftop (currently 71 cents) or micro-fit installations (64 or 80 cents); o Small green energy projects create less demand on the grid and are a good fit to the local markets they serve. Local production for local customers! 8 2.0 General Information The name of the proposed project is Flesherton Solar Park. The project is located at the north end of the Village of Flesherton in the municipality of Grey Highlands. The leased property is vacant. There are no buildings, structures (houses, barns, etc.) or installations of any kind on the leased property that would interfere with the proposed use. The wooded area has minimal impact on the proposed site location. 2.1 Contacts The following is the contact information for both the applicant and the consultant representing the applicant for the prospective solar park: Applicant Name: Flesherton Solar Park Inc. Applicant Address: 12 Kingsgarden Rd., Toronto, Ontario M8X 1S6 Applicant Phone No.: 647 988 4024 Applicant E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 2.2 Authorizations required Permits and licences and authorization such as those listed below, in addition to the renewable energy approvals (REA), may be required for the project to proceed: As a ground mount project, tracker installation does not require a building permit but a building permit may be needed for construction of a utility shed or temporary site offices. Federal involvement is not anticipated with this project 3.0 Energy Source A 500 KW Solar Photo voltaic system will be used to produce electricity 3.1 The basics of solar power Solar power is probably the cleanest and most viable form of renewable energy available. It can be used in several forms to help power everything from your home to a city’s parking meters. Many gardens are now enhanced by solar lights or water features. The availability and wide use of solar power demonstrates its versatility as a source of energy. The technology and the systems behind solar power are becoming more compact and more efficient. Early examples of Local production for local customers! 9 solar power systems can be seen in California where, in the 1980s, enough solar power panels were installed to power over 10 million homes. 3.2 How do photovoltaic tiles work? Photovoltaic tiles and other forms of solar energy work by converting energy in sunlight into a clean form of electricity. The PV cells consist of positive and negative slices of silicon placed under thin glass. As they beat down onto the PV cell, the protons in the sunlight knock the neutrons off the silicon. The negatively charged free neutrons are attracted to the silicon but are trapped by a magnetic field. These neutrons are caught by small wires on the silicon and, when connected in a circuit, form an electric current. This reaction produces direct current electricity, which must be passed through an inverter to be converted into an alternating current that can be used in our homes to power electrical devices. Some power is lost in this process because the inverter is only about 95% efficient, but that represents a much greater efficiency than what was once available. The nature of the PV cell means there are no moving parts and little or no maintenance required. This means that a typical PV cell can last up to 40 years with no work besides an annual cleaning. The energy source that will be used at the Flesherton Solar Park to generate electricity will be solar photovoltaic. 4.0 Facilities, Equipment and Technology The proposed project is a renewable energy generation facility that will use solar photovoltaic technology. Electricity generated by solar photovoltaic panels will be converted from DC to AC by an inverter and subsequently stepped up to 44kV prior to being connected to the distribution line. To meet the Ontario Power Authority feed-in tariff program requirements, a specific percentage of equipment will be manufactured in Ontario. At this time, a final determination of solar module, including make, model size, dimensions and number, has not been made. However, representative specifications are included in this document Local production for local customers! 10 4.1 Facilities The facility requirements for the project are as follows: Utility shed to house central inverters and monitoring equipment (to be confirmed); A utility access road may be required on the property. Gravel located onsite will be used to build the road; A permanent fence will be constructed around the facility; A temporary storage facility may be required on site, however, a permanent storage facility may be available at the time of construction; Temporary office space during construction; Temporary lay-down areas used for construction purposes. 4.2 Equipment The equipment requirements for the project can be categorized in two groups: installation and operations and technology. 4.21 Installation equipment Bulldozer for utility access road preparation; Backhoe for site preparation for trackers, specifically to remove organic matter at the tracker site and dig trenches for electrical conduit; Dump truck for movement of gravel from onsite supply; Zoom boom truck to place tracker array in position and to off load equipment from delivery truck; Tractor to off load equipment and perform final excavation onsite; Compactors for the Array foundations; Mobile man lifts to install the solar panels; Transportation trucks for equipment and supplies delivery, and waste removal; Post-hole digger for fence installation. Local production for local customers! 11 4.22 Operations Equipment and Technology Specifications for modules, trackers, inverters and transformers are included in section 9 Please note that these are example specifications only and are subject to change. Other components that will be used at the solar facility may include, but are not limited to, the following: Light sensitive dual axis trackers; Solar panels; Inverters; Metering equipment; Distribution lines to point of common coupling (PCC) with the local distribution company (LDC); Monitoring equipment; Wiring for AC/DC systems; Transformer. However, the Flesherton Solar Park will require three fundamental technologies in executing against its feed-in tariff contract: Solar panels Inverters Racking systems A brief description of the fundamental technologies is included in this report. 4.221 Solar Panels Solar photovoltaic cells are energy-producing units that convert light from the sun into electricity. Solar panels comprise many photovoltaic cells. They are manufactured for alternative energy solutions in just about any modern industry. The efficiency of a solar cell is the best tool for evaluating the quality of a solar panel. Solar cell efficiency overall is a Local production for local customers! 12 measurement of conversion power as a percentage of light energy taken in from the sun. Typically, a mass produced solar panel is rated between 15% to 20%. Critical success factors in selecting a solar panel for the park are: Efficiency of the panels; Do they have Ontario content as required by the feed-in tariff contract? (At least 10 % content must be fulfilled through the panels to meet the content rules.) Can they be sourced in sufficient quantity in a timely manner so that the feed-in tariff contract can be fulfilled? Which panel matches the greatest efficiency with the lowest price? 4.222 Inverters An inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC); the converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits. An inverter produces a nearly perfect sine wave output (<3% total harmonic distortion) that is essentially the same as utility-supplied grid power, thus making it compatible with all AC electronic devices and the grid. The electrical inverter is a high-power electronic oscillator. They were so named because early mechanical AC to DC converters were made to work in reverse, and thus were "inverted" to convert DC to AC. Inverter Options Micro inverter (one inverter per solar panel); Local string inverter (name plate rated 10 kW); Centralize inverter ( large system inverter i.e. 100 kW ) Critical success factors in selecting an inverter for the park are: The efficiency of the inverter; Local production for local customers! 13 Reliability of the inverter; Installation costs; Meets Ontario content requirements. Currently, the local string inverter and the centralized large inverter are under active consideration and awaiting the electrical engineering recommendation. 4.223 Racking Systems Solar racking systems are the key element in efficiently and effectively maximizing yield. Four fundamental options exist for a solar park: Fixed ground mount Single axis tracking Dual axis tracking Fixed Ground Mount Racking Simplest form of racking as the direction of the tracker is fixed both in direction and angle to the sun. This type of racking, while easiest to implement, has the lowest yields because it reacts neither to the direction of light throughout the day nor to the changing seasons. Single Axis Tracking This form of tracking will change the angle of the system, either on the horizontal axis (change of sun due to seasons) or the vertical axis (change of sun due to time of day). Greater productivity is achieved along the vertical axis but requires a dynamic system to move throughout the day. Typically, the single axis tracker is used for the horizontal axis as a system to accommodate sun position changes due to seasonal variability. Dual Axis Dual axis trackers have two degrees of freedom that act as axes of rotation. These axes are typically normal to one another. The axis that is fixed with respect to the ground can be Local production for local customers! 14 considered a primary axis. The axis that is referenced to the primary axis can be considered a secondary axis. There are several common implementations of dual axis trackers. They are classified by the orientation of their primary axis with respect to the ground. Two common implementations are tip -tilt trackers and azimuth-altitude trackers. The orientation of the module with respect to the tracker axis is important when modelling performance. Dual axis trackers typically have modules oriented parallel to the secondary axis of rotation. Dual axis trackers are typically used in smaller residential installations and locations with very high government feed-in tariffs. Light Sensitive Dual Axis Trackers Active trackers use motors and gear trains to direct the mechanism as commanded by a controller responding to the solar direction. To control and manage the movement of these structures, special slewing drives are designed and rigorously tested. Light-sensing trackers typically have two photo sensors, such as photodiodes, configured differentially so that they output a null when receiving the same light flux. Mechanically, they should be omni-directional (i.e. flat) and aimed 90 degrees apart. This will cause the steepest part of their cosine transfer functions to balance at the steepest part, which translates into maximum sensitivity. Since they consume energy, motors are used only when necessary. So, instead of a continuous motion, the heliostat is moved in discrete steps. Also, if the light is below some threshold there would not be enough power generated to warrant reorientation. This is also true when there is not enough difference in light level from one direction to another, such as when clouds are Local production for local customers! 15 passing overhead. Consideration must be made to keep the tracker from wasting energy during cloudy periods. Critical success factors in selecting a tracking system for the park are: Solar panel costs: Land costs and constraints; Latitude of the installation; Local weather (snow and wind); Meets Ontario content requirements Recommendation and rationale The recommended strategy for the Flesherton Solar Park is to use a light sensitive dual axis active tracker, specifically the Deger 9000 Nt. (see appendix for specifications). Rationale The active tracker (Deger 9000Nt) maximizes the yield of energy in an environment where light source is very dynamic during seasonal and daily change, as well as impacted by dynamic cloud cover; Relativity high snowfall increases output with a dynamic system because the tracker is effective in capturing light from the snow. A fixed system misses this opportunity; Snow security dump systems are effective in clearing snow cover on the panels during the winter months, which can be heavy for snowfall in Flesherton; Incremental revenue gain more than offsets the incremental service costs of maintenance; Trackers, because of their construction, can make decommission relatively simple. Detailed specifications pertaining to the facility, equipment and technology cannot be finalized in the early stages of the project development due to technical and market restrictions. Further investigations Local production for local customers! 16 are ongoing and this information and will be documented in the final project description report and the final REA application submission. 4.3 System Specifications Sample technology specifications are located in section 9. Please note that these specifications have been included in this project description report as an example only. Make, model nameplate capacity, size and dimensions, and exact number of modules will vary based on system optimization with site evaluation and equipment availability in mind. Further onsite, technical and market investigations are planned to adequately determine this information in detail. Exact specifications will be included in the final project description report and reporting structure as required by REA. Due to the nature of the Ontario climate, the final facility design will take into account wind and snow loading issues that would inevitably arise. The final design will follow the Ontario Building Code 2006 Supplementary Standard SB-1 and final evaluation will be conducted and completed by a Structural licensed professional engineer, as required. As well, the respective municipalities will be contacted and informed of any construction related activities and permitting requirements. 5.0 Class and Nameplate Capacity The capacity of the solar park is determined by the nameplate of the solar panels or the Inverters, whichever is the lesser of the two. For example, the park could have 550 kW of panels and 500 kW of inverter capacity and still be deemed a 500 kW solar generation facility. The limitations of park size is strictly determined by equipment and not by the amount of electricity produced. A Class 3 solar facility is one with a nameplate capacity of greater than 10 kW located in any location, excluding roof or wall mounted solar systems. The table below is adapted from O. Reg. 359/09 and demonstrates the different classes of solar facilities. Table 1. Solar Facility Classes (Adapted from the Environmental Protection Act, 2009) Class of Solar Facility Location of PV Collector Panel or Devices Name Plate Capacity (kW) Class 1 At any location ≤ 10 Local production for local customers! 17 Class 2 Mounted on the roof or wall of a building > 10 Class 3 At any location other than mounted on a > 10 roof or wall of a building The Flesherton Solar Park is a ground mounted solar facility and has an intended nameplate capacity of 500kW, making it a Class 3 solar facility. 6.0 Activities The activities involved in the construction, operation and decommissioning phases of the project are outlined in the following sections. It is expected that the time for construction is 2 to 3 months, depending on time of year and various other factors. Prior to access road construction and site preparation, the area will be surveyed to locate any buried utilities or infrastructure. 6.1 Access Road Construction The existing access driveway on the property will be used to allow transport of equipment to the project site. If necessary, vegetation will be cleared, and topsoil removed prior to placement of a granular road base. A one-lane, 5-metre wide access road will be constructed for the transportation of equipment to the site. The minimum thickness of the access road granular base and top course material will be at least 30 centimetres. Ditches and culverts will be constructed, as necessary, to maintain site drainage. If needed, erosion and sedimentation control measures (e.g., silt fence barriers, rock flow check dams, etc.) will be installed. If temporary access roads are to be removed following completion of construction, topsoil will be replaced. 6.2 Site Preparation Minimal trees and large standing vegetation will be cleared from areas where the photovoltaic arrays will be constructed. Top soil will be removed only from the area where the base of the solar tracking unity will be located. Gravel will be placed at the specific location, tampered before the units are constructed. Cleared vegetation, along with any removed topsoil, will be stockpiled adjacent to the access road(s). Locations of topsoil, timber and vegetation stockpiles will not be within 30 metres of a water body. If necessary, erosion and sedimentation control measures will be installed. Local production for local customers! 18 6.3 Installation of Support Structures Foundations and/or support structures will be required beneath transformers, inverters and solar trackers. Detailed engineering for the design of the foundations and support structures are to be completed. However, it is expected that the pads for the transformers, inverters and solar trackers will be concrete slab on grade. 6.4 Underground Cable Installation AC and DC wiring will run along the structural supports of the photovoltaic arrays. A network of underground cabling will be required at the termination point of the photovoltaic arrays to centrally located inverters, which then will convert the electricity to AC. AC power will be provided from the grid to power the array controls. A simple trenching device will be used to install the cables, whereby a trench is opened, the cable laid, and the soil replaced. 6.5 Distribution Line Erection An underground distribution line will be constructed to transport electricity from the inverters to the transformer, which will step up the voltage. A distribution connection from the transformer will be erected to transport the generated power from the Project to the 44-kV connection point. The connection point and feeder line are owned by Hydro One Networks Inc. (HONI), which is the local distribution company. The distribution line from the project to the connection point will be along municipal road right-of-ways. New wooden poles (or existing poles) will be used. 6.6 Site Security The project will be gated and fenced, with additional security measures installed as deemed necessary by Flesherton Solar Park. This may include security cameras and motion sensor flood lighting. 6.7 Operation The project will operate year round and generate electricity during daylight hours. The amount of power generated will depend on daily weather conditions and sufficient sunshine. The project will be operated remotely and, therefore, no employees will be on site, with the exception of maintenance and inspections. Local production for local customers! 19 6.8 Maintenance and Inspection The project will be scheduled for maintenance every 2 to 3 months. Typically, maintenance includes checking the structures and interconnections and cleaning the photovoltaic panels. It is anticipated that the panels will be washed twice a year using on-site water with no cleaning solutions. All maintenance materials (e.g., hydraulic fluids) will be brought to the site as required so no on-site storage will be necessary. The project also will be remote monitored to make sure the system performs at an optimal level with the systems parameters. 6.9 Decommissioning A 35- to 40-year lifespan is typically anticipated for the project. At that time (or earlier if the power purchase agreements are not extended), the project will be decommissioned or refurbished, depending on market conditions and/or technological changes. If the decision is to discontinue renewable energy generation, the process of decommissioning the Project would involve the following: • Removal of the scrap metal and cabling. Where possible, these materials will be recycled, with non-recyclables taken to an approved disposal site; • Removal of support structures and foundations unless the landowner requests otherwise. These materials will be recycled where possible; • Site cleanup and regrading to original contours and, if necessary, restoration of surface drainage swales and ditches; • Planting of leguminous crops and/or other native vegetation as appropriate to provide a rapid return of nutrients and soil structure; • And removal of the access road unless the landowner requests otherwise. 7.0 Description of Environmental Effects This section presents the results of a preliminary assessment of the potential negative environmental effects that may result from the project. The purpose of the assessment is to establish a preliminary identification of those critical aspects of the environment that: Local production for local customers! 20 (i) May pose a development constraint to the project (e.g., significant natural heritage feature that requires protection or preservation); (ii) May require a detailed environmental impact study (EIS) (e.g., for potential project development of lands adjacent to a significant natural heritage feature); (iii) And/ or may require specific public, agency or aboriginal input and information specific to the planning and assessing of the project. It is important to note that, at this initial stage in the renewal energy approvals process, the assessment of potential negative environmental effects is largely interpretive based on the experience and judgment of various environmental specialists involved in the planning and design of the project. At this stage, no detailed site investigations activities have been conducted, nor have any consultation activities been carried out with municipalities, ministry agencies or conservation authorities by the project environmental consultant. Such activities are proposed to be initiated following MOE’s review of this project description. The following activities were conducted as part of the preliminary assessment of potential negative environmental effects: • Project site description; • Preliminary records review; • Potential environmental constraints; • And preliminary negative environmental effects. 7.1 Project Site Description The location of the project is depicted in 8.1. The land required is approximately 10 acres. The longitude and latitude of the site location is 44.264 and 80.558. The site is in the northwest corner of the Village of Flesherton in Grey Highlands, approximately 800 metres from the main intersection of Highway 10 and Highway 4. Access to the site is from Highway 10, as well as from a new municipal road to the north. The property borders commercial properties with addresses on Highway 10 on east side and the Flesherton water treatment plant on the west. A mix of forest and agricultural land exists south of the property. Local production for local customers! 21 The project land is zoned agriculture 4-7 and currently is vacant. There does not appear to be any water course on the site location and small forest North West of the project does not currently encroach on the project requirements. 7.2 Preliminary Records Review A preliminary records review was completed to determine the location of natural heritage features, water bodies, wetlands (including provincially significant wetlands), quarries/pits, areas of natural and scientific interest (ANSIs), etc., in proximity to the project site. The preliminary record reviews involved obtaining and reviewing geographic information system (GIS) data available through the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Land Information Ontario (LIO) and Green Energy Atlas. Information requested through LIO included, but was not limited to, the following: • Areas of natural and scientific interest (ANSI); • Water bodies and valley lands; • Wetlands (including significant wetlands); • Provincial/national parks; • Conservations areas and reserves; • Agreement forests; • Environmentally sensitive areas; • Woodlands; • Significant wildlife habitat (such as deer wintering areas); • Aggregate sites. All information that was gathered on the records review is mapped on 8.3 7.3 Potential Environmental Constraints All relevant feature information obtained from the preliminary records review was mapped and is based upon the results from the records review. The following features were identified that constrain potential development of portions of the site: Local production for local customers! 22 A small forest to the west of the project site may need to be moderately trimmed to accommodate the installation; A seasonal wetland resides on the southern edge of the property. 7.31 Natural Environment Topography During construction some regrading will be required and some minor alterations may occur. Soils During construction, some soil compaction by heavy equipment is possible. There is minor potential for effects to soil due to spills during construction. Aggregate Resources Some onsite gravel may be used in site preparation of the utility driveway and or tracker site preparation. Further study is being conduct as to the feasibility of the use of onsite aggregates. Surface Water No negative effects to surface water runoff regime are expected since rainfall runoff will be directed to grassed and vegetated areas. There is minor potential for effect to water quality as a result of soil erosion during the construction phase. Groundwater No negative effects to groundwater are expected since no major changes to groundwater recharge conditions are expected and no major excavations involving significant groundwater dewatering will occur. There is minor potential for effect to groundwater quality as a result of accidental spills. Aquatic Habitats/Biota There are no significant watercourses on the property; however, a hazard area exists in the southeast corner. Further investigation into the impact of the hazard to the final site plan will be included in the final application. Local production for local customers! 23 Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest The preliminary investigation revealed limited or no areas of natural or scientific interest. Wetlands The proposed site does not impact wetlands in the vicinity Valley lands Not applicable Woodlands The proposed project does not require a significant amount of woodlands to be trimmed for effective implementation. Vegetation The project will require some excavation during construction that will include tracker site and conduit implementation but the long-term impact to vegetation at the site will be minimal. The solar trackers allow for minimal ongoing coverage of the ground by the solar panels. Constant rotation of solar panels will allow for the viability of groundcover vegetation. Terrestrial Wildlife/Wildlife Habitat (including species at risk) The limited invasiveness to the landscape, including the open fields and adjacent woodlands, would result in minimal impact to the wildlife at the project site. Air quality The facility would have very minimal impact to air quality; however, the use of heavy equipment during installation may temporarily negatively impact air quality. 7. 32 Social Environment Land Use The implementation of the project would limit portions of the property for other use. Local production for local customers! 24 Tourism and Recreation The project site currently has no tourism. Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Resources Preliminary investigation has unearthed no archaeological or cultural value at the site. Archaeological assessments will be conducted to determine if any value does exist. Potential heritage resources will be determined as per the requirements of the Ministry of Culture. Aboriginal consultations As part of the renewable energy application process, aboriginal groups that are identified as stakeholders in this project will be consulted as to both the merits and impact of the project. 7.33 Environmental component Sound levels Temporary disturbance to neighbouring residents may occur during construction. The operation of inverters and transformers may result in an increase in ambient noise levels. Noise studies in accordance with O. Reg. 359/09 are required. Visual Landscape The solar installation will have remarkably little impact on the local landscape because the park is visually hidden to the broader community by geographic shelters, such as hills and trees. While not completely out of eyesight, there is limited impact to the scenic presentation of the Village of Flesherton Public and Construction Site Safety Construction of the project will result in risks at the construction site. Best practice of job safety will be implemented during the construction and operation phase of the project. Local Traffic During construction, there may be an increase in local traffic but this will be mitigated because the supply of materials (cement) will be sourced locally and thereby reduce travel distances. The worksite presents options for parking and access that will result in minimal impact to the local community. Local production for local customers! 25 Municipal Roadways Should construction vehicles cause damage to local roadways the roads would be repaired or compensation provided. Municipal half-load requirements will be adhered to 8.0 Maps There are several maps included in this report. In accordance with O. Reg. 359/09 and Technical Bulletin One – Guidance for Preparing the Project Description Report, the first map is a project location map that identifies and briefly describes both onsite and offsite land uses within 300 metres of the project location. The map also illustrates the features identified in the records review, including any protected areas. Lastly, the map illustrates any significant natural features and applicable setbacks. Please note that any layers included in the legend that are not present in the map are not applicable to the project. As well, Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI), both life and earth science, were assessed but none was found to be in proximity to the project location. The other maps included in this report are an aerial image of the project location and surrounding area. Local production for local customers! 26 8.1 Site location Map The proposed location is situated just north west of the village of Flesherton in a secluded enclave from village life. Natural topography protects the solar park from view from most of the village and traffic on highway 10 to the east. Commercial and residential establishments that are relatively close to the park are protected from view by the naturally hilly terrain. Jus t off site is several commercial enterprises including a indoor swimming pool and a gas station that is located on highway 10 to the east. The red highlighted area in the photograph below indicates the location under consideration. The park size will not require the entire area highlighted 8.2 Soil Map 8.2 Soi8.2 Soil Map Local production for local customers! 27 The soil map indicates the primary location for the solar project is designated by the Canada Land Inventory rating system 5. A peripheral area to the north east of the location is rated 2. This area will not play a significant role in the installation and due to size is not practical for economic agricultural use. Local production for local customers! 28 8.3 Green Atlas Map A preliminary review of the proposed location did not reveal any significant environmental issues. A seasonal drainage area to the south east will be approximately 100 metres from the proposed site. Local production for local customers! 29 8.4 Preliminary Project Layout The project would be able to accommodate approximately 51 tracker units. While the installation would be fenced, it is relatively compact and offers the possibility for other land use. Local production for local customers! 30 8.5 Project Setbacks map Local production for local customers! 31 8.6 Flesherton Solar Park Photo Log View from the north looking View from east to west at the south towards Flesherton midpoint of the north south direction. A view to the south east towards View to the north the village of Flesherton. The demonstrating the gentle slope trees provide visual coverage of to the south of the topography the Park from the village itself. The park is very secluded from the day to day life of the village however the location it offers wide open space with good sight lines to the south for solar energy production Local production for local customers! 32 9.0 Appendix 9.1 Photo voltaic Module Specifications 9.2 Inverter Specifications 9.3 Tracker specifications Local production for local customers! 33 9.1 Photovoltaic Module Specifications Currently we are reviewing various manufacturers 230 KW Solar panels. We expect the solar park to have over 2100 panels Local production for local customers! 34 9.2 Inverter Specifications Currently we are reviewing a centralized inverter strategy with the following features: NEMA 3R enclosure rating Reduced susceptibility to a single fault. In case of a component failure, a maximum of 50kW will be lost Reduced acoustic noise due to the high switching frequency (GFDI) compliant with UL1741 A final inverter strategy will be determined once the final engineer’s report is complete Local production for local customers! 35 9.3 Tracker Specifications Flesherton Solar Park will utilize the most sophisticated tracking technology to minimize park foot print while at the same time maximizing electricity production. Preliminary estimates are for 51 trackers on the site. Local production for local customers! 36 10.0 Construction Plan Draft 1. Details of any construction or installation activities o In addition to the installation phases described in section 6 of the project development report. The construction plan will have several components that will run in parallel; this will allow us to compress our construction schedule. Also, note that the timing of our construction plan will be contingent on weather and construct logistics. 1.1. Installation of Arrays The installation of the Deger 9000HD dual axis tracking arrays will use a combination of vehicles. The primary vehicle will be a “Zoom Boom” lift. This is the installation of the array motor head and the installation of the module management system on the array masts. Our plan is to complete 5 to 7 array installations per day. 1.2. Installation of Solar Panels Installation of the Solar panels will primarily involve the use of a man lift (also known as a Genie lift). This step involves placement and securing the Solar Panels to the module management system of the arrays. Each array requires the installation of XX solar panels. We plan to complete 3 to 4 installations per day. Local production for local customers! 37 1.3. Installation of Centralized inverters The installation of the centralized inverters will be secured to their foundation (section 6.3) and follow the completion of the solar panel installation. Cabling will be routed in the most efficient direct route in order to maximize the systems harvest. See section 6.4 for more details on how the trenching will be constructed. We plan to complete the electrical wiring of 4 arrays per day. 1.4. Testing and commissioning of systems During this phase of the project we will test each array independent of the system. We will follow predefined checklist as we execute the unit test plan. Some of this test plan will be incorporated into the annual maintenance plan. 2. Location and Timing See section the product development report for location. The following chart gives an indication of the timing of each construction activity. Activity Description Planned duration 6.1 Access Road Construction 5 to 7 days 6.2 Site Preparation 5 days 6.3 Installation of Support Structures 22 to 25 days 6.4 Underground Cable Installation 7 to 10 days 6.5 Distribution Line Erection 3 days Installation of arrays 7 to 10 days Installation of Solar Panels 12 days to 17 days Installation of Central Inverters 10 to 15 days Testing and Commissioning 5 to 7 days Local production for local customers! 38 6.6 Site Security 5 to 7 days 3. Potential Negative Environmental Effects from Construction Activities and Mitigation Measures Construction of the proposed Flesherton Solar Park will be completed using conventional construction methods and will follow standard construction best management practices. Solar Utility Network (SUN) will be responsible for the detailed methods of construction. Outlined below are potential negative environmental effects from construction activities along with proposed mitigation measures. The final decision regarding mitigation measures to be employed will be the responsibility of SUN. The construction process with the greatest potential for negative environmental effects is construction of the roadway and installation of the Array foundations. This work will require the use of various pieces of heavy equipment, which will on Site at different periods of the construction process. Potential heavy equipment to be used includes bulldozers, front-end loaders, trucks, backhoes, dump trucks, compactors, ready-mix concrete trucks, and cranes. The site location has been identified as containing Valleylands and Woodlands. The construction site is beyond the 120 meter setback; however, the Valleylands and Woodlands will be protected with a silt curtain to ensure suspended solids are not carried into the Valleylands or the Woodlands. Fugitive Dust The construction of the proposed Flesherton Solar Park has the potential to affect the air quality in the vicinity of the construction site. Emissions which are associated with construction activities are primarily dust and typical combustion emissions from construction equipment such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and Local production for local customers! 39 volatile organic compounds (VOs). As with any construction site, these emissions will be of relatively short duration and unlikely to have any adverse effect on the surrounding area. Best practices will be followed including: plans to minimize dust generation through application of water and/or calcium chloride on the site roads; planning, site layout and the proper use of materials, tools and equipment; compacting disturbed soil; activity scheduling; barriers to prevent dispersion of materials; and proper techniques for the use of materials that include VOCs. Emergency Spill Procedures Incidental spills of oil, gas, diesel, and other liquids to the environment could occur during construction. In addition, sanitary and other wastes will be generated during construction. Fuelling and lubrication of construction equipment will be carried out in a manner that minimizes the possibility of releases to environment. Measures of containment and clean- up of contaminant releases will be followed to minimize contamination of the natural environment, e.g., placement of any fuel tanks and generators on plastic sheets bermed around the edges, and the use of suitable hydrocarbon absorbent material for clean-up and approved landfill or other disposal. Any spills with the potential to create an impact to the environment should be reported to the Ministry of Environment (MOE) as required by provincial spill regulation. Interim sanitary waste collection and availability of treatment facilities will be arranged for the duration of the construction period. All construction waste, wash water and wastewater will be disposed of in accordance with regulatory requirements. Local production for local customers! 40 Local production for local customers!
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