He originally appealed the four construction permits based on his concern that the 150 proposed turbines will spoil the area's rural scenery. But just before a March hearing (Windpower Monthly, April 2001), Sylvester dropped his complaints against two projects: Vision Quest Windelectric's 29 MW, to be installed by the end of 2002, and Canadian Hydro Developers' 19.5 MW, to be built this summer. His complaints against Benign Energy Canada and Wind Power Inc, which respectively plan to start work on 60 MW and 100 MW this year, were heard. The appeal board decided both may proceed. It decreed that the nearest development is "in the neighbourhood of four to six miles from his property and across a lake," and "the mere fact that he could see them, though there is very little evidence on this, is not enough to make him an affected person."
Sylvester is determined to pursue the matter and is now focusing efforts on fighting Wind Power Inc, the developer with land closest to his home, and has filed an objection with the province's Energy and Utilities Board. He is also contemplating legal action in the provincial court against the municipality. "If you put them up on all the hills and ridges, you are just destroying the whole environment, especially a beautiful environment like Pincher Creek." He also says wind turbines are noisy and unsafe.
Wind Power Inc's Dale Johnson says he is concerned his project schedule may suffer if Sylvester takes his case before the provincial court. "He doesn't understand anything about the wind energy industry," says Johnson. "He just has a personal agenda here."