Company behind Amherstburg wind turbine project denies attempting ‘end-around”

By Gary Rennie, The Windsor Star

“We have a bylaw in place and it’s being circumvented,” said Mayor Wayne Hurst. He also complained that the province should be providing health studies to residents to alleviate concerns about noise and other effects of wind turbines.

AMHERSTBURG The president of a company trying to build a $25-million wind turbine project denied Monday trying to circumvent the town’s zoning bylaw.

“We are in no way trying to do an end-around,” GenGrowth’s Paul Merkur told council.

The company has nine wind turbine projects planned, under construction or completed in Southwestern Ontario, including another three in Lakeshore, Merkur said.

Merkur said the company is meeting all ministry environmental standards, and the Amherstburg project has been more heavily scrutinized than most as a result of appeals all the way up to the environment minister.

But residents opposing the 10-megawatt South Side project pointed out the company also didn’t promise to meet the town’s 600-metre setback from turbines and their homes.

Four of the five turbines proposed by GenGrowth don’t meet Amherstburg’s setback, but would meet the new provincial regulations that took effect last Sept. 24, which require only a 550-metre setback,

“Are there two sets of rules?” asked Concession 6 resident Mick MacCorquodale. He pointed to an environment ministry letter than indicated the company’s project didn’t have to meet Green Energy Act regulations because it received its provincial certificate of approval before Sept. 24.

MacCorquodale concluded the town’s zoning bylaw must then apply.

“We have a bylaw in place and it’s being circumvented,” said Mayor Wayne Hurst. He also complained that the province should be providing health studies to residents to alleviate concerns about noise and other effects of wind turbines.

Council voted Monday to invite an Environment ministry representative to attend a meeting to clarify its position on the project and provide any health studies available.

“The debate is going on and on and on,” said Coun. Bill Wark. “These people deserve some answers.”

Local municipalities approached by wind developers have adopted varying setbacks on wind turbines, from 300 metres in Lakeshore and Kingsville to 450 metres in Essex. Amherstburg’s setback is among the most stringent in the province.

MacCorquodale said wind turbines already erected in neighbouring Essex are meeting that municipality’s setback of 450 metres.

The 120-metre high turbines are visible for eight miles in some directions, MacCorquodale said.

He’s concerned about falling property values.

He pointed to a case before the province’s Assessment Review Board that resulted in the 50 per cent reduction of the assessment value of a home near a wind turbine project in Amaranth Township.

3 thoughts on “Company behind Amherstburg wind turbine project denies attempting ‘end-around”

  1. How about a set back of 200 miles!………..500, 600, meters, whatever………………..shouldn’t be discussing set backs with these “blow hards!”

    Wind Turbines are a SCAM!…………..until residents get that through their heads the Wind Companies will keep building, regardless of Public outcries and meetings.

    Our Government has abandoned us, the Industrialists are in charge and we have no Democratic Rights left!

    Now that’s a good starting point for some serious decision making on the future of protests!

  2. Quixote,

    I had a look at your information forum and you seem to be on top of things. I agree with your above comment whole heartedly. Unfortunately though, it may take years for the general public to catch on to the scam, if ever. This is literally going to (eventually) put us all into serfdom. Once the coal plants are shutdown, and the wind stops blowing they have their excuse to justify rolling blackouts in the middle of winter, Enron style. This is part of the plan. Quigley and Eisenhauer warned us, but nobody was listening.

    What were witnessing here is Agenda 21 in action. I’m even beginning to think they’re INTENTIONALLY putting these things close to homes. What better way to force people off the land ala Agenda 21.

    All hail Maurice Strong and his UN cohorts.

    And for the skeptics of my comment. Please don’t be so quick to dismiss what I just said. Look into it yourself, it’s all in the open if you so chose to see.

  3. Quixote and Red Green have put in a lot of time and effort to understand what is happening. Their comments are worth while reading and believing. The IWT scam is disgraceful. Relocating IWT structures and developments to less densely populated areas in the far north will see a large increase in the cost of delivering electricity due to the necessity of building new transmission lines to attach to this intermittent sporadic source of junk power. At times the IWTs cannot put out enough power to support the lines built. Putting these structures further from homes is not an answer when the problems are these type of industrial wind turbines are hard on the environment, have a limited lifespan, high maintenance costs, and do not have the ability to produce any reliable power. Making inhabitable circles of land with a radius of 1.1 km or greater for each structure does not solve much. A better solution would be to not build the structure at all. The GEA ensures a limited few will get rich with money from taxpayers and electricity consumers. Not quite the green movement promised.

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