[Editor’s note: This bizarre reaction from the two Essex Councilors who did everything in their power to get a large land-based project shoved through. … So it’s OK to site just meters from where children sleep and play….but not in the lake??]
By Gary Rennie, The Windsor Star
ESSEX, Ont. — The Town of Essex wants the developer of a multibillion-dollar offshore wind turbine project in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair to come to a special meeting to explain it.
“It scares the living hell out of us,” said Coun. Randy Voakes.
The town also isn’t happy with the lack of notice to area municipalities about the 700-turbine project proposed by SouthPoint Wind about a kilometer to 2.5 kilometres offshore.
Coun. Paul Innes said the description of the project posted by SouthPoint on its website lacks the detailed environmental reports that he expected to see.
Innes wanted SouthPoint representatives to attend a March 8 meeting of council. Council approved a motion to extend the invitation.
SouthPoint has already given notice of public meetings it has scheduled in six affected municipalities on March 27.
However, Innes said because all six meetings are taking place on the same day, Essex has been allotted only an hour for its session at the Harrow arena. Too many questions need to be answered for an hour-long meeting to suffice, he argued.
Meetings are also being held in Chatham-Kent, Lakeshore, Kingsville, Leamington and Amherstburg on March 27 at staggered times.
The meetings start in Lakeshore at 8:30 a.m. on March 27 and end in Amherstburg at 7:30 p.m.
If the March 8 date isn’t convenient for the company another one can be arranged, said Innes. He said he wanted at least one meeting with the company prior to March 27.
Any company serious about building offshore wind turbines is going to have to deal with municipalities on a wide range of issues, including use of roads, harbours and easements for powelines, Innes noted.
SouthPoint is proposing a 1,400-megawatt project that dwarfs anything ever contemplated before in Canada. The company has sought approval under Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which requires at least two public meetings.
The draft description of the project on the company’s website runs to 113 pages, but doesn’t mention any consultants who were retained. A variety of existing studies and data — such as the Canadian Wind Energy Atlas — were referenced.