W. BRICE MCVICAR The Intelligencer
The winds of change have closed the door on a plan for one wind farm in Prince Edward County while another has blown wide open.
Residents have been informed by Skypower the company no longer plans to proceed with a 43-turbine wind farm due to economic factors and concerns brought forward by the military due to the proposed location of wind turbines in proximity to CFB Mountainview. However, the announcement comes just days after the Ontario government announced 184 green-energy project contracts across the province including the Ostrander Point project, a wind farm planned to be operational in Prince Edward County’s South Marysburgh Ward by late next year.
Paul Pede, president and co-founder of Gilead Power, said with the contract now in hand, his company will move forward with its plans.
“We’re very pleased to have received the contract,” he said. “This is something we’ve been working toward for quite some time and we believe the Green Energy Act is a very good thing for the province and the people of Ontario.”
Gilead Power — based out of Peterborough — plans to erect 12 turbines at Ostrander Point. When developed, the wind farm will have the potential of providing power for roughly 5,000 homes each year.
Michael Lord, Gilead’s vice-president, was not aware of Skypower’s announcement but said the fiscal plan his company has remains viable and construction on the wind farm will move forward.
“At this point we plan to go to construction in 2011. Our project’s financial model still plays out and it looks like it’s a good project that is feasible and can be readily financed,” Lord said.
Prince Edward County has been a hotbed of debate regarding wind turbines for the past decade. Some pockets of residents have vocally opposed the idea of erecting turbines anywhere in the county — citing health concerns — and Lord said such discussion has only helped the company create the best project possible.
“That’s the beauty of the process in Ontario. The government sets it up so that there’s a need for public involvement in the development process and I think, at the end of the day, it makes for a better project,” Lord said. “We’ve made some pretty significant changes to the project to do our best to accommodate some of the concerns of the local residents.”