Windsor raises concerns over offshore windmills

Percy Hatfield, Windsor Councilor

By Doug Schmidt Windsor Star

Windsor has joined the ranks of local municipalities voicing concerns over private-sector proposals for hundreds of power-generating windmills built off local shorelines.

Coun. Percy Hatfield said construction of offshore commercial windmills in Lake St. Clair could release contaminants stored in sediment which could enter the city’s downstream drinking water intake pipes.

Hatfield also said the yachting or sailing communities could be forced to play “dodge ball or bumper cars” with those offshore structures.

“Communities should be concerned,” said Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac.

City council voted Monday night to endorse a March 8 motion by Amherstburg council that calls on provincial and federal politicians and ministries to look into “the potential impact that offshore wind turbines might have on water quality, human health, along with animal and plant life.”

Amherstburg’s resolution was endorsed by county council earlier this month.

Hatfield said the possibility of “hundreds” of windmills sprouting up in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie is a hot topic in the county and that city residents should also be concerned.

Proponents of multibillion-dollar proposals have hosted recent public meetings in the county which have been packed with concerned residents.

Gignac said she took comfort from comments last week by Essex MPP Bruce Crozier warning county municipalities and the Essex Region Conservation Authority not to spend a proposed $250,000 or more on consultants to study a proposal that hasn’t yet gone beyond the idea stage.

3 thoughts on “Windsor raises concerns over offshore windmills

  1. I wouldn’t take too much comfort in Mr. Crozier’s comments…

    “Without a “site release approval” from the ministry of natural resources, the company can’t even make an application to the Ontario Power Authority for a renewable energy contract, Crozier said.”

    Afterall, the Wolfe Island offshore wind project was approved for a Feed In Tariff even though there are still no regulations in place and

    “Windstream must still obtain site lease approval for Crown land rights to the 19,200 hectares beneath Lake Ontario from the Ministry of Natural Resources.”

    If one project can get approved without MNR’s site approval and no offshore regulations in place… why can’t the other?

    Are we being fooled?

  2. He is misleading, at best. How is it that Southpoint is listed as “legal applicant” on the awaiting list if they have not already applied to the OPA? Someone is not telling the whole story here. He also fails to mention that other companies are vying for this crown “land” that the MNR has already set aside for wind development. He’s trying to play both sides of the fence. He cannot defend what his leader is doing.

  3. Southpoint has a site release for testing purposes for the original 15 turbines which put them on the waiting list. If we sit back and wait until they get full approval there will be no chance to fight,as it is we have very little chance. The next election can’t come soon enough,but I’m afraid that McGuinty will pass every thing and then they will be grandfathered.

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