Massive wind farm proposed for Lambton County

by PAUL MORDEN, The Observer

A large wind farm with as many as 153 turbines could be coming to Lambton Shores.

A public meeting for the 230 MW Jericho Wind Energy Centre is scheduled for June 30, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Kimball Hall on Townsend Line in Forest.  map

“We’re at the initial stages of a proposed development,” said Josie Hernandez, spokesperson with NextEra Energy Canada, which together with Canada Green Power is behind the project.

The companies don’t have a contract to sell wind power to the Ontario Power Authority, and the open house is an early step in the approval process required under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

“It certainly is a large site and one that we have a lot of work to do on,” Hernandez said, “but at the same time we’re confident that we can work within all the constraints and make this work.”

The proposed wind farm would cover 2,258 hectares in Lambton Shores, stretching from just east of Forest to the Lambton-Middlesex county line, south to Warwick Township and north to Lakeshore Line. The area includes the communities of Arkona and Thedford.

The number of turbines could range from 101 to 153, depending on the type.

Lambton Shores council was to discuss the project Monday, but Mayor Gord Minielly noted the Green Energy Act has taken control of wind projects out the municipality’s hands.

Lambton Shore is home to the only 10 wind turbines currently generating electricity in Lambton County, although projects in several other municipalities are on the drawing board.

Minielly said Lambton Shores has heard few complaints about the existing turbines.

“I haven’t heard from anybody, other than one gentleman who says he can’t sleep and can’t think and can’t eat and he’s going to move away.”

Hernandez said the open house will offer information about the companies, the approvals process and studies to be carried out. Those studies typically take six months to complete and it’s expected a second open house will be held later this year, Hernandez said. Securing approvals could take another six months, she added.

The companies have tested the wind in Lambton Shores and have option agreements for land on which turbines would be placed, she said.

“We work with the landowners as the development progresses to ensure that this is something that can fit within their community.”

Hernandez said NextEra Energy has one wind farm in Nova Scotia, another in Quebec and has secured contracts for two planned farms in other parts of Ontario.

While seeking approval for the Jericho project, the companies are also working on two other projects that could see 108 to 166 turbines built in neighbouring Huron County.

While the company is new to Ontario, it has more than 9,000 wind turbines in operation on the continent, Hernandez said.

“We are the largest wind developer in North America, second largest in the world. We’re very confident in the way we develop projects because we’ve been doing it for a long time.”

5 thoughts on “Massive wind farm proposed for Lambton County

  1. We are totally screwed here in Lambton Shores. who wants to pay any taxes to live with this mess of Retro ugly fans turning around 24 7 and with so many.

    What a mess the government is allowing,shameful and alarming for the neighbours that have to live next to these harmful monsters. This government is all for corporations to make money on our backs.

    The farmers that allow this has no respect for their neighbours. Local governments that are allowing this to happen can do something but their attitude is we cannot so we sit on the fence and watch it go by as they think their powers are not there. What a easy way out of this for council members and mayors.It is not green but, Money money money.Very sad.

  2. The Lambton County meeting in Alvinston will be worth the visit. We need to unite and be a force to be reckoned with. The meeting for NextEra will be the same B.S. as any other Wind Turbine developer. Basically, we are told we have no voice.
    One man sick and having to leave will turn into 50 or more. What is an acceptable number for human displacement? Why are we creating Wind Turbine refugees in the democratic province of Ontario?
    We will protect the rural areas of Ontario, where these farms have been carefully tended for over one hundred years.

  3. Well, apparently NextEra couldn’t even count how many turbines they were giong to put up in their advertisements (you know, give or take 50 turbines, what’s the diff…?). Good for Paul morden to publish the REAL numbers. The Forest meeting starts at 5:00 and the Alvinston one at 7:30. It’s possible to both, you just have to organize it tightly. Go to both. I’m sure NextEra would like you to not show, so of course, don’t do what they like.

    There are 2 more meeting as well:

    Bluewater Wind Energy Centre- 90MW
    DATE: Monday, June 28, 2010
    TIME: 5:00pm to 8:00pm
    PLACE: Bluewater Community Centre 15 East Street, Zurich

    Goshen Wind Energy Centre – 160MW
    DATE: Tuesday, June 29, 2010
    TIME: 5:00pm to 8:00pm
    PLACE: Dashwood Community Centre, 158 Centre Street, Dashwood

    Jericho Wind Energy Centre – 230MW
    DATE: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
    TIME: 5:00pm to 8:00pm
    PLACE: Kimball Hall 6276 Townsend Line, Forest

  4. Google “Florida’s broken windmills” you will find that FPL and NextEra are lousy land stewards. In Palm Spings, Ca they let the turbines fall to pieces and let hazardous fluid leak.The city tried to get NextEra to clean it up but NextEra stonewalled It has been years and NextEra only started to do some work when individual land owners who own the land Nextera leases were threatened with fines by the city did Nextera start to clean up the site. There are still empty towers and non operational machines.

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