By Troy Patterson, Editor Kincardine News, Owen Sound Sun Times
Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. has agents in the Kincardine area to sell wind turbine contracts to residents close to the Bruce to Milton power transmission corridor.
Zohrab Mawani, director of business development for Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., a Canadian affiliate of the South Korean Samsung Construction and Trade (C&T), confirmed the company is establishing wind contracts in the area.
“We are active in the area in terms of finding suitable properties,” said Mawani, adding he couldn’t specify which areas will be included in the project. “I can say our agents are looking throughout the area.”
The company is establishing Phase 1 of its Southwestern Ontario project. Mawani said he couldn’t specify the size or scope of the project until the company’s schedule is finalized “in the next few months.”
“The project would be expected to begin construction in 2012 and open in 2013,” he said.
The project is part of Samsung’s $7 billion deal signed with the provincial government earlier this year.
A Sept. 17 letter from Minister of Energy Brad Duguid to Ontario Power Authority (OPA) CEO Colin Andersen gave details about how the company “has agreed to develop 2,500 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar generation in Ontario and committed to bring manufacturing plants to Ontario to manufacture wind and solar generation components.”
Duguid directed the OPA “to hold in reserve 500 MW (of 1,500 MW) of transmission capacity to be made available in the Bruce area in anticipation of the completion of the Bruce-Milton Transmission Reinforcement, for Phase 2 projects of the Korean Consortium or its Project Companies.”
The letter said the plan is to “align each project with expected transmission build-out” for the province and the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, which includes the needs of other wind developers. Another 500 MW has been set aside in the Haldimand County, Essex County and Chatham-Kent areas as well, according to the letter.
In August, Siemens Canada announced plans to build Ontario’s first wind turbine blade factory in Ontario with the Korean consortium.
QMI Agency was made aware of Samsung’s activity in the area by the group Huron-Kinloss Against Lakeshore Turbines (HALT), which has been fighting wind development in the area, in particular International Power’s Bluewater wind project along the lakeshore in the southern Bruce County community of Huron-Kinloss.
HALT president Mike Sapiro said via e-mail that the Samsung deal has angered trading partners in Japan and the United States, but also allows the company to jump the line for wind development.
“This action bypasses the first several steps of the approval process of the Ontario Power Authority and puts Samsung ahead of other wind companies who are required to hold public meeting prior to being allotted space on the grid,” Sapiro said. “As a result we have no idea if the 200-plus wind turbines will be on land or in the lake but we definitely know they will be somewhere in this area. This is another example of the knee-jerk crisis management by the McGuinty government.”
Sapiro said a local landowner contacted HALT with lease offer documents from Samsung agents.
“Apparently, they are offering $20,000 for 40 year contracts and are also looking to buy out other companies with leases,” said Sapiro.
The group is fighting lakeshore wind development on the grounds of property devaluation, noise issues and the ongoing complaints of sickness said to be caused by turbines. They’re quickly building their membership and raising funds to aid in the opposition of projects they feel are being forced upon their community by the Green Energy Act.