By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today
ALNWICK/HALDIMAND — The Alliance for the Protection of Northumberland Hills is circulating a community news bulletin urging people to attend Friday’s wind turbine open house at the Alnwick Civic Centre in Roseneath. The meeting will be hosted by Energy Farming Ontario Inc., operating Clean Breeze Wind Park.
“Share your thoughts on the proposed wind park with your neighbours. Reinforce concerns about noise, shadow flicker, health concerns and property values,” the November newsletter states.
Pictures and captions in the full-colour bulletin warn that the turbines’ “massive blades create noise that can disturb residents over two kilometres away” and the structure will be as high as a 40-storey building with a concrete base of two million to six million pounds.
Efforts by the Alliance have been successful, in some cases, in changing the minds of property owners in the area who were considering hosting wind turbines, member Gwyer Moore says. But the acreage of a least two property owners west of Centreton, Ken and Morley Nelson, are still part of an active study area. This information is also contained in the newsletter.
“I didn’t go in blindly,” Morley Nelson told Northumberland Today during an interview this week.
He said he visited Wolf Island and the Bruce Peninsula where wind farms already exist.
“People shouldn’t be concerned at all,” Nelson said.
Standing right underneath a turbine, the sound was like a small air conditioner or small fan, he said. He said he also spoke to neighbours and area farmers in those regions and the only remaining considerations by some, is how the turbines look on the landscape.
Nelson said everyone, whether they are for or against wind turbines, should do their own research and get firsthand information.
He also said he lives on the proposed wind farm property which is located west of Centreton and east of County Road 45, and that there would be fewer than five turbines on his land, if the project does proceed.
In addition to its newsletter, the Alliance has sent a registered letter to the wind turbine proponent and its consultant asking that it answer a series of questions it has posed. It is asking that this be done at 6:30 p.m. during the open house this Friday, Moore said. The open house has been advertised to begin at 5 and end at 8 p.m.
The Nov. 16 letter addressed to Energy Farming Ontario Inc. director, Kelly Campbell, references previous neighbouring county meetings where some members of the public complained they couldn’t get enough information. The letter suggests that the company will have time to get responses to these questions raised by the Alliance by having the questions before hand.
Among the questions listed by the Alliance are:
* when will Energy Farming Ontario (EFO) notify neighbours of the location of the turbines;
* how will EFO address the negative property value effects on the nearby residents;
* what happens to the equipment after the 20-year contract with the property owners expires; and
* what route and what type of transmission lines will be used to transform the power to the electrical grid.
Telephone messages to Energy Farming Ontario and Clean Breeze Wind Park, as well as to their consultant, Andrea McDowell of M.K. Ince and Associates Ltd., were not returned by press time.