Public Meeting – February 17, 2011 5:00 pm – 8:00 p.m.
Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre Map
3310 Walnut, Alvinston, ON N0N 1A0
Township residents split on wind farm proposal
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
WATFORD — A proposed four-turbine wind farm could be generating electricity near here by the fall of 2011.
A second and final public meeting for the Zephyr Farms project is scheduled for Feb. 17, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre’s Upper Hall in Alvinston.
It follows an initial public meeting held in the summer for the 10-MW project, proposed for a site bounded by Old Walnut and Ebenezer road, just south of Churchill Line.
If provincial approvals are in place, construction could begin in the summer and the turbines could be operating by the fall, according to Brent Hall of Mississauga-based Green Breeze Energy Inc.
Members of the public can view copies of the proposal at the township office in Alvinston, or online at www.oneworldenergy.com , Hall said.
“If people want to read them and make comments, we welcome the questions.”
Hall added the project has been designed to be as “noninvasive as possible.”
The proposal calls for the turbines to be decommissioned and removed in the fall of 2036.
“I would say the community is split about 50-50, those that think it’s a good idea and those who think there’s a problem with them,” Brooke-Alvinston Township Mayor Don McGugan said about community reaction.”I still maintain, I don’t have a problem with them if they can prove to me . . . there’s not a health issue.”
McGugan added the process for approving wind turbine projects is controlled by the province and out of the hands of the municipal council.
The township and the wind farm’s owners will have to reach an agreement to protect roads and bridges from any damage during construction, he said.
If the project goes ahead, it will be the first wind farm in Brooke-Alvinston.
But, the township is considering its own move into green energy.
McGugan said it has been exploring placing solar panels at the township’s sewage plant in Alvinston and at a roads depot on Nauvoo Road.
The township has already secured a contract to sell energy into the province’s electricity grid for one small-scale solar installation and, McGugan said, “We’ve applied for some more.”
But the proposals won’t move head without first going back to township council for approval, he said.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the municipality.”
Information gathered by the township indicates the panels could pay for themselves in about seven years and then earn several thousand dollars a year for the municipality over the balance of their projected 20-year life, he said.
Strathroy MyFM: More turbine woes in Lambton County. Brooke-Alvinston Mayor Don McGuggan says he still has reservations about loosing valuable farm land to turbine companies. Green Breeze Energy based out of Missisauga has a contract to sell electricity from its proposed 10 megawatt project to Ontario Power Authority. If the project is approved it will mean four large turbines will be installed northwest of Alvinston near Churchill Line and Old Walnut Road.