By Susan Hundertmark, Seaforth Huron Expositor
NextEra’s Bluewater wind energy project hit a milestone on June 13 when it finished up its last required public meeting for its Renewable Energy Application, but those affected by the project were still looking for answers.
Jeff Allan came with his NextEra Energy contract for the transmission poles that would need to be erected on his property to get clarification about the terminology. “They told me it was a standard contract,” said Allan.
Allan took issue with a certain clauses that spoke of enlarging the area needed for the line or the construction of a facility. “How big is a facility?” asked Allan. “It looks pretty innocent from the surface,” he said of the contract.
He also took issue with the gag order that was included and hoped that NextEra would amend the contract. Approximately two of the 17 people Allan knows with contracts have already signed. “If everyone wanted to sign, I would too,” said neighbour and dairy farmer Gerhard Ritzema. “I’m going with what the community wants.”
Without signing, the lines could be erected on the road allowance or the contract holders could face having their land expropriated. Gerhard, his wife Heather, and their family milk 350 cows three times a day. They are concerned about stray voltage and how the transmission lines will affect their business.
“Our livelihood is at risk,” said Heather Ritzema. “We have to weigh those risks.” Read article