By Laura MacDuff, The Post, Hanover
DURHAM – Emotions ran high in Durrham Tuesday evening during an open house organized by NextEra Energy, the largest generator of wind in solar power in North America, currently proposing a wind turbine development in West Grey. The first half of the open house was a drop-in, one-on-one conversation style meeting, typical of most open houses for previous wind turbine proposals.
The second half was different, a question and answer public forum, one and a half hours in length. Questions were written down and given to the moderator Sheila Willis, who orchestrated the meeting. The authors of the questions were not identified. NextEra hired security to be present at the meeting. A West Grey police officer was also present.
Fifteen landowners have signed contracts with NextEra in West Grey, explained Adam Rickel, project manager, however only 10 landowners will have wind turbines on their properties.
Questions, comments and outbursts erupted from the audience more than once to answers provided by NextEra. One of the first questions answered was in response to why NextEra needed security to be present at the meeting. Nicole Geneau, director of NextEra, said that employees and other people associated with the project have been threatened with physical harm and death. Therefore, to keep everyone safe, they employed security, she said.
Joan Osborne, a citizen concerned with the way NextEra handles wildlife near its turbine operations, handed out pamphlets regarding NextEra removing a Bald Eagle’s nest from a tree during construction of a road intended for use to construct a turbine. A question was posed asking whether the employees of NextEra had told their children about the bald eagle’s removal. Read article