Southpoint offshore project generating lots of opposition

Port Huron, MI  Times Herald, www.thetimesherald.com

An Ontario company’s quest to erect 715 wind turbines in the shallows of Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie has many people asking questions — and rightly so. 

SouthPoint Wind announced plans last week for a 1,400-megawatt project that would dwarf other Canadian efforts to generate electricity from the wind. It would draw power from 165 turbines off the south shore of Lake St. Clair and 550 turbines near the north shore of Lake Erie. 

We are talking about mammoth turbines, with blades rising 410 feet above the surface of the lakes. That’s nearly twice the height of the Blue Water Bridge and not quite five times taller than the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. It is the equivalent of a 40-story building. 

Last spring, Ontario lawmakers approved the Green Energy Act, part of an ambitious plan to make the province a world leader in generating power from renewable sources such as wind, water and sun. 

That’s a laudable goal, but it cannot possibly succeed without public support. This particular project raises serious questions that could jeopardize that goodwill. 

Our questions: 

# How would these industrial wind farms affect property values? On Lake St. Clair, for instance, the turbines would be erected offshore from Belle River, Deerbrook and Lighthouse Cove at the mouth of the Thames River. Turbines would be visible from the Grosse Pointes and other communities where homebuyers pay top dollar for water views. 

# What would be the effect on waterfowl and other migratory birds? Hundreds of turbines would stand in sight of Point Pelee, the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland and a funnel in one of North America’s busiest migration flyways. 

# What are the potential costs to tourism, recreational boating and sports fishing? Will the wind farms and surrounding waters be placed off-limits to boaters and anglers? 

# Will the safety of drinking water be jeopardized? Pilings for the massive turbines will disturb tons of sediment and could stir up long-buried toxins. 

# Why wasn’t the public given proper notice? Elected officials in communities such as Amherstburg and Essex have expressed outrage at being surprised by a project of such size and scope. 

“Why should we be the guinea pigs?” asked Rob Schmidt, the deputy mayor of Leamington, suggesting industrial wind farms might be tested in less developed and less environmentally sensitive regions. 

SouthPoint Wind is owned by Leamington’s Liovas family, which is well known in the construction industry. Public hearings are planned, including one from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. March 27 at the Puce Sports and Leisure Centre on Old Tecumseh Road in Lakeshore, Ontario. 

An hour won’t be long enough if the public is to be reassured about the merits and wisdom of this proposal.

10 thoughts on “Southpoint offshore project generating lots of opposition

  1. The issue is no longer one a single region or municipality. This reckless abandonment of public consultation and abolishment of municipal growth plans is coming to every community in southern Ontario. This no longer a simple case of NIMBY. The country side is the backyard of Toronto, Mississauga, Windsor, London. These large urban centres will no longer have a country back yard to go to.

  2. The wind industry, with the help of McGuinty, is picking off one small town at a time. They just finished constructing 24 giant turbines near my area.

    I cannot describe the look of disturbing horror on people’s faces. People who blindly trusted their government was looking after them. People who failed to speak up.

  3. What goes up can come down MA. So sorry you have to go through this.

  4. The Wind Industry has basically done a “Blitzkrieg” on the World!

    Slap these down anywhere they can as fast as they can and then get out before the people can fight what is now becoming quite evident one of the most destructive ecological disasters ever perpetrated on Mankind! This could not have taken place unless “corrupt” Governments world wide didn’t support it and that in itself should cause a huge outcry by Freedom Loving Citizens!

    The Hypocrisy of this whole agenda was that these Wind Turbines were being erected to fight Global Warming caused by careless over consuming humans!

    We now KNOW that is a crock and the finger pointing has to start aiming at the real Criminals who are destroying our Planet! Our very own Politicians!

  5. It is McGuinty that is ramming this down our throats. He WANTS these monstrosities and he doesn’t care how it affects our lives. The profit for these things comes straight from the tax-payers. We are financing all the so-called “studies” and installations with McGuinty supplied government grants and subsidies. It is an outrage and we have to act. We have to protect our Great Lakes against McGuinty’s megalomaniacal dictatorship. The political pressure on other MPPs and potential turbine manufacturers and operators is tremendous. We know that the public is deluded into thinking these things akin to the “saviour”, but it’s all false. WE HAVE TO ACT! And I’m saying that as a card-carrying Liberal.

  6. Never thought I’d become one of those activist that lie down on the ground in front of bulldozers but guess what? I am ready to be hauled off to jail in chains! That is the least I can due for my future grandchildren! And for the wildlife that I love so much. What ever you do folks, do not give up! It is not over til the fat lady sings!

  7. I think we should call McGuinty “Mc-sWINDler” .. a legend in his own mind!!!

  8. Are they out of their fricking minds ????? God help us all if they get away with this !!!!

  9. Are the Liberal provincial government reps responsible for this” lake based windmill farming fiasco” mentally challenged? Even an elementary schooled age child knows of the hazardous health affects to humans, migratory birds, bats and specifically the endangered monarch butterfly which migrates to Mexico and S. america. Tourism, water quality are just a couple of more threats. Time for the Provincial Liberal government reps to go back to elementary school or go out and get a real job that is less dangerous to the general public.

  10. Just some brainstorming comments and questions about the safety of these wind turbines. These turbines are extremely high; can they be struck by lightning and if so could they electrify the water and electrocute fish and any humans in the water? What if during some sudden foggy conditions a boat strikes a turbine pole and sinks? Would the provincial government be legally responsible for any injury or death? Probably so, and the taxpayers would be the actual payors in the end! What if young daring teenagers decide to play chicken with these huge poles while water skiing or joy riding in their boats and smacks into a pole and is seriously injured or worse, drowns?
    These are just some fodder to consider.

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