Lambton County could sprout 300 wind turbines

Credit: PAUL MORDEN, The Sarnia Observer

Hundreds of wind turbines could be built in Lambton County if all the projects on the drawing board proceed as planned.

When the Ontario Power Authority awarded a new round of contracts to wind generation projects in April no Lambton sites were on the list.

But a dozen proposals with generation capacity totalling nearly 500 megawatts (MW) in Lambton did make a second power authority list of projects waiting for Hydro One to open more capacity on the grid.

Those Lambton projects would require building more than 300 turbines, if they used the current 1.5 MW models.

One of the largest on the drawing board is the 150 MW project that Jericho Wind Energy Centre Boulevard Associates Canada Inc. wants to build in the Thedford area.

“If they build the enabler line down from Forest, that part of the county will look like a hedgehog,” said Harvey Wrightman, a wind farm opponent who lives near the Lambton-Middlesex county line.

But Lambton Shores deputy mayor Carolyn Jamieson said she hasn’t heard anything about it.

After Ontario passed the Green Energy Act, wind generation companies no longer had to approach municipal councils for planning approval. Jamieson owns a bakery and coffee shop in Thedford where she said she hasn’t heard much talk against wind farms.

Lambton Shores is home to Sarnia-Lambton’s only wind turbines. Sky Generation, a company that owns six turbines built in 2008 near Ravenswood, recently added four more near the corner of Proof Line and Lakeshore Road.

“I know we have at least one councillor that is really against them but the rest of us seem to be, you know, comfortable with them,” Jamieson said.

The municipality has received one complaint from a resident who said noise from the turbines was having a health impact, she said.

Suncor Energy Inc. recently held public meetings about a 70 MW Camlachie-Cedar Point Wind Power Project proposed for sites in Plympton-Wyoming and and Enniskillen Township. The company has another 100 MW of wind generation on the books for Lambton, according to the power authority list.

The list also includes the Sydenham Wind Energy Centre, a 66.7 MW project proposed for Dawn-Euphemia and Brooke-Alvinston townships, and Chatham-Kent.

It’s opposed by a group of neighbours are hosting a public information meeting June 30, 7:30 p.m., at the arena in Alvinston.

“In my area, there’s a lot of people opposed to them,” said Don McGugan, mayor of Brooke-Alvinston Township.

The municipal councils in Dawn-Euphemia and Plympton-Wyoming have passed resolutions asking the province to commission an independent health study before approving more wind farms.

Last week, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said a review of existing scientific evidence found no link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.

Other projects on the power authority’s list of potential projects in Lambton include:

  • Wilkesview Wind Farm at Sombra, 13.8 MW;
  • Petrolia Wind Farm, 18.4 MW;
  • Shiloh Wind Farm, Alvinston, 46 MW;
  • Wind Bkejer, Walpole Island, 10 MW;
  • Proof Line II, Forest, 3.6 MW;
  • Forest Wind Farm, 10 MW;
  • Eirin Wind Farm, Forest, 10 MW.

A proposal that didn’t make the list was the Churchill Wind Farm project that Montreal-based TCI Renewables is considering for sites north of Petrolia and west of Wyoming. Mark Gallagher, TCI’s development manager, said a regional transmission restriction still needs to be worked out.

The company has been measuring wind in Plympton-Wyoming, and talking to landowners, for the last few years.

“We always felt it was a good area for a project,” he said. “We would expect to announce something pretty soon . . . but I guess it ultimately depends on the transmission capacity.”

According to the power authority, 1,500 MW of additional transmission capacity for renewable projects will be delivered through a Bruce to Milton transmission project Hydro One has underway.