Gord Whithead, Regional County News
PARKHILL — Like it or lump it, a new crop is rapidly sprouting on the rich agricultural soil of southwestern Ontario. Owners of the land eventually will share in a harvest of the wind but the major immediate benefactors are construction companies, their suppliers, and local business operators.
Florida-based NextEra Energy estimates the construction value of its three projects now underway at a total $540 million, plus three more working their way through the approval process at $715 million.
Host farm owners are expected to pocket an overall $102.5 million over the first 20 years of the six wind centres’ operations, NextEra communications specialist Josie Bird told Regional Country News. Many are already receiving payments for the construction access roads and tower foundations being built on their properties. Once wind towers are “energized,” landowners’ payment amounts are guaranteed, no matter how variable the electricity output of the turbines on their properties, Bird noted.
Heading toward July, 2014 completion are the Bornish Wind Centre (45 wind tower generators) in North Middlesex Township, the Adelaide Centre (37 WTGs) in Adelaide-Metcalfe Township, and the Bluewater Centre (37 WTGs) in Bluewater Township. NextEra aims for construction starts this summer on the Jericho Centre (92 WTGs) in Lambton County, Goshen Centre (63 WTGs) in South Huron and Bluewater Townships, and East Durham Centre farther north in Grey County. Read article