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Drilling tests lake bed for wind generators

www.leamingtonpostandshopper.com

A local company planning to install wind-powered generators has begun one of the first engineering steps

Wednesday August 23, 2006
Leamington Post – Last week drilling began off the Leamington shore to take soil samples and determine the depth to bedrock in Lake Erie.
“There is a lot of interest, no one that I know in North America has (wind generators) in a lake,” said Jim Liovas, last week.
The company headed by Liovas is Southpoint Wind Power and it is proposing to use three sites, all offshore from Leamington, Ruthven and Kingsville.
Each of the three sites would supply an estimated 10 megawatts of power, 30 in total and about six times the power required by a town the size of urban Leamington.
The turbines with blades of about 45 meters long would sit atop masts about 90-100 meters high.
The electricity would travel through submersed cables to connect to the local hydro system.
Liovas, from Leamington operates several local companies, mainly involved in the construction business.
He said the drilling is required to help determine how to build to deal with icing and other lake conditions.
He is hoping that stage one of the project will be completed within two years.
The more difficult aspect in the process will be the environmental assessment.
That will include any concerns about wildlife, birds and fish habitat as well as noise.
Liovas said he does not foresee “any problems” to that end.
“We’re ready for any negative response, I know that is easy to say but we’ve got to be able to show that as well and I feel comfortable we can.”
There have been several projects planned for wind turbines on land but none have been approved yet by the province.