A surge of opposition has diverted a plan to put wind-powered turbines on the Point Pelee peninsula.
Boris Vondrus of Advantis Energy confirmed on Monday his company will respect the wishes expressed quite passionately at a Saturday night public meeting and look for a more bird-friendly location for the turbines. “We think we can find a solution a lot of people will be positively pleased with.”
His Toronto-based company set up the meeting Saturday to present its 10-megawatt project employing four tall turbines erected between Mersea Road B and C, a couple of kilometres north of Point Pelee National Park.
More than 50 people showed up.
“We told him it’s a terrible plan for wind turbines, and he backed off it right away, we’re quite impressed with his integrity,” said Mike Malone, the owner of Pelee Wings Nature Store. He said most environmental people are opposed to the project going anywhere on that Pelee peninsula, stretching between Wheatley Harbour and Leamington Harbour.
“There’s this tremendous movement of birds back and forth outside of the park,” said Malone, who said he was impressed with Vondrus’s response.
“To a lot of us, it’s really good news. We have an ethical developer here who seeks out the opinion of the people.”
Vondrus said his company will look for a new site where the wind load is strong enough to make the project, costing $16 million to $18 million, feasible.
A much larger plan to put 119 wind turbines in Lake Erie west of Point Pelee, one kilometre from shore, resulted in a massive protest in Leamington and Kingsville. Last month, Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay announced he would not allow the bed of Lake Erie – all of it on the Canadian side of the border is provincial Crown land – to be used for such projects.
Vondrus says his project will be smaller, built on land and located away from people and wildlife. He said despite the fact Ontario’s Bill 51 streamlines the process for wind farms, he will seek the approval of Leamington council once he’s found a new site.
By Brian Cross, Windsor Star
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