The proponents of a wind farm in northern Leamington were greeted with skepticism by some residents but welcomed by others during a public meeting Tuesday night.
Advantis Energy held its second meeting in Leamington, this time to see if and where residents would support a 10 megawatt wind project in northern Leamington between Concessions 8 and 11 and between Highway 77 and County Road 37. The proposal is for four towers that would be 65 to 85 metres at the hub of the turbine.
“All over Europe, there’s lots of turmoil about wind turbines,” said Aad Ahsmann, who lives on Concession 6 and said he knows he will hear them at his home if the project goes ahead north of him.
“I’m not a happy camper if there’s a wind turbine on my side.”
Wilf Fortowsky, who lives in Amherstburg and is concerned about a wind power proposal there, called the father and son “snake oil salesmen.”
But some in the crowd were interested in leasing their land and having a wind turbine. Arnold Shilson, who lives on Concession 10, said there was a lot of negativity in the room but he was willing to talk. “I think it’s a great idea.”
Zoran and his 17-year-old son Boris Vondus of Toronto say their family and other families want to invest in the four-turbine project.
The pair promised the wind turbines would be at least 600 metres from homes and promised payments annually to landowners who are beside the turbines as well as the landowner who has the turbine on his land. The company said it would spend $60,000 a year on leases and promised not to build more than four turbines.
Boris, who did the bulk of the presentation, told the group of about 40 the turbines would raise property values and attract tourists such as visitors brought in by the wind companies to view the turbines.
The pair said they were contacting 75 landowners in the area but didn’t seem to know there’s another wind company proposing turbines in the same area and in Lakeshore.
If the Vondus family and nine other families want to have their project in Leamington, they plan to do a wind study in the new year and could be ready to present a proposal to council by spring.
Coun. Herb Enns, who owns land in the area, and Deputy Mayor Robert Schmidt attended the meeting. Schmidt said councillors will judge each proposal when it comes to them. He said council’s concern is wind power with the “least amount of negative effects.”
Residents asked a variety of questions including ice falling off turbines, the flicker effect which is caused by the sun shining through the blades and the size of the blades.
The Vondus’ said they couldn’t give the size of the blades because they hadn’t chosen the turbine yet.
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The first proposal by Advantis north of Point Pelee National Park was opposed by residents in late October who were concerned about birds at the migration hotspot.
By Sharon Hill, Windsor Star
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