A small wind farm could be on the way to an area near Malden Centre.
Gengrowth is proposing a wind farm that would consist of four to six turbines in the area. According to a notice placed recently in the local newspapers, they expect to secure a power purchase agreement from the Ontario Power Authority and plan to begin construction in June 2009.
The project would be known as the South Side Wind Farm.
Project manager Jeffrey Segal said from their initial studies, wind in the area appears to be strong and a power line nearby makes the site more feasible.
“The particular area we are looking at is not heavily populated,” said Segal.
Various studies are ongoing including studies involving noise and migratory bird patterns among others. A public open house is planned for the near future with a second coming in mid-2007 once the entire report is complete.
Segal said their focus is smaller scale projects and they look to work with the municipalities and area landowners to make it a good fit.
“Our philosophy as a company is we work extra hard to make sure the projects are welcomed by the community,” said Segal. “We’re in the business to make long term relationships. We take it very seriously and we’re committed to doing that.”
Segal said they want to create a “win-win situation” for everyone involved and that Gengrowth welcomes feedback from area residents.
“Our company is very much a community based company,” said Segal.
Gengrowth is inviting public opinion and comment and people can provide that by calling 1-877-882-5386. People can also go to their web site at www.gengrowth.com.
However, the wind farm movement in Essex County has not met without opposition.
Dr. John Lee and the Citizens Against Lake Erie Wind Turbines (CALEWT) worked to prevent a proposal from a different company which would have included 119 turbines proposed offshore between Kingsville and Leamington.
He has been gone to various county newspapers in an effort to get his message out.
Lee contends that wind power fluctuates with wind speed which destabilizes the power network. He said that “the European experience is that only three percent to five percent of the power can come from wind. Beyond that, level power from fossil-fuel generators is required to stabilize the network. No amount of wind power has yet enabled the closure of a single fossil-fuelled generating station anywhere in the world.”
Lee said that a number of countries have either stopped land based or near shore installation of turbines or cut subsidies including Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. He accuses the Ontario government of taking “draconian measures” to evade environmental assessments for energy projects and said Bill 51 which he said includes provisions to prevent municipalities from including in their Official Plans any regulations that “would prohibit wind farms within or near their communities.”
Lee also contends that noise levels emitted by wind farms “are typically 100 times the level of which the World Health Organization states will cause sleep deprivation at a distance of approximately one kilometer. He believes properties near such operations could lower significantly in value.
By Ron Giofu
Amherstburg Echo staff
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