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Florida energy firm eyes Amaranth

Florida Power and Light (FPL), possibly the largest windenergy company in the world, has signed “a handful” of land leases in Amaranth with a view to establishing an unspecified sort of wind plant there.

But the company is mum about its plans. “We have no existing projects in Canada, no specific projects announced at this time,” said communications officer Steve Stengel in a phone interview from his Miami office. “We’re new to Canada. We like to understand (local) concerns, and like to exchange information with community leaders.”

He indicated FPL’s scheduled appearance at Amaranth council last night was simply to introduce the company, and to listen to concerns; more of a learning process than a presentation of a planned project.

“We understand there’s a moratorium in Amaranth,” Mr. Stengel said.

He didn’t fully explain why FPL, with a 4-million customers, engaged a local agency – Hilliard of Orangeville – to secure leases without specific development proposals.

At Hilliard, agent Justin Johns said he was not at liberty to speak to the media. Instead, he referred calls to FPL’s home office in Miami.

Meantime, Amaranth planner Nadine Tischhauser said the township has been in conversation with FPL’s project manager, Michael de Bock. Mr. Stengel returned calls made to Mr. De Bock.

Wind energy is part of the FPL mix.

Mr. Stengel said the company’s production includes nuclear and gas-fired plants, as well as hydro and solar installations.

He added that from its beginnings in Florida in December 1925, the company has grown to have plants in 15 states, “and we are doing business in 24.”

By Wes Keller
Freelance Reporter

citizen.on.ca