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Wind farm proposed

Another gigantic wind farm is being proposed for Lambton County.

And this one has the potential to produce enough electricity to light up a city.

Michael Levesque, president of Engineered Systems Wind Power Division Inc. of LaSalle, said his firm hopes to build 57-to 80 turbines in St. Clair Township over the next five years.

In all, the giant windmills, which will be about 100 metres high, will be worth approximately $720 million.

If approvals can be obtained from the township, the first five should be in operation on Burman Line, east of Sombra, before the end of summer.

They’ll produce enough power for 2,500 homes, Levesque said. Once the entire project is finished, it will generate enough clean, emissions-free power to handle the needs of tens of thousands of households.

“We’ve been going around talking to neighbours and getting leases done,” Levesque said.

Although the turbines will dominate the skyline, they won’t take up a lot of space on the ground. “We use roughly three acres per turbine and you can farm right around them,” he said.

Levesque said the turbines will not be in the path of migratory birds.

St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold said the project will require both official plan and zoning changes. “Nothing is approved yet,” he said. “They’re just starting the process.”

Arnold said Engineered Systems wants to move quickly. “But they need to get their application and plans in place. If there’s an OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) objection, it could be delayed for months.”

If the project does go ahead, it will be the first of its kind in south Lambton.

Last month, a six-turbine wind project opened in Lambton Shores between Forest and Grand Bend. Constructed by Sky Generation Inc., they are expected to produce roughly 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power 3,000 homes.

Last year, Martin Ince, president of MK Ince and Associates, told The Observer 24 wind turbines capable of providing enough electricity for more than 12,000 homes, could be built in north Lambton within two years.

By Dan McCaffery

The Sarnia Observer