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Public meeting on wind turbine project held in Wheatley

A wind energy project encompassing three municipalities could become a reality if TransCanada Energy’s current proposal is successful.

The company is suggesting approximately 75 turbines in its Romney Wind Power Project for Chatham-Kent – between Wheatley and Tilbury – as well as Leamington and Lakeshore.

“The prime interest is the resource potential,” said Tom Patterson, the Toronto-based project manager.

An open house was held Wednesday in Wheatley at the Royal Canadian Legion, with a sizable attendance.

Approximately half of the proposed turbines would be in Chatham-Kent.

Right now, there are two meteorological towers in the study area to determine the type of turbines needed and the exact location they should be erected.

The estimated capacity is between 112 and 170 megawatts of power.

Patterson said the company has been working with landowners since late 2006.

“We haven’t directly seen any opposition as of yet,” he said. “We’re still reaching out to stakeholders.”

TransCanada Energy is waiting for the Ontario Power Authority to issue the latest request for proposals, which will be due in October.

An environmental screening report would be completed. However, the project would also require municipal approvals.

ornie Kroeker, of Leamington, was trying to learn more about the Romney project.

However, he believes wind energy is the way of the future, adding it could bring down the price of electricity.

“I’m very interested in it,” he said. “It’s clean power and that’s worth a lot – we don’t need more pollution.”

Dorothy Coulter, who lives near Wheatley, has a daughter in Illinois where there are wind turbine projects.

“People are crowing about the noise, but (turbines) are very quiet,” she said. “A lot of people don’t like it, but I don’t know why they’re against it.”

Trevor Terfloth

The Chatham Daily News

26 June 2008