LONDON, Ont. – Lake Huron cottagers from Goderich to Kincardine fear their famed sunsets and tourism-based economies will be overshadowed by energy companies looking to build wind turbines offshore.
Residents are organizing to fight an enemy whose face and plans aren’t entirely clear: Bureaucrats at Queen’s Park say they’ve received 12 applications to build offshore wind farms, but won’t disclose which companies made the proposals, where exactly the turbines would be located or how big the operations might be.
The potential size of the operations is apparent in a 2008 report prepared by an energy company for the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), an agency tasked by the province with finding new sources of energy.
The report found 20 sites in the lakes around Ontario, some in Lake Huron, that could support 160 turbines each, as well as more than 40 smaller sites. “They’re just shoving this stuff down our throats,” said Ross Klopp, a Collingwood resident with a cottage on Bruce Beach, south of Kincardine. Ontario’s Environment Ministry has proposed rules for offshore turbines and given citizens and companies until Aug. 24 to respond.