The turbines aren’t even up yet, but the winds of discontent are already blowing in St-Cyprien-de-Napierville.
Hydro-Québec has accepted to purchase the power from a proposed wind farm to be built by the Mohawks of Kahnawake in this small village about 45 kilometres south of Montreal.
“It’s an exciting project for us,” said Bud Morris, president of Kahnawake Sustainable Energies (KSE), a company wholly owned by the Kahnawake Economic Development Commission created by the Mohawk band council to generate revenue for the community.
While it’s exciting for KSE, the project is anything but for the residents of St-Cyprien-de-Napierville who already rejected a similar project three years ago.
“We did not support the community project with the citizens from here,” said municipal councilor Jean-Pierre Brouillard.
He says the town didn’t think it could afford the startup costs to build a $68 million turbine project, so the original promoter behind it – Air Energy TCI – found a new group to do business with: Kahnawake Sustainable Energies. KSE says the project would generate 70,500,000 kilowatt hours of clean electricity, enough to power 3,500 homes.
“We submitted a bid and we won,” Morris said. “We could work cohesively but still have our own values.”
Those values promoting sustainable energy could provide a steady stream of revenue for both Kahnawake and St-Cyprien, Morris says.
But a newspaper report accused KSE of using revenue from housing online gambling servers in Kahnawake to fund the project, something Morris vehemently denies.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “The funds that are being used come from a variety of our holdings, and part of that does come from Data Centre Services, but not from Internet gaming.”
Hydro-Québec says KSE still needs to go before the provincial energy board and hold public consultations before anything can move forward, a process likely to last another four years.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding