There could be two more wind farms coming to the region.
Toronto’s Gilead Power Corp. has begun preliminary testing on land in Lappe and Oliver-Paipoonge. While the site in Lappe would be entirely on private land, the Municipality of Oliver-Paipoonge was recently approached by the company to start feasibility testing on two pieces of land owned by the municipality.
Oliver-Paipoonge mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis said her council was presented with a contract on Sept. 25. It’s now up to the municipality if it wants to proceed. Kloosterhuis said the municipality needs to consult with a lawyer and residents first.
“If we’re not interested in having towers on those two pieces of land we certainly wouldn’t go any further than right now,” Kloosterhuis said Tuesday.
The project would ideally see 11 to 17 turbines on 1,600 acres of private and public land in the north end of Oliver-Paipoonge. It would start just north of Hwy. 102 and follow Mud Lake Road south before veering west along Miller Heights Road to the Kaministiquia River.
Oliver-Paipoonge CAO Jamie Cressman said because it’s only a matter of accessing the land right now, no dollar figures have been discussed.
“At this stage we don’t know what the benefits would be,” he said.
Gilead’s Mike Lord said both projects are in preliminary development stages, which the company is hoping to wrap up by the end of 2012. While the company expects to generate as much as 100 megawatts from the projects, it won’t know until the studies are done.
“At this point we’re not clear on the size of the project,” Lord said. “The bottom line is if you don’t have good wind you don’t have a good project.”
The company currently has two test towers on private land. Lord said the response from landowners has been positive on the project so far. Lord said it’s unlikely there would be grid capacity from Hydro One until at least 2015 but the project, if it is feasible, would start construction around 2018.
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