The Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s demand for a halt to future wind turbine construction has the support of Rick Nicholls of Chatham.
The Chatham-Kent Essex MPP said Thursday he supports the farm organization’s position on a moratorium on new and not-yet approved projects.
The MPP stopped short of demanding a halt on work slated to begin next week on an already-approved $600 million wind turbine project that will see an additional 110 turbines constructed in Chatham-Kent.
Half of the new wind turbines will be constructed by International Power Co. in south Chatham-Kent while the remainder will be erected in the north-west section of the municipality.
Nicholls told The Daily News there is also an urgent need for upgrades to service lines in the aging grid in order to cope with the additional electrical loads.
“This is especially important for livestock producers who can experience ground current,” he said.
Nicholls is calling on the OFA and Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, as well as livestock producer organizations, to request funding for the Agricultural Research Institute to study the impact that induced current has on livestock.
“This could have very serious economic impacts on the livelihood of farmers,” he said.
Nicholls said wind turbine companies officials say they are getting good support from farmers and politicians.
“These are farmers who are receiving signing bonuses, lease money for turbines on their property and percentage kick-backs on the energy produced from the turbines on their property,” he said.
Nicholls said Liberal politicians supporting the movement are forced to support their party line on renewable energy initiatives.