The president of the Gallimere Home Owners Association says many of its members are concerned about Suncor Energy’s plan to build a wind farm near homes and cottages on the Lake Huron shoreline.
James D’Anna sent letters to company officials recently stating the association’s members support for renewable energy, but are worried about living next to any of the 62 wind turbines Suncor plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming and Lambton Shores as part of its Cedar Point Wind Power Project.
“Those things are not all that beautiful, and there is some noise and some flickering as the sunlight goes through those blades,” D’Anna said.
The association, which has about 70 members, is also concerned about the impact on birds and property values, he said.
“If they’re visible from your homestead,” he said about the turbines, “I think that can’t help the property value.”
D’Anna said he wrote the letters after getting “a ton” of e-mail from association members who received notices of the project, and public meetings Suncor is holding April 18 in Camlachie and April 19 in Forest.
The 100 MW project already has a contract to sell power into Ontario’s electricity grid and Suncor is now seeking provincial environmental approval.
D’Anna said about 25% of Gallimere’s residents live there year-round and the rest, like himself, are cottagers.
The boundary of Suncor’s wind farm runs to Lakeshore Road where it passes Gallimere.
Many of the cottages in the lakefront community in Plympton-Wyoming have been in the same families for generations, D’Anna said.
“It’s one of the most relaxing places in the world and I think this would really interrupt that.”
In his letters, D’Anna said he believes turbines shouldn’t be allowed within 2,000 metres of homes or the shoreline.
“I think if they really want to do it,” he said, “they need to get away from the lakeshore.”
He said he plans to attend Suncor’s April 18 public meeting, set for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Camlachie Community Centre.
“I don’t have any real high expectations but I’d like to think that they might take into consideration some of our concerns,” D’Anna said.
“We’re hoping for the best, but I’m not unrealistic about where the push is coming from.”
Wind power is one of the forms of renewable energy encouraged in Ontario’s green energy plan.
We’re Against Industrial Turbines, Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW), a newly formed citizens’ group opposed to wind farms in the municipality, has scheduled a press conference for Thursday morning at the Camlachie Community Centre.
“This is all part of the public consultation process now,” said Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern.
Southern said he wouldn’t comment on correspondence between the company and the Gallimere Home Owners Association, but added Suncor “hopes to have a conversation” with WAIT-PW.
“Suncor welcomes debate from all sides of the issue,” Southern said. “That’s what public consultation is about.”
He added, “Hearing back from the public and organizations like that is important to shaping the best project that we can.”
Plans for the wind farm haven’t reached a point yet where the location of the individual turbines is known, Southern said.
“The input that we get from the public is important in developing that design, along with the work that’s going on by the company now.”
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