A map that pinpoints sites for more than 90 turbines proposed for the Jericho Wind project in northeastern Lambton County has been released by Nextera Energy.
The company has a contract to sell Ontario electricity generated by the wind farm it’s seeking environmental approval on in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
“It’s absolutely devastating how dots on a map can have such an impact on one’s life,” said Marcelle Brooks who lives near the centre of the project in Lambton Shores.
Brooks, a member of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action group that opposes wind turbine projects in the region, added, “It’s one thing to know that they’re coming and then another to see them in relation to where your home is.”
She and her family bought a farm four years ago on Ridge Road where they grow garlic and other organic crops.
“We cherish our home and our farm,” Brooks said.
“This is such a violation of our rights, in order for a few people to have money.”
The map was released by Nextera Energy along with a notice of a draft site plan for the project, which states the company “believes that the proposed project is compliant with all regulatory standards.”
The 150-MW facility will have approximately 92 turbines, access roads, transformers, operations and maintenance buildings, as well as electrical lines.
Nextera spokesperson Josie Hernandez said the map shows 97 proposed sites but only up to 92 turbines will be built. The other locations are alternates.
Hernandez said the company will be consulting with the municipalities in the coming days about the draft site plan.
A series of public open houses are expected to be held in early 2013, she said.
The company hopes to have environmental approvals in place so the wind farm can be operating in 2014.
Suncor is also proposing to build a wind farm nearby.
“I think it’s in the 20s, the number of turbines that are within two kilometres of us,” Brooks said.
“It just makes me more determined and more defiant, if that’s possible, than I have ever been.”
Members of the action group recently picketed outside a London meeting attended by Premier Dalton McGuinty, and Brooks said they will continue to speak out against wind projects.
Just recently, wind opponents welcomed news of the first ever peer reviewed study linking wind turbines and ill health.
Published in the periodical Noise and Health, it found that a random sample of residents living within 1.4 km of wind turbines in two Maine communities suffered more from impaired mental health and sleep deprivation than those who lived at least 3.3 km away.
Earlier this year, Health Canada said it will conduct a study to evaluate the relationship between wind turbine noise and potential health effects.
“We just hold tight and keep hoping that these health studies will come out before the projects are built,” Brooks said.
With files from QMI Agency
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