A rural wind farm, the scene of a protest two weeks ago over the removal of a bald eagle nest, was hit by vandals on the weekend, causing $60,000 in damages to a windmill about to be installed.
It’s not known if there is any connection between the protest, which attempted to stop the removal of the active nest on the windmill project site near Fisherville, and the weekend vandalism of a new windmill, OPP Constable Mark Foster told reporters Monday.
The protest centred on concerns that the development of wind farms in Ontario is threatening bird species across the province.
Police say vandals struck at the NextEra Energy’s Summerhaven wind farm project sometime between late Friday evening and early the next morning.
The project is slated to have 56 turbines when completed. No turbines have yet been erected.
“The vandalism that occurred at the Summerhaven wind project will not impact the project’s in-service date,” NextEra spokesperson Steve Stengel said in an email Monday.
Stengel said the company is working with local police and is in the process of enhancing its on-site security.
Foster said he believes only one windmill so far is partially built, and damage from the weekend vandalism may delay the installation of the windmill slated for the Walpole Concession Road 7 part of the project.
The damage consisted of painted graffiti on the disassembled tower and blades – and the turbine portion was set on fire.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-800-310-1122, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leave an anonymous tip at www.helpsolvecrime.com.
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