Plympton-Wyoming will defend its turbine bylaw if it isn’t honoured by Suncor in its plans for the Cedar Point wind farm, says Mayor Lonny Napper.
While the province only requires wind turbines to be at least 550 metres away from neighbouring homes, Plympton-Wyoming council passed a bylaw calling for them to be no closer than 2 km.
Suncor is holding three public meetings in early April for its Cedar Point Wind Power project, proposed for Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
The company already has a contract to sell Ontario electricity from the project that calls for as many as 46 turbines to be built in rural areas, from Camlachie north to Ravenswood Line.
Some of its turbines would intermingle with Nextera Energy’s 92-turbine Jericho wind farm planned for Lambton Shores and Warwick.
Suncor has said it would like to have provincial environmental approvals in place so its wind farm can be built and operating by 2014.
“It’s down to crunch time now and we’ll certainly be defending our bylaws,” Napper said.
“We feel they’re good sound bylaws and they’re there for the protection of the people.”
Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern said, “The setback that has been described by the municipality is not part of the contractual agreement that we have to build the project.”
But, he added the company continues to talk with the municipality about the issue.
Draft versions of documents that will be part of Suncor’s provincial environmental application for the wind project are available now online, Southern said.
“We’re looking forward to receiving comments from the public between now and then, and certainly at the open houses.”
Those meetings are scheduled for April 2, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Camlachie Community Centre, April 3, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Forest Legion and April 4, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Watford’s Centennial Hall.
Ron Schenk, a member of WAIT Plympton-Wyoming, said the residents’ group continues to oppose Suncor’s plans.
“We’re having a meeting early next week to ramp things up again,” he said.
The group has held several well-attended public meetings and handed out hundreds of anti-turbine signs.
Schenk said WAIT has also collected more than 2,500 signatures on a petition it plans to pass along to Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey.
Plympton-Wyoming’s municipal council is one of several asking Ontario to halt the building of new wind farms until their impact on human health can be studied.
“I’m worried about the health effects, and always have been right from day one,” Napper said.
“I think our provincial government’s letting us down if they don’t take a look at that.”
Suncor’s draft documents can be found online at www.suncor.com/cedarpointwind.