A Plympton-Wyoming residents’ group fighting Suncor’s Cedar Point Wind Power project says it has more than 700 signed objection letters, and it isn’t finished collecting them yet.
We’re Against Industrial Turbines Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) collected the letters at three open houses Suncor held last week into its plans to build a 100-megawatt wind farm in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
WAIT-PW’s Ingrid Willemsen and Keith Watson delivered the letters to Suncor officials at the final open house in Watford, and asked the company to cancel the project.
While the Suncor official they spoke with didn’t give any indication that would happen, “she definitely looks like she feels the pressure from the community,” Willemsen said.
“I don’t know how they could turn a blind eye to so much protest.”
Members of WAIT-PW, as well as the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group and Conservation of Rural Enniskillen, a newly formed anti-wind turbine group in Enniskillen Township, were at the open houses also held in Camlachie and Thedford to rally against the company’s plans
“Our goal is certainly still to proceed with the project,” Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern said this week.
He also said the company has made changes to its plans based on a number of factors, including feedback from the community.
In August, Suncor was proposing 77 possible locations for up to 62 turbines and is now planning for just 55 possible locations and up to 46 turbines.
The decision to build fewer towers was based on the model of turbines selected for the project, as well as public feedback Southern said.
“We chose a larger turbine and that enabled us to be able to build fewer turbines and still meet the contractual obligations we have with the province.”
Southern said Suncor is reviewing the information collected at the open houses and is finalizing the renewable energy application it plans to send to the province this month.
“Our goal is still be able to begin construction early in 2014,” he said.
Opposition to wind projects has been growing in rural Lambton and the police were called to the Suncor open house in Thedford.
Southern said police were called “just as a cautionary measure,” adding it was “an unfortunate situation.”
Southern said the company allows people to bring signs into its open houses, even if they’re opposed to the project, but doesn’t allow signs on sticks inside, for safety reasons.
“In this instance there were some individuals who came into the open house with signs on sticks and so, as a precaution, the police were notified,” Southern said.
“But, everything was peaceful and there was really no significant disruption to the open house.”
Willemsen said WAIT-PW is still collecting objection letters, in addition to the 2,700 signatures it has on a petition calling for a moratorium on wind energy projects.
Copies of the objection letter can be downloaded from the group’s website, www.wait-pw.ca.
Willemsen said group members are also planning to approach landowners who have signed leases with Suncor, and may be having second thoughts.
“We’ve heard of landowners in our area that weren’t interested in their leases any more, or scared of having their leases, or not sure it they made the right decisions.”