Nextera Energy is seeking Ontario Energy Board approval to build a 15.7-km transmission line from Lambton Shores into neighbouring Middlesex County to carry electricity generated by its proposed Jericho Wind energy Centre.
The 115-kilovolt line will run along Thomson line and connect a substation planned for west of Northville Road to one in Middlesex.
Florida-based Nextra Energy is currently awaiting provincial environmental approval for the 92-turbine Jericho wind farm it plans to build in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
The company already has a contract to sell the electricity to the province and its application for a renewable energy project approval is under technical review by Ontario’s Environment Ministry.
“We anticipate that it will take about four months for the review to continue,” said Nextera spokesperson Josie Hernandez. “We should have a decision early next year.”
Construction of the wind farm can move ahead at that point and should take about six months, she said.
“By the middle to the end of next year, we should certainly be well under construction.”
Approval of the transmission line is expected to take six to nine months, Hernandez said.
The energy board intends to conduct a written hearing into the application for the line, “unless there is a good reason why an oral hearing is necessary,” according a notice posted on its website.
The board will accept written reasons for why an actual hearing should be held until Nov. 18. That’s also the deadline for individuals to seek permission to participate in the process as an intervener.
Nextera has three other nearby wind projects that it expects to begin building in the next few weeks. They are the Bornish and Adelaide wind energy centres in Middlesex County and the Bluewater Wind Energy Centre in Huron County.
The Jericho project’s transmission line is also expected to carry electricity from Suncor Energy’s proposed 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Power Project in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township.
Suncor’s application for environmental approval is also before the province.
If the Jericho and Cedar Point projects are approved, it will mark a major expansion of wind energy in Lambton with 138 new turbines stretching from Camlachie to Thedford.
There are currently 14 wind turbines in the county.
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