Suncor Energy has asked the Ontario Energy Board for permission to build 15 km of high voltage transmission lines in Lambton Shores to deliver power from the company’s proposed Cedar Point Wind Energy Project to the province’s electricity grid.
The company is planning to build 46 wind turbines in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township and the transmission lines are proposed to run from a substation near Cedar Point Line and Fuller Road near Forest, to a substation off Thomson Line expected to be built as part of NextEra Energy’s Jericho Wind Project.
The Ontario Energy Board, a public agency that regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas industries, is accepting submissions from the public on Suncor’s application until March 13. That’s also the deadline for individuals and organizations to submit a request to be intervenors at the hearing, with the ability to provide evidence, argue their position and submit questions to Suncor.
Lambton County has submitted a request to be an intervenor because of potential impact on its right-of-ways along the transmission route.
Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said permission from the energy board for the transmission lines is one of the steps required before the company can begin construction on the Cedar Point wind project.
Suncor is also awaiting approval from Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment.
Vaillant said Suncor hopes to begin construction on the wind project as soon as this fall, but added, “It really is dependent on approvals from the province.”
The company is also awaiting a court ruling on its challenge of bylaws in Plympton-Wyoming aimed at wind developments.
Marcelle Brooks, a Lambton Shores resident and a member of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group that opposes wind energy projects in the region, said she was undecided about seeking intervenor status at the energy board hearing for the Suncor project, since requests she and other wind opponents made for standing at a similar Jericho project hearing were turned down by the board.
“I have very little hope that the community will be able to voice any kind of concerns,” she said.
“Everything is stacked against us.”
In its decision, the board said issues Brooks raised with the Jericho project didn’t fall within the scope of its jurisdiction.
Documents concerning Suncor’s request are posted on the energy board’s website, www.ontarioenergyboard.ca, under file number EB-2014-0022.