As many as 50 wind turbines could be erected in North Frontenac Township as part of a large wind energy project.
NextEra Energy Canada is proposing to build a wind energy installation across two townships east of Bancroft.
NextEra Energy Canada is among 42 companies approved to bid for an upcoming large renewable energy contract from the Ontario government.
The company is proposing to build about 150 turbines, with about two-thirds to be built in Addington Highlands Township in Lennox and Addington County and the rest to be constructed in North Frontenac Township, in the former townships of Claredon and Miller.
The project is in its initial stages and the company is in the wind resource analysis stage, transmission connection evaluation and landowner discussions and agreements, said company spokesperson Ben Falella.
NextEra Energy is a large United States-based energy company, with retail and wholesale operations.
The company has energy projects in four Canadian provinces and 25 states generating more than 19,500 megawatts.
In Ontario, the company has eight wind power projects in 10 municipalities generating more than 600 MW.
Falella said the project, if approved, would provide North Frontenac with $146,000 in municipal property tax revenue, upgrades to infrastructure, including roads, bridges and culverts, and funding for recreation, sustainability and community projects.
The project also holds the potential for providing between six and 10 full-time jobs and the construction of a 1,525-square-metre operations and maintenance building.
While Falella touted the project’s benefits, some on council were more cautious.
North Frontenac Coun. John Inglis asked if the township had any power to reject or deny the project. Not really, Falella replied, adding that it was in the company’s interest to gather as much local support as possible.
Inglis also expressed concern about the project’s impact on forest cover, as land would need to be cleared to allow for service roads and wind turbine sites.
Frontenac Islands Mayor and county Warden Denis Doyle, whose township hosts 86 wind turbines, questioned the need for increased road maintenance due to the proposed turbine construction.
Doyle also said one of the main annoyances Wolfe Island residents express about the turbines there is the red aviation lights on top of them. Doyloe suggested incorporating a system that only activates the lights when an aircraft is in the vicinity.
Falella said the most up-to-date technology would be used in the North Frontenac project.
An open house is planned for late May. The bid is to be submitted to the government by the end of August.
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