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Opponents to wind farm say changes need public comment

The organization fighting a proposed wind energy project on Amherst Island said a “significant” change to the project should be open to comment from the public.

The Association to Protect Amherst Island is calling for Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to subject the latest change, the fourth for the project, to a period of public input.

“This is totally fair,” the association’s Michele Le Lay said of the request for public comment.

“MOECC has made a determination the Modification 4 report, which states that there will be less turbines but will produce the same amount of electricity, is a minor change.”

In mid-May, Windlectric Inc. announced it would decrease the number of turbines and alter the collection lines it plans to build on the island.

To compensate for the smaller numbers and to meet energy production targets, Windlectric is proposing to use higher-power turbines.

Following Windlectric’s announced change, association members were told by ministry officials that the government had determined Modification 4 reduced the project’s impact on the environment and did not require public comment.

“Modification 2 for the same project changed the model of only three turbines to a lesser power and was posted to the EBR for public comment,” the association wrote in response to the ministry’s letter. “The public deserves both consistency and transparency in MOECC’s decision-making process.”

The original mix of 21 2.300 megawatt turbines and 15 2.221 megawatt turbines is to change to a combination of 12 2.942 megawatt turbines and 15 2.772 megawatt turbines.