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120-megawatt wind farm planned near Cobalt

The Timiskaming First Nation (TFN) and wpd Canada, a Mississauga-based green energy company, are partnering on a proposed $300 to $350-million wind energy development project.

The proposed 120-megawatt Silver Centre Wind Project is slated for the Lorraine Valley, an unorganized township south of Cobalt. It would be located east of Highway 567 near the shores of Lake Timiskaming.

A feasibility study was received by the province’s Independent Electricity Systems Operator earlier this year. A public meeting on the project was held in Cobalt in late June.

“We’re excited to be investing in this project with the Timiskaming First Nation,” said wpd president, Ian MacRae in a statement.

A company news release said the two parties are “working out the finer details” of an unspecified agreement which will produce “significant economic interest” for the Algonquin community located in Notre-Dame-du-Nord, Que. The First Nation has traditional land in both Ontario and Quebec.

The company said the agreement has been in the works for three years. The idea for a partnership arrangement was proposed after a number of consultation meetings and discussions.

Wpd Canada is a subsidiary of wpd Europe, which is active in 17 countries with wind projects producing more than 3,000 megawatts.

“Silver Centre will bring a boost to the local economy through the purchase of competitively-priced local supplies and services whenever possible, as well as the many construction jobs needed to build the project,” added MacRae.

“A project like Silver Centre strikes an important balance between creating sustainable economic opportunities for our community and respecting our natural environment,” said Chief Terrence McBride. “This is a win-win opportunity for Timiskaming First Nation.”