Kate Jordan, a spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, said in an e-mail that the ministry's investigation into the removal of the trees “is ongoing and decisions on possible charges have yet to be made.” Construction of the Cedar Point project followed years of protests, lawsuits, appeals and court challenges that continue. An Aberarder family appealed the project's environmental approval to a provincial tribunal and lost, but it has appealed to the Divisional Court of Ontario and a court date is set for April 18 in London.
The Cedar Point wind power project is up and running in Lambton County.
The 46-turbine wind project, jointly owned by Suncor and NextEra in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township, reached commercial operation in early October, but some site reclamation and road work remains, according to Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant.
Construction began in March 2015 on the wind energy project that has a long-term contract to sell electricity into the provincial power grid.
“We had cooperative weather and we had good productivity from our contractors, so we were able to meet or exceed the time lines for the project,” Vaillant said.
The work that has been completed includes the placing of the turbines, construction of a power collection system, and a substation, he said.
As part of the turbine construction, fire detection and suppression systems were installed in consultation with fire chiefs in Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick to ensure the project met the terms of municipal bylaws.
“There’s still some site reclamation work to be completed, and that’s going to happen over the next several months,” Vaillant said.
“In the spring we’ll complete some long-term road repair work on the municipal roads.”
The wind companies also plan to carry out reclamation work after protected trees were cut down in April near Fuller Road and Proof Line in Lambton Shores.
“We did remove trees in error, as part of the construction process for the project,” Vaillant said.
“Once we found out, and once we determined these trees were removed in error, we stopped the work.”
Vaillant said the company worked with the St. Clair Conservation Authority to develop a reclamation plan for the area where the trees were cut down.
“We’ve got a re-planting plan that has been submitted and reviewed, and that planting should happen in the spring,” Vaillant said.
“We’re hoping to get good weather to do that as soon as possible in the spring.”
The replanting will be managed and supervised by Stantec, a consulting company working for the wind energy developer.
Kate Jordan, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, said in an e-mail that the ministry’s investigation into the removal of the trees “is ongoing and decisions on possible charges have yet to be made.”
Construction of the Cedar Point project followed years of protests, lawsuits, appeals and court challenges that continue.
An Aberarder family appealed the project’s environmental approval to a provincial tribunal and lost, but it has appealed to the Divisional Court of Ontario and a court date is set for April 18 in London.
Now that work is nearing completion on the Cedar Point project, Suncor and NextEra are looking to eastern Lambton County for contracts to build future wind projects.
Suncor has submitted a proposal to the province for up to 75-MW of electricity generation from a Nauvoo wind project in Brooke-Alvinston and Warwick townships in Lambton, and Adelaide-Metcalfe Township in neighbouring Middlesex County.
NextEra has proposed to build up to 100-MW of wind-powered electricity generation as part of its Hardy Creek project in the same three townships.
Both projects in the mix for the next round of wind energy contracts on offer by the province.
Originally, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator was expected to announce the winners by the end of 2015, but it is delaying that announcement until March.
The agency received 103 bids for the 300 megawatts of electricity generation up for grabs in the current round.
“They have indicated it’s going to be some time later in the first quarter that they’re going to give the successful list of proponents for that program,” Vaillant said.
“We’re waiting to hear.”
Lambton County is now home to 152 wind turbines. Along with the 42-turbine Cedar Point project, NextEra built the 92-turbine Jericho project in north Lambton, and there are 14 turbines operating in smaller projects in Lambton Shores and Brooke-Alvinston.
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