A wind turbine project that could bring in as many as 20 wind turbines to a wide area north of Wallaceburg, was one of five wind farm projects approved by the province.
The proposed Otter Creek wind farm project would have generating capacity of up to 50MW and is bounded by Stewart Line and McCreary Line to the south, Whitebread Line and Kent Line (west of Mandaumin Road) to the north, Mandaumin Road to the east and Payne Road to the west.
The Otter Creek project, is expected to have between 16 and 20 turbines each about 80 metres to 100 metres (240 to 300 ft.) in height. The exact number of turbines and the locations of these components has yet to be determined.
The province made the announcement March 10 for six solar farms and four hydroelectric projects, along with the five wind turbine projects.
While the province received 103 bids with many for projects in eastern and northern Ontario, three out of five wind farms will be built in Southwestern Ontario.
The project will now be required to complete the provincial Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process as required by the Ministry of Environment. As part of the application, detailed environment studies will be completed. The studies include assessment of river bodies, woodlands, wetlands, terrestrial and plant species and species at risk. The environmental field work for these studies are expected to take place over the next few months and into the summer.
Chatham-Kent gave municipal approval to the project in August of 2015. Tax payments to Chatham-Kent from the project are expected to be about $50,000 annually.
Renewable Energy Systems Canada (RES) and its partner, Boralex are behind the Otter Creek wind farm project. The project is expected to be up and running by the end of 2019.
RES and Boralex have also been able to obtain the support of the Walpole Island First Nation for this project and have brought Walpole Island First Nations on as part of the ownership group of the project. The total ownership of the project is as follows: RES 51%, Boralex 38.5% and Walpole Island with 10.5% ownership.
Chatham-Kent which has been granted an option to participate in the project up to 15% of the limited partnership interests following commercial operation.
The public will have a say in the project, as public meetings are expected to organized to give people an update on the project.
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