Not one more wind turbine.
That was the message Lakeshore councillors sent Tuesday in denying a request by EDF EN Canada to place a single industrial wind turbine on agricultural land in the southeast corner of the municipality near the Wheatley Townline.
The Lakeshore turbine is part of a bigger project planned for Chatham-Kent.
EDF EN Canada has a contract for its Romney Wind Energy project for 60 megawatts of capacity generated by 17 to 18 wind turbines.
The renewable energy company already has an agreement with Lakeshore to lease land for a substation and electrical transmission lines to carry the power. The town will receive $25,000 annually from the project. EDF EN was proposing to pay an additional $10,000 for the turbine.
“The fact that we have a moratorium that says we don’t want any more (wind turbines) and then when they come for a request for more, council I think was just feeling that no means no” said Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain.
More than 110 wind turbines have been located in the municipality since 2009, mainly in agricultural areas.
But Bain admitted that the moratorium, passed in December 2014, doesn’t carry much weight as demonstrated by a recent provincial decision overruling the municipality’s denial of the Belle River Wind project, which will see 41 to 46 turbines placed north of Highway 401, west of the Belle River Road by next summer.
“Unfortunately with the Belle River project we had our moratorium on and we were overruled by the province and they were given the right to put those turbines in,” Bain said.
EDR EN Canada has the right to appeal Lakeshore’s decision and Bain thinks they probably will.
Mark Gallagher, the project’s senior developer, could not be reached for comment.
Bain says there simply isn’t anything the municipality can do if the province overrules their decision.
“I think the people in Lakeshore have spoken quite clearly and loudly that we’ve got lots of turbines … we don’t want them in our residential areas,” he said. “We don’t want any more.
“There’s not much we can do,” Bain added. “Once we’re told they’re coming in, we do agreements with the companies to make sure that we’re covered for any road damage or anything else when they’re bringing those turbines in.”
Sidebar: Where do local municipalities stand?
Three municipalities – LaSalle, Tecumseh and Kingsville – have no policies, bylaws or regulations saying they are unwilling to host wind turbines.
Tecumseh did pass a resolution in 2010 expressing concerns relating to offshore wind turbines.
Essex, Leamington, Amherstburg and Lakeshore have all passed resolutions stating they are unwilling to host any or any additional industrial wind turbines.
Amhersburg went further in sending correspondence to the province stating they would not be willing to approve turbines until federal recommendations on health effects are implemented and municipalities have planning authority restored so that they can determine locally where and when industrial turbines are located.
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