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Opponents of a planned Dutton-Dunwich County wind farm are taking another stab at trying to stop the project.
Bonnie Rowe of Dutton Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines said more than 20 volunteers are fanning out across the Elgin County municipality collecting signatures on a petition.
“We thought we would give our community an opportunity to state their wishes again,” Rowe said Wednesday. “It is quite clear to us a large majority of people we are visiting are still very opposed to wind turbines.”
The petition calls on the Ontario government to cancel the wind farm.
“We do know that if we don’t do anything, they will definitely be coming. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I still think they can be convinced it isn’t a good decision to carry on with,” Rowe said.
Ontario awarded a contract in March to Chicago-based Invenergy to build the Strong Breeze wind farm despite a referendum showing 84 per cent of residents who voted opposed the development.
In September, the Liberal government announced it was halting a new round of wind energy contracts, saying the province has enough surplus generation capacity to meet its needs for the next decade.
Rowe said that gave her group hope that Strong Breeze also could be stopped.
“The addition of more energy will just add more unnecessary cost to our already skyrocketing electricity bills,” Rowe said.
Invenergy has teamed with a NCC Development LP, a company representing six remote First Nations in northwestern Ontario, for the $150-million Strong Breeze project. They plan to build 20 to 25 industrial wind turbines. The company has said it expects to start construction in 2018.
Rowe said her group recognizes the company will have incurred costs and probably will have to be compensated. That compensation, however, will be considerably less than the cost of the contract over the next 20 years.
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