“They put them in rural areas originally, and our farmers were happy for the extra income. Now they’re starting to encroach on our residential areas. “Originally, they wanted to put turbines along the Lake St. Clair shoreline, but fortunately we were able to talk them out of that.” “There are no other turbine projects on the books,” said Bain, who added residents have made it clear they don’t want any more wind turbines.
Motorists in Lakeshore could face delays beginning Friday with the arrival of the latest shipments of turbine blades for the Belle River Wind project.
The 55-metre blades will be escorted by the OPP along County Road 22 to Rourke Line Road and then ultimately delivered on Lakeshore Road 115.
Three blades will be shipped on Friday, with the same number following over four consecutive days beginning on Monday.
“There could be some temporary closures at the intersection of County Road 22 and Rourke Line when the blades arrive, but there’ll be no lengthy closures,” said Nelson Cavacas, Lakeshore’s director of engineering and infrastructure.
“They’re using the Rourke Line intersection (at County Road 22) because the one at Lakeshore Road 115 (and County Road 42) was too small to turn the blades.”
The sets of three blades per turbine will be delivered individually, approximately 40 to 50 minutes apart.
The blades will arrive at Rourke Line between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the scheduled delivery days.
Beyond the 15 blades for five turbines being delivered over those five days, deliveries of more blades will continue through the summer, with the project becoming operational this fall.
Belle River Wind will consist of 41 turbines, with the possibility of an additional two or three turbines, located between County Road 42 and Highway 401 and extending westward near Puce Road and eastward past County Road 27.
The project is a joint effort between Samsung and Pattern Energy Group.
Though the wind farm is expected to generate an additional $220,000 in property taxes for Lakeshore, council initially rejected the project. However, the province overruled the municipality’s opposition.
“We have 109 turbines (in Lakeshore) already, that was one of our arguments for not wanting more,” Lakeshore Mayor Bain said. “We’ve done our bit, but now we have 41 or 42 more.
“They put them in rural areas originally, and our farmers were happy for the extra income. Now they’re starting to encroach on our residential areas.
“Originally, they wanted to put turbines along the Lake St. Clair shoreline, but fortunately we were able to talk them out of that.”
Bain said the town has spent no money on infrastructure to support the creation of the wind farm.
When fully operational, the project will produce 100 megawatts of power, enough to meet the energy needs of 35,000 homes in Ontario.
The wind farm will also create 15 permanent jobs and 200 jobs during the 12-month construction period.
“There are no other turbine projects on the books,” said Bain, who added residents have made it clear they don’t want any more wind turbines.
“This is the last one hopefully. We don’t have any more rural locations to put a wind farm.
“They’ve become an inconvenience and a hassle being so close to residential areas.”
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