Wind farm boundary shifts south
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
The proposed 92-turbine Jericho Wind Energy Centre’s southern boundary has shifted south into Warwick Township.
Originally, the 150-MW wind farm turbines NextEra Energy Canada plans to build, were all planned for Lambton Shores.
“As the project develops and as the project progresses, things kind of shift around a little bit,” said NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez.
A map included in an October 2011 draft project description report — on http://www.nexteraenergycanada.com — showed Townsend Line as the wind farm’s southern boundary.
The company’s latest map shows the southern edge has now moved from Townsend Line — the boundary line between Lambton Shores and Warwick — to Warwick village and Egremont Road.
The new map is included with a notice from NextEra about a public meeting it’s holding July 17, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Centennial Hall in Watford.
NextEra has a contract to sell power from the wind farm into Ontario’s power grid, and the company is working its way through the province’s approval process for green energy projects. Public meetings are part of that process.
The boundary reasons is one reason for the July 17 meeting, Hernandez said.
“We wanted to just make sure that everyone was aware of that shift,” she said. “It’s something that just happens with projects, as part of development.”
The public meetings are also an opportunity for residents to provide their input and pass along information to the company, she said.
But Marcelle Brooks, a member of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group that opposes the project, has a different view.
“These open houses are simply designed to appease government regulations,” she said. “It allows the companies to put a tick mark in the box.”
Members of the wind action group will be at the meeting to hand out their own material and provide an alternative view of industrial wind energy, she said.
“We use these public meetings as an opportunity to educate people of our position.”
Opposition to wind farms is growing in the region, Brooks said, noting an information meeting the group held recently in Forest attracted 140 people.
“Those people are angry,” she said. “They are understanding that these turbines are a threat, not only to our communities but to our well-being.”
Hernandez said documents, including the proposed location of the turbines, should be ready by the fall, and submitted to the Ministry of Environment at the end of the year.
If the province approves the project in 2013, construction could begin that year, she said.
“Which would take us to early 2014, when we would be in operation.”