Nexterror starts construction on 56 turbines in Haldimand County
By Jennifer Vo, The Sachem and Glanbrook Gazette
Haldimand County residents can expect to see between six to eight full time jobs coming out of the $270 million NextEra Energy Canada’s Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre. “We are excited to have broken ground. It’s a big milestone for our company,” said Josie Hernandez, senior communications specialist with NextEra Energy Resources.
“We will soon be starting the hiring process for wind technicians who will work at our wind farm once it’s operational so we look forward to hearing from the local folks who are interested in working for our company.” According to Hernandez, the six to eight jobs include positions for an associate wind site manager, associate business services technician, a high voltage wind technician and several wind energy technicians.
“We expect many of these jobs will go to local Haldimand County residents, which means their income will generally stay in Haldimand County,” she said. The class 4 wind facility consisting of 56 wind turbines will produce about 124 megawatts of energy – enough electricity to power over 31,000 average Ontario homes. She said the project would generate about $10 million in property taxes over a 20-year period to the county. Preliminary construction to the Summerhaven wind centre will take place in October and November.
“We expect turbine delivery to happen in December, January and February. In January, our specialized crane will begin stalling the turbines,” said Hernandez.
The company will do some test runs for individual turbines as early as February, and the power will be sent to the grid around April or May.
“The project is estimated to be commercial by July 2013,” she said.
The notice of construction came just as the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) dismissed Six Nations resident Bill Monture’s appeal of the NextEra project on September 28.
Three out of four of the proposed wind projects in Haldimand County have received its Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) from the Ministry of the Environment.
Haldimand Wind Concerns is in the midst of appealing Samsung’s Grand Renewable Energy Park proposing 67 wind turbines and Capital Power’s Port Dover and Nanticoke Wind Project proposing 45 turbines in Nanticoke.
The ERT will have until December 31 to render a decision for the Samsung appeal and January 31 for the Capital Power appeal.
With the three projects along with Niagara Region Wind Corporation’s wind project in the midst of getting its approval, residents will be looking at around 199 wind turbines erected across the county.
At the Monday, September 24 council meeting, councillor Lorne Boyko gave council and staff members an update on the industrial wind turbine issue in the Dunnville end of the county. He said he recently went to an open house hosted by the Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC).
Boyko announced at the council meeting that despite Haldimand County taking 31 of the proposed 77 wind turbines from that project, the producing plant would reside in West Lincoln instead of Haldimand. The news left the councillor deflated, as he said he’d hoped to see some permanent jobs in Haldimand since the county will be taking almost half of the project’s turbines.
“We’re taking [31 turbines]. It would be nice to get something that all people could benefit from,” said Boyko. He said he’s lobbied to project managers at that meeting and said he wants to see some permanent jobs out of the deal.