WARWICK: Mayor frustrated with lack of communication and common sense in planning

Harvey McGuinty

Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Plans for up to a dozen wind turbines in Warwick Township have Mayor Todd Case feeling frustrated. Nextera Energy is holding the first of three public meetings about its 150-MW Jericho Wind project at Centennial Hall in Watford Feb. 6, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The community hall sits a few kilometres south from where the mostly Lambton Shores-based Jericho project spills over the border into Warwick.

Case said there has been a serious lack of communication from both Nextera Energy, and from the Ontario government. Warwick’s council voted earlier in November to call on the province to deal with a list of the township’s concerns and objections about its Green Energy initiative.

“The common sense in this whole equation seems to have gone out the window, quite some time ago,” Case said. “It seems here in Ontario we’re just going to keep marching forward and we’re not going to consider all the facts.”

Nextera released a map earlier this month showing 97 proposed sites for up to 92 Jericho Wind project turbines it wants to begin operating in 2014. Warwick has joined other Ontario municipalities calling for a moratorium on wind farms until a federal health study can be completed.

“We also have huge grid issues here,” Case said.

Warwick residents who received micro-FIT contracts some time ago to sell the province electricity from small-scale solar installations haven’t been able to get them connected to the power grid.

“We have been trying to get the province to address this for a year and a half now,” Case said.

Several requests to meet with Ontario’s current energy minister about the problem have come up empty, he said.

Council is also worried the grid capacity problems won’t be solved in the next three or four years when a landfill gas-powered generating project — capable of powering up to 7,000 homes — is planned for the large Twin Creeks landfill near Watford.

Using methane gas produced by the landfill to generate electricity is “true recycling,” according to Case.

But that won’t happen if there isn’t enough room on the transmission grid for the landfill power project.

“There’s going to be windmills in Warwick Township going around and around, and we’re going to have that true recycling at the landfill flared to the sky,” Case said.

“For me, this whole thing is quite ridiculous.”

Case said he was also disappointed he first learned from the media, instead of the company, that some of the Jericho Wind project turbines could be built in Warwick.

“That doesn’t sit well with me,” he said.

“It’s a difficult situation as it is. To deal with a company like this makes it even tougher.”

Following the Feb. 6 open house in Watford, Nextera has one scheduled for Feb. 7, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Ailsa Craig Community Centre and a third Feb. 8, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Kimball Hall on Townsend Line in Forest.

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Posted on December 4, 2012, in Ethics, Government, Green Energy Act, Jericho Project, Meetings, Ministry of Energy, Municipalities, Next Era, Sarnia Observer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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