Category Archives: Sydenham II Project
Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen Township politicians say they’re considering a bylaw to keep wind turbines two kilometers from homes. But Mayor Kevin Marriott says council is waiting to see what happens with two prominent cases in the Ontario courts before acting. There are three wind energy companies going door-to-door in the municipality trying to sign farmers to wind leases. The projects could mean up to 51 turbines in the community.
A new group, CORE – Conservation of Rural Enniskillen – has been formed to encourage residents not to sign on, making it difficult for the wind companies to get the land base they need. So far, the companies have not secured contracts with the provincial government to sell power.
That’s why Marriott and his council told members of CORE at a recent council meeting they’re taking their time on imposing a two kilometer limit – which would be directly opposed to provincial law. Marriott says communities such as Wainfleet and Plympton-Wyoming which imposed the limit are facing legal challenges and are currently in court. A decision on the Wainfleet two kilometer set back is expected in weeks.
“When we hear that decision we thought we’d be in a better position to proceed with setback (requirements) like Plympton-Wyoming’s,” says Marriott adding a larger exclusion zone would be one of the best ways to stop wind projects in the community. “Two kilometers would pretty well eliminate any place in rural Lambton,” says Marriott. Read article
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
It was the Ontario government’s decision to close the Lambton Generating Station that convinced Larry O’Neill to tear up his Liberal Party membership card. The veteran municipal politician in Enniskillen Township, past county warden, former provincial Liberal candidate and long-time party worker calls himself an independent these days.
The Liberal government’s decision to shut down the coal-fired plant didn’t make sense to O’Neill, just like its Green Energy Act and its rush to build wind farms in rural communities doesn’t make sense to the retired farmer and Chemical Valley worker who spent 16 years in municipal politics.
“I’m just boggled by it,” O’Neill said. “This has got very little to do with a clean environment for Ontario, and it’s got all to do with big money.” He’s worried about the impact wind turbines have on the health of people living next to them. “The question I have for the people who say there’s no health issue with them, is, ‘Would they want a house within 500 metres of one of them?’” O’Neill said he’s also concerned about the impact on residential property values, and the quality of life in rural communities. “I totally oppose the things.” Read article
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Convincing landowners to turn down wind companies is the best way to keep Enniskillen Township free of wind turbines, says its mayor. The rural township that surrounds Petrolia has been targeted by wind energy companies, leading to the forming of a citizens’ group opposed to wind turbines, as well as plenty of concern in the community.
Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott said he’s encouraged by the number of farmers and large landowners who have already told him they won’t sign leases with wind companies. “I’m not leasing my land,” said Marriott, who farms in the township. “It’s still possible to stop these projects in Enniskillen, but the landowners have to be willing to not sign.”
Marriott said he believes a community information meeting township resident Chad Burke and his family organized earlier this month helped make the case against signing leases with several landowners who attended. “If enough people can say, ‘No,’ then it stops them in their tracks.” The meeting attracted about 250 people and Burke said the citizens’ group that has since formed – Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE) – plans to attend an upcoming township council meeting. “We do have some questions that we want to ask, just to see what Enniskillen’s going to be doing moving forward.” Read article
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
John Barros says it’s time for a new, and less divisive, approach to building wind farms. The senior project development manager for Mainstream Renewable Power said he wants everyone within the boundaries of its proposed Sydenham wind projects in southeastern Lambton County to be able to benefit from them.
That why, for the last six months, he and Mainstream have been talking about sharing some revenue from its wind projects with all landowners who sign up, and not just those who end up with turbines. He’s also talking about setting up a community energy co-op that residents of the project area can invest in. “It takes a community to develop a wind farm,” Barros said. “The minute you get off that concept, is the first step toward a project failing.”
Barros and Mainstream have been working for five years on its Sydenham proposals to erect turbines in two or three phases that would generate a total of about 167 megawatts of electricity. In that time, opposition to wind farms has taken hold in rural communities. Ontario’s push into renewable energy is at risk of falling, along with the Liberal minority government and a provincial deal with Samsung that ate up transmission capacity west of London. Read article
Tiffany Smale, London Free Press
Enniskillen Township is my home. My family is from Enniskillen Township. It’s where my husband and I grew up and where we had planned on building our home and raising our family. When my father in law was approached about the wind leases, we became concerned about what this would mean for our future home. We approached neighbours and were soon told that there was interest in our area and that some neighbours were considering signing leases for the potential revenue. We began researching and the more we read, the more we worried about possible impacts on our health, our pets and our property value.
Our family decided that we needed to make sure that our friends and neighbours had all the information before they signed. We began planning an Awareness Meeting with the hopes that our neighbours could hear first hand from those who already have wind projects in their communities. Our awareness meeting was held in Oil Springs on March 7th and it was a full house. There were four speakers who addressed various concerns and issues. It was a woman named Monica Elmes who resonated with me. Her community has been dealing with wind turbines for several years and it has effected their homes and health. Hearing her stories of how neighbours’ homes are no longer a safe place and of people being forced to spend time away from home in order to have peace shook me. As I looked around the room at so many familiar faces, I began to imagine what this would do to our community. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Landowners need to get advice before signing on with wind energy companies, says lawyer Wallace Lang. He was speaking to about 250 people gathered Thursday evening at a wind turbine public awareness meeting held at the community centre in Oil Springs.
It was organized by Enniskillen Township resident Chad Burke and his family after representatives of wind companies began approaching landowners in the rural Lambton County community. Mayor Kevin Marriott has said three companies are behind several proposals for wind farms in the township.
Lang was one of several speakers at the meeting Burke organized with help from local anti-wind groups. “Take care,” Lang told the crowd about documents used by wind companies. “Because it’s a binding agreement once you sign it. Lang said the companies have developed documents they have found to be saleable to landowners. “You’re not dealing with a bunch of amateurs here.”
Burke said he discovered the wind companies have become active in Enniskillen when they approached his in-laws. As well as organizing Thursday’s meeting, Burke said he expects to see an Enniskillen citizens’ group form and join forces with other anti-turbine efforts in Lambton. “The whole idea is to spread awareness and not let these into our community,” he said. Read article