US-based NextEra racks up wind power project number 7 with Jericho approval
Middlesex-Lambton community group considering an appeal
Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment issued a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) earlier this week for the company’s proposal to build a 150-megawatt wind farm spanning Lambton Shores, Warwick Township and North Middlesex.
Some final details still need to be worked out, but construction of the Jericho Wind Energy Centre is expected to begin as soon as possible, said Ben Greenhouse, director of development with Nextera Energy Canada.
The project has been in the works since 2008, he said, and was submitted for ministry approval 14 months ago.
“We’re excited,” he said, noting a laydown yard — headquarters for construction — will soon be built on Thomson Line, north of Jericho Road and south of Northville Road.
But not everyone is enthused about the approval.
Lambton Shores resident Marcelle Brooks, with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, has been a vocal opponent of the project.
It was a sad day when she saw the approval, she said.
“It was just devastating that our voices simply aren’t being heard.”
Concerns raised about whether turbines are being set back the required 550 metres from residential properties, and environmental concerns about nesting eagles near powerlines, haven’t been adequately addressed, she contends.
Concerns have also been raised about wind turbines affecting tundra swan migration, and the potential health impacts to people living nearby.
Brooks said she was planning to convene a meeting Wednesday with people affected by the project — connecting to Hydro One’s distribution system — to talk about options.
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