John Milner — London Free Press — July 8, 2014
Faced with appeals against its $380-million project hugging the Lake Huron shoreline, the developer of the Grand Bend Wind Farm is applying the brakes.
Some preliminary work for the wind farm will likely start later this year, but major construction now won’t begin until the appeals are settled, said Gord Potts, director of business development for Northland Power.
“Our company policy is not to do much during an appeal process,” Potts said Wednesday.
Work likely will be limited to clearing sites, building some access roads and preparing to install transmission lines, he said.
“I wouldn’t expect we will see any foundation work for turbines or anything like that,” Potts said.
The appeal process is expected to take about six months.
If it wins against the appeals, Northland anticipates the Grand Bend Wind Farm will start commercial operation in the first quarter of 2016.
The Grand Bend Wind Farm is a joint project of Toronto-based Northland Power and the Aamjiwnaang First Nation at Sarnia and Bkejwanong First Nation at Walpole and involves installation of 40 turbines on 2,400 hectares of land.
It was given the green light by the Ontario Ministry of Energy in late June, but the approval can be appealed to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.
On Monday the municipal council of Bluewater, where the majority of wind turbines will be located, voted to file an appeal.
Potts said Northland Power had been hopeful the project wouldn’t be appealed given the failure of all but one appeal against other wind farms in Ontario.
That single victory is now being challenged in the courts. Continue reading here….