Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC) has been given the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) by the Ministry of the Environment to build a huge wind farm in Niagara region. The project is expected to have a total capacity of 230 MW, which will be comprised of 77 wind turbines with a power rating of 3MW each.
The wind farm would create over 700 jobs during construction and installation, and would bring in approximately $130 million locally. It will be the fifth largest wind farm in all of North America, and will have the ability to power up to 70k homes.
According to NRWC CEO, Merv Croghan, the project has taken 7.5 years so far, he said “We’re moving forward with our very detailed construction design plans… We’re getting into the real micro detailing of the project.” However, there could be a large hurdle in the coming days, as the public has a couple of weeks to object to the REA, and Mothers Against Wind Turbines (MAWT) have already confirmed its plans to protest the decision.
In addition to MAWT, Doug Joyner, the West Lincoln mayor, is upset by the news of approval:
“Regardless of what position you have on wind farms, many West Lincoln residents, and many Ontario residents, still believe that the action of the provincial government to take away the rights of municipalities through the Green Energy Act is very disappointing and fundamentally wrong,” he said, adding that West Lincoln has declared itself an “unwilling host” to industrial wind farms.
“Council and many residents truly believe that (wind) farms should be directed to willing host communities.”
If a formal objection to the wind farm is brought forward, a panel will decide if the case will be taken to an environmental review tribunal, where NRWC will have to argue its case to continue the project. Fingers crossed that the right decision will be made!