Essex says 'no thanks' to more wind turbines
Dozens of wind turbines, and plans for more. But in a unanimous vote Essex town councilors are saying the turbines are no longer welcome.
"Enough is enough," says councilor Sherry Bondy.
The Ward 4 councilor adds, “We have enough wind turbines in Essex. We have the community alarmed and panicking. It’s a quality of life issue.”
The council voted 14-0 against a "community benefit package" from G.D.F. Suez that would see Essex receive $1.4 million over 20 years --the lifespan of a new turbine project.
Bondy says it’s not enough, "The municipal compensation package to lobby us are really small compared to other regions in Canada."
G.D.F. Suez is planning the Blue Sky Windfarm project which would add 20 to 25 turbines to 30 that are already operating.
Spokesperson Bonnie Hiltz says the wind farm would be a 60 megawatt wind facility that will power 14,000 homes locally.
She says, "We are living in an age of urgency for climate change. The need to switch to sustainable generating resources in terms of where we get our electricity is essential."
George Ward has lived in Essex for 40 years and doesn't want another wind farm in his hometown stating, "We don't need any more turbines. If you look at them, some days, they aren't even running."
But Quinn McCarthy, who lives meters away from five turbines, doesn't mind. He says, “You can hear them of a very quiet day, it's just a little ‘whoosh.’ There's nothing bad or annoying about them."
Bondy strongly disagrees, "What they are doing is unwanted; it's bullying, it's harassment."
Provincial rules state approval from the municipality is not needed in order for the project to pass.
Officials from G.D.F. Suez say they will be submitting a bid to the province in the next few weeks.
They expect to find out if the project is approved by the end of the year.
In the meantime, two public meeting are scheduled, one at Tecumseh arena on Wednesday and another at the McGregor Community Centre on Thursday. Both meetings run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.