Nor’Western Mountain Wind Farm Closer

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wind farm development
This is a picture from a wind turbine construction site at Backbone Mountain, Tucker County, West Virgina. - Photo from FNMEP

Wind Farm
Wind Farm

THUNDER BAY – Toronto based Horizon Wind Inc. is reporting that the Wynne Government has accepted the application that the Big Thunder Wind Park’s Renewable Energy Approval application meets the Ontario Ministry of Environment requirements for the Green Energy Act. In a press statement issued from the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Anthony Zwig, the CEO for Horizon Wind stated, “We are glad to be one step further along in the process to bring safe, renewable wind energy to Thunder Bay”. 

 The entire application will be posted on  www.bigthunderwindpower.ca.  

Horizon states, “Once the REA application is approved, Horizon will commence construction on Phase 1 of the project, eight turbines on the Nor’Wester escarpment”.    

“When the turbines begin producing power, Horizon’s lease payments to the City of Thunder Bay for the land on which the turbines are located will increase, and the Municipality of Neebing will collect annual property taxes for each turbine”.

 Fort William First Nation, and other opponents of the wind farm proposed by Horizon Wind Inc. remain unconvinced. Sources have told NetNewsledger that opposition to the wind farm is strong, and that efforts to stop it will continue.

wind farm development
This is a picture from a wind turbine construction site at Backbone Mountain, Tucker County, West Virgina. – Photo from FNMEP

In September 2011 in a letter to MPP Bill Mauro, The NorWester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee wrote, “Minister Jeffrey’s statement that she has ‘serious concerns about the effect the proposed project could potentially have on the recovery of Peregrine Falcons in Ontario’, and that this site is not appropriate for the type of development currently proposed by Horizon’ are highly appreciated and a welcome relief to our community that government leaders are listening to constituents voicing these same concerns.

[sws_pullquote_left]I don’t know how the proponent could satisfy the conditions to allow my Ministry to issue a permit to allow the project to proceed. I have serious concerns about the effect the proposed project could potentially have on the recovery of Peregrine Falcons in Ontario. I am not prepared to issue a permit at this time, nor do I understand how a permit could be issued for this site. Based on my knowledge of the proposed project, it appears to me that this site is not appropriate for the type of development currently proposed by Horizon. – Linda Jeffery [/sws_pullquote_left]As you well know and understand, the NMEPC has been actively engaged in opposing industrial wind turbine development on the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment. Since the project was first made public two years ago, dozens of deputations were made to Thunder Bay City Council by articulate, well informed citizens and professionals, and hundreds of Letters to the Editor, letters to government agencies, and letters to the proponent, Horizon wind Inc. were written – all strongly opposed to wind turbine development on the Nor’Westers”.

The City of Thunder Bay and Horizon Wind Inc. have an agreement in place for the wind farm.

Horizon Wind Inc. Remains Focused

“The 16 megawatts of power generated from the eight turbines will help the Thunder Bay region meet future power demands,” said Zwig.  “Furthermore, the extensive studies that are part of our REA demonstrate that the natural environment and human health will be protected.   All of these studies can be downloaded from our website.”

A link to the application has also been posted government’s website, www.ebr.gov.on.ca.   Members of the public will have 60 days to submit their views of the project on the government site.  After the conclusion of the public comment period, the MOE will complete its evaluation of Horizon Wind’s application and issue a final decision. 

Within 10 business days, a paper copy of the REA application will be available at the MOE Thunder Bay District Office, 435 James Street South, Suite 331B.

Horizon Wind Inc. states, “The Big Thunder Wind Park project continues to enjoy majority community support.  Horizon will be forming a community liaison committee as the project moves closer to construction.  Please contact Kathleen MacKenzie, Director of Community Affairs, at (807) 631-8555 if you would like to serve on the liaison committee”.

Opponents can visit savethenorwesters.com for information opposing the project.