Horizon Wind Inc. announces submission of Request for Environmental Approval

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

THUNDER BAY – Horizon Wind Inc. has announced the submission of its Request for Environmental Approval (REA) for the proposed Big Thunder Wind Park, to be located near the Municipality of Neebing.

In a news release the company states, “In 2007, Horizon Wind Inc. entered into an agreement with the City of Thunder Bay for the potential development of the Big Thunder Wind Park.

No spokespersons from the company were available for the media to ask any questions.

Horizon Director of Community Affairs Kathleen MacKenzie stated “Community members from Thunder Bay, the Municipality of Neebing and surrounding First Nation communities have been engaged in this process with us for several years now. We are hopeful that residents will be pleased with the REA submission and how it directly responds to their feedback. We have listened and consulted extensively and are now looking to move this project to the next step, working together with the community”.

During last year’s run-up to the provincial election, MPP Bill Mauro came out with a statement from the Minister of the Environment.

The Minister wrote “…based on the material provided to me by the Ministry as well as my knowledge of the project location, 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.”

Following the governmental process, Horizon will be posting the REA on the Big Thunder Wind Park website (www.bigthunderwindpower.ca).

In their press release today Horizon states, “Results of recent studies and reports that will be included in the REA demonstrate how the wind park will:
• Protect the Loch Lomond watershed
• Respect wildlife and plant species
• Build on only two percent (2%) of the 17,000 acres Horizon is leasing from the city
• Plant new trees and other vegetation
• Provide up to eight percent (8%) of the city’s power needs”

MacKenzie continues, “In addition, experts have found that we are not located in the migratory paths of birds and that we have stayed away from important sugar maple stands. We have made sure that we are at least 1.1 kilometres from any home (double the provincially-mandated distance). Changes have been made to the original project to address community concerns, including reducing the number of turbines to only 16, and locating the turbines further back to reduce visibility. The environmental process has been very thorough to protect public interests and the environment.”

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