Wind turbines and Prince Edward County don’t mix. That’s the message coming from the mayor and county councillors.
The county is, once again, trying to stop the creation of a wind turbine farm, this time in South Marysburgh.
“We have become rich and famous with our history, our heritage, our culture, our tourism. We receive upwards of 1.5 million visitors per year and we feel the presence of industrial wind turbines will be very detrimental on that part of our culture,” said Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff.
Back in 2009, WPD introduced The White Pines Wind Project. The original plan was to construct 29 turbines near the south shore community of Milford.
County council was against it then and still are now. The project has since been scaled down to nine turbines.
But councillors, like Steve Ferguson, still want the project axed, saying residents are angry and frustrated. Ferguson adds the location of the wind turbines will have a profound effect on the community.
“Mount Tabor church, which is a historic, designated property; Looming over that is going to be a very large, 500-foot turbine, there will be other turbines visible behind that. It is also the fairgrounds, it is used as a public space and the distraction that will be evident and the noise, and the vibration that will come from that turbine is going to have a profound effect on that as a gathering space,” said Ferguson.
In addition to scaling back the number of turbines, the province also reduced the output to 23 megawatts, down from 60. But the project still has the green light and construction could begin as early as this weekend.
There are talks the community may hold protests in response to the construction. Quaiff is appealing to WPD to do what he says is the right thing.
“It looks as though it’s doom and gloom and that they are going to start moving the equipment in,” said Quaiff, adding, “I can’t imagine that the nine turbines is going to be financially sustainable for them so do the right thing and cancel those contracts and move on.”
WPD has yet to respond to our request for comment. But according to the mayor, the Mississauga-based company has threatened legal action if road access and building permits are denied.