The developer behind two potential wind farms in Oxford has revised its proposal for both, increasing the wattage and changing how the turbines might be laid out across the landscape.
The information from ProWind Canada Inc. was sent out in two separate e-mails Friday to a list of local contacts. The e-mails outlined changes to the designs of both projects, noting a slight increase from 18 megawatts to 19 for Innerkip and a more-than-double increase from 10 megawatts to 25 for Gunn’s Hill Road in Norwich Township. ProWind stated the Innerkip project would still have a maximum of eight turbines, with Gunn’s Hill at a maximum of 10.
“We’re starting that process from scratch and the scope of the project has changed slightly,” ProWind’s Bart Geleynse said in a Monday phone interview. “The original plan was 10 megawatts on a much smaller area of land. We’ve expanded in terms of capacity and in terms of spread.
The managing director of the company behind two Oxford County wind farm proposals suggested the speakers at a recent “Wind Energy Information Night” overstated the alleged health risks of industrial wind turbines.
Bart Geleynse of Prowind Canada Inc. said the speakers at the Hickson Central Public School meeting were claiming a causal relationship between wind turbines and health risks without any compelling evidence.
“I’ve seen nothing that leads me to believe that except anecdotal and quite emotive statements by people making a name for themselves,” Geleynse said.
But the speakers at the June 25th meeting didn’t share Geleynse’s skepticism. Both David Colling, an electrical pollution consultant, and retired pharmacist Carmen Krogh were adamant about the link between wind turbines and a number of adverse symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, headaches and tinnitus.
A councillor’s push to have the provincial government halt any new wind farms for 18 months until potential health problems caused by the renewable energy projects can be studied is expected to die next month at city council.
Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Glenn Brooks is pushing for the moratorium because Prowind Canada is working on getting a wind farm approved in his ward, near North Gower. Some area residents aren’t happy with it, including those who claim turbines make people sick.
Brooks says he thinks the application and approval process for wind farms should continue, but none should be built until the study is done.
Ontario officials aren’t receptive to a councillor’s call for the province to halt new wind farms for 18 months until a study can assess whether the green-energy installations pose health risks.
Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Glenn Brooks was going to ask council to direct the city’s chief medical officer of health to do the study, but the officer says it would be too expensive and time-consuming for his office. So, instead, Brooks says he plans to ask council at next week’s meeting of the rural-affairs committee to call on the province to act.