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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Plans for Simcoe Wind Farm

After months of planning and preparation, there’s a concrete plan in place for a proposed wind farm in the area.In a recent letter to Brock Township, AIM (Air in Motion) PowerGen Corporation unveiled the preliminary design for the project, which would likely include 18 turbines.According to the letter, AIM has signed option agreements with local landowners. In all, approximately 90 landowners in the area have signed letters of interest in the projects, with the majority of the properties lying north of Highway 48 and west of Regional Road 23.According to the township’s deputy clerk-administrator Thom Gettinby, the letter is simply meant to inform council of the company’s plans and is not a formal application.Council members have requested AIM officials to make a presentation at the Township office in the new year.Representatives from AIM PowerGen have met with council numerous times over the past few years regarding its plan to establish a wind farm across 2,000 acres in the Beaverton area — to Port Bolster and Pefferlaw in the south and  north to Lagoon City and Brechin.After proposing the idea more than two years ago, AIM officials have spent much of the past year analyzing data from test towers in Brock and Ramara.The proposal, titled the Simcoe Shores Wind Farm, would cover the shoreline of Lake Simcoe with anywhere from 20 to 50 turbines, taking advantage of the strong winds blowing off the water.As construction costs are so great, the turbines would likely be in place for a minimum of 20 years.In addition to the proposed project locally, the company is developing a handful of other wind farms around the country, most notably the Erie Shores Wind Farm in western Ontario.AIM secured the wind power development rights to more than 13,000 acres in three municipalities along a 29-kilometre stretch of shoreline on the north shore of Lake Erie.It is widely considered to be one of the most advanced wind-energy projects in the province and was awarded a 20-year contract from the Ontario government for energy generation last December.With 66 turbines, the Erie Shores Wind Farm produces enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.The company is also pursuing other alternative energy projects across Ontario and Canada.