By Nelson Zandbergen
FINCH — The operators of a 29-turbine wind project in North Stormont are offering area residents funding for window coverings to avoid flicker shadow. They will also stop the turbine blades at times to make it safer for bats. The turbines will start sending power to the grid by June 17.
Turbine operators EDP Renewables said it will idle the turbines at night during the warm season — July through September — when wind speeds fall below 5.5 metres per second (19.8 km/h) to protect bats.
As for the affected residents, those near enough to the turbines are eligible to apply to a special one-time $150,000 home improvement fund set up as part of a negotiated settlement between the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont and the developer.
Starting 30 days after the June 17 commercial operation date, those impacted will be able to apply for one-third of the cost of home improvements and window coverings to keep out turbine sound and shadow flicker, to a maximum of $5,000 per house.
North Stormont Councillor Steve Densham is a member of the Community Liaison Committee that conducted six public meetings — as required by the developer to hear citizen concerns under provincial law. While he feels the establishment of Nation Rise in his township “is not the right solution for many different reasons,” Densham also says the project “is a done deal” and that as a councillor he can’t change it.