Residents support wind farm, says Sheridan

Ryan Ross
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Windmills like this in Maine could soon be popping up in eastern P.E.I.

Most of the people in the Hermanville-Clear Springs area support the government’s plan to build a wind farm there, says Finance Minister Wes Sheridan.

“There is no opposition to it,” he said.

Sheridan was responding to a recent news release from area resident Julie Shore, which urged Sheridan to reconsider the government’s plan for 10 turbines in Hermanville-Clear Springs.

The original plan was to build the wind farm in Eastern Kings where residents voted in favour of the development in a plebiscite. But after the vote, the community council decided against it and the government had to move to its second choice, which was Hermanville-Clear Springs.

To gauge support for the Hermanville-Clear Springs project, the government got written responses from landowners.

In the news release, Shore said landowners were concerned by the provincial government’s lack of community consultation in pursuing the project.

Sheridan said more than 70 per cent of the residents in the Hermanville-Clear Springs area want the project.

“It’s very important to them. They’re wondering when that project is going to be in place and when that money is going to start to flow to their community,” he said.

Shore said the landowners were also worried about the government’s “pay to play” approach through which it offered $500 to local residents who signed off on the wind turbine development.

Sheridan said those payments went to landowners who signed agreements with the province to put a hold on the use of their land for five years. Those landowners will also be compensated further once the wind farm is up and running, Sheridan said.

The news release said residents hoped to convince the government to relocate the project from Hermanville and Clear Springs, which lacks the necessary infrastructure.

And with no municipal council in Hermanville or Clear Springs, Shore said the money the province will give the community as part of the project’s economic spinoff could be vulnerable to mismanagement or abuse.

“Though minister Sheridan claims that his bought votes demonstrate that a majority of residents are behind this project, the Hermanville and Clear Springs Landowners Association continues to hear that local property owners are deeply concerned with the wind turbines,” Shore said.

Sheridan said the project is still awaiting the results of an environmental assessment, which the government expects to get in the new year, after which it will hold public consultations.

The project is still expected to be complete by November 2013.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Hermanville and Clear Springs Landowners Association

Geographic location: Hermanville-Clear Springs, Eastern Kings, Hermanville

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Recent comments

  • Jean
    February 17, 2013 - 10:30

    The people of the Island are being held hostage by a run away government. The people in charge should be protecting the environment not destroying it. The people in charge know that tourism is a huge part of the economy but they are destroying the tourism industry in the eastern end of the Island. Ultimately the residents of PEI will not be saving money because of the windmills. Ask residents of areas with windmills.......for the most part their electric bills increased. I want to know why Wes Sheridan is being allowed to create an industrial wasteland in the most pristine untouched area of our beautiful Island.

  • Don't have a clue, do you?
    December 20, 2012 - 11:49

    You know, the sad thing is that maybe Wes is telling the truth in this case, but based on the record, how could we possibly know? What do you call it when you sort of like a guy, voted for his party, and don't have a clue if he's lying or not?

  • robert
    December 20, 2012 - 09:47

    Truely a shame that they are rail roading this through, - they have no cenception of how they destry the landscape, --- they ae blind and deaf, ---- I like the idea of going to face the PREMIER, not confrontation just eye to eye ball, --- no wrods needed as the crowd pile in, - he will know people are not there to admire him, - just there for as ilent message, ----- the biggest levee ever, - let's see who hs the fortitude to come---

  • Etta McPhee
    December 20, 2012 - 07:55

    I like the way Mr. Sheridan says most residents approve and then when you dig a little deeper that is clearly not the case. Like it or not, one of PEI's biggest industries is tourism-- this is because of it's natural beauty and brautiful vistas. We already have windmills in one part of the eastern PEI and the people who live near them are not happy-- their properties are worthless and they must endure the incessant noise. So the brilliant government solution? Let's build some more, still getting none of the low cost power, let's go to the most rural pristine area we can find... We'll only inform and offer to pay those landowners where the actual windmills are to be placed-- So what if you live next door? No locally elected council, so much the better to bulldoze the project through. I hope everyone is tired of all those annoying people from away and ready to pick up the slack in the taxes and fees they pay because away they stay! Yes, 500 will go along way to making up the difference...

  • linda
    December 20, 2012 - 06:54

    I understand that people are gathering at the Premier's annual levee to reswpectfully give him notes of items they are in disagreement with. If people have the gumption to go and look him in the eye, it should be a very interesting New Years day. It will be a direct message to the Premier that people are not happy. We will see if people that complain and feel discontend will put their bodies where their mouth is, - if not I guess we might as well shut up. See you at the leve----e , if you dare

  • Adam
    December 20, 2012 - 05:40

    HAHAHA here's a one time $500 check for your oil bill. You'd have to be stupid to not want some of the clean cheap energy from your own backyard. Don't let them take advantage of you!!.

  • Joe Blow
    December 20, 2012 - 00:36

    The only way I support a windmill farm is if PEI starts using 100% of the power generated by those windmills!!! If we are going to continue to ship the power down to the US to New England...then I say NO to a windfarm. PEI has some of the highest power rates in Canada, unless we reduce that cost by using the power we generate here....then I am against having anymore windmills on PEI. Its plain and simple!!! Look after PEI first and foremost and if we have any power left over after Islanders are looked after...then we'll share....but not until all the taxpayers are looked after first!!!

  • don
    December 19, 2012 - 23:34

    yes some will when you pay them for there vote.but i guess wes you are use to that.

  • Robert Tocchet
    December 19, 2012 - 22:04

    Consent, to be meaningful, must be informed. Therefore should the true consent of the community not be measured after the environmental impact study is concluded and potential harms are identified and considered? Who is paying for this environmental study of the turbine project? Should the community ensure that it has a legal remedy against the maker of that study if it is flawed and the harm done is greater than originally stated? The one letter I saw in relation to this project suggested that affected landowners would receive financial compensation. That letter was vague and would not be enforceable in court. If that letter is typical the affected landowners get nothing for certain and the builder gets the certainty of project approval. Finally, just because a majority may be in favour of an act does not make that act right. We do not allow a company to pollute a river because the majority of people live upstream.

  • SG
    December 19, 2012 - 20:31

    What is the purpose of more Wind Mills given that Islanders will soon be paying 11.2 % vs. 5% on their Electricity Consumption and will see another two more increases of 2.2% or is it three more increases by 2015? How are Wind Mills providing any savings on Electricity for Islanders? When is it going to end? Does our Gov. not realize that Islanders especially our Low and Middle income earners can't afford such increases? Will Islanders be paying for these Wind Mills also? Will All Islanders' Electric Rates decrease when these Wind Mills are up and running? I expect the answer to that question is No.

  • Very concerned
    December 19, 2012 - 20:23

    I can't believe that all Islanders aren't outraged at this latest proposal for another wind farm!!!!! It just blows my mind that the owners of the properties addressed don't understand that their property value will plummet because absolutely no one would want to buy it after these monoliths have been erected!!!!! Shame on you!!!! On top of this hard sell there is no benefit to Island residents except the 500.00 measly pittance the government is offering. I can't believe that some people actually took it!!!! What fools you are!!!!!!!!!!! I guess there are suckers born every minute!!!!!!! Don't be suckered in !!!!! It's not to late!!!!!! Stand up and FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

  • pspplaya
    December 19, 2012 - 20:08

    We see no power from these so why let them build them anywhere.I wounder how long it took them to find a spot that had no municipal council to stop them pushing this money grab threw.Why would anyone want to see there taxes go up on their electric bill then watch all the poer in their back yard head to the states.

  • intobed
    December 19, 2012 - 19:54

    It is too bad that the environmental assessments are just a formality, bought and paid for by the government.

  • right
    December 19, 2012 - 19:52

    that's the biggest load of BS I've ever heard.

  • Dave
    December 19, 2012 - 18:49

    maritime electric consumers are paying for the infrastructure and the power is going off island to be sold to new york and driving the cost of electricity to islanders up