(BlackburnNews.com photo)(BlackburnNews.com photo)

Wind turbine ban to be discussed at CK's next council meeting

Building new wind turbines could be a thing of the past in Chatham-Kent if a motion put forth by Ward 4 Councillor Rhonda Jubenville goes through at the next council meeting on Monday, July 15.

"The wind turbine companies, I don't know for sure which one, they have already been knocking on doors out in Dover township. They are already soliciting, putting the feelers out," said Jubenville. "I'm hoping that council will support me on this so that the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) who controls all of the energy, will tell all the wind turbine companies, 'Don't bother with Chatham-Kent. They are not open for business,'" added Jubenville.

As of June 2024, 157 out of 444 Ontario Municipalities have said no to hosting more wind turbines. This includes Petrolia, Sarnia, and Essex.

"They shared a similar motion... basically, they are stating that they want to be noted as being an unwilling wind turbine host," said Jubenville.

According to the group Wind Concerns Ontario, the "Unwilling Host" started in 2013 during Kathleen Wynne's tenure as Ontario Premier. It was Wynne who said she would not push wind power on municipalities that weren't willing to host them.

According to the IESO, Chatham-Kent has 21 wind projects which combined create just over 1300 Megawatts (MW).

To put that in perspective, in 2014 the South Kent Wind Farm in Chatham-Kent was the largest in Canada. Its 124 wind turbines have an installed capacity of producing 270MW.

The municipality has had a complicated relationship with the energy source.

"The ones in North Kent have caused great issues with the people of North Kent. The aquifer in the ground is very delicate and what happens is when they drove them into the ground it irritated the aquifer and then the black shale sediment leaked into people's wells," said Jubenville.

Jubenville is hopeful her motion will get enough support and that she can reinforce why more wind turbines are not in the best interest of Chatham-Kent.

"We have to look after our people," said Jubenville.

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