K2 Wind near Goderich starts operation after lengthy legal battle
After a long court battle, the K2 Wind Power Project near Goderich, Ont. has begun operation, and is expected to power 100,000 homes each year.
It took 18 months to construct the 270 MW facility - one of Canada's largest wind projects - and officials say it reached commercial operation on May 29.
The facility in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh - which consists of 140 Ontario-made turbines - is owned by Capital Power, Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and Pattern Energy.
"Samsung is proud to complete our third wind project under our Green Energy Investment Agreement with the government of Ontario," said Steve Cho, vice president of Samsung C&T, in a statement.
"K2 Wind created an average of 300 jobs during construction, with a peak of 500 workers. Samsung and its partners are creating jobs and investing in the community which are benefiting real people in ACW and across the province."
With construction complete, K2 is expected to have approximately 20 full-time operations and maintenance employees, and 10 seasonal positions.
Francis Hogan, a wind turbine leaseholder, says, "My family and I we're quite pleased now to see [the turbines] up and running, that all of them are up and running and this good project's finally coming to a nice end."
But not everyone agrees, and in addition to concerns about the impact on property value and health, there are worries about the concentration of blinking nighttime lights.
Luke Schilder lives near the wind farm and says, "I was born 30 kilometres north of Amsterdam and the red lights here in this municipality are more, and more intrusive than the red lights of Amsterdam."
As part of a Community Benefits Fund Agreement, K2 will provide approximately $15 million in funding for community initiatives over the next 20 years and to support local residents living near the facility through lease agreements and other benefits.
Four local families concerned about the potential health impacts of wind turbines had been fighting Ontario's laws related to their approvals, but earlier this month learned the province's top court refused to hear the case.