Wind developers snap up Huron Township homes

Section: 
News

By Barb McKay

 

Four homes affected by the Ripley Wind Project have been purchased by wind energy developers, and are slated to be put back on the market.

 

One property on Concession 2, another on Concession 4 and two on Concession 6 in Huron Township were purchased by Suncor/Acciona, which developed the 76 megawatt wind power project, March 16. Land transfer documents were obtained by HALT (Huron-Kinloss Against Lakeside Turbines) president Mac Serra. The documents state that Alejandro Salvador Armendariz, manager of Acciona Wind Energy and Christina Ellerbeck, manager of marketing and business development for Suncor, acted on behalf of the purchaser, a numbered company – 2270573 Ontario Inc.

 

“The idea was to buy them and remarket them,” said Paul Austin, community relations officer for Acciona Wind Energy.

 

Austin said the company went through a period of consultation and testing of the properties with the Grey Bruce Health Unit and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

 

“No link between the wind power project and the health concerns of the residents was discovered,” he said.

 

However, the residents of the properties continued to insist that their health was being impacted, said Austin.

 

“It was agreed that the only solution that could be reached was to purchase the properties,” he said. “It was in the best interest of the homeowners, the developers and the community to purchase the homes at fair market value. It was a mutual agreement.”

 

Austin said the purchase of the properties demonstrates Suncor and Acciona’s commitment to work with residents and the community.

 

Huron-Kinloss mayor Mitch Twolan said Suncor had informed him of the sales prior to the land transfers, and told him they would be back on the market, but he wasn’t given a reason as to why they were being purchased.

 

“It makes you very curious,” he said, adding that some residents feel they have no choice but to sell their homes.

 

David Colling, a Ripley-area resident and citizen member on the Inter-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, said he will be interested to see at what price the homes are listed at when they go back on the market. He said he has received a number of phone calls from residents living in areas where wind projects are slated to be developed.

 

“People call me and ask, ‘What should I do?’” he said. “I say sell and leave now before you lose the value of your home.”

 

Austin said full disclosure will be provided for why the homes were purchased when they are go up for sale.

“We want to be as transparent as possible about the process,” he said.