Expanding clean and renewable sources of energy is key to the government’s plan to phase out coal fired generation, mitigate climate change, create green jobs and support technological innovation in renewable energy.
The Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre is located in Haldimand County and is expected to have a maximum generating capacity of more than 120 megawatts (56 wind turbines). At its maximum generating capacity, it will produce enough energy for approximately 32,000 homes in Ontario.
This project is contributing to the development of clean renewable sources of energy so Ontarians will have a sustainable supply of power now and in the future.
This project has been awarded a Feed-in-Tariff contract by the Ontario Power Authority, received the Renewable Energy Approval from the Ministry of the Environment and an approved Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA) from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). No Significant Wildlife Habitat (SWH) was identified at this location during the preparation of the NHA.
The Commercial Operation Date (COD) is January 19, 2013. The project is now in its construction phase.
Since receiving all required approvals for this project, Bald Eagles (listed as special concern in Ontario) have built a nest within the project location in a tree that was scheduled to be removed for the construction of a road, and within 20 metres of the blade sweep of a proposed turbine.
The nest was brought to the attention of MNR in summer 2012 and confirmed in the fall when leaves fell from the tree. Confirmation of an active nest was given by Bird Studies Canada and Guelph District.
Bald Eagles typically start to look for nests in early winter and have been known to use more than one nest. By removing the nest before January 6th it is anticipated they will find another suitable nest location and will avoid disturbing them during their critical nesting period. Timing is critical as the eagles are not currently situated in the nest, however they have been seen perching in the near area. Removing the nest will reduce the risk of eagle mortality at the site. NextEra plans to provide artificial nests in the surrounding areas to ensure that the eagle pair can safely relocate.
MNR has granted authorization under Subsection 7(3) of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) to remove the nest site by January 6th 2013.