Windlectric/Algonquin Power plans to blanket the Island with 26 fifty storey Industrial wind turbines. Imagine 26 TD centres in your neighbourhood all being constructed at once. If erected, the adverse consequences to Amherst Island’s unique environment and many species-at-risk will be significant and, we believe, irreversible.
The project threatens the celebrated biodiversity of Amherst Island and as many as 34 different species at risk known to rely on the Island’s natural environment for survival.
The Amherst Island Wind Turbine Project
How large is this project? How small is the Island?
Windlectric/Algonquin Power proposes to construct and operate a 56 – 75 megawatt industrial turbine project on Amherst Island with a total area of 66 square kilometres. The project includes up to 26 Siemens wind turbines. The turbines will be over 500 feet tall, among the tallest in Ontario, and the speed at the tip of the blade can reach up to 275 kilometers per hour. Each of the turbines has a swept area (the area covered by the blades as they spin) of 10,000 square metres, almost 2.5 acres for each turbine. The 26 turbines will directly impact about 65 acres of air space over the Island.
Permanent installations will include a 34.5 kilovolt underground and overhead electrical power line collector system, fibre optic data lines from each turbine and wireless technology for data communication, a transmission line, truck turnaround areas, a submarine cable from the mainland to the Island, a cement batching plant, an operations and maintenance building, permanent dock, a hydro substation, a switching station, a storage shed, cable vault areas, meteorological towers and access roads, some of which may require culvert installations.
Based on Google Earth measurements of the project site plan, an additional 26 km of new roads will be built to access the turbines. As these roads will be up to 6 meters wide, this equates to an additional 15.6 hectares of lost habitat. The 16.5 hectares does not take into account the habitat edging the road that is now compromised and of less value to the animals and birds at risk.
Each of the 26 turbines would require excavation and construction of a concrete platform of approximately 10 x 25 meters and a depth of up to 5 meters to be anchored into the bedrock.
Temporary components during construction will include staging areas for the turbines, access roads, meteorological towers, collector lines and transmission lines as well as staging areas, crane paths, a temporary dock, site offices, cement batch plant, central staging areas. In summary, the entire Island will be a construction area. Indeed, Windlectric/Algonquin Power calls the entire Island its project area.