The blades are turning and power is being produced at the South Branch Wind Farm.
While waiting for weather to cooperate for site rehabilitation work to take place, Ken Little, project manager with EDP Renewables, is concentrating his efforts on community outreach.
With many windy days since commercial operations approval was granted, March 4, so far Little is pleased with the testing.
“We’ve already had the towers working at full power,” he said.
Peak production for this 10 turbine project is 30 MW.
The blades generally turn about 10-12 revolutions per minute but can turn a maximum of 14 rpm.
Little has been attending area farm shows, and one of the questions he is asked most often is ‘what do they sound like?’.
He encourages anyone who wants to know the answer to this question to take a drive to the South Branch wind farm, stop along a public roadway near any tower and to listen for themselves.
Last week, when reporters toured the site with Little, it was difficult to differentiate the sound of the rotating blades from the surrounding wind noise on what was a very windy day.
Anyone who wants to tour the site, or educators who may want to obtain information about wind power, can contact Little directly.
According to Little, later this year, the Ontario Power Authority will be accepting bids on new wind projects, on 300 megawatts province-wide.
EDP is hoping be successful in the bidding process, as they have their sights set on two local projects, one in South Dundas and one in North Stormont.
The size of those projects would depend on available capacity. Little would not discuss the exact location of either project.
“That 300 mw bid is a competitive bid process, no longer Feet-In-Tariff, which are set prices,” said Little. “That is a step in the right direction towards getting lower costs for energy production.”
In early April, Little will meet with South Dundas council to discuss the allocation dollars from the $30,000 per year, 20 year community fund associated with the South Branch project.