FINCH — Three months into construction on the multi-million power project, 29 turbines are set to arrive soon at the 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont.
Two of a planned 12 vessels have so far unloaded their cargo of gigantic turbine parts at the Port of Johnstown, where operators expect trucks will roll out and bring the first of the units onto North Stormont project sites later this month, a delivery process likely to continue into December.
Project developer EDP Renewables hopes to have the towers — each more than 130 meters tall to the hub — up and pumping power into the grid late this winter.
EDPR’s Ken Little said that Nation Rise is a few months ahead of the seasonal construction curve compared to the firm’s first SDG project — the South Branch Wind Farm in Brinston — which was completed several years ago after an August construction start.
“Here, we’re a few months ahead of that,” Little told Nation Valley News on July 4, at the first in a series of public open houses intended to update the public on the ongoing work. Construction to date has focused on completing “civil work” including roads into the turbine sites — using a new technique of mixing concrete into the subsoil — in advance of the enormous machines’ arrival. “We’re hoping to get the balance of all those roads and things in before we get deep into the build.”
This means that turbine “erections will still be done during that pretty darned cold and windy time of the year,” he conceded.
Overseen by Borea Construction and sub-contractor Pomerleau Construction, work has also begun on the turbines’ foundations.
Little also reported that in addition to the $300,000 grant that North Stormont will annually receive from the project for community purposes, EDPR intends to independently sponsor events in the township as well. The Portugese-based company will operate the project and retain a 20 percent ownership share, with the majority stake now held by Axium Infrastructure of Quebec.
The largest wind project currently under construction in Ontario, Nation Rise also holds the distinction as the only such development being built in a political riding held by Doug Ford’s Conservatives where the local community has also declared itself an unwilling project host. Vocal opponents in North Stormont continue to lobby furiously in an attempt to halt Nation Rise, although local MPP Jim McDonell has said it would be too costly now to cancel the contract signed during the last few days of the previous Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne.
When asked in July, Little said his company would certainly grant Premier Ford a tour of the development if requested.