News of the purchase of area green energy projects by the Canadian Pension Plan is being welcomed by St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold.
The CPP board announced it will buy six wind and solar projects from NextEra Energy Partners, including the 92-turbine Jericho wind project in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township as well as solar projects in St. Clair Township (Moore and Sombra).
It’s a $741-million deal that is said to close later this year and other projects, including wind turbine projects in Huron County (Bluewater), Wellington County (Conestogo) and Haldimand County (Summerhaven) are part of the package.
The two solar projects were built in 2012 by First Solar. The same year they were sold to NextEra.
Arnold said St. Clair Township has typically been supportive of solar projects, citing the diversity of the energy mix.
The municipality, which was home to the now-shuttered Lambton Generating Station, is hosting several natural gas-fired electricity producers.
The announcement of the CPP deal included that an affiliate of NextEra will continue to operate the projects under a 10-year operating agreement.
But the news is not without concerns being expressed, notably the noise and potential impact wind turbines may be having on groundwater.
There may also be potential financial issues around any change in the provincial government.