Lomond, Alta. residents blown away by scope of proposed wind farm
Residents in the village of Lomond, Alta. say there wasn't enough consultation done on the proposed 24,000 acre wind farm that would be equipped with 87 turbines, each over 183 metres tall.
LOMOND, ALTA. -- A proposed wind project near the village of Lomond, set to begin construction by the end of the year, is raising concerns with some residents.
"Our quality of life is definitely affected," said resident Larry Helland.
The project headed by German Energy Company ABO Wind and will be built on 24,000 acres of privately-owned farmland in the area north of the community. The company maintains there are plenty of benefits, including $3 million in property tax revenues, and about a dozen permanent local jobs.
Residents aren't so sure about any of that.
“We’re being exposed to a huge wind project here that the community had no input on,” said Helland. “We all have to live around these flashing lights.“
The proposed Buffalo Plains wind farm project would include 87 wind turbines. Each one would be over 183 metres tall.
“A colony and five individuals are going to be receiving remuneration for the towers and, of those five, most of them are non-residents," Helland adds.
Others are left to live with the consequences.
“We don't have land that would be beneficial to this project. Unfortunately, we feel like just a little person in this situation,” said Dennell Gillespie, another concerned resident.
Brayden Shepard, who just moved into the area, is also worried.
“We're going to see some of the highest concentration of the windmills," he said.
These residents say it’s also a view they don't want to see every day and they feel blindsided by a decision made without community input.
“It would be the onus upon the people that come in to come to talk to the community ahead of time,” Helland said.
ABO Wind maintains the area surrounding Lomond was selected due to its large, open agricultural land base, great wind resource, and close access to the electrical grid.
The company is holding an open house Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to gather community feedback and announce a green option program that it says will benefit the community.
Lomond is located about an hour north of Lethbridge.