Grand Opening of Ravenswood

The last of the 6 turbines at Ravenswood was commissioned at about 3:30 this afternoon. The ribbon cutting was held at 4:30.

Why would you delay these things?

A crowd of about 200 people – a mix of contractors, neighbours and local residents, wind industry people, and politicians were there. The Ontario Power Authority, which runs that Standard Offer Program, and buys some of the power, and Conservation Bureau were well represented with 4 key people who have worked on the Standard Offer. Bullfrog Power was out in force. Bullfrog is a key customer, and customers are what makes projects happen. The Energy Minister, Gerry Phillips was there, and spoke about the importance of renewable energy, and conservation in the province. His participation in the celebration spoke volumes about his attitude toward the expansion of renewable energy. The Sarnia Observer, and Forest Standard were there. Local radio stations covered the event. The Weather Network is coming tomorrow to climb a tower, and take some footage. Some family members, friends from my Woodstock upbringing, and even 3 people all the way from Lion’s Head were there. There were prospective developers from Windsor, Prince Edward County (near Kingston), as well as local landowners and wind developers.
This is the first wind project in Lambton County, and will supply enough power for 3000 homes on average.

But you know, I have a thin skin. I received some brutal criticism. It came from the parents of one of the landowners, who live on one of the properties that hosts a wind turbine. Was it noise? Perhaps shadow flicker? Perhaps the site wasn’t properly looked after?

“I have a problem with this project.”

“Oh, what is that?”, I said, dreading the response.

“The contractors who worked on this project were too neat. They were too tidy. My son-in-law likes things neat and tidy, and I am not always that way. They made me looked bad.”

Criticism accepted. I will instruct the contractors to be messier next time.

Many thanks to the contractors and suppliers, Carlsun, Tiltran, Vestas, ESAC, Jay Dee Concrete, Bruce Poland, Dave Hawkins, Dietrich, Latta Crane, Van Tams fencing, Erie Thames, Enbridge, EMC Concrete, Hydro One, Amtelecom, Lloyd Hendricks Drainage, and Credit Union Central (the banker). You made me look bad to a family member of a landowner. And you got the job done.

Thanks also to the Forest Optimists, who provided the hall and the bar, and to Alana’s Fine Dining, the caterer, and to Marge Rutten, and Sandy Dortmans, who looked after decorations.

It takes a lot of people to build a project. But it is now built and commissioned. The coal plants can run a little less tonight.

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