RES Canada, developer of Eastern Fields Wind Farm, is hoping to earn support from the community by chipping in to pay the electricity bills of people living nearby.

The company is offering a fund of $50,000 per year for the life of the project, which is expected to be 20 years. The details have yet to be ironed out, said Lucas Reindler, project development manager for RES. The fund would likely benefit the people living nearest to the wind turbines, who would have to fill out some kind of application. The full details are expected to be presented at public meetings in 2017. The idea for this “Local Electricity Discount” came from similar programs run by the company in Europe, said Reindler.

RES also says it will provide $30,000 per year of operation for local initiatives, which would be managed by a committee, and will provide funding for “special projects” before the project is built – including possibly helping to fund renovations at the community centre.

The company is working to gather support for their 12-turbine project, which has been opposed by The Nation council as well as Save The Nation, an active community group which recently incorporated.

The company held a public meeting in Vankleek Hill on Tuesday, December 6, with another scheduled for December 8 in St-Bernardin.