The Nation Rise Wind Farm on agricultural land in North Stormont is fully operational and producing energy. The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) declared the project had successfully achieved commercial operations on June 14.

The 100-megawatt (MW) Nation Rise project was developed and constructed by EDP Renewables (EDPR), which recently completed the sale of a 50.01 percent ownership stake in the project to Chi-Nódin Limited Partnership, owned by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation (AOPFN) (Golden Lake). EDPR will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the project.

According to EDPR, the 29-turbine project near Crysler, Berwick, and Finch created more than 230 local construction jobs. The project will inject more than $45 million over 30 years into the local community through municipal taxes, a community benefit fund, charitable contributions, and landowner payments, and 10 permanent jobs.

In addition to establishing its capacity to foster strong business partnerships in a variety of business sectors, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation (AOPFN) has been actively investing in renewable clean technology, taking into consideration the environment and current trends to move away from fossil fuels.

“The opportunity for AOPFN to participate in the local economy and to be partners in renewable energy projects and local businesses definitely positions our community for success, and we look forward to this venture as well as many others that we expect to come in the future,” said Amanda Two-Axe Kohoko, Chi-Nódin Limited Partnership Board of Directors.

However, like many commercial wind turbine projects developed across Ontario during the past 20 years, Nation Rise was met with considerable opposition from local landowners and other citizens. The former Green Energy Act, introduced by former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government, gave the provincial government the ability to implement renewable power generation projects without the consent of municipalities. The act was repealed in 2018, after the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford took office.

In December 2019, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks revoked the permit for the Nation Rise development. However, on May 13, EDPR appealed the minister’s decision and it was overturned in Divisional Court.