The South Branch Wind Farm has a total installed capacity of 30 megawatts (MW) — enough to power approximately 8,500 average Ontario homes with clean energy.
South Branch Wind Farm provides significant economic benefits to the community in the form of payments to landowners, local spending, municipal taxes, and an annual $30,000 community benefits investment. The wind farm helps provide energy security to Ontario by diversifying the electricity generation portfolio, protecting against volatile natural gas.
South Branch Wind Farm helps prevent carbon pollution, a major contributor to climate change; sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which cause smog, acid rain, and respiratory illness; and mercury pollution, a neurotoxin that is harmful to people and wildlife. The annual environmental benefits are equivalent to taking 13,500 cars off the road.
A small group of landowners participate in the project under long-term lease and easement agreements that cover turbines, access roads, and transmission corridors.
Modern wind turbine generators are robust, sophisticated, high-tech machines designed to capture the kinetic energy of the wind and convert it into electricity. Wind turbines consist of three main parts: the tower, the blade and the nacelle. Most of the action takes place inside the nacelle, where motion is turned into electricity. The blades are attached to a direct-drive shaft that uses large, rare-earth magnets to generate electricity.
The South Branch Wind Farm is the first of its kind to install the Siemens SWT-3.0 – 113 direct-drive turbine. At 99.5 meters to the hub height and 3 MW, they are the largest turbines currently installed in Ontario in terms of height and capacity.