The team at North Kent Wind has grown together over the past few years—in more ways than one!
Since the project went into operation in 2018, Facility Manager Jonathan Miranda says he works with a committed, passionate, and fun group of people.
Planting seeds together
While he says they’re still evolving, they’ve found some unique ways to connect with each other and with the local community over the years.
One of Jonathan’s favourite memories of working at the North Kent Wind facility is growing an on-site garden with his coworkers.
“We love having the option to pick some tomatoes and make a salad in the summertime. It’s now become like a team event—we can talk about business, but also appreciate that we grew this food ourselves.”
Even the locals are part of the team garden.
“We’ve had a couple of farmers who gave us compost to make our garden better. I think this also gave us a bit of a spark with gardening.”
Thanks to contributions from the project’s landowners, they grew cucumbers, corn, hot peppers, eggplant, broccoli, and watermelon last year.
Showing appreciation for a community’s support
In a normal year, the team at North Kent Wind hosts a landowner appreciation event, which is a big highlight for them.
“Having the opportunity to meet the landowners, hear their stories, and learn about their family lineage—it all helps me value the community even more and makes me feel more connected to it. Hearing their regular day-to-day lives is so interesting. A lot of them have my number, and they still keep in touch and check in.”
Outside of growing a thriving garden on-site, the project has supported many local groups such as Community Living Chatham-Kent, The Sydenham Community Curling Club, the Friends of the New Animal Shelter, and the Chatham-Kent YMCA.
“Meeting the people and groups we’ve supported in the past is really nice. It’s a great experience to feel like we’re part of the community and that we can make a difference.”
Seeing change up close
While making a difference is important to Jonathan and the North Kent Wind team, working at Pattern Energy has also made a difference in his life.
“When I used to work at Grand Renewable Energy in the Haldimand area, there used to be a large coal power plant not too far away from the facility. We were out doing some work and one of the landowners pulled me aside and told me he used to work at the coal power plant.”
Jonathan says that the landowner told him about the black smoke that used to come out of the plant and how it was difficult to breathe when he worked there.
“He told me that he didn’t think wind was the future and that he felt like the facility had taken his job, but now not seeing the black cloud of smoke, it gives him encouragement for the future. I said to myself that this is how I can make a difference for the air and the environment, especially for future generations.”
This was a turning point for Jonathan, and he says that he’s very proud to work in the renewable energy industry.