Ontario electricity prices to rise next month

Electricity-bills-problem_1229London Community News
TORONTO – Ontario homeowners and small businesses can expect to see their electricity costs rise next month. The Ontario Energy Board says new electricity prices to take effect Nov. 1 will add three per cent — about $4 — to the average monthly household bill.

Time-of-use customers will pay 7.2 cents a kilowatt hours for off-peak, 10.9 cents for mid-peak and 12.9 cents for on-peak usage. The OEB says the increase is based on estimates for the coming year that include more generation from renewable sources along with a higher price for natural gas.

It says another significant factor in the price change is to account for variations between previous estimates and actual costs. The OEB says most Ontario households use about two-thirds of their power during off-peak hours.

Middlesex County safeguarding taxpayers against extra costs

wind transmission linesLondon Free Press
Ontario municipalities have been fuming for years over the province yanking away control over where giant wind turbines can be built. But one Southwestern Ontario county is now claiming at least a partial victory, after a ground-breaking deal to put energy giants on the hook for their power lines and towering utility poles.

Under the Middlesex County deal, wind companies — not taxpayers — will be responsible for upkeep to their transmission networks along county highways, and any costs if all the hardware ever needs to be taken down. “I’m really confident that we have the best agreement in Ontario,” county lawyer Wayne Meagher said. “What we’re saying is, ‘If you’re going to put a whole lot of stuff on our property, you’re responsible for it.’ ”

In a province where municipalities complain they have almost no say in whether, when, where or how wind and solar projects take shape, the London-area county is calling its deal a victory. “I’m sure that it will be a landmark agreement across the province,” Middlesex chief administrative officer Bill Rayburn said. Meagher said he’s surveyed arrangements between other municipalities and energy giants, and none are as good as the Middlesex deal. Read article


Ontario’s power sector needs major transformation, C.D. Howe says

electricity_price_increaseThe Province
Ontario’s power sector needs a major transformation — including setting it free from ministerial meddling — to tackle widespread inefficiencies and stem rising consumer prices, says a new C.D. Howe report released Wednesday. The province has “an electricity oversupply, a mismatch between generator capabilities and supply needs, rising prices for final consumers and a lack of cost transparency, along with a record of volatile, often contradictory, policies,” wrote A.J. Goulding in the report.

“The province should redesign its electricity generation procurement to incorporate market signals that would attract long-term least-cost generation sources while avoiding the procurement mistakes of the past,” he added in the report. Ontario’s energy bills have been rising steadily over the years. One factor is the provincial Liberal government’s subsidization of the production of renewable energy, including the Green Energy Act, which guarantees above-market rates for wind and solar electricity.

A report recently filed with the Ontario Energy Board said the average household will pay $600 more in 2016 for energy than it did in 2007 — with rates poised to be among the most expensive in North America. Read article

Nexterror PAYS.

NextEra legal fee paymentHey, got the blues about that legal advice bill that some smooth-talking windy promised they’d pay – as long as you signed a wind lease or transmission easement?

Well, fret no more, NextEra has just put a cheque on the doorstep of a property owner in North Middlesex even though he did not sign an easement for the proposed 100′ pole line in front of his house. Lots of other people refused to sign, but this savvy landowner took the lease to a lawyer requesting that “independent legal advice” (ILA) be written.  The landman even promised that NextEra would pay up to $1500 for legal advice.

NextEra (commonly referred to as Nexterror) refused to sign the amended contract.  When the landowner asked for payment for his legal fees, he was told,  “I received your request for compensation related to the payment of legal review of NextEra’s easement offer. In this case, we do not yet have an executed agreement and, as I mentioned, NextEra does not normally pay legal fees for review of unsigned easements.”   End of story?  Not quite, read on. Continue reading

Wind energy company threatens to take its case to Ontario Energy Board to move Sumac Ridge Wind Farm forward

City staff have recommended the City not support a proposed wind farm in Manvers Township, but note provincial approvals have not been granted yet
(KAWARTHA LAKES) A wind energy company says a refusal by the City of Kawartha Lakes to discuss the placement of collector lines for a controversial wind turbine project in Manvers Township could force the company to ask the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to intervene – and the City may have to pay for the hearing. But, if that happens, Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble says Manvers Township residents are ready to fight.

The OEB is the independent Crown corporation that regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors. A City staff report states the Sumac Ridge Wind Farm is a proposed 10.25 MW wind energy project that has met with fierce opposition from Manvers Township residents. The report states the current design uses five 2.05 MW wind turbines with a maximum capacity of 11.5 MW.

Two of the turbines are located in the Oak Ridges Moraine, which means the entire project must be considered under the Moraine legislation. The proposed commercial operation date is July 24, 2014. The operating footprint of the site is 4.52 hectares. However, the site comprises several separate parcels of privately owned land in the former Manvers Township. Read article

Bluewater files for intervener status for Goshen Wind leave to Construct

Goshen transmission mapLakeshore Advance
The municipality will seek intervener status for Next Era’s leave to construct for the Goshen Wind Energy Centre. Since the municipality only had 10 days left to file for intervener status, Bluewater’s Chief Administrative Officer Steve McAuley, asked council how they wished to proceed with the leave to construct.

“We need to deal with this notice because they come fast and fierce. It’s the nature of the beast,” said McAuley at the meeting. McAuley suggested to council that they seek intervener status, so they can be informed of the comings and goings happening with the Ontario Energy Board and also ask for an oral hearing and to have their costs to be covered. The exact same thing council requested for Next Era’s previous leave to construct for the Bluewater Wind Energy Centre.

McAuley said that since the municipality had requested intervener status and an oral hearing with Next Era’s Bluewater Wind Energy Centre, council can expect similar results, including not being appointed costs and not receiving the oral hearing. Read article

Energy Board flooded with objections to NextEra’s transmission project

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Sarnia Lambton Independent
NextEra Energy is facing stiff opposition to its transmission plan. Dozens of people, organizations, and businesses have filed to be interveners at an Ontario Energy Board Hearing on the transmission line project to serve three of NextEra’s projects including the Jericho Wind Energy project in Lambton Shores.

The company plans to erect 100 foot poles over 30 km along roads in Middlesex County to carry the power generated by the wind projects near Strathroy and Lambton Shores. But some neighbours are not pleased. The OEB allowed 10 days for people to register to take part in the hearing to approve the plan, at least 15 landowners and nine other organizations want a say in the hearing.

Middlesex County, Adelaide Township and North Middlesex want to be involved in the hearing. So does Hydro One, the Independent Electric System Operator, and Entegrus Transmission Lines. The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group – a citizens group which has been objecting to the industrial wind projects in the area – also wants a say. Read article

County setting parameters for transmission lines

1201240015 By Chris Montanini, Londoner
Two subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Canada have applied to the Ontario Energy Board for leave to construct electricity transmission facilities for their proposed wind farm projects in Middlesex County. The applications were submitted to the OEB Feb. 8 and in anticipation of an upcoming hearing to allow the public and other agencies to express interest, county councillors at their bi-monthly meeting Feb. 19 in London gave Middlesex County staff permission to intervene on their behalf.

Chris Traini, a Middlesex County engineer, said the procedure will be “fairly standard” for electricity infrastructure on county property. “We want to go to the (OEB) to make sure they know (NextEra) has to follow the normal county bylaws and policies,” Traini said. “So they’ll need work permits, entrance permits, moving permits, the same as anyone else who would install infrastructure on a county road.”

Traini said they will also need to craft a Road User Agreement outlining the terms that will allow NextEra to install infrastructure on county roads. The applications include transmission lines within the right of ways of Kerwood Road, Nairn Road and Elginfield Road. “We’re trying to put ourselves in position so we don’t have additional costs to do our normal jobs (like road maintenance and construction) and therefore increase the burden to tax payers because of this infrastructure,” Traini said. “We ask for that because we don’t have detailed engineering drawing until they actually go to construction which will be a few months after approval is given.”

It typically takes the OEB around 30 days from the date an application is submitted to announce a hearing, Traini said. Read article

Northland Power lacking Support From Sheguiandah First Nations

oebsideRaymond Beaudry, MCSEA
Sheguiandah First Nation is one of the partners of Northland Power’s Mclean’s Mountain windfarm  through a company called MMP (Mnidoo Mnising Power)which was formed by the chiefs at that time through the UCCMM ( United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising).

It would not seem appropriate that a REA (renewable energy approval) can be granted, a transmission line leave to construct can be issued when one of the members of the partnership is not in full suppoort and their concillors or community has not been fully consulted.

Without full support from the First Nations Northland Power has recently also applied for a licence to generate from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) EB-2013-0015 for the Mcleans Mountain Windfarm.

The public can participate in this hearing. One can read the info under the link applications before the board. Search by applicant, Northland Power or EB-2013-0015. Continue reading