A controversial plan to build wind turbines off the Scarborough shoreline would be blown away under new rules proposed Friday by the provincial government.
“Our priority is making sure renewable, clean energy sources are developed in a way that protects the environment,” Environment Minister Jon Gerretson said in a press release.
“We look forward to hearing from the public and industry on the protective rules we are proposing.”
Toronto Hydro wants to build up to 200 megawatts of off-shore electrical generation in Lake Ontario. The proposed wind turbine farm would sit on a shelf that stretches four kilometres from the Scarborough Bluffs and then abruptly drops off to depths that would make the turbines too difficult to place.
The proposed wind farm has been bitterly opposed by residents of the Bluffs, who are concerned it would damage their health and wreck their property values and view.
The province’s medical officer of health has found no evidence wind turbines can cause sickness, and setback rules for onshore wind farms are a minimum of 550 metres.
Energy Minister Brad Duguid, who represents Scarborough Centre, said the offshore rules strike the right balance.
“Today’s posting of rules proposed for offshore wind turbines demonstrates that our government is advancing renewable energy technology in a responsible way that protects the environment.”
Toronto Hydro said the utility would have to study the proposal before commenting.