Tom Adams: FOI Documents Reveal McGuinty’s Gas Plant Oversight

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Tom Adams Energy
Over the course of 2012 from the beginning of January through to October 1, the Ontario’s then Premier McGuinty and his office were supervising one of the key files of his entire period of leadership–the cancelled west GTA gas plants and their relocation.

The issue was hot. Outraged constituents were bombarding him with complaints. The media and opposition were hounding him. His officials were negotiating 20 year contracts with the jilted developers for relocating plants once committed for Mississauga and Oakville. The amount of public money at stake eventually added up to what McGuinty has claimed is $230 million (Gas Busters readers will know how deficient I consider that figure).

In November, I filed a Freedom of Information request to see what the Premier saw and wrote about both the Mississauga and Oakville power plants. My request specified documents from 2012. All of the documents so far on the public record about the gas plant relocation arise from the Estimates Committee motion for disclosure which specified documents from 2010 and 2011.

The resulting disclosure, issued by Cabinet Office on the first day of Kathleen Wynne’s fresh premiership, reveal a total absence of due diligence. Read article

7 thoughts on “Tom Adams: FOI Documents Reveal McGuinty’s Gas Plant Oversight

  1. “It’s obvious this is one steaming mess that needs to be looked at with a separate set of unbiased eyes through a public inquiry process,” Horwath said Friday.

    What is BIAS?

  2. Hey Tom Adams,
    This is interesting:
    ‘[excerpt] Minister Bentley’s indecision appears to have escalating costs to consumers, and issue I hope to explore in future editions of the Gas Buster series.’

    Maybe Minister Bentley – realized – he did not have ‘all the information’ in front of him –
    to make an informed intelligent decision.
    It appears, and the public perception is growing suspicious –
    – the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) –
    is in the habit of ‘briefing’ Ontario energy ministers.
    Big mouth Smitherman – let it slip – when he was unable to answer questions;
    re: power plant in King Township @ a gathering of approx. 700 Ontario citizens.
    Smitherman then ran off>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    What’s you opinion?

    • it would be hard to predict
      how people perceive
      if the police raided Ontario Power Authority
      today

    • Tom Adams has already informed the public that the costs of renewable energy will be shifted onto the general public via their Hydro bills.
      Business will try to generate their own power by a variety of means, leave the province or go out of business due to high energy costs here. And they can’t pay these high energy costs and remain viable businesses.
      This is already happening in Germany.
      Better off individuals here or bettter located individuals will also generate their own electricity or heat here putting even more of a more squeeze on those who are not able to do this.

  3. Thanks for the wealth of info, barb…

    Bullet News, Feb.22,2013
    “Community Can Make A Big Difference On Climate Change”
    by Heather Boa

    Read more about Heather Boa:

    [Excerpts]:
    Heather Boa also worked with municipal and provincial governments in her role as communications manager for a wind energy development company.

    July 14, 2011
    www dot owensoundsuntimes dot com/2011/07/14/ipc-reviewing-silcote-wind-project

    International Power Canada is reviewing its proposed industrial wind projects in the Kincardine and Meaford areas after the province left the proposals out of the latest round of approvals last week.
    “We are determining what the future of these projects are at this time . . . there is not a short-term answer to the future of those projects,” David Timm, vice president of IPC, said in an interview Thursday.
    Energy Minister Brad Duguid, accompanied by Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell, on July 4 announced contracts for 19 wind projects in southwestern Ontario, including two in the Paisley area, one near Tiverton and one in the Priceville area. The minister also announced six new contracts for solar power installations

    Heather Boa, communications manager for Leader Resources, the wind energy developer of the 200-MW North Bruce Wind Project, 115-MW Arran Wind Project and 150-MW Twenty Two Degree Wind Energy wind farm south of Goderich, said the company was “completely surprised” to learn neither the Arran Wind Project nor the Huron County project, ranked eighth and ninth priority by the OPA until the announcement, were among the list of approved renewable energy contracts announced by Ontario’s Energy Minister Brad Duguid and Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell last week.
    “The OPA changed the rules last month and opened the area to projects south of Huron County in the west London area so they could connect to the Bruce area,” said Boa. “As a result, we got shut out.”

    Boa said they expect the layoffs will be temporary until the next round of approvals.
    “These are good projects,” she said. “It’s the windiest area in the province. It’s just a matter of time.”
    Boa, speaking on behalf of vacationing Leader president Charles (Chuck) Edey, said the company remains committed “to continuing the project,” saying they “fully expect construction within a year” pending approvals in a future round of contract approvals.

    “We are optimistic we will be successful at some point,” Boa said, adding the company has competent employees and “receptive landowners waiting for the project to move forward.”
    Scott Smith, vice-president of policy for the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said an offer from the Ontario Power Authority for a contract gives wind energy developers the green light to begin the process of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals.
    “It’s very early on in the process. . . What the contract does is give the developer a level of comfort to proceed with all of the costs that he’s going to incur in order to do that development. There is no project without a contract,” Smith said.

    October 18, 2012
    Wind turbines good for the environment, says Ashfield farmer

    huron.bulletnewscanada dot ca/2012/10/18/oct-26-deadline-for-input-into-k2-wind-farms-application-for-approval/
    HEATHER BOA Bullet News KINGSBRIDGE – Lawrence Hogan looks forward to the day when four wind turbines stand among the crops on his 400 acres of farmland north of Goderich.

    “I’ve been involved in renewable energy since before there was money in it for me, but if there’s money in it for me, it’s even better,” said Hogan, who was attending an open house hosted by K2 Wind Project.

    Hogan acknowledges that not all of his friends and neighbours share his support of wind energy and “things are testy at times.”
    “I think most of the criticism is unjustified. I think it gets blown out of proportion. Every time a story is told, it gets expanded,” he said.

    The public open house was hosted by three companies that have partnered to build a 270-MW wind energy project on a rural landscape in the Municipality of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. It is part of the REA process required before the Ministry of the Environment will issue the green light for a partnership of Capital Power Corp., Pattern Renewable Holdings Canada ULC and Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. to build the K2 Wind Farm.
    The project includes 140 2.3-MW Siemens turbines, a substation, transformer station and a collection system that is primary underground. It relies on municipal right-of-ways and land leased from 90 farmers in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. Four turbines will operate at full nameplate capacity while the remainder will be factory de-rated to ensure the provincially regulated noise thresholds aren’t exceeded at people’s homes.

    Representatives from the three partners, environmental consultants Stantec Inc., wind resource assessment company Zephyr North, acoustics engineering consultants RWDI, environmental and health science consultants Instrinsik, and substation designers AMEC were on hand to answer questions from the public.

    The partnership, K2 Wind Ontario Inc., has a power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority, which was signed in 2011 separate from the Feed-In Tariff program. In its agreement with the province, Korean consortium Samsung has agreed to supply 2,500 MW of wind and solar projects in five stages, in return for meeting certain milestones in terms of creating jobs in Ontario.
    While Capital Power has held land leases for a number of years, conducted two public meetings and done environmental and archaeological work as part of the Renewable Energy Approval process, the partnership opted to restart the REA process in June 2012 when it changed the layout as a result of a switch in turbines from a Vestas to a Siemens model.

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