By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
NORFOLK – An estimated 14,000 giant turbines stand abandoned at former wind installations in the United States. For a variety of reasons, the companies that put them up are not in a position to dismantle them. Some have gone bankrupt, leaving the problem for someone else to resolve. Norfolk council was asked this week to think about that happening here.
Appearing as a deputation on behalf of her neighbours, Suzanne Andrews of Port Ryerse asked council what safeguards it has in place to ensure Norfolk isn’t left holding the bag when wind turbines within its boundaries reach the end of their useful life. She expressed similar concerns about worn-out infrastructure at solar farms. “Where is the assurance the money will be in place?” Andrews asked. “Can you be certain anyone will take responsibility for them? The abandonment of these structures is a distinct possibility.”
The estimated life of a wind turbine is 25 years. The Green Energy Act requires companies to file decommissioning plans with their wind turbine proposals. The province, however, does not insist on a bond to back them up. Three Ontario municipalities – Tiny Township, the Municipality of Bluewater and West Grey – have responded by imposing steep development charges on wind developers to cover such contingencies as decommissioning. Read article