London 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