London Free Press, John Miner
Ontario has rewritten the rules for its next round of wind farms, but will that end the high-voltage backlash the projects have sparked in rural Southwestern Ontario and elsewhere? John Miner reports.
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Chalk one up for small-town Ontario. Dismissed, ignored, stripped of control, defeated before tribunals, blocked in the courts — when it comes to giant wind farms built to generate power, rural Ontario has been on a long losing streak. Until now. Powerless for years to stop the wind farms, as the Liberal government plunged headlong into green energy with 2009 legislation that seized control from municipalities over where the highrise-sized turbine towers could be built, many of those same areas are finding the rules of the game have changed.
For starters, wind energy companies will have to buy peace to win new contracts, getting local communities — many of them deeply polarized by past projects — on board. Gone, too, are the sweetheart deals that paid companies far more to generate power than consumers paid, piling up more red ink in a province that hasn’t balanced its books in years. Instead, wind companies will have to bid on price.
And with Ontario’s next round of energy contracts this fall amounting to only 300 megawatts, enough to power about 90,000 homes, competition will be fierce and fought over a much smaller share of the spoils. Wind power generates only a fraction of Ontario’s juice, but its political voltage has loomed large for years, especially in wind-swept Southwestern Ontario’s farm belt where many wind farms have sprouted. Read full article
Among those vying for the next round of contracts:
- Hardy Creek Wind Energy Centre: (Middlesex and Lambton counties); up to 50 turbines, 100 megawatts (MW)
- Northpoint 1 Wind Energy Centre: (Eastern Ontario): Township of North Frontenac, 35 to 50 turbines, 150 MW
- Northpoint 2 Wind Energy Centre: (Eastern Ontario) Townships of Addington Highlands and North Frontenac, 35 to 100 turbines, 200 MW
- 30- to 40-MW project, 10 to 15 wind turbines, on existing Port Alma and Chatham wind farms.
- Strong Breeze Wind Project, in Dutton-Dunwich Township in Elgin Country, 60 MW
- Nine Mile Wind Farm, in Eastern Ontario South Dundas, 50 to 90 MW
- Nauvoo Wind Power Project, 75 megawatts, Townships of Warwick and Brooke-Alvinston, Lambton County
- Churchill wind project, 100 to 150 MW, in Enniskillen and Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton
Capstone Infrastructure Corp.
- Erie Shores Wind Farm 2, up to 70 MW, within Township of Malahide and Bayham, Elgin
- Sydenham Wind Power Project, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen Townships, Lambton, up to 100 MW
- Silver Centre Wind Project, West Timiskaming District, up to 120 MW
SWEP Development LP
- Meadowvale Wind Farm, south of Wallaceburg, Chatham-Kent, 18 to 19 MW
- Clachan Wind Farm, north of Duart, Chatham-Kent, 9 to 15 MW
- Duart Wind Farm, west of Duart, 8-9 MW
- Townsend Wind Farm, north of Jarvis, Haldimand County, 6-7 MW