(Let us just say first, Not our community. Though we’d like to see them try.)
In this news item, Prowind Canada is reported to be trying to get cash from community members for its Gunn’s Hill project in south-western Ontario (not far from Woodstock).
from reNews, December 10, 2013
Developer ProWind Canada has helped establish the Oxford Community Energy Co-operative to partner in the 25MW Gunn’s Hill project in Ontario.
The proponent will give the coop up to a 49% equity share in the feed-in tariff proposal to help spread the local benefits, Prowind VP Juan Anderson told reNews. Community ownership adds up to 1 cent/kWh to the base FiT rate of 13.5 cents/kWh.
The group hopes to raise up to C$10m, said co-op secretary Christine Koenig. About 30 members have paid C$100 each to join so far. The co-op aims to offer a share purchase program in February 2014.
Ontario regulators meanwhile are assessing a renewable energy approval application for the 10-turbine, distribution-connected scheme.
“We expect it to be deemed complete this month,” said Anderson. A public comment period and six-month review will follow.
The proponent, a subsidiary of Germany-based Prowind GmbH, is finalizing a turbine supply agreement. The developer is also in discussions with contractors and expects to select a builder in early 2014, said Anderson.
The Oxford County project must meet a 50% Ontario content rule. Towers, blades and pad-mount transformers will be sourced in the province*, said Anderson.
Construction is expected to get underway in mid to late 2014 followed by commercial operation in 2015.
It is worth recalling that a few weeks ago, another local community group, the East Oxford Community Alliance, announced that it has hired lawyer Eric Gillespie and intends to sue Prowind and the landowners leasing land for turbines for $28 million, if the Gunn’s Hill project gets approval.
The community investment fund strategy is one being employed by some wind power developers to help them get approval from the government, as community “engagement” and “support” are now important in the approval process.
As regards now VP Anderson’s statement that all materiels for Gunn’s Hill will be from Ontario, their supplier of choice is a company called Broadwind Energy, headquartered in Illinois. Prowind’s HQ is in Germany. Once again, profits (i.e., subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers) are NOT staying in Ontario but going out of this country. A search of Broadwind’s website reveals no information on any Ontario facilities.
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