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North Frontenac tells Wynne government: we will appeal wind power project

Kingston Whig-Standard, February 29, 2016

By Elliot Ferguson

PLEVNA — North Frontenac Township is to appeal any large-scale wind energy project approved for the township.

Township council agreed on Friday that an appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal would be pursued if either of the large wind energy projects proposed for the area are approved.

“We just had a general discussion and I asked council that if the wind turbine decision was in favour of the proponents, are we agreed that we would appeal it based on our position paper and our decisions made back in October?” Mayor Ron Higgins said. “They all agreed yes.”

NextEra Canada has proposed two projects for North Frontenac and neighbouring Addington Highlands Township. The Ontario government is expected to announce in the coming weeks which of the almost 120 proposed energy projects would be approved. The government is seeking to add up to 565 megawatts of renewable energy to the province’s electricity supply. Of that new energy, up to 300 megawatts is to come from new wind projects, 140 megawatts of new solar power, 50 megawatts of bioenergy and 75 megawatts of hydro electricity.

The NextEra projects include the 100-megawatt, 50-turbine Northpoint I in North Frontenac and the 200-megawatt, 100-turbine Northpoint II in Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Seven of the 100 turbines proposed for the Northpoint II project are in North Frontenac, and the township provides the shortest, most affordable route to connect the project to the transmission lines.

In early June last year, citing public opposition, North Frontenac council unanimously voted to declare the township “not a willing host” for the proposed wind energy projects. The council voted not to provide municipal support to the project. Next door, Addington Highlands council voted to support the proposal.*

Higgins said the whole process of new energy procurement has been marked by secrecy and a lack of information being shared amongst involved parties.

“There was no collaboration from a number of different ministries within the Ontario provincial government,” Higgins said. “Everything came on us without any communication or collaboration whatsoever. We were kind of taken off guard.”

Higgins said he has asked four times to meet with Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli but has received no response …

Read the full story here.

*Web editor note: Addington Highlands council did vote to support the project but that was after a poll of taxpayers was conducted, with the results that 81% of residents did NOT support the power project. Council voted to support it anyway. See www.bearat.org for more details, including FOI documents.