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Bids assessed on point basis, community concerns don’t count for much

March 16, 2016

CBC Ottawa’s host of the afternoon show All In A Day yesterday interviewed  spokesperson Shawn Cronkwright for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on the backlash to the recent contract award announcement.

“How do you justify putting wind power projects into communities that don’t want them?” asked Alan Neal.

The answer is interesting.

Even better is the IESO answer to the question, is there anything communities can do now? The Renewable Energy Approval “provides communities to make comment,” the IESO’s Cronkwright said.

“But getting people to comment isn’t the same as addressing concerns,” said Neal.

“I understand the concern, but that’s not how the regulatory process works,” said Cronkwright. (Oh, we know, we know.)

Then he said, concerns have resulted in changes to wind power project and even, in some cases, halting of a project.

This is absolutely stunning: the IESO is pointing to the appeals of Renewable Energy Approvals, which are funded by Ontario taxpayers struggling to protect their health and environment from their own government, as proof the system works! No mention of the fact that the appeal process and indeed all the legislation was crafted with input from the wind power lobby so that, in the words of CanWEA lawyer at a hearing on Ostrander Point, “This [a successful appeal] was never supposed to happen.”

Listen to the March 15 podcast here.