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The Ottawa Energy Evolution strategy official banner: with turbines. [Source: City of Ottawa]

January 12, 2022

Although Ottawa City councillors are saying that the City is not planning wind turbines, is not looking for locations to site turbines, and is not talking to developers, a look at various City documents would persuade you otherwise.

For example, several illustrations that are used for City newsletters and pages on its website clearly depict wind turbines as does, for example, the graphic that accompanies the Energy Evolution strategy document (see above).

And then there is the little matter of the Official Plan Open House virtual presentation held back in June last year in which Manager of Planning Policy Alain Miguelez declared that Ottawa was going to be incorporating renewable energy including wind turbines which would be “directed” he said to Ottawa’s rural areas.

When a citizen participant voiced concern at that event, he responded, “The energy [we need] has to come from somewhere.”

Somewhere indeed.

Almost a year ago, a City staff manager wrote to the Ontario Energy Board as followup to consultation on Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and objected to the fact that the OEB consultant had not mentioned wind power.

“The DER mandate should include all forms of zero-emission DER’s [sic] including wind and hydropower. The ICF paper only discussed solar and battery storage,” Mike Fletcher, Project Manager Climate Change and Resiliency wrote in his letter of February 21, 2021.

“Ottawa has vast rural areas and Energy Evolution requires that we consider wind and hydropower opportunities to meet our renewable energy generation targets,” he said. (Note he said targets, not “models” as is now being claimed.)

So, which is it? Ottawa is not at all considering unreliable, intermittent wind power—which is completely inappropriate in low-wind Eastern Ontario as evidenced by recent poor performance during a cold snap—or, wind power is a key component in the City’s renewable energy plans?

The citizens of Ottawa’s rural areas deserve to know.