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Motion proposes city-developed renewable energy projects including wind on public land. That differs completely from the reassurances given to citizens by rural councillors who previously said there were no such plans

The City of Ottawa’s climate change illustration. Wind turbines coming soon on public land near you?

May 16, 2022

A motion to direct staff to create a network for a distributed energy framework on public-owned land will be heard by the Ottawa Environmental Protection Committee.

The motion was developed by Bay Ward Councillor Teresa Kavanagh and will be presented by Committee member and Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard.

The portion referring to wind power reads as follows:

MOTION: CITY RENEWABLE ENERGY

3. Approve that, contingent on sufficient resources, Council direct staff to report back to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management by Q4 2023 with: 

 a) An evaluation of existing solar PV systems and impact to facilities installed at City owned facilities 

b) A distributed energy resource framework for city-owned

facilities and land including: 

 i. Renewable energy generation (solar and wind) 

ii. Energy storage 

 ii. [sic] Demand response 

 iv. Potential policies to install distributed energy resources at City facilities or on City land 

c) Staff and funding implications to implement and support the distributed energy resource framework

Ottawa Wind Concerns chair Jane Wilson filed a comment to be heard by the Committee with the following statements:

With respect, the content of this motion seems to be in complete disagreement with statements made by councillors over the last year to the effect that the City is not proposing to acquire, propose or develop any wind power facilities.

Once again, there seems to be no discussion whatsoever of requiring any cost-benefit or impact analysis for grid-scale wind power. As an intermittent, weather-dependent source of power that requires substantial subsidies, grid-scale wind power would not offer a stable, reliable source of affordable power for the City and as such will not be helpful in support of electrification efforts or in the path to Net Zero.

If I may, I refer to Councillor Moffatt’s message in The Manotick Messenger published on November 5, 2021:

What I can say with certainty is that the City of Ottawa is not developing wind power, nor are we working toward such an effort or finding locations where wind power development could occur…. Finally, just to reiterate, there are no planned industrial wind turbines within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa at this time.

Ottawa’s rural residents would be asked to bear the most significant burden of any negative environmental impacts. If they took reassurance from comments such as those by Councillor Moffatt above that there would be at least consultation, they will be betrayed by this motion to be presented tomorrow.

We ask that this be considered in discussion of this motion.

The meeting will be held at 0930 May 17, 2022. The general public may view the meeting on the City’s YouTube channel.

The Agenda for the committee meeting may be found here: https://app05.ottawa.ca/sirepub/agendaminutes/english.aspx