The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) last week announced contracts for five wind power projects, for a total of 300 megawatts of new wind power generation.
According to Ontario’s Auditor General, the province is already in a situation of a surplus of power, and selling off the extra at a loss, a good portion of which is due to wind power.
Two Ottawa area communities were named in the contract announcement. The Municipality of Nation and Township of Champlain were tipped for a 32-megawatt project by RES Canada, and North Stormont is to get a 100-megawatt project by EDP Renewables. EDP Renewables (head office Spain) operates the South Branch wind power project in Brinston, which it purchased from Germany-based Prowind.
Citizens of Nation/Champlain who want to get involved should contact Save The Nation/Sauvons La Nation here.
In a recent paper prepared by eight Ontario academics (Fast et al, Nature Energy, January 2016), Ontario’s procurement process for large-scale renewable power projects came under fire for ignoring community concerns.
News reports following last week’s contract announcement quote local mayors as saying they feel “betrayed” by the government action–Dutton-Dunwich mayor Cameron McWilliam was quoted as saying “We live in the Province of Toronto, not the Province of Ontario.” His municipality conducted a full, legal referendum which resulted in 84% saying NO to the wind power project–they are getting a 57-megawatt project by U.S.-based Invenergy.
The municipalities do not even know where the turbines for the proposed power projects will go, as that information is not part of the bid process.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, who told municipalities that it would be “impossible” for a power developer to get a contract if a community did not support it, now says, “They should have known” we never gave them a veto. He describes the power projects, bid and constructed by private corporations, as “public infrastructure.”