Big bucks for Loyalist Twp for wind farm? Or crumbs off the developer’s table?
Loyalist Township’s Deputy Mayor is a cheap date
The CKWS Newswatch team reported that “Loyalist Township stands to rake in some big bucks once 26 wind turbines are built on Amherst Island.”
Two key agreements with Windlectric have been authorized by the township related to the 74.3 MW (megawatt) project that will see 26 turbines erected on the island. While the project has been authorized by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), the Association to Protect Amherst Island has appealed the approval. The start date is therefore unknown as the developer must await the ruling of the ERT (Environmental Review Tribunal) which is not expected until the early Spring of 2016.
The term “big bucks” is relative to the size of the project and, perhaps, to the recipient of those “bucks”! In this case the community benefit agreed to is $500,000 annually for the next 20 years. On the surface it sure sounds like big bucks, but the really big bucks will wind up in the pockets of Windlectric’s shareholders.
If the 74.3 MW capacity development operates at the expected average of 30% of its rated capacity, it should produce almost 2 million megawatt hours (MWh)of electricity and deliver that to Ontario’s grid — whether it’s needed or not. The math is simple:74.3 X 30% X 8760 (hours in a year) = 1,952,604MWh.
We should assume the Windlectric contract was executed prior to the slight downward movement in the feed-in-tariff (FIT) pricing, so for each MWh produced, Windlectric will be paid $135.00/MWh. If you do the math on what their annual revenue will be you might be surprised at the really “big bucks” they will receive! The gross revenue for Windlectric will be about $26.4 million annually (1,952,604 MWh X $135 = $26,396,010) which most of us would consider “big bucks”!
Loyalist’s ‘big bucks’ is not even 2% of the developer’s revenue
The township will get $500,000 of the $26.4 million which amounts to 1.9% of the takeaway by Windlectic. If the Amherst Island residents are, as the Deputy Mayor suggested, put “at ease” they shouldn’t be; council should have bargained much harder.
As one resident suggested, the “big bucks” may not be sufficient to even repair the damage to Amherst Island’s infrastructure after construction. And that doesn’t even consider the devaluation1. of property close to the turbines, destruction to migratory birds, plant and animal life, and of course to the 15 to 20 % of people who may feel the effects of the audible and inaudible noise on their health.
What a cheap date!
©Parker Gallant, December 21, 2015
- Property devaluation will lead to reduced assessments and an eventual realty tax loss to the township.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.