The North has seemed to be weeping copiously, perhaps for the desecration of the Great Spirit Island which is currently being spiked with icons of greed energy. Torrents of rain have torn out roads and flooded already sodden low areas. Public enthusiasm for the Long Term Energy Plan “engagement” in Sault Ste Marie was dampened, though not a complete washout.
As per usual, invited stakeholders (listed below) enjoyed the opportunity for a sit down presentation, refreshments and round table discussion; the poster board community walk-through format, insultingly reminiscent of greed energy developers’ public cons in form and content, awaited the common folk despite advise to the contrary. The Ministry of Energy team did graciously extend a last minute invitation to this loitering individual who was between an earlier appointment and hours of Wifi work in a lobby armchair. The opportunity to observe and compare was not to be missed…
After a brief intro, presentation by the OPA and opportunity to mingle, the various labelled tables attracted participants eager to give input. NUCLEAR had plenty of space. Only Deucksoo Lee, of the Korean engineering firm KEPCO, was in conversation with the moderator; storm-delayed, Steven Jellich later joined us. His affiliation with Union Gas inclined him to be a spoiler for nuclear, not wanting the evaluation of nuclear to be entirely lacking in consideration of emissions and concerned about expense of new build.
After a break the Renewables and transmission table filled, possibly with fewer vested interests because after introductions there was a lengthy pause when the moderator read from the “Making Choices” section on renewables the statement:
“Looking beyond 2018, what goal should Ontario set to ensure that non-hydro renewable energy continues to play an important role in meeting Ontario’s supply needs?”
This reporter, taking exception to the idea that the unreliables are playing an important role used Prince Wind Farm’s chronic inability to match peak production with Ontario’s demand as handy evidence that meeting Ontario’s supply needs with wind is wishful thinking. Prince Township Reeve Ken Lamming interjected that windfarms are a waste of space, suggesting existing infrastructure should be refurbished or converted to gain supply efficiencies without more environmental damage.
The moderator’s claim of CO2 abatement benefits was rebuffed with the BENTEK Energy reports, the IESO rep at the table tried to suggest Ontario’s situation might be different…
The Deputy Energy Minister was at a simultaneously held LTEP meeting in Kenora so his assistant in attendance here was the target for an almost constant stream of objection to inadequacies, claims and statements from the Ministry Of Energy. He became the focus of even more attention at the evening session when determined stewards of Lake Superior braved the flooding and washouts to make sure Ministry was hearing our concerns about increased fire risks, lack of performance bonds on decommissioning plans, lack of Democracy, lack of honest costing for the unreliables, the fallacy of jobs from wind farms…
EBR comments needed… as a representative of the Ministry of Energy said, while our objections and arguments will stay with them and influence their thinking while preparing recommendations and position papers for the Minister, their voice counts for much less than that of the voters – us.