Community investment group for Woodstock area wind project not local, citizens’ group charges

Norwich Township wind project co-op not local: critics

By Tara Bowie, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

A member of an area group opposed to a wind turbine project in Norwich Township is questioning the marketing ethics of a recently formed cooperative that could own up to 49% of the 10-turbine project.
The Oxford Community Energy Co-op was formed in the latter part of 2013 with the majority of its initial directors living outside of Oxford County.
“Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical,” Joan Morris, a member of the East Oxford Community Alliance, said. “I think people should know that it’s not really a co-op made up and being driven by people living in Oxford County or near the project area.”
Helmut Schneider, president and director on the co-op board, said although he was the only local voice on the co-op when it started, others have become directors or are in the process of becoming directors or members. Recently, directors from Woodstock and Innerkip have stepped forward, he said.
Since the incorporation, the board of directors has had the goal to attract additional local directors to the board.
“We have had discussion with four individuals from the community of Oxford County and have added one director from Woodstock, one director candidate who is currently volunteering as communications support from Innerkip, and we have a final interview next week with one director candidate who lives very close to the project area,” he said in an e-mail to the Sentinel-Review.
The current board is made up of several employees from ProWind, the developer of the project. One of the employees holds the treasurer position and another is acting as a director. …

Read the full story here.
Blog editor’s note: according to OPA rules, if a wind power project can demonstrate 50% or greater ownership in the venture, they can be paid an “adder” to the contract rate.

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