North Frontenac mayor prepares for next wind farm fight

Mayor is ‘upset’ with procurement process for large renewable power projects, says they shouldn’t be going where they’re not wanted

North Frontenac Mayor Higgins

Kingston Whig-Standard, March 13, 2016

Elliot Ferguson

PLEVNA — North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins was quick to express his opinion of Thursday’s Ontario government announcement of the contracts for new renewable energy projects.

“No Wind turbines for NF or AH. So happy,” Higgins wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning, referring to a trio of wind energy projects proposed for North Frontenac and neighbouring Addington Highlands Township that were not awarded contracts.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) released Thursday a list of 16 contracts that have been offered to companies. Neither of NextEra Energy Canada’s Northpoint I and II projects nor RES Canada’s Denbigh wind energy project were on the list. By the afternoon, Higgins was still happy but the reality that this round of contracts was the first of three large renewable procurements in the coming two years had dawned on him.

“No IWT’s for NF or AH. Still need to prep for next round of RFPs,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Generally I’m thrilled with what happened with the decision with our township and Addington Highlands. But just reading how these were awarded I’m still upset with the whole process,” Higgins said Friday. “They are putting wind turbines in unwilling hosts when there were lots of opportunity to put them in places that wanted them.”

Speaking in Kingston last Monday, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said municipal agreements were critical to companies having successful bids for renewable energy contracts. Citing open consultation and equity participation, Chiarelli has seen more rural municipalities willing to work with the green energy companies.

“It’s almost impossible for a proponent to win a contract without having some kind of agreement with the municipality,” Chiarelli said. “Over the course of the last four or five years, although it’s been difficult for a number of people, we’ve gotten to a place now where it’s much more acceptable and will be integrated into the system a lot more easily.”

In early June last year, citing public opposition to wind energy proposals, North Frontenac council unanimously voted to declare the township “not a willing host” for the proposed wind energy projects. Last month, North Frontenac became the 19th municipality to endorse a resolution originally passed by Wainfleet Township council calling for the provincial government to cancel plans to approve new wind energy projects. North Frontenac added solar projects to the original Wainfleet resolution.

Higgins said in February that if either of the NextEra projects were approved, the township would automatically appeal the decision. He didn’t say then what the township’s appeal would be based on, but on Friday he said he asked the IESO to disqualify NextEra’s Northpoint projects because he said the company did not fulfilled some of the mandatory requirements that were part of the request for proposals. …

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Comments

ScepticalGord
Reply

Mayor Ron Higgins, along with community activist group BEARAT, have been on top of this since Day One.

And to think that, once upon a time, wind wankers and government flunkies, aided and abetted by soothsayer Stewart Fast, pointed at an Ontario map and declared that North Frontenac and Addington Highlands were ripe for plucking, being only inhabited by coyotes, fools, rubes, Goobers and other defenseless types.

Well who heard tell of this turn of events?

Tom
Reply

Day One was at least ten years ago.
Mr Higgins should know that there is no safe place against WTs and should try getting the municipalities that don’t want them together to go after the Provincial government in the courts. One for all,all for one.
Does anyone know of any municipality besides Chatham Kent that actually wants WT’s -it would be interesting to see Chiarrelli’s list

Sommer
Reply

I fully agree Tom! We must collectively demand that all who have had to endure adverse health or financial impacts over the past 10 years be compensated fully.
Mr Higgins is protecting his community. That is what he was elected to do. He deserves support and praise.
There is a much better vision for the future of North Frontenac.

Chiarelli’s words are so out of touch with reality! This is what happens when politicians remain in their ‘bubble’; when their receptionists are told never to let anyone get through to them on their official published telephone line; when they visit our communities but are wined and dined in some private social setting, then whisked away without anyone else even knowing they had been there; and when all of our letters and emails are read by someone who is hired to sort through their mail and file it for them. Refusing to meet with people ‘face to face’, especially those who your policies are harming is the behaviour of a psychopath.

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