‘Resounding condemnation’ of wind power bid process: WCO on comments to IESO

The IESO asked for comments on its Large Renewable Procurement process. Looks like nobody is happy, least of all Ontario citizens and the municipalities that would be forced to have the power projects.

Communities have valid reasons for objecting to huge power projects but government is not listening [Photo: Prince Edward County]
Communities have valid reasons for objecting to huge power projects but government is not listening [Photo: Prince Edward County]
London Free Press, June 3, 2016

John Miner

The agency setting the ground rules for the next multi-billion-dollar round of wind farm development in Ontario says it can only go so far to meet demands for changes in its program to acquire more electricity.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), which picked the winners in the last round, asked residents, wind farm developers, municipalities and First Nations how the controversial program could be improved.

A persistent theme in the 120 pages of responses was a call for municipalities to be given a veto over developments, a power stripped away by the Liberal government — to the anger of many municipalities — when it launched its green energy program.

“Municipal support must be a mandatory requirement. There must be greater consideration given to the impact of the power projects on the community, and on the people who must live near them,” wrote one respondent.

But Adam Butterfield, IESO’s manager of renewable energy procurement, said such a decision would have to be made by the provincial government.

“The feedback we get will be communicated up to the Ministry of Energy for them to consider any related policy changes. We provide our advice, as we always do, on these aspects. But at the end of the day there are some policy ones, such as the veto aspect, that are in the government’s purview,” he said.

In Southwestern Ontario, home to the largest wind farms in the province and the most wind turbines, the Liberal government’s decision to take away local control over where the highrise-sized turbines can be built left many centres joining a movement of so-called “unwilling host” communities for energy projects.

Butterfield said he doesn’t know how the government will respond to the latest feedback.

“To date they have been pretty firm that renewable energy is a provincial issue and so they haven’t been amenable to considering a (local) veto. We will provide the feedback up and see where things go over the course of the summer.”

Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, a provincial coalition opposed to wind farms, said the survey responses show the process doesn’t respect Ontarians and their wishes for how their communities develop.

“The point is made repeatedly that the process for locating renewable power projects differs from any other sort of development — that there is little openness or transparency, and that municipalities ought to have real ‘say’ in where these power projects go,” Wilson wrote in an email.

“The comments are a resounding condemnation of the procurement process,” she added.

The IESO has been instructed by the government to procure another 600 megawatts of wind energy, with the contracts awarded by 2018.

The generating capacity is being added at a time when the IESO’s own forecasts project Ontario will remain in a surplus power position for at least a decade.

A report last year by Ontario’s auditor general concluded Ontarians paid $37  billion extra for power over the last eight years because of the government’s decisions to ignore its own planning process for new power generation projects.

Along with suggestions for a municipal veto, other respondents to the IESO survey called for more openness by companies about their plans and an end to non-disclosure agreements with property owners.

“Proponents intentionally misled, failed to follow the process (meeting and information distribution), and used other methods to ensure the community was misinformed and had little time to respond,” wrote one. …

Read the full news story here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This spring, 72 Ontario municipalities have formally passed a resolution demanding that municipal support be a mandatory requirement in wind power project bids. See the list of municipalities under our MUNICIPAL RESOLUTIONS tab.

NoMeansNo_FB (2)

Comments

Gord Schneider
Reply

My only hope that this will change is that when the Conservatives win the next election they reverse this and put a complete stop to this process as it now stands. If they do little or nothing to reverse this mess, there will be a rebellion such that this province has never seen. God help us out of this mess.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Hey Gord….. here in Dutton Dunwich we are already digging trenches and foxholes! Just got another shipment of unregistered pitchforks as well….. strategic planning already in place. The rural peasants of South Western Ontario are gonna stand and fight this one even if we end up in some of those new jails the liberals built…. it’s time for people stand up to these bullies!!!!
NO MEANS NO!!!!! NOT A WILLING HOST!!!!

Pat Cusack
Reply

The Conservatives have their work cut out for them, that’s for sure.
It is time for the people’s revolt alright.

Sommer
Reply

And here in Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh in Huron County, our Councillors are still reluctant to declare ACW an ‘unwilling host’, thus setting us up to be inundated with even more intense clustering of turbines surrounding farms and homes. How shameful can our elected protectors get?

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Pat Cusack you are bang on!!! you will see more IWT in the ACW!!!! … unfortunately these ones will be closer…. maybe 300 meters!!. … they CAN AND WILL do as they please . they do not wish to hear from the peasants of Rural Ontario….. we are hear to serve the Emperor not question her…

Pat Cusack
Reply

Fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter one iota to declare areas unwilling hosts because Queen’s Park doesn’t give a hoot.

Pat Cusack
Reply

Then off with her head. Who said that?

Pat Cusack
Reply

p.s. I am in Wainfleet not where you are so you have all my sympathy.
This is also an unwilling host area and they care not.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Lewis Carol who wrote Alice in Wonderland coined the phrase ” off with their heads”.. Pat Cusack we should be careful of Queen Kathleen Wynnd in her little hydro wonderland. … you and I might end up in the stockade shackled for speaking out….

notinduttondunwich
Reply

IESO…..
Independent electricity system operator….
IESO is mandated by the Liberal government to procure another 600 MW ………..
IESO notifies liberal government that they are at surplus right now and will be for 10 years….
Ontario ‘ s Auditor General has basically told the liberal government that they should stop ignoring their own planning process for new projects…
All the winners (i use that term loosley) picked by IESO are awarded contracts…. (I might add that 99% of awarded contracts went to….. companies that donated around $5000 give or take a couple G’s at Liberal fundraisers…
IESO
I…N…D…E…P…E…N..D…A…N…T
ELECTRICITY
SYSTEM
OPERATOR……
My arse! !!!!!!!

Richard Mann
Reply

Wind and Solar are not reducing C02. Ontario’s own Engineering Society is telling us this. See the report, “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates.” Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), April 2015. https://www.wind-watch.org/docviewer.php?doc=OSPE-PEO-2015_Ontario-Electricity-Dilemma.pdf
Page 15 of 23. “Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ?”

– Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.

– Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.

– Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.

– Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.

– When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear genera,on to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.

– Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.

– Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO 2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).

– In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

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