Rural councillors demand more say in wind power contract bids

No way for citizens to express concern in current process, Ottawa councilor says

3-MW wind turbine and house near Brinston, south of Ottawa. No way to express concern. [Photo: Ray Pilon, Ottawa]
3-MW wind turbine and house near Brinston, south of Ottawa. No way to express concern. [Photo: Ray Pilon, Ottawa]
CBC News, may 5, 2016

As the Ontario government prepares to open a second, more ambitious round of bidding on large-scale renewable energy projects across the province, some Ottawa city councillors want more local control over where wind farms go.

“There’s no way for a municipality to express concerns about location, or if and when these projects would happen in our municipalities,” said Scott Moffatt, who represents the rural ward of Rideau-Goulbourn.

In March Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator awarded contracts to 16 renewable energy projects, three quarters of which had support from the local municipality, the government said at the time.

Five of the contracts were awarded to wind projects, including the 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont Township, a municipality which had previously declared itself an “unwilling host” to wind farms.

A motion approved Thursday by councillors on Ottawa’s agriculture and rural affairs committee urges the province to strengthen legislation to require municipal buy-in before contracts are awarded.

Communities want a voice, councillor says

Moffatt said communities want a voice in the planning process.

“This isn’t just for Ottawa. We’ve had this issue in the past in Ottawa, specifically in North Gower, but you look at Nation, you look at South Dundas and Brinston,” said Moffatt, describing proposed wind farm locations.

“Are those municipalities able to respond adequately or is the IESO just going to run roughshod over them? That’s the concern.”

In an email, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Energy Ministry said the government is proud of the 75 per cent support rate from municipalities for its first round of contract offers, and noted 60 per cent of neighbouring landowners also supported them.

“By putting emphasis on price and community support, we believe the right balance has been struck in early community engagement and reduced prices for consumers through the procurement process for renewable energy projects,” wrote the spokesperson.

930 megawatts sought in 2nd round

The IESO is gathering feedback on its first competition, and could use that information to fine-tune the process the second time around.

The Ontario government intends to issue a request for qualifications by August for projects that can generate a total of 930 megawatts of renewable energy, two thirds of which will go to wind farms.

That’s more than twice the size of the initial contract offer.

The ministry’s ultimate goal is to have 10,700 megawatts of wind-, solar-, and bioenergy-powered projects feeding the grid by 2021.

Comments

Lynda
Reply

We need to know the name of the ‘spokesperson for Ontario’s Energy Ministry’ who is making these statements about the percentage of support from communities and landowners. I’ve been to meetings and heard these statements made when there is clearly no support whatsoever from the attendees. Big Libby turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to those people who protest. I keep asking about the turbine farms that were cancelled by mpp’s just before an election because their constituents said ‘not in my backyard’. How did that happen?? How is it that some Ontarians receive government favours while the rest of us have to deal with the dung covered stick? The government has given itself too much power to be called democratic anymore. Between politicians and entitlers spewing falsehoods and wasting money, hard working Ontarians are having their lives ruined. The legacy we will be leaving to our children will be a tangled mess of high voltage wires, towering metal chopping machines and a countryside devoid of living things. Way to go Kathleen and Dalton. If I could I would vote for Trump….COAL is back!

ScepticalGord
Reply

Wind turbines did not replace coal … gas, hydro and nuclear did.

Lynda
Reply

Hi Gord..You are right of course.
I was simply referring to the fact that Trump says he is going to give Americans what they want. That is the reason he has such a huge following….he is listening to people all over the US. Hillary on the other hand is Wynne’s twin…ishe s going to do exactly what she likes if she is president whether the people like it or not and she blatently says so. We need someone in power in Ontario who will listen to us.

Sommer
Reply

The mark of a good leader is to recognize when the direction he/she is leading in is a mistake and it’s time to change course. Instead, this government ignores hundreds of letters from people who are being harmed in a community, refuses to even respond to these letters, then forges forward regardless.
We’re witnessing sheer neglect of duty.

R Budd
Reply

Who has more fun with numbers than Ontario’s Energy Ministry? If you look at the approvals the only wind projects that received community support were the two in Chatham/ Kent and Mayor Hope would support a turbine being shoved up his bum if he got vibrancy funding for it.
Two approved wind projects had no support from landowners, municipalities or Aboriginals. Nothing. They must have been offering free electricity….or a grateful contribution to Liberal election efforts.
http://www.ieso.ca/Documents/generation-procurement/lrp/lrp-1-final/LRPI-Selected-Proponent-List-20160412.pdf?

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