The wind ‘farm’ everyone forgot
More wind turbines going up in Chatham-Kent; millions more to be added to Ontario electricity bills
October 7, 2019
Chatham-Kent residents living near Wheatley Ontario were surprised to see construction work last week, and delivery of components for industrial-scale or grid-scale wind turbines.
The “Romney Wind Energy Centre” turbines are now being erected, with a projected commercial operation date early next year.
Romney was one of five LRP I (Large Renewable Procurement) projects that received contracts in 2016 under the Wynne government; three of those (Dutton-Dunwich, Otter Creek, and La Nation) were “cancelled” by the Ford government last year, but two were considered to be too far along in the process, having achieved “Key Development MIlestones” or KDMs as the IESO calls them, to be cancelled.
Romney will cost Ontario electricity customers more than $260 million over its 20-year contract. The maximum pre-construction liability for cancelling the project would have been around $500,000.
The project capacity is 60 megawatts of power, which Ontario does not need at present. Wind power is produced out of phase with demand in Ontario, and wind power projects rarely achieve more than 30% of capacity. Developer EDF of France of France promised construction updates for the projects so residents can know when traffic will be disrupted, but the last update posted was for a single week in August.
The other project that escaped cancellation was “Nation Rise” in North Stormont in Eastern Ontario. The community there launched an appeal, which was dismissed and currently has a final appeal and a request for a Stay of Construction before the MInister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. That project will cost electricity customers more than $400 million, and posed significant environmental risks as presented in the appeal.
The Romney project was not appealed.