Wind developer threat spurs emergency council meeting in Prince Edward County

Power developer threatens legal action while contract status is in doubt. Citizens are rallying [Photo Wayne Prout]
The Canadian Wind Energy Association or CanWEA, the wind power trade association/lobbyist/influencer has a document on community engagement for its developer members in which it advises, people have a right to object to your project.

Germany-based power developer WPD seems to have missed that page. Not only has the company faced the fact the community in Prince Edward County by and large does not want a huge wind power development as evidenced by a Not A Willing Host designation and numerous resolutions at council, but it has also seen its project decline from 29 turbines to 27 then virtually razed of 18 more by the Environmental Review Tribunal.

Undaunted in its quest for revenue from its rich contract with the Ontario government, the company now threatens to begin construction on the remaining nine turbines on Sunday, September 10. And in a move tantamount to walking into a room and putting a gun on the table, WPD sent a letter to Prince Edward County Council threatening legal action and substantial costs should the municipal government try to obstruct its project.

Mayor Robert Quaiff has called an emergency meeting at Shire Hall in Picton on Thursday at 1 PM, and Councillor Steve Ferguson is hosting a Town Hall in Milford, next week.

Here is a notice from the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County:

Update on White Pines wind project in Prince Edward County

The Tribunal’s decision of last April to remove 18 turbines from the White Pines wind project — two thirds of the total Project — seems not to have deterred wpd in the slightest.  On the last day of July wpd served Notice to the County that it intends to start construction on the 9 remaining turbines in the project as of Sunday, September 10th.  

In response to this Notice, South Marysburgh Councillor Steve Ferguson is calling a town hall meeting in Milford on September 5th to provide information about the wind project and to answer questions about the project’s implications to Milford residents and the surrounding area. Mayor Robert Quaiff and other Council members as well as municipal staff, will be on hand to answer questions.   

Also on the meeting’s agenda is a Notice of Dispute that was issued to the County on August 23.  wpd has given the County 10 days response time on a number of permit applications that were delivered to the County along with the Notice:  

“In accordance with the terms of the RUA (Road Users Agreement), please advise of your decision on these applications within 10 days of this correspondence. . .The County’s failure to issue the permits to which wpd is entitled under its REA (Renewable Energy Approval) will be taken by wpd to be an act of bad faith and an attempt to frustrate its wind energy project.  If we do not hear from you on or before September 7th, 2017, we will engage our external counsel to take all steps necessary to enforce our rights before the Divisional Court on an urgent basis and to seek our costs for doing so.”

 

While wpd blusters about others’ bad faith, its own actions tell a different story.  

The company made no effort to comply with the REA condition to set up a Community Liaison Committee within three months of receiving its REA and has made no effort in the two years since receiving the approval. 

To make things worse, wpd has wrapped itself in a cloak of silence.  All pretense of public consultation has been dropped.   wpd now declines to respond to any questions from members of the public.  While everyone realizes there must be major repercussions after such a significant down-sizing, everything is now handled by wpd out of the public eye. 

This has only fuelled speculation about the status of wpd’s FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) contract, the OEB approval for leave to construct a (now non-existent) 28-kilometre, 69-kv transmission line, the change from a transmission to a distribution project and all that involves, Hydro One’s potential involvement and rumours that wpd may be opting to hang power lines above-ground on poles in direct contradiction to their REA commitment to bury the lines (with two minor exceptions where overhead lines were required).  

 

As September 10th draws closer, members of the public of Prince Edward County are looking for answers.

 

Comments

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

“STATE OF EMERGENCY ” def.
A government or division of government (i.e. on a municipal, provincial/state level) may declare that their area is in a state of emergency. This means that the government can suspend and/or change some functions of the executive, the legislative and/or the judiciary during this period of time. It alerts citizens to change their normal behavior and orders government agencies to implement emergency plans. A government can declare a state of emergency during a time of natural or human-made disaster, during a period of civil unrest, or following adeclaration of war or situation of international/internal armed conflict.Justitium is its equivalent in Roman law, where the Senate could put forward a final decree (senatus consultum ultimum) that was not subject to dispute.

Residents of Chatham Kent and Prince Edward County need to stop the madness and declare a state of emergency!!!

Gears
Reply

Seems to me they must have a minimum generation capacity of at least x% of their FIT contract. Is it 75%?…I can’t recall exactly, but it’s in all FIT contracts from 2010. I assume people have their hands on WPD’s FIT contract for White Pines? Assuming this is the case…has the IESO allowed an amendment to release WPD from this requirement? If WPD’s FIT contract does not have a provision to allow a reduced generation capacity…what would be the point of allowing construction? Make them prove they have met all the requirements of their FIT contract…a valid FIT contract is required for an REA. I may be blowing smoke here, but the bullies from Germeny have a bad habit of doing whatever the f they want…time again to push back.

Sommer
Reply

The threat of a possible incursion sets off alarm bells for communities these days and yet where these projects have been built and turbines are running and ruining peoples’ sense of safety, security and pleasure of their beloved homes is continuing. These turbines that are harming people now need to be turned off.
Protecting your community is a noble cause.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

The good folks of Chatham Kent have every right to blockade and protect their water!!!!

Clean Water Act (Ontario)

The Clean Water Act (S.O. 2006, Chapter 22) is a law enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada. The purpose of this Act is to protect existing and future sources of drinking water.

The Clean Water Act, 2006 (Bill 43) is a major part of the Ontario government’s commitment to ensuring that every Ontarian has access to safe drinking water. Protecting water at its source is the first step in the multi-barrier approach to source water protection. By stopping contaminants from getting into sources of drinking water — lakes, rivers and aquifers — we can provide the first line of defense in the protection of our environment and the health of Ontarians. For the first time, communities will be required to create and carry out a plan to protect the sources of their municipal drinking water supplies. TheClean Water Act, 2006 will:

Require local communities to look at the existing and potential threats to their water and set out and implement the actions necessary to reduce or eliminate significant threats.Empower communities to take action to prevent threats from becoming significant.Require public participation on every local source protection plan. This means everyone in the community gets a chance to contribute to the planning process.Require that all plans and actions are based on sound science.

This legislation sets out a basic framework for the establishment of community-based groups that represent a cross section of sectors and geographic areas withinConservation Authority (Canada)boundaries. These community-based groups are called Source Protection Committees and there are 19 such groups across Ontario. The Clean Water Act, 2006also introduced the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program (ODWSP) a financial assistance program for farmers, landowners and small or medium businesses for activities that reduce threats to municipal drinking water sources.

Richard Mann
Reply

Please note that there are problems in Huron County as well. A health investigation was started in May 2016, Since then we have had one delay after another, and still no remedy for those living under turbines. Meanwhile all correspondence has been kept from public view.

I join others demanding transparency from our government, and an immediate resolution to this urgent health issue.

Full details, including correspondence with involved parties, and a description of my own research are available from my website:

http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mannr

Richard Mann,
Associate Professor, Computer Science,
Faculty of Mathematics.
University of Waterloo

Stan Thayer
Reply

Zowie Batman now this is getting interesting. These well funded lobbiest are international bullies and Kathleen Wynne will buckle. I have not made a wrong prediction yet when it comes to IWT’S.
Someone with no backing or background in legal land issues is going to be targeted and made an example of and it will happen quickly. Probably before next weekend. Of course as in the past the OPP will escort and provide enforcement when their mandate is to serve and protect but they are Ontario taxpayer funded so the majority Liberals give the orders.
Wow wee thanks to whoever had the guts to put these names and places out there.
I WILL BE WATCHING!
Time to lock and load folks!
Stan the power man.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

[Comment edited for accuracy] Dont back down folks or you will have a life of regrets!!!

Richard Mann
Reply

Notinduttondunwich (September 3, 2017 at 9:21 am) reports,
“Police removed protesters from the chatham kent turdbine sights this weekend …. ”

Someone just contacted me on WCO Facebook. Apparently the protest is still on. Can we confirm this here at WCO Blog.

Thanks,
Richard

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

The protest is still on. That comment (from an individual in Dutton-Dunwich) has been edited for accuracy

Sommer
Reply

This is a critical turning point in the history of Ontario. If we let incursions like this continue to harm people and especially under false pretexts, considering the IPCC climate data manipulations, our collective future will be destroyed in rural Ontario.

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

“Let”? Ontario rural communities have been fighting tooth and nail, spending millions in after-tax dollars to fight to protect the environment and health from the Ministry of the Environment! Almost 100 communities designated Not A Willing Host, 116 municipalities passed resolutions demanding that municipal approval be mandatory for wind power contracts (that’s one-quarter of all Ontario municipalities), and years of appeals of projects that brought forward environmental concerns not considered by the government or the power developers. Now five successful or partially successful appeals. And the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) II put on hold. The key fact in Prince Edward County is that you have a power developer that is now unable to meet the requirements of its contract … what will the government do? The contract should be cancelled: the power is not needed, the community does not want it, and the contracted price is unsupportable in today’s economics of electricity contracts.

Sommer
Reply

It has become painfully obvious that proper protocol, within a system rigged to force relocation of rural residents and in so doing cause serious distress to victims, has not worked. The people of Chatham Kent are willing to take action that others have rightfully resisted. When communities are so deeply divided because of the money that is at stake, adding the stress of protest action for people whose health is being impacted is downright dangerous and yet we can see clearly that none of the enormous efforts people being harmed have undertaken to see protection from this government have worked.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

So true Sommer…. Stan the Power man is bang on…. time to lock and load… when police remove protesters and deny them the right to protest is sheer madness… again the government will wisk away any and all signs of protesters…
they do not appreciate protesters…
They do not wish to see any protesters….
they will not tolerate any protesters…
they WILL remove all protesters and they will be arrested… jailed… fined…. and their lives financially ruined….

Reminds me of stories my Dad told me growing up in Austria during the second world war…. brownshirts will come in and take you away in the middle of the night if you alternative views than the government.

Barbara
Reply

Take lots of photos !!!

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