North Stormont group asks Premier Ford to halt wind power project, legal action
Expensive legal action will cost taxpayers more for unnecessary power project, community group says
OTTAWA July 3, 2018— The citizens’ group opposing the 100-megawatt “Nation Rise” wind power project asked Premier Doug Ford and his new government today to state its intention to cancel the project’s contract, and halt legal action related to its approval.
The power project, to be located just south of Ottawa, received Renewable Energy Approval just days before the writ for Ontario’s June election was drawn up.
The community filed an appeal of the approval, based on environment and health concerns, which is set to begin Thursday July 5 with a hearing in Finch, Ontario.
Given the new government’s campaign pledge to end contracts for projects which do not have final approval, however, the legal action is a waste of time and taxpayer money, says Margarent Benke, spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont.
Ministry of the Environment employees and lawyers must travel from Toronto and mount a defence of the approval, Benke says, which makes no sense if the government plans to cancel the unnecessary power project.
“We made an urgent request today for action on the Nation Rise project. It will cost the people of Ontario a base price of $500 million over 20 years, and add to our electricity bills,” says Benke. “The Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing will represent even more cost to the government and to the people of Ontario, and more financial and emotional strain to the people of North Stormont.”
The power project would expose citizens near Finch, Crysler and Berwick to environmental noise from huge, 3.2-megawatt wind turbines; most of the turbines would also be located on an area designated as a “highly vulnerable aquifer.”
Ontario currently has a surplus of electrical power; wind power projects produce power out-of-phase with demand, and Ontario’s Auditor General has criticized the contracts for their above market rates. Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk has said Ontario electricity customers overpaid for renewable power by $9.2 billion.