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No wind farm for Argentia

The wind farm for Argentia is off the table.

The Liberal Opposition Party in the province is questioning a decision made by government on Jan. 7 to reject even considering a proposal for a wind farm in Argentia, even though, that same day, Natural Resources Minister Shawn Skinner said their government is always looking for the best energy deals for the province.

Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson ruled that as a matter of policy, the provincial government would not consider any wind generation projects for environmental assessment, according to the Liberal press release.

Opposition Environment critic Roland Butler said he was shocked that government would not even consider the proposal.

“It’s one thing to reject a proposal after careful consideration of the environmental assessment, but to not even allow an assessment to take place amazes me,” he stated.

The proposal by the unnamed company called for the development of nine wind turbines for a combined energy output of 27 megawatts. At a cost of $60 million, that would make the cost per megawatt almost three and one half times cheaper to produce than energy from Muskrat Falls in Labrador.

Butler said it seems the government is determined to go ahead with the costly and unneeded Muskrat Falls project at any price and has its ears closed to any alternative proposals.

“For Shawn Skinner to claim that his government is committed to finding the best deals for this province on the very day that it decided to not even consider a clean, green, affordable wind project is very hypocritical,” said Butler. “It took the government over a year to respond to the company, and in the end they didn’t even look at the proposal. As Shawn Skinner would say, ‘I guess that’s the price of independence.’”