Opponents of industrial wind farms are declaring a victory this week after the Ontario government imposed a moratorium on off-shore wind projects.
The government made the surprise announcement on Friday, saying it would not move forward with off-shore wind projects until more scientific research had been done.
The moratorium put on hold applicants as well as those that had received approval to move ahead with off-shore wind farms. Toronto Hydro had proposed posting about 70 wind turbines in Lake Ontario.
But opponents of wind turbine farms in Ontario are suggesting the announcement is proof that Ontario had whisked into the wind energy movement without doing due diligence.
“We see this as a major victory. It is an indication that the government of Ontario did not do the science before moving forward,” John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, told CTV News Channel on Sunday. “We plan on using this to redouble our efforts on shore, to get justice for those who have been harmed by industrial wind development and stop the progress there as well.”
Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of more than 50 community groups that oppose wind farms and claim turbines pose a threat to personal health as well as the environment.
Energy Minister Brad Duguid has said fresh water wind turbines are a relatively new concept and their impact on the environment needed to be studied before the province would move forward. He said, however, that there was decades of research into the effects of on-shore turbines, which have found no evidence of health concerns.
Laforet disputed that statement, saying more than 100 people have reported issued they believe are linked to the 700 turbines currently built in Ontario.
Duguid says part of the reason for the delay is a lack of interest in the off-shore opportunity. Of the 1,500 green energy applications in front of the government, only five are for off-shore wind projects.
Ontario plans to generate 10,700 megawatts of power from renewable sources each year, about 90 per cent of that from wind power.
Both the Progressive Conservative Party and the New Democrats have derided the Liberals’ Green Energy Act and have questioned the government’s motives for the sudden moratorium.
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