Six Nations reach energy deal with Samsung; Agreement part of 20-year deal with the province to develop 2,500 megawatts of wind power
The Six Nations of the Grand River have reached a deal with Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy to develop 250 megawatts of renewable energy.
The agreement between the companies and the elected band council came after two years of sometimes bitter talks, which had broken off completely at one point a year and half ago.
The sides have agreed to develop about 100 megawatts of solar energy and 150 megawatts of wind energy, said Samsung spokesperson Stefan Baranski.
It’s part of the 20-year agreement that Samsung struck with the province in 2010 to develop 2,500 megawatts in Ontario.
Baranski said the investment with the Six Nations should total about $500 million.
The band could earn income of about $55 million over the course of the 20-year agreement, Chief Bill Montour said in a release.
The two sides are still working out some of the details. For example, the Six Nations have an option of receiving royalties from the development or taking an ownership stake in the project.
Montour wasn’t available on Friday.
Baranski said engineering and construction should start in September.
“We’re targeting a commercial operation date of spring 2014,” he said.
Baranski said the companies still face some “challenges” in forging an understanding with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, the traditional council that doesn’t recognize the elected council.
The agreement with the elected council is sufficient to allow Samsung and Pattern to proceed, he said, but there are “ongoing issues” with the confederacy and the companies would like to come to an agreement.
Conservative Leader Tim Hudak criticized the agreement, speaking to reporters at Queen’s Park.
“It sounds like something that is going to be very, very expensive to homeowners because we know that the Samsung deal has sweeteners beyond the already unaffordable subsidies that are driving up our hydro bills,” Hudak said.
“Secondly, it sounds like something that’s not been done in concert with local municipalities. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve opposed from the get-go this Samsung deal which is a rip-off for families that’s going to cause more disruptions.”
Hudak said the development could also inflame land claims disputes in the Grand River valley.
“They’re falling right on this whole dispute around Caledonia and the (Haldimand) tract,” he said. “I think it has got disaster written all over it for our hydro bills and for more disputes in the area.”
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