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Days left for input on power policy

Citizens have only days left to comment on a draft document called Renewable Energy on Crown Land Policy.

The Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR) group are encouraging all Algoma residents to take advantage of the opportunity to comment on the Ontario government’s proposed renewable energy on crown land policy.

SOAR has voiced its objections to a number of wind farm projects throughout the area.

They want the Ontario government to link local wind projects to a national energy strategy and place the wind farms on proper lands with meaningful consultation with residents.

Currently, the citizen input process is open to all residents who submit comments prior to Oct. 13.

The documents will be used as part of the decision making process by the Ministry of Natural Resources if they are submitted in writing or electronically using forms on the website at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTE2MTc5&statusId=MTczOTAx&language=en

The draft renewable energy on Crown land policy has been developed to provide updated direction on how the government will manage Crown land to support Ontario’s renewable energy needs while balancing the social, economic, and ecological interests of the the province.

It’s designed to establish a strategic policy direction for Crown land management to support water power, onshore wind power and solar power development.

It is also designed to encourage and enable Aboriginal community economic benefits from renewable energy development on Crown land.

SOAR has recently lobbied against a proposed wind farm on private land within the townships of Pennefather and Aweres.

The site is located on a plateau between Highway 17 and the Prince 11 Wind Farm, about 5 km northwest of Heyden and 5 km south of Goulais River.

Developer Sprott Power Corp. has a 20-year, 25-MW feed-in-tariff contract with the Ontario Power Authority which will result in about 10 to 12 turbines, planned to be constructed in 2014.

SOAR believes that the Goulais landscape will change significantly with more green energy projects and that the projects could affect property values and residents’ lives.

SOAR’s research has also uncovered that there are a number of renewable energy companies waiting in the wings for the provincial government to increase capacity on the grid to accept more power from the Goulais River and Ranger Lake areas.