The Ontario government supports green energy and is working to increase local control of clean energy projects, says Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Wynne responded to a letter from Gillan Richards, executive member of Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR), regarding the proposed Bow Lake Wind Project.
Richards says the proposed project will have a detrimental effect on tourism in the area and area residents in the rural area don’t want to see the wind turbines create havoc on the natural beauty of the area.
The project, she argues, will turn the region’s Canadian landscape, used in Canada’s Group of Seven paintings, into an industrial power facility.
Wynne said the Ontario government is committed to protect the health of Ontarians and building a clean energy future.
“That is why we support the development of renewable energy, as it addresses our province’s energy needs, creates jobs and aligns with our goal of closing all coal-fired generating stations in Ontario by the end of 2014,” the letter reads.
The two-page letter states the province will ensure communities are consulted about the green energy products and is working to provide increased local control in the energy projects.
Project applications under the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program also includes a point system that gives more weight to projects with community support.
The Bow Lake Wind Project proposes 36 turbines to be built on Crown land near Lake Superior Provincial Park.
The 60-megawatt project, developed by BluEarth Renewables, has recently submitted its application to the Ministry of the Environment.
Under the process, a 45 day consultation period will begin that will allow for public input. The proponent must also address the concerns raised during the input period.
“This is not just a listening exercise: we are actively identifying whether the proponent has responded to the issues that have been raised,” Wynne writes.
“Our government has taken a cautious approach when setting standards for noise limits and wind turbine setbacks, in order to protect the people of Ontario,” she says.
Meanwhile, another environmental group, Wind Concerns Ontario has also joined in the protest against the Bow Lake wind power project.
Wind Concerns Ontario is a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to protect the health, safety and quality of life of the people of Ontario from industrial wind turbines.
The group states in a press release that Canada’s cultural heritage is being sacrificed for profit and a misguided energy policy and the province has not done a proper analysis of the economic impact or harm to the environment with the project.
The application for the Bow Lake wind project are expected to be posted on the minister’s website shortly and can be viewed at www.ebr.gov.on.ca .
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