Plympton-Wyoming officials plan to consult with their lawyer over a recent court ruling that went against another Ontario municipality’s two-kilometre setback for wind turbines.
Plympton-Wyoming is being sued by Suncor Energy over wind turbine provisions in its bylaws, including one that also calls for a two-kilometre setback.
The province only requires wind turbines be built at least 550-metres away from neighbouring properties and its Green Energy Act took planning approval powers for renewable energy projects away from municipalities.
A Superior Court of Ontario judge ruled Friday the setback bylaw in the Niagara-area municipality of Wainfleet Township is invalid.
“We’ll be meeting, sooner than later, with our legal team and get some advice as to where we should go from here,” said Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper.
“I don’t think it would change our stance any.
“I think we felt very confident with the way we presented our bylaws.”
Suncor plans to build as many as 62 wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township as part of its Cedar Point Wind Power project.
The company is taking Plympton-Wyoming to court over its minimum setback, as well as its development charges bylaw.
Wainfleet’s two-kilometre setback was challenged by a company developing a wind farm in that community.
Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern said, “That decision has really nothing to do with our projects.”
Southern added that Suncor remains hopeful of reaching a “constructive solution” with Plympton-Wyoming.
“It was really a rare step by our company to take the step of challenging those bylaws.”
Suncor has a contract to sell Ontario electricity from the Cedar Point project it’s currently seeking provincial environmental approval for.
The company hopes to begin construction early in 2014.
Ingrid Willemsen, a member of the citizen’s group We’re Against Industrial Turbines Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW), said she’s disappointed with the outcome of the Wainfleet case but added she believes Plympton-Wyoming should continue defending its bylaws.
“I don’t think there’s any turning back,” Willemsen said.
WAIT-PW will continue working to support the council in its stand on wind turbines, she said.
“We’ve been working hard to try and find the facts that we think Wainfleet could have benefitted from.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding