A court ruling that went against another municipality’s wind turbine setback bylaw could end up helping Plympton-Wyoming, says its lawyer.
Suncor Energy has taken Plympton-Wyoming to court over wind turbine provisions in its bylaws, including a two-kilometre setback like the one in the Niagara-area municipality of Wainfleet Township an Ontario court recently said was invalid.
“The decision gives some guidance that wasn’t available previously,” said lawyer Eric Gillespie.
He was hired by Plympton-Wyoming to help it defend its bylaws against Suncor’s challenge.
Gillespie said the judge in the Wainfleet case said municipalities have the ability to pass bylaws concerning industrial wind projects, so long as they don’t conflict with the province’s legislation.
“The decision also provides direction regarding the way that some of the provisions of a bylaw should be put together,” Gillespie said.
“Both of those elements will likely assist Plympton-Wyoming as we move forward for with its bylaw.”
No court dates have been set at this point in the case, he said.
But, Gillespie said there are discussion going on with representatives of Suncor.
Mayor Lonny Napper said council has not met with the company.
“We’re moving on,” he said, “just kind of regrouping and taking a long look at what’s coming down.”
Plympton-Wyoming hasn’t changed its position that it’s ready to defend its bylaws in court, he said.
Suncor is challenging wind turbine provisions in some of Plympton-Wyoming bylaws, as well as its two-kilometre setback.
Ontario’s rules for wind farms only require that turbines be built at least 550 metres away from neighbouring properties.
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 has a contract to sell electricity generated by the turbines into Ontario’s power grid and is in the final stage of seeking provincial environmental approval for the project.
Suncor hopes to begin construction of the wind farm early in 2014.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding