Bluewater will have to defend its industrial wind turbine building permit fee bylaw.
Last week, the municipality of Bluewater received notification that Next Era and Northland Power are challenging the municipality’s industrial wind turbine building permit fee.
Bluewater’s Chief Administrative Officer, Steve McAuley, said in a phone interview, the municipality was given notice of an application to quash the municipality’s bylaw, which was passed earlier this year.
The bylaw set the building permit fee at $14,000 plus another $420,000 in securities for decommissioning, health affects, loss of property value and legal fees. The application comes from the lawyers for all three wind projects proposed for the municipality. Representing Next Era and Northland Power are Torys LLP from Toronto and Borden Ladner and Gervais also of Toronto.
McAuley said the application is “brief and vague” and was passed on to Eric Gillespie, the lawyer the municipality hired to draft the bylaw.
McAuley expects more information will be exchanged before the preliminary hearing date of April 23.
“From what I understand, there is no intent for anything to be presented at that meeting. It’s just to set another time for the full hearing,” said McAuley adding, he expects the hearing to be set for this summer.
“This is no surprise. Next Era was fairly clear when we passed the bylaw that they had issues with it. So we will go through the process to defend our bylaw,” he said.
Bluewater has three projects proposed for the municipality. Next Era’s Bluewater/Varna project proposes 37 turbines for 60 megawatts of generation and their Goshen project, which is located in both Bluewater and South Huron proposes 63 turbines generating 102 megawatts. Northland Power’s Grand Bend project is located north of Grand Bend in the both Bluewater and South Huron and proposes 48 turbines for 100 megawatts of generation.
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