A wind company has informed Dawn-Euphemia Township it’s not moving ahead with plans for a 32-turbine wind farm in the rural Lambton County municipality.
Administrator-clerk Michael Schnare said the township received an e-mail recently from rpGlobal saying “they are not proceeding with the project at this time.”
In July, Dawn-Euphemia council joined the list of Ontario municipalities declaring itself not a willing host to wind turbine projects.
“They cited that as one of the reasons,” Schnare said about the rpGlobal e-mail, adding it also mentioned “the level of opposition in the community to the project.”
Esther Wrightman, a member of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, said the company’s decision is encouraging news for groups like her’s that have been opposing wind projects in the region.
Several other municipalities in Lambton County, and around Ontario, have passed unwilling host motions.
“If declaring yourself an unwilling host gets the message to wind companies that we’re not willing to have you here . . . that could be the most effective way to show them the door,” she said.
“And, if they don’t get their foot in the door, you’re so much better off.”
In May, Ontario Energy Ministry Bob Chiarelli said the province would begin giving municipalities a say in where future renewable energy projects are developed.
Ontario’s Green Energy Act, enacted in 2009, took away municipalities’ planning power over wind and solar projects.
Paul Leberge, a project developer with rpGlobal, spoke to Dawn-Euphemia council in June about the Austrian company’s plans for a 32-turbine wind farm in the former Dawn Township portion of the municipality.
According to minutes from the council meeting, Leberge advised councillors the company was in the preliminary stages of the project at the time, and had not signed any leases with landowners.
He told council it was the company’s practice to provide 1.5% of the annual revenue to the community, and that rpGlobal wanted to have the project in place within five years.
Kevin Marriott, mayor of neighbouring Enniskillen Township, said earlier this year that his municipality had been informed by rpGlobal that it was dropping plans for a wind project there.
Schnare said rpGlobal only became active this year in Dawn-Euphemia.
Another wind project proposed for the township, currently in the hands of Mainstream Renewable Power, was first announced in 2008.
“They say they’re still active,” Schnare said.
“It has not received any approvals, or contracts, so we’re not sure where that one’s headed.”
Currently, there are no wind turbines in Dawn-Euphemia Township.
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