Two wind turbine projects in southeast Grey County and another one straddling the boundary between Grey and Simcoe counties near Singhampton are now off the table.
Officials of Windrush Energy Inc. confirmed on Thursday that Skyway 125 Energy Inc. a five turbine project near Maxwell and Flesherton Wind Energy also known as Silver Springs Wind Farm with four turbines proposed for east of Lake Eugenia have been terminated by mutual agreement with the OPA.
Company spokesperson Derek Tennant also confirmed that Skyway 124 Energy Inc., a proposal to build wind turbines from Singhampton to Dunedin in Clearview Township, has also been scrapped.
All three projects, which had been working their way through the provincial approval process for several years, were terminated on Nov. 1.
“It was by mutual agreement with the OPA (Ontario Power Authority) and that’s all I can say about it,” said Tennant about Flesherton Wind Energy and Skyway 124 Energy Inc.
J.C. Pennie, a director of Windrush Energy, confirmed that Skyway 125 Energy Inc., a small wind project near Maxwell, has also been terminated by mutual agreement with the OPA.
OPA spokesperson John Cannella said due to confidentiality requirements, the agency was unable to discuss the status of contracts Skyway Energy has under the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Program.
Tennant said he’s frustrated with the lack of success in the wind energy business. He has 11 wind farm proposals and only five have been built.
He said he doesn’t intend to resurrect the projects that were cancelled under new proposals.
Larry Close, who lives next door to one of the four wind turbines in the Flesherton Wind Energy/Silver Springs Wind Farm project, recalled the hard work of many groups and individuals of Grey Highlands who have spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars researching the projects, writing letters to the proponents and the provincial government, and working council which had declared the municipality an unwilling host.
“I think the provincial government is sitting up and taking notice that people are not happy,” Close said.
In June of this year the provincial government announced new rules that will give priority to projects that have local support.
Just recently Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the government will not automatically extend the deadline on five-year FIT contracts.
While Windrush Energy officials wouldn’t give details about why they scrapped three of their projects, Tennant said that it’s getting more difficult to find financial backers.
Pennie said it’s becoming more of a challenge to meet the deadlines set by the OPA to get projects approved and operational.
Doug Dingeldein, a resident of Singhampton, is certain that due diligence by councils and grassroots community groups are helping delay many of the smaller projects.
“I think a lot of these guys originally thought this was going to be a cake walk in rural Ontario, that they would just be able to walk in here and put these things up and people would either be asleep at the switch or would welcome them, but exactly the opposite has happened. The opposition is wide spread in this province and across the country and in fact across the world,” said Dingeldein.
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