NextEra Energy Canada is turning to the court for help getting its wind energy development east of Durham off the ground.
Allen Wiley, vice-president of development for NextEra Canada, said during an interview from his office in Florida that the company is taking legal action after West Grey turned down requests for entrance permits and delayed a decision on the company’s request to bring oversized and overweight heavy equipment over municipal roads and bridges.
NextEra is planning to erect 14 industrial wind turbines near Priceville. “Given the delays we’ve been incurring over the past better part of six months trying to get some of these things through, we’ve opted to go to court,” said Wiley.
“This is NextEra negotiating,” said West Grey Mayor Kevin Eccles, who was not surprised with the company’s decision. He said it’s not the first time NextEra has sought a legal solution to a disagreement rather than negotiate a settlement.
West Grey council on Feb. 17 turned down a request by NextEra for several entrance permits that would allow the company access from municipal roads onto properties where some of the wind turbines are to sited. Council also voted March 3 to delay approving a request by NextEra to move heavy equipment on municipal roads until there is an road-use agreement.
West Grey wants some financial guarantees against damage to its roads and bridges in place which NextEra has not included in its proposed agreement.
West Grey was informed about a week later of NextEra’s decision to turn to the court for a resolution.
An application has been filed with Divisional Court in Toronto. No date has been set for a hearing.
Wiley said it could take two to three months before a hearing date is assigned and decision is rendered. In the meantime, construction will be delayed.
He acknowledged the court action, together with an impending appeal of the Ministry of the Environment’s approval of the East Durham Wind project now before the Environmental Review Tribunal, has set the project back.
“We had anticipated construction by now but given these delays we’ll have to wait to get through these processes,” Wiley said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding