Suncor Energy says it welcomes a recent decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the company’s challenge of Plympton-Wyoming bylaws aimed at wind energy projects.
Suncor is still waiting for provincial environmental approval for the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project it plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
The company took Plympton-Wyoming to court over several bylaws the municipality passed aimed at wind turbine projects.
They call for wind turbines to be built at least 2 km away from neighbouring properties, and set fees for wind projects that include a $200,000 per turbine deposit to ensure they’re taken down at the end of their lifespan.
Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said the court handed down its decision late last week.
“Our understanding, and our interpretation, is that the judge ruled in Suncor’s favour, in this case,” he said. “And we’re satisfied with that decision.”
But, the municipality says it’s not giving up.
Plympton-Wyoming issued a press release Thursday saying the judge determined some portions of the municipality’s bylaws are not effective because they conflict with provincial rules, or would be difficult to apply.
Plympton-Wyoming said the court indicated the municipality has authority to set bylaws aimed at renewable energy projects if they’re designed to project the health, safety and well-being of residents, and town council is moving ahead with new bylaws related to noise, fees, insurance protection and removal costs.
The municipality said its proposed noise bylaw sets standards consistent with provincial rules, but can be enforced by Plympton-Wyoming.
“Based on the information we have, we don’t think any wind company will be able to consistently comply,” said Mayor Lonny Napper.
“Given that we intend to enforce our bylaws, wind companies should probably look to build somewhere else.”
Vaillant said Suncor will need to assess what the new bylaws mean for the Cedar Point project.
“Our focus is really on complying with the regulations that are set out for us by the province, as well as the municipal development rules related to our project,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to work with the municipality and we’re going to continue to communicate with the members of the community.”
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