THUNDER BAY – “The Big Thunder Wind Park near Thunder Bay had a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract. Through the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, the FIT Program was introduced in 2009 in Ontario to encourage and promote greater use of renewable energy sources”, stated Mary Bernard with the Ontario Power . More information on the FIT Program is available at fit.powerauthority.on.ca.
“The Big Thunder Wind Park project was significantly delayed due to force majeure events,” added Bernard. “Under a FIT contract, either party to the contract has the right to terminate the contract if force majeure events delay a project past 24 months. The OPA terminated the Big Thunder Park project for this reason”.
“A force majeure is a contractual provision that provides relief to a party when an event beyond the party’s reasonable control prevents it from fulfilling certain contractual obligations. If force majeure events delay a project for a specified period of time, either party to the contract have the right to terminate the contract,” continued Bernard. “The OPA cannot provide details of the force majeure events due to confidentiality obligations under the contract”.
The City of Thunder Bay has issued a media release. “The City of Thunder Bay is looking into the implications of Ontario Power Authority’s termination of the Big Thunder Beta Windpark’s FIT contract, which OPA had approved in 2010.
“The City was made aware of the contract’s termination on Friday morning. In a website post dated July 24, Ontario Power Authority listed terminated FIT contracts including Big Thunder Beta Windpark. That listing and additional details are available at fit.powerauthority.on.ca/what-feed-tariff-program
“The City of Thunder Bay did not receive any advance notice of the termination of this contract between the OPA and Big Thunder WindPark LP,” said City Manager Tim Commisso. “We are looking into the implications and will provide an update to City Council when we know more.”
The Friends of the Nor’Westers, a group of concerned citizens has been pushing to see the contract end. During the past several years, the group has sought to educate the City of Thunder Bay Council on the project.