Industrial wind turbines are an expensive, unnecessary source of power for the province at this time, according to Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli.
Fedeli, who has launched a petition against two wind turbine projects proposed for the region, said Monday that wind-generated electricity is unpredictable, overly expensive and has too many detrimental effects on wildlife and human neighbours.
An industrial wind turbine project is proposed near Mattawa with up to 60 turbines and another is proposed in Merrick Township with a “significant number” of wind turbines.
Another project has been proposed in the region, with Trout Creek residents fighting a four-turbine installation in Laurier Township.
Leader Resources is the proponent of the Laurier Township project, and is seeking a renewable energy approval from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
The project will have a maximum capacity of 9.6 megawatts.
“I’ve been fighting this since I was elected in 2011,” Fedeli said after releasing the petition opposing the Mattawa and North Bay area projects.
In 2011, the provincial auditor general laid out the primary reasons Fedeli opposes wind turbines – operators receive “the richest subsidies” for power generation, they have a 20-year contract with the province, and the province agreed to buy the power created by wind turbines “whenever it is created.
“Wind turbines make most of their power at night. That’s exactly when it’s not needed,” Fedeli said.
Because of this, the province pays the United States and Quebec to take its excess energy, or spills water through hydro-electric dams.
It has cost the province $2.6 billion more to produce and export that power than the province received from exporting that power between 2006 and 2013.
It has also made Ontario’s power prices the highest in North America, he said.
“Hydro rates have tripled in the last 11 years,” he said.
It cost $300 million last year to spill water through the dams at Niagara Falls, and $80 million to vent steam at the province’s nuclear power plants.
The province’s high energy costs also contributed to the loss of Xtrata Copper in Timmins, he said.
“It was the single largest user of power in Ontario, and we lost 672 employees there” when the company was lured to Quebec with the promise of much cheaper power – power Ontario was giving to Quebec.
Fedeli said several of the proposed wind farms have been delayed, and while a court ordered one – the Ostrander Point project near Picton – to be stopped over environmental concerns, the province is appealing that decision.
Fedeli, the former energy critic for the Progressive Conservatives, will be putting the petition on his website at www.fedeli.com.
“Wind turbines make most of their power at night. That’s exactly when it’s not needed.”
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