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Warning against wind farm liens

The Past President of the Huron-Perth Landowners’ Association is advising area farmers to do their research and get legal advice before signing wind turbine development leases for their properties.

Dave Hemingway is concerned property owners may be left on the hook for millions of dollars of wind turbine construction work that hasn’t been paid for.

Hemingway says turbine construction contractors have applied liens against six properties – four of them since June.

He says he discovered the newer liens when he double-checked legal documents early this month.

The total value of the liens is over $32 million.

Hemingway explains that under the province’s Construction Lien Act, turbine construction is interpreted as an improvement to a property that has the potential to earn money for the landowner.

He points out that a Superior Court certificate filed in June names a construction sub-contractor as the plaintiff, and four wind turbine companies plus several financial institutions as defendants.

Hemingway says that’s one of three cases in which legal action has started because construction work on wind turbines hasn’t been paid for.

He warns landowners and leaseholders that any potential financial liability arising from leases could be far greater than the leases are worth.