Municipalities led by the township of Wainfleet are calling upon the Ontario government and Premier Kathleen Wynne to cancel wind contracts before they are awarded this month. They are asking that no further wind projects be approved this year because the electricity isn’t needed and wind power is too expensive, unreliable and destructive to the natural environment— specifically bats, birds, turtles and other species at risk.
South Marysburgh councillor Steve Ferguson asked Council on Tuesday night to endorse the resolution.
The province’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has announced it intends to approve up to 300 MW of wind, 140 MW of solar, 50 MW of bioenergy and 75 MW of water power this month. Among the potential new projects are a 1,000-acre solar project on farmland south of Marmora and 100 industrial wind turbines amid the lake land north of Napanee.
Also, SkyPower is looking to land contracts for as many as six solar energy plants in Prince Edward County.
The Wainfleet resolution calls on the province to consider the Auditor General’s report that found Ontario consumers would pay $9.2 billion more for renewable powered electricity and double the rate paid in other jurisdictions.
The resolution notes that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has flagged soaring electricity rates as a factor undermining job growth investment in the province.
The resolution also points to mounting evidence and administrative tribunal findings that industrial wind turbines pose serious and irreversible harm to endangered species, including the little brown bat and the Blanding’s turtle, as well as growing worries about the impact of massive machines located in stopover points used by migrating birds.
Steve Ferguson says the County has previously proclaimed the municipality “not a willing host” and one of only two municipalities in Ontario in which Renewable Energy Approvals have been revoked.
“I believe we need to join other municipalities to tell the Wynne government that enough is enough,” said Ferguson. “I am hopeful that my fellow councillors will agree and vote in favour with me.”
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