TROUT CREEK – And then there were none.
In a quiet but effective move the province has cancelled the contract to purchase power from proposed wind turbines in Trout Creek.
In discussions for more than five years, the proposed project was the final local wind turbine project proposed for the region with others near Powassan, Mattawa and north of North Bay being withdrawn by the proponents within the past two years.
“This is great news for our area,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, who spotted the announcement in an announcement from the Independent Electricity System Operator.
The Trout Creek project is one of five in the regulatory announcement to have their contracts canceled, with the most high profile being in Prince Edward County on Ostrander Point.
“That will be the highest profile one and the one that will make the most people happy. But the first one that caught my eye is the Trout Creek contract,” Fedeli said.
The Trout Creek contract was first awarded for 10MW of power in 2010 but never seemed to move beyond the consultation/approval process with a road agreement with the Municipality of Powassan being awarded in January without any further word from the proponent.
Leader Resources of the Kincardine area has been serving as project manager for the three-turbine installation saying ownership had shifted from Schneider Power to a new company called Trout Creek Wind Energy LP. The last activity on the company’s website about the Trout Creek project is from January of 2015.
A call to their office has not yet been returned.
Fedeli says the cancellation is good news for Ontario,
“They need to stop the global adjustment fee. Almost three-quarters of it is used now to pay these subsidies out for so-called green energy,” Fedeli said.
He believes independent issues with these particular contracts are be the cancellation, noting it doesn’t appear the government is backing off building more wind and solar installations in the near future with a major round of contracts let just this past fall, including for another major solar installation in Burk’s Falls.
“I don’t think it is shifting, I think it is refocusing,” Fedeli said.
He also doesn’t believe Trout Creek and area would have seen much for the investment being made on Crown land east of town on the big ridge towards Sausage Lake.
“They would bring very few temporary jobs but continue to assist in bringing up the hydro rates of Ontario,” Fedeli said, noting studies have found every green energy job created with the higher power rates/subsidies can be traced to two to four lost jobs because of companies shifting to provinces or out of country for lower rates, or simply downsizing to cope with bills.
The news will be celebrated in Prince Edward County where local residents were successful in winning an injunction to stop the installation of turbines on ground found to be home to the endangered Blandings turtle. The province was in the midst of appealing the injunction.
Calls to Trout Creek project managers were not returned before press time.
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