About 125 people showed up to learn more about wind turbines as wind company WPD has launched an effort to get property owners to sign leases to host turbines in Wallace and Mapleton townships.
Local wind activist Warren Howard says WPD has been knocking on doors in preparation for a new wind farm.
He says no consultation has been done.
“This activity is related to an RFP process that’s theoretically going to start next January,” says Howard. “They’re jumping the gun, and according to the Independent Electricity System Operator, who operates this RFP process, community engagement is a key piece of it. Well, there’s been no community engagement to this point.”
The former banker reminds landowners to learn more about the lease before signing.
“Make sure you talk to your lawyer and get him to explain the details of the contract. Number 3, talk to you bank. Don’t get surprised on these things. You don’t just says ‘Oh yes, that sounds like a good idea’, and sign away the land for 20 years. Which is what happened in Elma Mornington in most cases,” says Howard.
Howard says farmers who sign leases are essentially surrendering control of their entire farm for the next 20 years to the wind company. He adds the lease allows them “to enter the farm, any part of the farm, do all the studies. WPD gets to say where the wind turbines go and there’s absolutely no consultation with the landowners.”
He says the lease is registered on title which may prevent farmers from using their land to get credit to run the farm operation.
Howard says decommissioning a wind turbine is the landowners problem and can cost upwards of $1-million. So $20,000 a year, and a $100,000 letter of credit will not cover it.
Howard says once coal was eliminated, Ontario’s mostly nuclear and hydro based power system was very clean and green. But he says according to the society of professional engineers, the province must increase greenhouse gas producing natural gas production to back up all wind or solar power added to the system.
Howard also suggests winds turbines affect some people’s health, devalue your land, and your neighbours land. He says a wind company would need at least 20 turbines to make a wind project cost efficient.
About 75 “Stop the Wind Turbines” signs were sold at a meeting at the Ag. Hall in Listowel Wednesday night.
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