Dutton/Dunwich council wants to pay less for electricity.
Last week council put the finishing touches on a resolution it will circulate to municipalities across the province addressing the rising energy costs and asking for a hydro rate reduction for local residents and businesses as compensation for hosting an unwanted wind turbine project.
Council passed the seven-clause resolution with Coun. Dan McKillop casting the only opposing vote.
The bone of contention is the awarding of a 57.5 megawatt project to Invenergy LLC for the Strong Breeze wind farm in March 2016 by the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator. Dutton/Dunwich stated it did not want to host any wind turbine projects, which the provincial IESO chose to ignore.
“…It is unfair that the people of Ontario who have opposed industrial wind turbines in their municipality have to live with all the detrimental elements of these projects while their neighbours in cities, who may benefit from any power produced therefrom, do not,” stated one of the preamble clauses in the resolution.
The resolution requests the province provide a “100 per cent hydro rate reduction” to residential customers in Dutton/Dunwich and a 100 per cent rate reduction to businesses and commercial operations” in order to compensate for the hosting of a wind turbine project.
It asks Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to provide full funding to help businesses in Dutton/Dunwich as a “forced wind turbine host municipality” to be completely outfitted with renewable energy to operate their businesses and “be removed from the grid without penalty.”
“The removal from the grid should assist the government with its overall targets,” the resolution states.
The resolution was written as council’s’ response to it citizens who say rising hydro costs are causing hardship.
“Many of these residents are on fixed incomes,” states a staff report on the resolution. “Business owners are stating these high costs are crippling them and their livelihood. It is imperative that we find solutions for the residents of Dutton/Dunwich as well as to assist businesses to survive in this economically difficult time in our region and for the years to come.”
McKillop, the lone voice of opposition, said, “Everything that is said in this resolution is true. It’s the first resolution that takes our expenses and puts it on the backs of the rest of Ontario. I can’t be part of that.”
“We live in the province of Toronto, Dan,” Mayor Cameron McWilliam told him.
“They (the province) are making decisions that have no relevancy to here,” he added.
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