The group fighting a wind energy project on Amherst Island is calling for the Ontario government to cancel the contract with the company and called on the province’s auditor general to look into the project.
In a letter to the Ontario Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault, the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) called for the government to cancel the contract signed with Algonquin Power and Utilities Corporation’s subsidiary Windlectric Inc. in February 2011.
The group also asked auditor general Bonnie Lysyk to look into why the contract has not been cancelled.
“It seems that Algonquin Power’s heart has not been in this project. Perhaps this is not surprising, given the difficulty of developing the project on an island and with the very high capital expenditure of $3.9 million per megawatt,” APAI president Michele Le Lay wrote in her letter to Thibeault.
“The contract with the Ontario Power Authority [now IESO] was signed in February 2011. Here we are, six years later, and all to show on the island is a start on the island dock that will be necessary to transport all construction material to the island.”
The Amherst Island wind project was the subject of a lengthy Environmental Review Tribunal hearing.
Cancelling the project would save Ontario about $500 million, APAI argued, and get the province out of an expensive contract.
The contract, signed in 2011, will pay Windlectric $135 per megawatt hour of electricity the project produces. APAI argued that amount will rise to about $140 per megwatt hour and during the 20 years the total cost of electricity from the project will be between $420 million nd $660 million.
Building the project on an island also raises the project’s construction costs, Le Lay noted in her letter.
APAI’s request to Lysyk centres on “a financial investigation on why the Ontario government refuses to terminate an expired wind turbine contract and agrees to pay for the next 20 years a wind company the highest rate ever for unneeded electricity.”
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