Wind Concerns Ontario has discovered wpd Canada was given a Notice to Proceed by the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in May.
“The exact circumstances surrounding this action and its timing are being investigated,” said Steve Ferguson, councillor for South Marysburgh, “but rest assured the perseverance of the residents of South Marysburgh and elsewhere in the County will continue and will pay off.”
The effect is that the IESO has now waived its right to cancel the project, for any reason, without liability. Supporters of the campaign to stop the project had thought the IESO was holding up on giving the notice due to active legal challenges by APPEC (Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County), and also because of a lack of approval for the distribution line.
Wind Concerns Ontario notes shock the IESO gave its Notice To Proceed to the much-contested White Pines Industrial wind power project during the election campaign.
“It is reprehensible that the IESO would do such a thing when the election campaign was on, when the writ for the June election was drawn up and when the project still has approvals outstanding and is facing at least two legal challenges in the courts, one of which directly involves the IESO,” said Jane Wilson, president Wind Concerns Ontario.
Paula Peel, of APPEC, notes is unclear whether the IESO believes it must follow any rules in place.
“In 2017 the IESO chose to ignore the fact the power developer had failed to meet the 75 per cent capacity clause in its Feed in Tariff (FIT) contract, which should have resulted in cancellation,” said Peel. “Instead, the IESO arbitrarily issued a new contract for a revised number of wind turbines, with no public notice or discussion. One year later, the IESO issues a Notice to Proceed – the final level of approval – to wpd during a provincial election, for a power project that was clearly an election issue, and which would add to consumers’ electricity bills at a time when that too was an important issue being debated across Ontario.”
APPEC expects to be in provincial court this week to continue its attempt to stay construction during Blandings Turtle nesting.
On June 29 the group is hosting a Black Tie and Blue Jeans gala to raise funds for the South Shore Appeal Fund. Dancing to the Fade Kings, live and silent auctions and draw prizes. Tickets are $80 single and $150 for couples at www.appec.ca or by calling Gord Gibbins at 613-242-9913.