The Ontario government has passed legislation to officially cancel the White Pines Wind Project in Prince Edward County, and will be compensating the company that was promised the contract by the previous Liberal government.
Last year, Ian MacRae, president of wpd Canada, the developer behind the project, told The Canadian Press that reneging on the contract would cost the government more than $100 million.
Wpd Canada had worked out a deal with the Liberal government in 2009, but in early July 2018, within a month of being elected, the Progressive Conservative government announced it would be backing out of the contract.
On July 3, 2019, the provincial government passed the White Pines Wind Project Termination Act, which entitles wpd to receive compensation for “eligible costs.”
Sydney Stonier, press secretary for Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, would not confirm the amount the government would pay wpd.
“Total compensation for wpd is still to be determined as there are a number of activities, such as decommissioning, that need to take place,” Stonier wrote in an emailed statement.
Several groups opposed the wind turbines, including Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, which on their website said,”any installation of industrial-scale wind-turbine complexes in Prince Edward County will be detrimental to its unique historical, agricultural, cultural and rural character.”
Stonier pointed out the government had promised to end the contract, which was finalized in May, 2018 by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, during the election campaign, and last week’s legislation was simply answering that promise.
“The community was clear that they did not want the White Pines wind project to proceed; we have listened and we have acted,” Stonier said.
According to the legislation, nine wind turbines have been partially or fully built in Prince Edward County. Stonier says their dismantling will begin in the coming months.
Global News was not able to reach MacRae, despite several phone calls and emails requesting comment.
More to come.
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