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Critics call Ontarios wind farms a disaster, but Chiarelli promises peace with municipalities

Critics call Ontario’s wind farms ‘a disaster’ in rural areas but Energy Minister Chiarelli says government is working with municipalities

Michael Lapointe — Hill Times — August 13, 2013

Ontario is making major changes to its growing wind energy sector, providing municipalities more say over where turbines will be located and more revenue from projects. But despite changes in provincial regulation, anti-wind energy groups say the government continues to ignore health concerns associated with the source.

Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says the provincial government’s new procurement process for wind farms ‘is virtually going to guarantee that there will be peace with the municipalities’ concerned about where new projects will be located.

Ontario is the provincial leader in installed wind energy capacity with 15 operational farms and enough energy to power 600,000 homes, becoming a “mainstream resource” for the province’s power grid. But although there has been a noticeable decrease in greenhouse gas emissions within the province as the last coal-fired plant is set to close by the end of 2014—as well as a corresponding decrease in GHG emission-related illnesses such as asthma according to provincial Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli—the Ontario government’s emphasis on facilitating the expansion of wind power projects has raised concerns from local groups who claim that the strategy is both undemocratic and harmful to human health.

Wind Concerns Ontario expressed their view that some wind power projects’ locations in the province in the last seven years “has been a disaster for rural Ontario,” in a July 5 release, citing a lack of respect for promised consultation processes prior to the passage of the GEA as well as the absence of any “proper cost-benefit analysis or business case study done for wind power generation.”

“In short, while wind power is currently an insignificant source of power generation for Ontario and even when currently planned projects are fully implemented, its contribution will still be very small. Nevertheless, its impact on rural-small urban communities is huge.”

But Mr. Chiarelli said that as part of the government’s mandated three-year review of the province’s long-term energy plan, a number of steps have been developed to increase both municipal discretion over renewable energy siting processes—as well as municipal revenue from projects.

Mr. Chiarelli told The Hill Times that the government “made a decision that large wind projects—that’s those over 500 kilowatts—will have a separate procurement process,” from other renewable projects, one that involves the implementation of a ‘request-for-proposal’ (RFP) regulation.   Continue reading, here….

If you want to leave a comment about this article, please click on the link and go directly to the online paper, to ensure everyone sees how you feel.

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2 Comments on “Critics call Ontarios wind farms a disaster, but Chiarelli promises peace with municipalities”

  1. Donna Quixote August 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    To leave a comment about this article, please click on the link that takes you directly to the online paper and leave a comment there, so that the general public can see the response. Thanks — DQ

  2. BIX August 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Chiarelli is full of S#@$! Peace with communities means turbine tear-down is the ONLY acceptable remedy but Chiarelli is smoking
    ‘wacky tobacky’ if he thinks HIS definition of peace will work. Communities have but one recourse with this foul corrupt excuse for a government propping this humungous scam…. take it to the streets and do it ourselves. You think this is over the top? Go talk again to victims who can’t walk bc of vertigo, etc. Then realize that this is our own government who has sanctioned legal assaults against the real people of this province.

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