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Bill to give municipalities voice in energy projects defeated in Legislature

Quaiff-Thompson-Bill-39The County’s North Marysburgh councillor Robert Quaiff spoke to media at Queen’s Park in Toronto Thursday in support of Bill 39, the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act – a measure that sought to limit provincial wind development, eliminate the feed-in tariff and give municipalities a greater voice in planning renewable energy projects. The Bill was defeated in the Legislature Thursday.

The bill, introduced by PC Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, aimed to ensure municipalities were given back the planning power and control for renewable energy projects; that the cost per kilowatt hour of wind energy would line up with other sources of generation and the feed-in tariff (FIT) program would be eliminated

Quaiff says right now, municipalities have no say when it comes to where those projects, like wind turbines, can be constructed, that’s currently up to the Ontario Power Authority. And that “no say” will continue as the bill was defeated in the Legislature on Thursday.

Quaiff says there could be a meeting at the end of this month about changes to the Green Energy Act.

Brandy Giannetta, Ontario regional director at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), says the Bill’s claims are misinformed.

“The PC Party continues to ignore a number of studies that have conclusively demonstrated that wind energy has made only a minor contribution to rising electricity costs in Ontario in recent years,” she says, citing a CanWEA-commissioned Power Advisory LLC study that shows wind energy is responsible for about 5 per cent of the total rise in provincial electricity costs.

The ruling Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the PC party – are all trying to navigate around a perfect storm of low demand, surplus generation and rising power prices.

Following the legislature’s vote, Thompson issued a statement that expressed her disappointment for a defeat she suspects was politically motivated.

“The NDP and Liberals could have supported the bill to at least get it into committee, where all three parties could have put their political stripes aside and worked together on a thoughtful affordable energy plan where municipalities could have their say,” Thompson said.

Thompson’s Bill was to restore municipal powers on turbine issues like setback distances. She says more than 90 Ontario municipalities – including Prince Edward County – have declared themselves unwilling hosts to wind developments.
“The Ensuring Affordable Energy Act would have enshrined that choice in law,” she said.

According to the Fraser Institute Report released last week, the planned expansion of wind energy under the Green Energy Act is highly cost-inefficient and will, if pursued, raise the costs to provincial households another 40-50 per cent.

“Ontario families and businesses cannot wait any longer for this government to move on an affordable energy strategy,” said Thompson. “Just this week a business owner in Walkerton contacted me to ask when energy rate relief was coming—and that he cringes at opening his power bill every month. It is shameful that this Liberal-NDP coalition worked together to hinder business development and success.”

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  1. Jim Wiegand says:

    The titans of industry are the ones pulling the wind scam strings. The people you see in the media and in the legislature are powerless puppets.

  2. Mark says:

    Here goes the “legacy we can leave for our children” again. If all else fails let’s pull the children trump card. And what do we tell the little children when they ask how this beautiful County was decimated by Industrial Wind Turbines and for what, and who allowed this to occur?

  3. Nate says:

    No end benefits? I think everyone needs to take a step back and look at the decreasing transparent cost of renewables and the increasing costs of all other forms of electricity. This is a new industry that needed a higher tariff rate to get off the ground. Now that industry competition has emerged the costs of developing these projects has become less and less. The provincial government recognized this and dropped the tariff offerings dramatically (microFIT solar by almost 50%).

    Let’s think about basic economics here people. The more sources of renewable energy we have the cheaper our costs will be in the long run. Did I forget to mention renewables are an unlimited resource?

    The technology is improving dramatically each year so lets stop being so selfish and start thinking about a legacy we can leave for our children.

  4. Gary Mooney says:

    Shellie, the wind scam is definitely NOT winding down. Totalling onshore and offshore proposals, Ontario and New York State, 800+ turbines are planned or already installed in the eastern Lake Ontario area.

  5. Shellie Correia says:

    Lesko….are you telling us that they do not intend to recoup every last penny out of our unwilling pockets? Are you insinuating that this is done as a charitable donation?. We are being overcharged, and for no end benefit. This wind scam is winding down. Get all your money out now, because the pyramid scheme is about to crumble.

  6. Segue C says:

    Wrong, wrong, and wrong…the usual misinformation re wind.

    The whole GEA is a giant subsidy funnel toward the undeserving unreliables.

    An actual tender to dismantle 2 1.5MW IWT in Falmouth Mass. came back with prices ranging from $12 million to $15 million. Considering that the turbines only cost around $3 million to erect, a cost of $6 million to $7.5 million per IWT to dismantle may explain why there are so many abandoned Wind Farms in the US and begs the question of what will happen here in Ontario in 13 years time. How many developers have given performance bonds sufficient to the task?

    Conventional generation is covering wind’s flatulentass on all counts.

  7. m york says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Quaiff for representing P.E.C. we should have a few more of you sitting around the horseshoe! Hopefully you will take a bigger stand when it comes to Mr. Dewing having to explain himself as to why he’s over in Trinidad helping them out when our own community is suffering so much, and receiving his paycheck I might add… Check it out on the County website and congratulations to Councillor Forrester for bringing this up for answers from Council at its upcoming meeting!!!

  8. m york says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Quaiff for representing P.E.C. we should have a few more of you sitting around the horseshoe! Hopefully you will take a bigger stand when it comes to Mr. Dewing having to explain himself as to why he’s over in Trinidad helping them out when our own community is suffering so much, and receiving his paycheck I might add… Check it out on the County website and congratulations to Councillor Forrester for bringing this up for answers from Council at its upcoming meeting!!!

  9. Doris Lane says:

    If all the councillors had the intelligence and the caring of Robeet Quaiff we would not be in the mess we are in now in the County.
    It is unbeliveable that the Thompson motion got defeated.
    All her points made perfect sense.
    Where did anyone get the idea that developers did not get grants from the government. Apparently Wolfe island got both Provincial and federal help.
    If wind energy is so great why are we paying increases each month in our hydro bills and why are industries moving out of Ontario because of their million dollar tax bills???

  10. Marnie says:

    Forget what he may or may not know about apples Jethro. He has a couple of big points in his favour – he’s courteous and he’s doing his best to do the job for which he was elected.

  11. Jethro says:

    I see Mr Quaiff at Queens Park. I hope he knows more than he did when he tried to get money for the apple farmers because of hail damage.He took a sample of apples with scab on them instead of ones with hail damage

  12. gil says:

    If this FIT program is so great,why am I paying more on my monthly Hydro bills???

  13. Dan Wrightman says:

    Not any more Don. Under the new IESO rules wind power producers will be paid to not produce power at times of low demand and high supply. “no power, no money” has now become “no power, no problem we’ll pay you anyways”

  14. Jane says:

    Lesko says: “the only time wind energy receives payments is when they produce power.”

    But they produce power when we don’t need it, we are all forced to pay for it, and then have to pay other jurisdictions to take it off our hands. It is not dispatchable and is intermittent. The only people benefiting financially are the wind developers and property owners who care nothing about their neighbours. Everyone else loses.

  15. Don Lesko says:

    Unlike conventional forms of electrical generation, wind energy receives no government, taxpayer, or ratepayer dollars during development. All lifecycle costs, including reclamation, are covered by the developer.

    The only time wind energy receives payments is when they produce power. No power, no money. Conversely, most of our conventional generation gets paid NOT to produce power.

    As for selling power to other jurisdictions, the IESO reports (Sept 2012);

    “Ontario’s electricity market generated almost $15 million in August by exporting electricity to other states and provinces, bringing total net export revenues to more than $142 million this year. This revenue helps Ontario keep costs down for families and helps build and maintain a clean, reliable and modern electricity system. (Notice that’s NET revenue)
    Since 2006, the electricity market has generated $1.9 billion through net exports compared to 2002 and 2003 when Ontario paid $900 million to import power.”

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