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Council wants cash from wind and solar developers

By Nicole Kleinsteuber
Renewable energy developers looking to enter agreements with Prince Edward County will be asked to pay out large sums of cash if they want to break ground on County soil.
During a regular meeting Tuesday night, County council approved two motions, both of which will force future developers to pay the municipality for energy projects as part of Ontario’s Feed in Tariff Program (FIT).
Council’s decision came just two days before the province granted wind developer Gilead Power the green light to construct a nine turbine wind farm along Ostrander Point.
“Once they (energy projects) are built, they produce no long-term employment,” said Mayor Peter Mertens during an interview.  “So there is no benefit to us in any way, shape or form unless we make it benefit us.”
The first requires wind developers to dole out $200,000 to ensure large (class 3 and 4) turbines will be decommissioned at the end of their life span.
The same payment is expected of solar farm projects exceeding 500 kilowatts.
The payment will also act as a security deposit for damage to roads and infrastructure during construction.
The second requirement will call upon developers to make an annual payment of $7.00/KW per project as one of the obligations to receive priority points.
Mayor Peter Mertens sees this as a great opportunity to raise some cash he feels the County is entitled to.
“It’s our resource,” said Mertens.  “They are using our resource.  Everyone else that comes to the County is expected to contribute to the community in one way or another.  There is no reason why they should come in (to the County) with any size of development and not be expected to contribute to the community.”
Councillor Barry Turpin didn’t see how charging developers would prove profitable to the municipality.
“We are supposed to be open for business,” said Turpin.  “This is going to scare people away.  It’s not appropriate. I don’t support this at all.  No other municipalities are charging that on an individual basis.”
After researching a number of municipalities in the province, staff concluded profit sharing and tariffs do not exist in: Belleville, Quinte West, Kingston, Durham, Mississauga, London, Cornwall and Peterborough.
Mertens said he didn’t mind being on the leading edge and having others follow the County.
“Other municipalities have in fact offered two points free and clear,” said Mertens.  “They were hasty.  Many of them are taking another look because they have no say where these things (energy projects) go in their municipalities.”
The new regulations won’t apply to energy projects currently in the works.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. David Norman says:

    JD… you should know that it is well within the County’s “authority” to act, regulate for social justice to the extent that they can, on behalf of their constituents as guaranteed under the Canadian Constitution to protect the rights of all Canadian citizens. Government’s are not, or at least should not be simple bureaucracies, and which is most hideously apparent in this case, agents of corporate/financial interest. Democratic Constitutional government as defined is compelled to protect its’ citizenry from fraud and force, not facilitate it. As this filthy corrupt smear on the most fundamental of our democratic constitutional rights unfolds and builds momentum, you can rest assured that those lawmakers who recognize, through the voices of Canadian citizenry, that legislation as manifested by the “Green Energy Act” places an unfair burden on an increasingly disenfranchised segment of the population. It is little more than a pogrom inflicted on rural Ontario residents by corporate bourgeoisie. Even our own reincarnated vision of Mackenzie King, Stephen Harper, for all his fiscal faults, has at least championed the rights of Canadian’s in respect to the onerous ideological edicts (Koyoto) of that most grand of bureaucracy’s, the United Nations.

  2. Mark says:

    The Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources are both in a conflict of an interest. They are both regulating and answering to issues when controlled by a government that has sold us out. The deal was done and any public input was a sham! Civil disobedience is what will be required if Council can do no more than say they are unhappy.

  3. JD says:

    It’s not within the County’s authority to request such payments.

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