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Opponents shocked wpd gained notice to proceed – MPP Smith seeks action

Another component moves through Picton Monday. – Sharon Harrison photo

Oversize deliveries of wind turbine components are making their way to South Marysburgh. This was spotted at the corner of Cty Rd 4 and 34. – Sam Dorey photo

UPDATE:  “It’s completely unacceptable and wrong that this decision was made by the Independent Electricity System Operator during the election,” said Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP. “This should never have happened and breaches every convention or long-standing practice during the period of an election campaign.

“Our PC Government has not yet taken office but when it does, I will be seeking immediate action to address this issue. It is an affront to democracy. We need to stop this project from proceeding.”

On Friday morning, Doug Ford and the executive council will be sworn in at Queen’s Park.

 

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.

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  1. Gary Mooney says:

    Re comments about County government doing nothing to fight back against wind turbines, it’s because the Green Energy Act took away virtually all powers of municipalities with regard to wind turbine projects.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    There is nothing “alleged” about Hardie’s sexual harassment charges – he’s admitted to most of them – those he hasn’t admitted to – I would still believe the women. Hardie definitely has a problem and I hope he gets the help he needs.

    However, back to the windmills – if a protest rally were held, I would support it and be ready to block the roads. The residents of this community have been totally deceived at all angles. This is our community and if neither the courts nor elected politicians are going to protect our home – then they should be prepared to get the hell out of the way!

  3. Paul Cole says:

    Mr. Hardie’s alleged sexual misconduct was National news a few windmills ain’t much of a story they are going up and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Its already dragged through the courts The County tried to slow it down with road variances or what ever and their here. Get use to them folks…..

  4. Emily says:

    Makes no sense why we hear nothing from our municipal government on such a major concerning issue. You have a private enterprise issue that is none of their business and they are right out there the next day. Wine trumps Turbines!

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    The questions about where is the municipal response are right on target – there should be one asap! However, I’m not so sure if anyone in any of the political parties had a heads-up about what the IESO was up to. They should have been if the system was working properly, but we know that hasn’t been the case in decades. Look at what the MOE ignored for years over the IWTs on the south shore, and what the other ministries ignore for the Picton Terminal’s benefit, or to go back in history a bit to the Walkerton tragedy or the closure of schools and hospitals – all happened for the quest of corrupted governments to privatize and for companies to make big bucks. As we have seen and have experienced, the public come in last place whenever big business is involved. This IWT situation is no different.

    As we have experienced and witnessed, the government bureaucracy runs the show, regardless of who is elected- this IESO is proof of this. YES Minister, our democracy is a charade!

  6. Emily says:

    I agree,where is the Municipal response to this very important matter to residents?They came out immediately and interjected themselves into a private enterprise wine industry matter, but nothing on the biggest issue in PEC in 10 years! This has a stink .

  7. Fred says:

    I think there are bigger questions. Who municipally would have been aware of this under handed approval during an election? Our Mayor was running for the government pushing this forward quickly, and we had an Acting Mayor at the time. We need some municipal answers.

  8. Susan says:

    Somewhere Kathleen is chuckling !

  9. Chuck says:

    I get the impression that WPD is moving as quickly as possible. Difficult to cancel when you have spent millions, have approval and the massive towers are going up.

  10. Mark says:

    Another monster blade just rolled through Picton minutes ago, enroute to the wind factory.

  11. Gary Mooney says:

    Tech2, I’ve done a lot of digging in an attempt to determine why things have been done, and what will be done going forward. But I’m not a member of the new government, so I only know what I’ve read and what I’ve been told. We’ll just have to wait and see what action is taken.

  12. Tech2 says:

    Sorry Gary, but this whole situation has an odor about it. With so much money having been spent on fabrication, transportation and construction, I cannot see how this project will be stopped. The cynic in me is wondering if Doug Ford kept Todd away from the energy portfolio specifically:) I guess time will tell, in the meantime, more components arrive daily.

  13. Dennis Fox says:

    Gary Mooney – you seem to have taken on the responsibility of responding on behalf of Todd Smith and for our new government – which is most impressive.

    However, I feel I am reading mixed messages from you. In your posting of June 28th you said that the government would repeal the GEA and cancel uncompleted projects. Then went onto state that the only reason this WPD project would NOT be cancelled, would be due to the government feeling that is was beyond an “acceptable cost” to do so. Which was totally different than what they stated during the election campaign. Despite my asking at the time, I have never received a response to my question of defining what was meant by an acceptable cost? But perhaps with your new information, it doesn’t matter.

    Now you tell Chuck that the government’s decision to allow WPD will be based on the new government’s position on “further additional” electric power from wind turbines and on its campaign promises. You mention nothing about “acceptable cost,” but you have left the door open to the possibility of the government approving additional electrical wind turbines??

    But from the spirit of your latest explanation is that there is nothing about these latest developments with WPD for PEC to worry about – “acceptable cost” is no longer a factor and that we can look forward to the government doing away with the GEA and wind turbines?? Frankly, if people are now more confused than ever, I can understand why.

    The bottom line for me is that Todd Smith and the Conservatives under Doug Ford promised to get rid of the GEA and to stop the turbines in PEC – and a lot of people in PEC voted for them based on these promises. If it happens -great! If it doesn’t, then what will their explanation be this time and what can we do about it?

  14. Sue3 says:

    I realize that it’s going to take time for the new government to go through these contracts and sort things out, but in the meantime can they not put a freeze/stop work order on some of these wind projects?

  15. Gary Mooney says:

    Chuck, the decision on whether White Pines will be allowed to commence operations will not be based on the extent to which the project has been built. It will be based on the position of the new government regarding further additions to electrical power capacity from wind turbines and on its promises during the campaign.

  16. Chuck says:

    So Gary,with turbine blades being transported in,you have hope?

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    Gary, Todd Smith will be investigating the circumstances surrounding the issue by IESO of the Notice to Proceed, to see if there is a way to reverse it.

    But keep in mind that he also has to get up to speed as quickly as possible on this two roles — minister and house leader.

  18. Gary says:

    We have a new government. Any word on the WPD Prince Edward file?

  19. Sam says:

    Given that the blades cost $1 million each, and there likely isn’t a return policy, I expect that we will see some turbines in PEC this fall. With their contracts and approvals in place, and the ability to demonstrate the fact that they have invested significant resources, this will not be easily cancelled. Contracts often last longer than the government that issued them.

  20. Susan says:

    I expect this ludicrous development will be stopped very soon. Premier Wynne approved this contract during an election even while our Mayor was singing her praises. Talk about politics. “Tear them down “!!

  21. doug says:

    The liberals are still wondering how they lost the election after issuing a false ntp contract ….no corruption ..eh .

  22. Renee says:

    Todd Smith named Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader. Congratulations Todd!

  23. Gary says:

    Todd Smith receives Ministry of Government & Consumer Affairs. Not the suspected Energy portfolio.

  24. Dennis Fox says:

    As Gary Mooney points out at the beginning of his last posting – the Conservatives promised to repeal the GEA, as well as, cancel uncompleted projects like wpd. He then goes on to assure the readers that Doug Ford will follow through on his “commitments.”

    However, Mr. Mooney’s closing statement (below) states something that was never stated during the campaign by either Todd Smith nor Doug Ford. Let’s hope that our newly elected officials don’t find such an easy excuse to ignore the promises they made to the voters of PEC.

    “If the project doesn’t get cancelled, the only reason will be that the PC government is unable to find a way to cancel it at an acceptable cost.”

    Just what is an “acceptable cost?” I suppose we will just have to wait for Dougie to tell us. Too bad he didn’t say so prior to the election.

  25. Fred says:

    I think you are right on the money. Someone in IESO will have a whole lot of explaining to do come tomorrow!

  26. Gary Mooney says:

    I’ve been closely involved in fighting wind turbines for nine years, and have a very good idea of what’s going on. So here’s the scoop on the latest developments.

    During the campaign, the PC Party stated its commitment to repeal the Green Energy Act and cancel uncompleted projects, which includes White Pines. The reason? Wind and solar power are way too expensive and unreliable, and the additional power is unneeded. As will soon be apparent, Doug Ford will follow through on his commitments.

    Re White Pines, Wpd decided to build the project on spec, without receiving a Notice to Proceed (NTP) from IESO. We found out only on Friday, June 22 that IESO issued the NTP on May 11, two days into the election campaign. This is a major break with the tradition of public services suspending significant decisions during this period.

    The Liberals retain control of government until this Friday, June 29. I’m 100% convinced that the Premier’s Office directed IESO to issue the NTP, as a parting shot at all of us opposing this project. This is entirely consistent with their unwavering 100% support of all renewable energy projects under the Green Energy Act.

    The issue of the NTP makes the project more difficult, and possibly much more expensive, to cancel. However, Todd Smith remains as committed as ever to killing it.

    If the project doesn’t get cancelled, the only reason will be that the PC government is unable to find a way to cancel it at an acceptable cost.

  27. Debbie B says:

    Follow the money trail

  28. John Hirsch says:

    People are jumping to conclusions before the new government has even been sworn in!
    This is not yet a done deal.
    Let’s give Todd Smith and the PCs a chance to make this right and have the project terminated.

  29. Shana Greatrix says:

    I am so sad for the entire County who gave a good fight in the courts with these abominations. I am originally from the area and we had a 150th family reunion on West Lake last June. I was hoping they would give up there and not erect them as I know first-hand living in Norfolk County now how ugly, noisy and useless they really are. The corruption is not just within the Liberal government but obviously within the IESO itself created by the devils themselves. Democracy is gone with the wind in Ontario.

  30. Craig says:

    Fred asked how and and what cost Todd Smith and his party can get out of turbine contracts. One result from a google search was an article by Lawrence Solomon for the Financial Post, “Yes, Ontario Liberals can cancel their terrible renewable power contracts”

  31. Chris Keen says:

    From the IESO’s website outlining their mission:

    Operating and shaping the electricity system and market in an effective and transparent manner

    Seeking and acting on input from our communities, customers and stakeholders

    Sharing relevant and valued information, data, analysis and expertise

    There was no transparency, no input from our community or any sharing why the wpd Notice to Proceed was issued. So much for IESO’s mission statement!!

  32. Paul Cole says:

    I guess its now Mr. Smith’s time to put up or shut up and fix our electricity problems, this should be interesting to watch. I have a funny feeling it will only get worse…

  33. Fred says:

    MPP Smith is blowing a lot of wind to the choir. How on earth and a what cost does his government get out of an approved contract with turbines going up?

  34. Gary says:

    Thanks for that. I agree with most of your points. The former PC government does have a big involvement in this dilemma when they deregulated the former publicly owned Ontario Hydro.

  35. Dennis Fox says:

    No, what I am critical about is a system where people have been misled for years about who and what political party will come to the rescue, and none do – yet they get elected on those promises. I just find the timing of this latest development to be very convenient – with no one really accountable for another very bad decision by an agency when no government was sitting.

    But please don’t believe that the Conservatives are trying to stop this injustice – heck they were the ones who started the sell-off of hydro under Harris laying the groundwork for the mess of today – they are no more innocent than any other party for what we are experiencing now.

    But, I do think my question from a previous comment is still legit – Does anyone really believe that Doug Ford will stop a business in Ontario – even if it is the wind industry? I believe this sudden development is smoke screen. But you would be correct in saying that I have no proof – but my instincts are usually accurate, so we’ll have to wait and see. I’m just tired of seeing all the wrong things happen to this community – despite the time, work and money that people have donated to stop it. Talk about being bulldozed over – the residents of PEC should be up in arms!

  36. Gary says:

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say. The PCs are trying to stop this injustice. Are you critical of that?

  37. Janice says:

    Yes, saw another giant cylinder heading to Pt. Petre this afternoon!

  38. Dennis Fox says:

    Wind Concerns at a public meeting held years ago at the Milford Town Hall publicly endorsed the Conservative Party just prior to that election. This may not be what you want hear or to think about -but once again the people of PEC have been dubbed by politicians. BTW Paula, I don’t play political games nor try to protect politicians who have let us down.

  39. Paula Peel says:

    What on earth you talking about Dennis? The Liberal government was in power on May 11 when the NTP was issued. The new (PC) government hasn’t even been sworn in. It appears to me that the only political game playing is coming from you.

  40. Dennis Fox says:

    Good points Chris! What also needs to be remembered is that Wind Concerns Ontario has close ties with the Conservative party and supported them during the last two provincial elections – I find it hard to believe that this new development comes as a total surprise. The very thing that voters in PEC wanted-NO IWTs – they got!

    PEC elected a Conservative, who was also the Conservative Energy Critic who made promises of no IWTs. The timing here is highly suspect and this whole thing begins to resemble political game playing – at our expense! Then again, did anyone think Doug Ford would not support business – even if it was the wind power industry? I wonder how many IWTs will be here after 4 years?

  41. Chris Keen says:

    As the Conservatives mull over the future of Hydro One and its executives they would be well advised to do the same with IESO. That it would arbitrarily approve wpd’s revised FIT contract to produce unneeded electricity, when it could have been cancelled at no cost to taxpayers, shows IESO management and staff have lost their grip on reality!

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