Government’s plan to cancel all renewable projects can hurt provinces business competitiveness
July 25, 2018 (EnergySpotlight) – Ontario’s plan to cancel wind projects across the board may have long term impact on business environment in the province.
The fallout from Doug Ford’s plan that cancelled Ontario Wind Farm Projects continue to make headlines this week.
The newly elected Ontario government announced the cancellation of the 18.5-megawatt White Pines project two weeks ago and introduced legislation last week to allow the termination and to try and limit the compensation it would have to pay to WPD.
WPD Canada Corp. is in the construction phase of the project, and at the moment, is continuing to put turbines in the ground, as locals literally try and stand in the way.
That cancellation was separate from the government’s decision to terminate 758 renewable energy projects which had IESO contracts that had not been finalized.
John Manley, president of the Business Council of Canada, which represents chief executive officers of the country’s largest firms issued a public letter to Premier Ford.
He urges the Ontario government to reconsider the cancellation, saying it is sending the wrong signal to businesses.
He mentions similar scenario by the NDP government in British Columbia to continue to object and ‘block’ the federally-approved Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. This project would increase oil exports from Canada across the globe.
“In your dealings with renewable power developers, we urge you to consider carefully the potential lasting negative effects that arbitrary actions can have on investor confidence” The statement reads “Among Ontario’s strengths are its reputation for fair dealing and respect for the rule of law. Many of the business leaders I represent are concerned that this hard-earned reputation is at risk.”
The cancellation of the White Pines wind project threatens Ontario’s reputation as a safe and secure place to invest. https://t.co/JCJIfBoc3R
— The Business Council (@BizCouncilofCan) July 24, 2018
WPD Canada does not intend to go away quietly and claim they will seek to recoup $100-million that it has sunk into the project. It is not yet known how much the Ontario government will agree to pay. If any.
In the face of the news, WPD has continued construction and has four of its nine turbines erected. Something locals are concerned about. WPD Canada president Ian MacRae said that until the provincial law is passed, the company remains under contract with the IESO to complete the project.
“We have a valid contract and an obligation to execute on that,” he said.
While renewable Wind energy projects are still moving forward in the country, including Alberta, they face local opposition in many cases.
Back in June, Saskatchewan announced plans for a full-scale utility solar farm in a site TBD.
I still stand by my view that cancelling a bunch of projects full-stop. Cancelling on the merits of each is a better look from afar- but I don’t live in these project site locations, as it does seem opposition is STEEP.
Keep the debates going and have a conversation, not a shouting match.