Ontario farm property values hit record levels contrary to claims by opponents to wind energy

OTTAWA, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) today welcomed news that the majority of Ontario's agricultural regions have enjoyed a significant increase in prices for farm land over 2010 prices. The RE/MAX Market Trends Report - Farm Edition 2011 released Sept. 12 found rising agricultural commodity values and tight inventory levels have contributed to a significant upswing in the price of Ontario farmland in 2011.

"It is promising to hear that the value of agricultural property has increased in most regions of Ontario, especially in areas like Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex where wind energy has also enjoyed significant growth over the past few years," said Chris Forrest, vice-president of communications with CanWEA. "This would seem to run contrary to claims made by opponents that wind energy has decreased property values. Chatham-Kent, for example, has enjoyed a significant increase in farm land value in 2011 while also seeing several new wind farms come online."

The report also states: "A growing number of farmers are entering into contracts to host wind or solar power projects, while others opt to permit the extraction of gas and natural resources, as seen in markets like Chatham-Kent and Windsor and Essex County.  These arrangements have provided an alternate source of income and underscored the budding possibilities that exist for land owners."

"We need new sources of energy in Ontario. Wind is a smart choice because it is clean and provides economic benefits to landowners and the local community," said Chatham-Kent farmer Reinout Von Martels in a testimonial for wind energy.

Ontario is Canada's wind energy leader with 1,656 MW in place. A landmark study 'The Economic Impacts of the Wind Energy Sector in Ontario 2011 - 2018' by ClearSky Advisors demonstrates that meeting the wind energy targets identified under the province's Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) would result in more than $1.1 billion in revenues to local municipalities and landowners in the form of taxes and lease payments over the 20-year lifespan of the projects.

"I support wind energy because farmers have always looked for ways to use their land productively. Wind energy has a growing role to play in Ontario, and I'm proud to be part of that change," said Bruce Ribey, a Bruce County farmer, in a testimonial for wind energy.

CanWEA is the voice of the wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy throughout Canada on behalf of its more than 420 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. The document Wind Vision 2025 - Powering Canada's Future is available at www.canwea.ca.

SOURCE CANADIAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION

For further information:

Lejla Latifovic, Communications Co-ordinator
Canadian Wind Energy Association
(O) 613 234 8716 ext. 241
(M) 613 608 8226

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