OTTAWA, May 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Municipal support for renewable power projects must be a mandatory part of Ontario's new contracting process, Wind Concerns Ontario has told the Independent Electricity System Operator.
"The IESO claims to 'engage' communities but the truth is, Ontario citizens and their elected officials have no real say where huge turbine projects go," says Jane Wilson, WCO president. "That has to change."
WCO says there is no link between the power contracts and communities' Official Plans, or Regional Energy Plans. The process does not even align with the Wynne government's own carbon reduction plans. "Intermittent wind power needs back-up from natural gas," Wilson explains. "That means more carbon emissions, not less. So why do it?"
If municipal support is a mandatory requirement in power developers' bids, the Ontario government would demonstrate respect for communities' own plans for sustainable and appropriate development, and for citizens' concerns about the natural environment, health and property values.
"Communities have very good reasons for not wanting these projects," Wilson says. "The ordinary planning process for Ontario was overridden with the Green Energy Act, and so did democracy."
Over 90 Ontario municipalities have declared themselves to be "unwilling hosts" to wind power projects.
Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of community groups and citizens concerned about the impact of industrial-scale wind power projects on the economy, the environment, and health.
SOURCE Wind Concerns Ontario
For further information: Jane Wilson 613-489-3591/613-725-7120, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.windconcernsontario.ca