Category Archives: Next Era

Ezra Levant and MPP McNaughton on NextEra’s SLAPP suit

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NextEra faces Ontario appeal on Bornish project from Municipality and individual

BornishRe News
Opponents have appealed NextEra Energy Canada’s 72.9MW Bornish wind project in southwestern Ontario. The developer last month received renewable energy approval (REA) by the Environment Ministry, as reported in reNews. The Municipality of North Middlesex and an individual have asked the Environmental Review Tribunal to revoke the REA.

The appellants claim the wind farm will cause serious harm to human health. They also allege serious and irreversible harm to plant and animal life, listing at-risk species such as the bald eagle, red-headed woodpecker and tundra swan. The tribunal has yet to set any hearing dates. Read article

Save the Bornish Eagles! Community Awareness Celebration – May 25th

Eagle Celebration flyer – print and distribute!eagle celebrationDate: Saturday, May 25
Time: 1:00-5:00PM
Place: West Williams Community Centre, 32217 Kerwood Road, Parkhill  MAP (right beside the eagle nest)
NextEra vs Eagles Video

NextEra proud of removing American Bald Eagle Nest in Haldimand

choppedMonte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
[excerpt] “This wasn’t something we at Nextera were happy about,” spokesperson Josie Hernandez said Friday. “But we had to remove the nest to preserve the eagles. We’re very pleased this has been a success. It’s something we’re very proud of.” Wind opponents reply that Nextera may be tooting its own horn prematurely. “Sure they’re proud of what they’ve done,” says Ernie King of Cayuga, chair of Haldimand Wind Concerns. “But when these blades start turning and an eagle gets cut in half, how much of a success story will it be then? Sure they can pat themselves on the back. But that doesn’t change that they took down a nest that a pair of eagles made themselves to make room for three turbines.”

Fred Ortt of Jarvis, also a member of Haldimand Wind Concerns, continues to question Nextera’s decision to remove the nest. Ortt says the company had ample room across the road where it could’ve situated the turbines. Ortt and others claim to know of another eagles’ nest that has yet to cross Nextera’s radar screen. “We’re not going to tell them where it is,” Ortt said. “The MNR will just give them permission to cut that one down too.”

Nextera speculated about the possibility of relocating the nest to another tree. It has decided against that because the nest is too fragile. The company has shown the nest to students in New Credit and plans to donate it to a school that can take care of it. Read article

Next Era’s 37-turbine Bluewater project planned for Varna area gets Ministry approval

Grand BendLakeshore Advance
The Bluewater Wind Energy Centre, one of two projects Next Era has proposed for the municipality of Bluewater, received Ministry of Environment approval last Monday, April 22.

The project that was approved plans for 37 turbines for a generating capacity of 60 megawatts. Although the turbines will be located in Bluewater, bounded by Blackbush/Bronson Line to the west, Mill Road to the North, Concession 5 Road to the east and Danceland Road/Staffa Road to the south, a transmission line is to be constructed through Huron East to connect to the Seaforth Transformer Station by way of Centennial and Hensall Roads.

“This is a major milestone for the project,” said Project Director Nicole Geneau. “Everyone will see a lot more of us in the future, and me in particular, over the next several months,” said Geneau who added, “Sometimes when you are working through everything and working through the steps, the excitement doesn’t come through, but we are very happy to receive the approval. We have been working with some of our landowners since 2008 and this is a very long-term experience for them as well. We are all thrilled.” Read article

Activists say MOE approval of wind project near Arkona not the end of the fight

Say NO and ProtestBy Heather Wright, Sarnia this Week
LAMBTON COUNTY – Wind activists say a transmission line hearing may be best way to stop a wind energy center north of Arkona. NextEra received approval for the Bornish Wind Energy center, a 45-turbine project just northeast of Arkona from the Ministry of the Environment recently. Esther Wrightman of Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns has been among the people fighting the project. She’s frustrated. Wrightman saying looking at the Environmental Registry confirms her suspicion that the Ministry of the Environment simply rubber stamps wind projects. Wrightman says the registry on the Bornish project uses the name of another wind project in Eastern Ontario telling her the responses are not original.

“These are projects that are going to affect people’s lives and it seems that it’s just a matter of copy and pasting approval lines in it from one to another,” says Wrightman. “The MOE has never denied a project” she adds. “The system is broken…you don’t have a government agency that can help…you feel quite deserted at the end of the day.” Read article

Paved paradise, put up a wind turbine….

Copy of IMG_0380NexTerror cut down one eagle nest in Ontario already this year, and are eying up another at the Bornish project that was just approved last week.
Please mark your calendar to join the Save the Bornish Eagles Gathering:

Date: Saturday, May 25
Time: 1:00-5:00PM
Place: West Williams Community Centre, 32217 Kerwood Road, Parkhill MAP (right beside the eagle nest)

Nextera Bornish wind project approved by MOE – 45 wind turbines

“If the Company determines that it must deviate from either the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan, the Natural Heritage Assessment and Environmental Impact Study, the Natural Heritage Assessment – Addendum Report or the Natural Heritage Assessment – Addendum II Report, described in Condition K1, the Company shall contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Director, prior to making any changes to either of these documents, and follow any directions provided.

Full Bornish Wind Approval

Copy of IMG_0380

Active Eagle Nest 187m from Bornish substation, 634m & 741m from turbines.

Environmental Registry
Proponent:
Bornish Wind G.P Inc, as general partner for and on behalf of Bornish Wind L.P.
390 Bay Street, Suite 1720, Toronto Ontario Canada M5H 2Y2
Instrument Type:   Approval for a renewable energy project – EPA s.47.3(1)

A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Bornish Wind LP (NextEra Energy) to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of up to 45 turbines, rated at 1.6 MW generating output capacity, with a total name plate capacity of 72.9 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Bornish Wind Energy Centre, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as for the interconnection route. The wind facility will be is located in the Municipality of North Middlesex in Middlesex County.

The REA requires the proponent to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility in accordance with specific terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions, as summarised below, require the proponent to:

  • construct and install the facility within 3 years of the date of the approval,
  • construct and install the facility in accordance with the documentation considered for the issuance of this approval,
  • receive all required permits under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 prior to construction or installation, Read the rest of this entry

Ontario government traded an active eagle nest for these 3 wind turbines

And here is why the active bald eagle nest was destroyed by Nextera, NexTerror, NextError, NestError…. What a @#$%ing disgrace!!
Nextera Eagle Nesterror

NextEra Varna (Bluewater) Wind Project approved by MOE – 40 more turbines

approved-transEnvironmental Registry
A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Varna Wind Inc. to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of up to 40 turbines, rated at 1.6 MW generating output capacity, with a total name plate capacity of 60 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Bluewater Wind Energy Centre, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as for the interconnection route. The wind facility is generally bounded Blackbush/Bronson Line to the west, Mill Road to the north, Concession 5 Road to the east, and Danceland Road/Staffa Road to the south. The interconnection route is generally bounded by Concession 5 Road to the west, Mill Road to the north, Huron Road and Perth 183 Road to the east, and Staffa Road to the south. Read the rest of this entry

Bluewater taken to court over wind turbine building fees

DSCF4225By Mac Christie, Times-Advocate Staff
VARNA – Bluewater’s high-priced wind turbine building permit fees are being challenged in court. The municipality’s building permit bylaw would see wind developers pay $434,000 per turbine for any wind turbine development in the municipality.

NextEra Energy’s Nicole Geneau confirmed the company – which plans to build two wind farms and a total of 52 turbines in Bluewater – has filed suit in Ontario Superior Court in London. “We’ve always maintained that we contested the bylaw that they passed,” Geneau said. “The reasons that we contested it, we stated at council several times. “It’s on that basis that we have moved to have the bylaw quashed and we’re going to continue to pursue that action.”

NextEra undertook the action with Northland Power, the developers of the Grand Bend Wind Farm, an installation which could see as many as 40 turbines erected in Bluewater. NextEra’s legal counsel Tyson Dyck had previously appeared at Bluewater council March 4, telling council the company disputed the bylaw as they feel it encroaches on several areas of the provincial jurisdiction, such as the Green Energy Act, as well as the Building Code Act.

The bylaw would see industrial wind turbine developers pay a $14,000 base permit fee, a $220,000 security per turbine for decommissioning, a $100,000 fee per turbine for matters related to health and property devaluation and a $100,000 fee per turbine for potential legal matters arising as a result of the turbines. Read article

NextEra Energy uses over 800 metric tons of concrete per wind turbine

cementDaily Commercial News
Ontario’s concrete industry has been enjoying the benefits of the province’s efforts to construct more wind energy and turbines. Concrete has been the material of choice to use as the foundation for wind towers, according the NextEra Energy, one of the largest wind and solar energy developers in North America.

“Given its durability, resilience and continuously improving environmental footprint, concrete can play an important role in building sustainable infrastructure,” said the Cement Association of Canada in a statement to the Daily Commercial News. “Enabling the deployment of sustainable energy by providing an important building material for wind turbines is one exciting example. Concrete also provides added economic benefits to communities where these turbines are built since concrete is always produced locally.”

NextEra Energy uses over 800 metric tons of concrete for each turbine they construct, with investments worth $1.7 billion and 8 wind projects in Ontario, also adding more jobs in the concrete industry. Read article

NextEra’s Next Nest – near Parkhill

I spy with my little eye something that will NEVER AGAIN be removed by a wind developer in Ontario. An eagle nest. Over my dead body, NexTerror.

When the community labels Nextera “NexTerror” and “NextError”, it isn’t for just any old reason. Perhaps parody is ingrained in Canadians, and this is why Nextera has earned itself yet another new name: NESTerror. We watched the take down of the eagle’s nest in Haldimand, and literally vowed never again.

choppedSo this weekend some pictures of two bald eaglea and their nest were sent to me by a local resident. This nest is in the Nextera Bornish Wind Project (@ Kerwood Rd & Elginfield Rd), close to wind turbines (634m), and very close (187m) to the massive switchyard for the Bornish, Adelaide, Jericho and Cedar Point Wind Projects— a total of 221 turbines for Middlesex and Lambton counties. The Bornish and Adelaide projects are scheduled to be approved by the MOE this month.

The Haldimand nest destruction was not a ‘one-off’, I’m sure of that, even though Nextera rep Tom Bird told us, “I absolutely don’t want to do that again.” Not even a month after they took down the nest in Haldimand county, they were eying up one in Middlesex county.

Looking through Nextera’s website I came across these recent addendums from February, 2013:

Read the rest of this entry

Activist says she won’t cease and desist

we will not be silentBy Paul Morden, London Free Press
Middlesex County anti-wind turbine activist Esther Wrightman says she’s not giving in to a cease and desist warning from lawyers working for NextEra Energy Canada. A letter, dated March 20, was sent to Wrightman calling on her to remove YouTube videos and wind resistance website postings because of company logos altered to read “NEXTerror” and “Nextterror Bullies Canada Inc.”

“Our request is simply to not use the corporation’s registered, trademarked logo in a manner that is defamatory,” NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez said in an email. Hernandez said company officials attempted to contact Wrightman personally to resolve the issue before the letter from the lawyers was sent. Wrightman said phone calls where made to her home but she never spoke directly to those company representatives. “We aren’t trying to limit debate, which is clear from our letter, but we have rights in our logo that are entitled to protection under the law,” Hernandez said.

The letter from the lawyers to Wrightman mention in particular use of “NEXTerror” in a video shot in January as crews destroyed a bald eagle nest on the site of NextEra’s Summerhaven wind project in Haldimand. The tree holding the nest came down with the permission of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The letter from the lawyers asks Wrightman to remove that video – as well as a second one interviewing company officials about the nest – from YouTube by March 22. Read article

Anti-wind activist “won’t back down” as NextEra threatens legal action

IM000872.JPGHeather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Esther Wrightman says she’s not about to be silenced in her fight against wind turbines in her community. Wrightman, a member of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group, recently received a Cease and Desist order from NextEra Energy after altering the company’s logo to make it read Next-terror and NextError on signs and videos.

“This use of the NextEra logo is unsanctioned, in violation of NextEra’s intellectual property rights and defamatory, especially in conjunction with the video makers’ disparaging comments about NextEra,” Awanish Sinha of McCarthy Tetrault law firm in Toronto writes to Wrightman. “While NextEra recognizes your right to object to its projects and to express your opinions regarding wind power and provincial policies regarding green energy, you do not have a right to utilize its name and logo in any manner or to defame the company.” Sinha writes company officials tried a half dozen times to talk to the activist by phone about their concerns, but weren’t able to reach her. When Wrightman added NextTerror Bullies Canada Inc. to a blog, Sinha says the company felt it had to take legal action. “The latest manipulation of NextEra’s logo has compelled NextEra to take this action and stop this escalating abuse.”

dsc03328The company told Wrightman to remove all uses of the alter logos on the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group and Ontario Wind Resistance blogs. It also calls for two videos – one of company workers removing a bald eagle’s nest which was in the way of a new project in Haldimand County. Wrightman says that video and another of a company official telling protestors the Ministry of the Environment gave permission for the nest to be cut, have been viewed thousands of times and have shocked people. “I really believe it has more to do with them wanting the eagle nest video down,” she says. Wrightman believes the letter is simply a threat that the company uses with people who don’t agree with their projects. Read article

Nextera, Suncor – Answers needed to questions about OUR schools & YOUR wind turbines

Dear Nextera, Suncor, Media and School Board trustees,

I am quite upset to see incorrect and confusing numbers reported in the media as to how many and how close wind turbines are to be from the schools in Lambton County. It is not the media’s fault.

Nextera, Suncor: I have reviewed wind project noise documents for 4 years – I should be competent in it by now. But I find I am tearing my hair out reviewing the documents, trying to find the exact noise, and distances turbines are to the schools in your projects.

Currently, my frustration stems from:

  1. The Bosanquet elementary school does not even have a Receptor ID on the project draft map.
  2. The hundreds of receptor ID’s are not numerically ordered in the noise chart – and I honestly can’t even find the school ID (or in this case, it’s neighbour’s, because it doesn’t have an ID).
  3. At the wind developer meetings, the schools are not even identified on the large maps. Security was called over when I wrote “school” on the map location for others to be able to see. How’s THAT for informing the public?? No wonder the media doesn’t know the true numbers… Read the rest of this entry

LKDSB sending letter to premier and other ministers

blenheim[Ed note: the school board plans to have a presentation and a workshop with Dr. David Colby – This UNACCEPTABLE.]
Chatham Daily News
The Lambton Kent District School Board plans to inform the Ontario government some industrial wind turbines are being constructed near two of its elementary schools in Lambton County. Trustee Jane Bryce was successful in having a majority of trustees accept her motion during Tuesday’s board meeting in Chatham that a letter be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and Minister of Education Liz Sandals. She wants the letter to make them aware that provincial government of approval has been granted for two wind projects being build near the two schools.

She said five turbines are approved to go up near Aberarder Central School between Camlachie and Forest and another four turbines are to be built near Bosanquet Central School in Lambton Shores. Bryce questioned if the LKDSB were looking for a site for a new school “we probably wouldn’t put in the middle of where industrial turbines are.” She said she just wants to make sure the premier and ministers are aware of this situation, considering the number of people who have been asking for a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines over potential impacts on human health.

Bryce raised the issue, which was discussed during a delegation to the board of trustees at the March 26 meeting about NextEra Jericho Wind Project near Aberarder or Suncor’s Cedar Point Wind Power Project near Bosanquet. Read article

“Cease & Desist” for NexTerror Energy? No thanks.

NexterrorBulliesMarch 22, 2013
Awanish Sinha, McCarthy Tetrault  LLP
PO Box 48, Suite 5300, Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto, ON  M5K 1E6

Dear Mr. Sinha,
Re: CEASE & DESIST DEMAND ON BEHALF OF NEXTERA ENERGY CANADA, ULC (“NextEra”)

Thank you for the letter dated March 20, 2013 that was dropped between my doors the other day.

The reason I (and “we” the communities in rural Ontario) are referring to your client  Nextera as “Nexterror”, is that we feel it is “fair comment” considering this companies actions and behaviour in the past and present in our communities.

We believe that Nextera creates “errors” and “terrors” in our community, and that these facts are well known to the public and therefore these facts are notorious.

At the same time, we have published these facts on our website: Ontario Wind Resistance. They include:

Terror:
Eagle Nest/ Wildlife destruction

-The “First Video” clearly shows the destruction of an eagles nest.
-The “Second Video” shows Tom Bird of Nextera saying,The authorization we got from the ministry of natural resources was to destroy this nest”.

Clearly this is terrorizing the community when 18 men with chainsaws and bulldozers descend on, and proceed to cut down an active eagles nest. Even those in favour of turbines are horrified by this despicable action.

You have no right to ask that these movies be removed, and in fact you did not give a single reason as to why you thought the “Second Video” should be removed, as “Nexterror” does not appear on it anywhere. It seems that Nextera would just like to bury this incident and remove the evidence from Youtube.

Below are some of the numerous reports published on Nextera’s destruction of the eagle nest and other wildlife and their habitats:

Read the rest of this entry

Nexterror Energy sent me a ‘cease and desist demand’. What would you do?

Nextera-Nexterror letter from lawyer Nextera-Nexterror letter from lawyer 001

“Offending” material:
Video: Wind turbine company Nextera & MNR destroy Bald Eagle Nest & Habitat in Haldimand Cty, ON
Video: Nextera Energy in damage control mode on Eagle Nest removal

NexterrorBulliesnexterror

Energy Board flooded with objections to NextEra’s transmission project

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Sarnia Lambton Independent
NextEra Energy is facing stiff opposition to its transmission plan. Dozens of people, organizations, and businesses have filed to be interveners at an Ontario Energy Board Hearing on the transmission line project to serve three of NextEra’s projects including the Jericho Wind Energy project in Lambton Shores.

The company plans to erect 100 foot poles over 30 km along roads in Middlesex County to carry the power generated by the wind projects near Strathroy and Lambton Shores. But some neighbours are not pleased. The OEB allowed 10 days for people to register to take part in the hearing to approve the plan, at least 15 landowners and nine other organizations want a say in the hearing.

Middlesex County, Adelaide Township and North Middlesex want to be involved in the hearing. So does Hydro One, the Independent Electric System Operator, and Entegrus Transmission Lines. The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group – a citizens group which has been objecting to the industrial wind projects in the area – also wants a say. Read article

CTV News: Could wind developments impact tundra swan visits?

CTV Newsctvswans

Protesters worried about migrating tundra swans

lambton swan protestTerry Heffernan, Special to the Times-Advocate
GRAND BEND — About 70 people were in attendance at a protest Sunday of the planned installation of wind turbines in or around the Thedford Bog near the Lambton County Museum.

At issue is the tundra swans that use the bog to rest and feed on their way from their wintering grounds in Chesapeake Bay to the Arctic shores breeding grounds. Protesters believe that building turbines in the bog will disrupt the flight path of the swans and they will disappear from the area and never return as long as the turbines are in place.

Before the turbines get final approval, members of the Trees Not Turbines on Ontario’s West Coast, Ontario Wind Resistance, Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group, WAIT Plympton-Wyoming and Wind Concerns Ontario are attempting to convince NextEra to stop the turbine invasion in the area. Read article

First, mega-turbines . . . now, giant poles

By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press
Get ready for the next tilt in Southwestern Ontario’s transformation into the province’s wind-energy hotbed: 10-storey-high poles to help collect all that power. Debora Van Brenk looks at the early static one wind energy giant’s plans are creating in Middlesex County.

A wind energy giant’s plan to put up 10-storey poles and high-voltage wires along Middlesex County roads is sparking energetic attention. The Ontario Energy Board will consider the application by NextEra Energy Canada to put up poles from its proposed three wind farms along about 30 km of Middlesex roads north and northwest of Strathroy. The county and two residents want permission to speak at a hearing — no date set yet — and more than 24 others have asked to be observers.

The county wants to make sure any poles on municipal rights-of-way don’t interfere with existing or planned infrastructure such as bridges, utilities or drainage ditches, Middlesex engineer Chris Traini. “Anything that would be of public use to the residents should take precedence over transmission poles,” he said.

The county is obligated to share its rights-of-way with utilities, and Traini said he wants to make sure residents’ interests are protected. Council has also expressed concerns about the possible effect on drivers of roadway sign and pole clutter. Traini said the county also wants the energy board to help draw lines of clear responsibility for maintenance and safety of the lines and poles. Read article

Protesters say turbines will disrupt migratory patterns of swans near Grand Bend

London Free Press
GRAND BEND – With thousands of tundra swans honking in the background, dozens of anti-wind protesters rallied Sunday against plans for giant turbines in the area. “These companies have no concerns for nature. It is just sad,” said Dave Griffiths of Bluewater Against Turbines citizens group. The protesters harvested signatures from more than 50 carloads on a petition calling for a stop to plans to establish the wind farms in the area. The protesters maintain the turbines will disrupt the migratory patterns of the swans and other wildlife. NextEra Energy Canada, which is seeking government approval for the Goshen and Jericho wind farms, has said it will abide by any setbacks required to protect the swans. Read article

Nextera Adelaide/Bornish/Jericho transmission OEB Application – file for ‘Observer’ or ‘Intervener’ status

oebPlease read through this letter from Nextera and the attached Notice of Application to the Ontario Energy Board. This is important for anyone in the Adelaide, Bornish, Jericho and Cedar Wind Point Projects.

If you haven’t filed as an ‘Observer’ or ‘Intervener’ in this hearing, please do so now (before March 24 if possible).

This is the OEB hearing on the 115kV transmission lines on 100′ poles along Kerwood and Elginfield/Nairn Rd AND the substations and switching stations. There are MANY concerns to be raised on this development – make sure your voice is heard and you are involved.

Activist question why wind companies surveyed Rock Glen

rockglenHeather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent
Muriel Allingham is questioning why the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority would allow wind energy companies to survey sensitive areas such as Rock Glen Conservation Area. Documents released by the authority released to Allingham, a member of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action, show a company called CanAcre, working for NextEra Energy on the Goshen and Jericho projects in Lambton and Middlesex, signed an agreement with the ABCA to have access to conservation land for field studies. Rock Glen Conservation Area in Arkona was among the nine tracts of land surveyed.

Conservation Authority General Manager Tom Proutt says the agreements were signed two-years ago, before there was wide-spread concern for the project. He says the company offered to survey the land and do an inventory of the plants and wildlife. “The agreements that wind energy companies had asked us for were part of their environmental studies they were doing,” says Proutt. “They were looking at our properties in terms of what was there and that was information that we would find useful because we don’t have the time or money to inventory our lands.”

But Allingham says the conservation authority should have known the companies were looking to use the lands – a use she says would not be appropriate. “Conservation lands are just that and it (wind energy projects) displaces wildlife and their mandate is to protect land and wildlife. Read article

MNR: Wind Turbines kill raptors… So, easy fix: chop down their nests

“However, biologists are also concerned that leaving the nest in this location may have led to adult eagles being killed or injured due to the proximity of the nest to wind turbines.”

picture-003Letter from Minister of Natural Resources:
Thank you for your e-mail to my predecessor the Honourable Michael Gravelle about the removal of the bald eagles’ nest in Haldimand County.  I appreciate that you took the time to share your views, and I am pleased to respond.

Expanding clean and renewable sources of energy is key to the government’s plan to phase out coal-fired generation, mitigate climate change, create green jobs and support technological innovation in renewable energy.

The Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre, located in Haldimand County, is expected to produce enough energy for approximately 32,000 homes in Ontario.  This project is contributing to the development of clean renewable sources of energy so Ontarians will have a sustainable supply of power now and in the future.

This project has been awarded a Feed-in-Tariff contract by the Ontario Power Authority.  It has also received the Renewable Energy Approval from the Ministry of the Environment and an approved Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA) from the Ministry of Natural Resources.  No Significant Wildlife Habitat was identified at this location during the preparation of the NHA. Read the rest of this entry

Bluewater passes $434,000 wind turbine building permit fee

Tyson Dyck, legal counsel for NextEra:“You may also know that under Ontario law there is potential liability, not only for municipalities, but also for individual municipal officials,” Dyck continued, “where there are actions taken that result in damages based on unlawful legal actions, such as the passage of a bylaw.”

NexterrorBulliesMac Christie, Times-Advocate Staff
VARNA – The Municipality of Bluewater has passed high building permit fees for industrial wind turbines in the municipality, but a legal battle may be looming. Council passed fees which will see developers pay $434,000 per turbine, as part of an updated bylaw March 4 under the direction of Toronto-based lawyer Eric K. Gillespie, whose legal firm drafted the bylaw. The updated fees will charge a $14,000 base permit fee, a $220,000 security per turbine for decommissioning, a $100,000 fee per turbine for matters related to health and property devaluation and a $100,000 fee per turbine for potential legal matters arising as a result of the turbines.

Gillespie told council in his view the bylaw does not conflict with existing legislation, such as the Green Energy Act. “You may . . . hear a point of view that says there may be issues around whether this bylaw conflicts in any way with legislation,” Gillespie said. “It’s our respectful view it does not.” Gillespie noted his firm looked at the bylaw in a practical sense, of how it would be applied in the real world and in the face of a legal challenge. “Thought has gone into how these amounts should be applied and what seems to be reasonable and something that the municipality can stand behind,” Gillespie said. “That is the basis for the recommendation.” He noted that’s why the firm recommended the originally proposed $25,000 per turbine, per year economic development fee be removed from the bylaw and instead levied as a development charge. Based on the expected 20-year lifespan, the fee worked out to roughly $500,000 per turbine. Read article

NextEra threatens legal action against Bluewater Township

nexterrorBy Mac Christie, Times-Advocate Staff
[excerpt] VARNA – NextEra Energy, the developer responsible for the Goshen and Bluewater wind projects, which propose 52 turbines for the municipality between the two, also addressed council at its Feb. 19 meeting. Nicole Geneau, the project director for the Bluewater and Goshen projects, updated council on where the projects stand.

She noted the company expects to hear back from the government about the Bluewater project in mid-March. “We would anticipate starting construction, as I’ve always maintained, in the middle of this year, so June of 2013,” she said. “We would be fully operational by the end of this calendar year.”

NextEra’s legal counsel John Terry, with the law firm Torys in Toronto, spoke to council about the bylaw. He expressed concern with the bylaw, noting NextEra is making serious investments with regard to the project. “There are certain limitations as to what municipalities can do under the provisions of the Green Energy Act,” Terry said. “Council has to be very careful about staying within what it’s legally empowered to do. “I must say, when you look at the numbers involved . . . I am concerned that once we look at it that we may find that some of the proposals here are going beyond what municipalities can do.” He added there may be similar concerns regarding the unreleased road use agreement.

Terry added NextEra does have certain legal rights that they are willing to pursue. “If it becomes necessary to take steps in court in regard to bylaws that are passed or potentially to have to seek damages, if damages are involved, then NextEra will have no choice but to follow those routes,” he said. “There are very serious legal issues at stake here.” Read article

County setting parameters for transmission lines

transmission lineChris Montanini, Londoner
Two subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Canada have applied to the Ontario Energy Board for leave to construct electricity transmission facilities for their proposed wind farm projects in Middlesex County. The applications were submitted to the OEB Feb. 8 and in anticipation of an upcoming hearing to allow the public and other agencies to express interest, county councillors at their bi-monthly meeting Feb. 19 in London gave Middlesex County staff permission to intervene on their behalf.

Chris Traini, a Middlesex County engineer, said the procedure will be “fairly standard” for electricity infrastructure on county property. “We want to go to the (OEB) to make sure they know (NextEra) has to follow the normal county bylaws and policies,” Traini said. “So they’ll need work permits, entrance permits, moving permits, the same as anyone else who would install infrastructure on a county road.”

Traini said they will also need to craft a Road User Agreement outlining the terms that will allow NextEra to install infrastructure on county roads. The applications include transmission lines within the right of ways of Kerwood Road, Nairn Road and Elginfield Road. “We’re trying to put ourselves in position so we don’t have additional costs to do our normal jobs (like road maintenance and construction) and therefore increase the burden to tax payers because of this infrastructure,” Traini said. “We ask for that because we don’t have detailed engineering drawing until they actually go to construction which will be a few months after approval is given.”

It typically takes the OEB around 30 days from the date an application is submitted to announce a hearing, Traini said. Read article