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155 Ontario municipalities 'unwilling hosts' for future wind projects


Ontario is looking to add more renewable energy to its electricity supply, which will likely mean more wind turbines going up across the province.

However, that might be prove difficult with so many municipalities no longer interested in wind.

“I like to say it’s not 2009 anymore. We know a lot more about wind power than we did in 2009. It was supposed to bring lots of jobs. That turned out not to be true. It was going to be a reliable source of power. That turned out not to be true. It was supposed to be cheap power. Not true. Our electricity bills went up 250 per cent after the turbines went up,” said Jane Wilson, founder of Wind Concerns Ontario.

There are 155 Ontario municipalities that have said they are not willing to host wind turbine projects, now or in the future.

Among them, many municipalities in Huron, Bruce, and Grey Counties, where many of the province’s 2,600 turbines are currently spinning.

“The first iteration of wind turbines through the Green Energy Act just took away many siting decisions from municipalities, so that upset a lot of people,” said Grey Highland Coun. and Chair of the Multi Municipal Energy Working Group Tom Allwood.

Wind turbines in Huron County seen in July 2020. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has plans to add roughly 5,000 MW of wind, hydro, solar, and biomass energy by 2030. There’s currently 5,500 MW of wind turbines built in Ontario today.

“The federal government is certainly looking towards thousands of new wind turbines. Where are they going to go? The spots that have good wind have been taken,” said Allwood.

But not everyone is sour about the IESO’s renewable renewal. Wind energy is just what Ontario needs, said Jack Gibbons from Ontario’s Clean Air Alliance.

“If we integrate our wind and solar with Quebec’s storage option, then we can convert wind and solar into a firm 24/7 source of baseload electricity for Ontario,” he said.

However, Wilson believes wind energy, as it’s currently implemented, should not be of Ontario’s future energy mix.

“It’s intermittent. It comes in the fall and spring when we don’t really need it. It comes in the night, when we really don’t need it. There are some better choices and cleaner choices. Wind energy is not as clean and green as we were told it was,” said Wilson.

“They haven’t done anything with the setbacks for this round of procurement. They’ve gone out and arranged contracts for battery energy storage, and there’s real concerns about these systems as part of wind generation,” said Allwood.

IESO is seeking proposals for new renewable energy projects this fall. Top Stories


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