IESO did require consultation with North Stormont on wind farm: Delaney

In this March 22, 2016 screen image from the Queen's Park Webcast, Bob Delaney, parliamentary assistant to the energy minister, answers local MPP Jim McDonell's question over a wind farm approved for North Stormont, Ont. (Queen's Park Webcast via Newswatch Group)

QUEEN’S PARK – Local MPP Jim McDonell has received an answer over his objection to building a giant wind farm in North Stormont, but he doesn’t seem satisfied with the answer.

McDonell called the government to account for the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) decision to allow EDP Renewables to build a 100 megawatt wind farm on 12,000 acres in the township.

The MPP filed a special motion earlier this month to get an long-form answer from the government on why it would approve the project in a township, which declared itself an unwilling host.

Bob Delaney, parliamentary assistant to the energy minister, told McDonell Tuesday the IESO had an engagement process with the public, municipalities and other groups between July 2013 and February 2014.

“This large renewable procurement, led by the IESO, included mandatory new requirements that focused on engaging with the local community and receiving feedback,” Delaney told McDonell during a Queen’s Park session.

Delaney explained the 16 approved projects in Ontario had to demonstrate due diligence on site and resource requirements and engagement with local communities.

“That means in the member’s region (SDSG) proponents held public meetings, met with the municipality and worked individually with local residents and property owners to ensure all of the information about the project was known up front,” Delaney said.

Delaney indicated changes to green energy projects allowed municipalities to have a stronger role at the table “but not to provide a veto.”

McDonell is not satisfied with the answer.

“The Government refuses to answer for their running roughshod over municipal jurisdiction and residents’ wishes,” he said. “The people of North Stormont don’t need platitudes – they need a commitment from this Liberal Government that an unwilling community won’t have industrial renewable projects shoved down its throat.”