By Tom Collins
The province will delay a decision on new wind turbine projects until March, says the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
Wind turbine developers submitted 27 wind turbine proposals by the Sept. 1 deadline. Those proposals equal 2,246.8 megawatts, but the province will approve only 300 megawatts, equal to at least 100 large turbines. According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, there were 76 Ontario wind developments as of September 2015, operating 2,150 turbines at a 4,042-megawatt capacity.
The IESO says the postponement from the original December deadline was because of a high volume of proposals and the complexity of the evaluation process.
There are 15 proposed projects for Western Ontario:
• Estimated 33-40 turbines for a 100-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent, Lakeshore and Leamington
• Estimated 33-40 turbines for a 100-megawatt project in Brooke-Alvinston
• Up to 50 turbines for a 100-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
• Up to 50 turbines for a 100-megawatt project in Warwick, Brooke-Alvinston and Adelaide Metcalfe
• Estimated 25-30 turbines for a 75-megawatt project in Warwick, Brooke-Alvinston and Adelaide Metcalfe
• Estimated 23-28 turbines for a 70-megawatt project in Malahide and Bayham
• Estimated 20-24 turbines for a 60-megawatt project in Lakeshore
• Estimated 20-24 turbines for a 60-megawatt project in Essex
• Estimated 20-24 turbines for a 60-megawatt project in Dutton Dunwich
• Estimated 16-20 turbines for a 50-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
• 10-15 turbines for a 38.4-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
• Estimated 8-10 turbines for a 26-megawatt project in West Elgin and Chatham-Kent
• 6-9 turbines for a 15-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
• 3-7 turbines for a 14.4-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
• 3-4 turbines for a nine-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
Eight municipalities where there are proposed projects voted against them even though they have no power to stop them. The opposed municipalities are Lakeshore, Leamington, Brooke-Alvinston, Warwick, Adelaide Metcalfe, Essex, Dutton Dunwich and West Elgin.
Chatham-Kent, Malahide and Bayham are willing turbine hosts.
Chatham-Kent, the turbine capital of Ontario, could be affected by as many as eight new projects. There are an estimated 700 turbines built or already approved to be built in the municipality, which has at least three times more wind turbines than any other municipality in Ontario.
Some farmers like the idea of turbines, as a deal with a wind company could bring in as much as $30,000 a year per turbine. But some concede that the wind turbines are ruining friendships.