Category Archives: Contracts Cancelled

Wind Contracts- The Seven Deadly Sins

7 deadly sins.jpgCapital Journal|David Ganje|December 28, 2018

 

As in a courtship, pretty pictures painted, verbal promises and solid verbal commitments between the landowner and developer mean nothing once an agreement is signed.

Windless in Woonsocket – How not to sign a wind turbine agreement

I marvel how many South Dakota landowners sign a wind turbine agreement or an oil and gas lease without the benefit of good counsel. I have seen the end product. It is not pretty. Though we are taught about the seven deadly sins of this world also called the seven cardinal sins or capital sins, yet a wind turbine agreement may contain an even greater smorgasbord of “contract sins” all of which should be discovered, remedied and purged by any negotiating landowner before entering into a long term land use agreement. I will in this opinion piece visit a few contract issues. Let us first however examine a difference one occasionally finds between a North Dakota landowner and a South Dakota landowner. I am reminded of an old Aberdeen lawyer friend who has now passed away. He once said, “In North Dakota they spend money to make money and they spend money to save money, but in South Dakota they just don’t spend money.” Consider that many wind turbine agreements are private contracts in which the parties have an unequal bargaining position. To be involved with one is not the time to practice parsimony.

A particular contract term used by wind farm developers is the confidentiality agreement. This stratagem requires landowners sign a confidentiality agreement often before even seeing a form lease. The clause attempts to give a developer an advantage over landowners by prohibiting the sharing of information among landowners. Such a “gag” provision is also found in a final executed wind lease in order to protect the contract terms from disclosure. A confidentiality clause makes it a bit more challenging to determine what the regional “market” payment terms really are for a given project. And in turn the clause hinders a landowner’s ability to knowingly negotiate terms which are fair for a particular project in that particular market. The absence of market knowledge gives a competitive advantage to project developers. When I consult ag land appraisers to discuss regional wind turbine payment terms I usually find these experts bereft of much information on the subject. While there are methods for learning what a fair payment term should be, the methods are a bit more expensive than what might be found in an open and transparent market.

I will list some important terms found in a wind turbine agreement. This is a sobering list, and should motivate the landowner to seek the exact parameters for each term. Common agreements contain: a construction and land use option all in favor of the developer; an access easement to cross and use one’s property; the right to construct roads; the right to construct large turbines on one’s land; the right to construct underground and above-ground transmission lines and substations; and terms that bind on one’s heirs or any subsequent purchasers of the land….

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End of onshore wind turbines in Poland by 2040

The end of onshore wind turbines in Poland|Jean-Pierre Riou|December 17, 2018

poland windNB:  Original article translated into English

On the eve of COP 24 in Katowice, the 2040 Polish Energy Policy Polityki energetycznej Polski (PEP)  was unveiled and will remain in public consultation until 15 January 2019.

While Poland has the privilege of having virtually all of its energy resources on its own soil, it plans an ambitious program to drastically reduce the share of coal to 60% of the electricity mix in 2030 and 30 % by 2040, instead of 80% currently.

The project plans to increase electricity consumption from 165 TWh in 2018 to 232 TWh in 2040.

His presentation highlights the competitive nature of nuclear energy, whose competitiveness must be materialized by the commissioning of 6 additional nuclear power plants starting in 2033 with a new plant every 2 years .

In a forum , Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzzwski had mentioned the opportunity for the country, which already has 300 entities in this field, to develop highly qualified jobs.

This energy programming focuses on gas transiently, as well as on renewable energies such as geothermal energy and especially offshore wind and solar energy.

The big surprise is the decision to remove the onshore wind turbines from the Polish landscape by 2040 .

The graph below shows the program of evolution of their installed capacity, starting with a slight increase intended to support the role of the gas before the commissioning of the first nuclear power station. Then their rapid suppression until their near disappearance as early as 2040.

POWER OF TERRESTRIAL WIND POWER PLANTS IN POLAND (in MW)

 ( Source of the infographic Ministry of Energy )

Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski justified this choice with strong opposition from the Polish population .

Wind turbines and public health

In an August 2016 opinion , translated into French by “Le Mont Champot”, the Polish Public Health Institute (NIZP) called for a minimum distance between wind turbines and dwellings of 2 km by considering “that wind farms located too close to buildings intended for permanent human habitation are likely to have a negative impact on the well-being and health of people living nearby. “

This opinion mentions in particular the need for a precautionary distance between “1.5-3.0 km, based on the sound level, taking into account the modulation, the low frequencies and the infrasound levels” .

At the time of its publication, the opinion referred to the study of 487 scientific publications on the subject, by a link, broken since: http://www.pzh.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/03 /Stanowisko-NIZP-PZH-Farmy-wiatrowe-Bibliografia.pdf an extract of the first and last page are reproduced below.

Polish scientists are also not left out on this subject, particularly through studies on the physiological effects of exposure to wind turbines on goose farms and another on pigs , depending on the distance between them. machines and their place of breeding.

In the same year, Poland passed a law prohibiting the construction of wind turbines at a distance of less than 10 times the height of machinery .

Of flexibility to this law had been made this fall at the approach of the COP24.

But the Polish energy policy by 2040 therefore plans to be more protective.

At the opening of COP 24, its president, Michal Kurtyka, imposed a social justice component calling on all participants to sign the ”  Silesia Declaration for a Just and Inclusive Transition “, in order to avoid this transition. ecological can be the place of business for some and the burden for others.

By proposing the end of onshore wind turbines, this draft program also recalls that no economic or political objective should prevail over the well-being and health of individuals.

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Peaceful Presence 2018 @ Niagara Wind

Never underestimate the strength, determination and persistence of strong women.   On November 2, 2018  in cold wet and windy weather,  members of the mothers made our presence known to the local office for the Niagara Wind Project that concerns are unresolved and our work to seek justice and remedy is unabated.

“Citizens pulled in to ask what was going on.  A lady and husband parked across the road and came over to engaged. A generous citizen brought us 3 coffees and gave us props with comments including he has respect for what we do. A lot of vehicles honked and waved.  Many thumbs up.

It was a great presence!”

 

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Best Wind Warriors Fighting On

lorrie gillis.jpg
Lorrie Gillis- Wind Warrior

The fight is not over. On October 2nd, 14 of some of the best of the best wind warriors met at Stevens Restaurant in Markdale. The resounding resolve and heart to continue to fight for the people who have become collateral damage and who continue to struggle with the unrelenting torment from turbine emissions, is strong and remains the top priority for the group that gathered. Steps to move forward are already in the works. Thank you to every single one of you who came and thank you all for your work, expertise, concrete ideas and determination to finish this battle. Finally, after over a decade of documentation and fruitless effort to put the truth of the harm to Queens Park, we have a govt in power that is willing to listen. More to come.

Lorrie Gillis

Repealed or Not Repealed?

carrot.jpgToo good to be true?      The newly elected Ontario Government lead by Premier Ford has announced it is repealing the Green Energy Act  (GEA). At first flush this should be a good thing and cause for  tremendous celebration for wind warriors opposed to the harmful impacts of wind powered complexes especially for those families and individuals who have been raising alarms about adverse health impacts.  The GEA is the statute that has enabled renewable energy projects in Ontario to be built, operated and home for regulatory capture under prescribed regulations. But…. Is the announced Bill 34 an elaborate switch and bait hiding the powers of the  disastrous Green Energy Act in another statute?

Careful reading of the bill is generating the realization that moving the meat and potatoes of the GEA into  another law doesn’t remedy all what is wrong with renewable energy projects powered by wind.

You may want to comment on repealing the Green Energy Act: Deadline October 21, 2018

It is enough to have a mother take to drink.  Anyone got a buck for a beer?

“Ontario’s Green Energy Act was a horror for business, a gross invasion of municipal authority, and sent successive auditors general to whatever is the chartered accountants version of a hospice centre”

National Post article: Rex Murphy: The Green Energy Act is dead. Let that be a warning to green politicians

“…deprived Ontarians of natural justice, turning neighbour against neighbour as developers quietly signed deals to lease privately-owned lands in rural communities for massive wind turbines and solar farms, with the projects then sprung on those communities as a fait accompli, in which they had no meaningful say.”

Toronto Sun article: Goldstein:  Good Riddance to Toxic Green Energy Act

“Although the full effect of the legislation will be evident only when regulations become available, Bill 34 is another initiative in the government’s campaign to restrict further renewable energy development in Ontario”

Davies: Green Energy Act Repealed and Municipal Powers to Oppose Renewable Energy Reinstated

“All the partisans for and against the Green Energy Act (GEA) screaming about the act’s demise are missing the forest for the trees. Premier Ford’s new legislation claiming to repeal McGuinty’s signature legislative legacy preserves the core of the original GEA.”

Tom Adams: @FordNation’s Energy Policy Record So Far

“BILL 34 REPEAL GREEN ENERGY ACT OR IS IT??? Please share – people need to know…And let’s be honest and non-partisan about this…if the PCs are repealing the Green Energy Act why is there residue of the Green Energy Act being put into other legislation?”

Liz Marshall: Facebook September 24, 2018

 

News Release of Repeal of Green Energy Act, September 20, 2018

Read Bill 34:  Repeal of the Green Energy Act

Promise of Health Hazard Investigation

By: Trevor Terfloth|Chatham Daily News|September 4, 2018

Government still promising health-hazard investigation

With concerns still being raised about the potential impact of turbines on well water, the provincial government is planning to follow through with a health-hazard investigation, says an area MPP and minister.

dirty water
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, left, delivered a bottle of dirty water from a water well located in the North Kent 1 Wind project area, to Minister of Environment and Climate Change Chris Ballard during question period at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ont., on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth watched the exchange. (File/Handout)

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP and Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton said the Progressive Conservatives will “absolutely” honour their election pledge.

“(We) moved extremely quickly to fulfill our promises for the people of Ontario,” he said on Tuesday. “One of those was to cancel the Otter Creek wind project and 758 other renewable projects across the province.”

Water Wells First, a grassroots group, began raising concerns two years ago about the potential impact the construction of the North Kent Wind farm would have on water wells due to Kettle Point black shale geology and the shallow aquifer in the area.

Since then, more than 20 water wells have reported significant amounts of sediments that have clogged up the flow of water during construction and after operation of the wind farm began.

The group says this particular shale is known to contain metals such as uranium, arsenic and lead that are harmful to human health.

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Time for Change

“ONE LETTER issued to me in response to the two letters I had written to the Ministry of environment in Ontario, required immense resources in another attempt to shut me down.

A recent (partially released) FOI showed: TWENTY-ONE (21) employees at the ministry of environment and the attorney generals office were involved to create a single response to a resident of Ontario.

The email chain began in October of 2017 and I received a response March 1, 2018.

This is a brilliant example of the duplication and redundancy required when no one is responsible for anything and everyone just passes the buck or in this case the piece of paper.

Plausible deniability and not assuming responsibility has always been their game.

Tell Premier Ford to cut duplication, redundancy and administration.”

Contact Premier Ford:   HERE

Make your voice heard … they asked! Consultation: Review of Ontario government spending

vive a la resistance 2

Green Energy Act- Your Days Are Numbered

Tick Tock the Clock is running out on Ontario’s Green Energy Act

we will stop the turbines

“…We called the legislature back immediately after taking office, because we believed there were too many urgent priorities to wait until the fall.

Many of these priorities touch on the work you do.

It starts with these so-called green energy projects.

The previous government decided to ram these wind and solar farms into the backyards of communities that didn’t want them.

And then — to add insult to injury — they forced hydro ratepayers to hand over their hard-earned money and subsidize the insiders who got these contracts.

In fact, the Green Energy Act is the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history.

And even during the election campaign, they were still doing this — right in the middle of the campaign — with the White Pines Project in Prince Edward County.

We’ve put an end to that. One of our first acts in government was to cancel 758 unnecessary renewable energy projects — and to cancel the White Pines Project.

Saving $790 million for ratepayers.

The Green Energy Act’s days are numbered.

And you can count on us to consult with you about your priorities….”

Premier Doug Ford’s remarks at the AMO 2018 Annual Conference

August 20, 2018 11:30 A.M.

Good morning, everyone.

Thank you so much for that kind introduction and the very warm welcome.

My friends, it’s great to be with you today.

And it’s great to be back in the beautiful city of Ottawa.

I want to start by recognizing all of the great work that AMO does in bringing municipal issues to the forefront of our government.

And I want to take a moment to thank my friend, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, and his staff, for their work on behalf of our government with respect to this wonderful conference.

I am a huge believer in having an honest and open dialogue with municipalities.

I’m a former Toronto City Councillor myself.

So I know that our municipalities are often the level of government that is closest to the day-to-day lives of Ontarians.

The decisions you make around service delivery and infrastructure investments have real impacts on the daily lives of Ontario residents.

And you hear from the people of your communities every day — they let you know who you are accountable to, who we are all working for.

And this was certainly my experience at the municipal level.

Now, we all know the City of Toronto left AMO a couple of years before I was elected.

And while, of course, it’s up to Toronto and other AMO members to make their own decisions.

I do think, from where I’m standing now, I think it’s a missed opportunity for Toronto not to be participating in some capacity.

And there is one thing I know from my time on City Council, that I think everyone here can relate to.

It is if you don’t respect the taxpayers…

They will always remind you who you work for!

And that lesson holds true for me in my new job.

Because no matter what level we work at…

There is only one taxpayer.

Protecting taxpayers was a key theme in our most recent provincial campaign.

And for those of you in elected office, I am sure it will be a theme in your campaigns come the fall.

We all share in an obligation to respect taxpayers and deliver services efficiently and effectively.

And we must always — always — keep people first.

This commitment underpins everything our government does.

Quite simply — we’re for the people.

Last week the Ontario legislature rose.

We called the legislature back immediately after taking office, because we believed there were too many urgent priorities to wait until the fall.

Many of these priorities touch on the work you do.

It starts with these so-called green energy projects.

The previous government decided to ram these wind and solar farms into the backyards of communities that didn’t want them.

And then — to add insult to injury — they forced hydro ratepayers to hand over their hard-earned money and subsidize the insiders who got these contracts.

In fact, the Green Energy Act is the largest transfer of money from the poor and middle class to the rich in Ontario’s history.

And even during the election campaign, they were still doing this — right in the middle of the campaign — with the White Pines Project in Prince Edward County.

We’ve put an end to that. One of our first acts in government was to cancel 758 unnecessary renewable energy projects — and to cancel the White Pines Project.

Saving $790 million for ratepayers.

The Green Energy Act’s days are numbered.

And you can count on us to consult with you about your priorities.

We promised to tackle 21st-century crime and protect law-abiding families and citizens.

So we are giving our men and women in uniform the right tools and resources they need to keep families and communities safe from crime.

We are investing over $182 million in nine new Ontario Provincial Police detachments with the latest in modern policing technology.

So our police have what they need to go after the bad guys.

And when cannabis becomes legal in Canada, you can expect us to be ready. We will be ready with a system in place immediately that protects consumers, keeps our kids and communities safe, and undermines the illegal market.

Including $40 million over two years to help you prepare for legalized cannabis.

We will consult with you and — even more importantly — empower you to get this right.

We will be introducing legislation that, if passed, will give each of you the ultimate say in whether you want physical cannabis retail stores in your communities.

We also took action to make government in Toronto, York, Peel, Niagara and Muskoka more efficient with the Better Local Government Act.

And while you have the details about that Act, let me tell you that we are excited about what this law will do — saving taxpayers $25 million and improving decision-making across the city.

And the feedback we are getting from the people on this move has been overwhelmingly positive.

I occasionally get asked if I have plans to introduce a similar law here in Ottawa or elsewhere in the province.

I would say that many of Toronto’s issues are specific to Toronto, which is still governed by its own act.

And as for the other regional municipalities — what these four have in common is that the Liberals imposed these new elected regional chairs in 2016.

The last thing any municipality needs is yet another layer of elected politicians. That’s not how you make better decisions.

So these were unique situations. And no — we do not have plans for similar legislation in our future.

What we are doing is partnering with you.

As I’ve travelled across Ontario, I’ve spoken to countless mayors, councillors, wardens and other representatives.

And it doesn’t matter if I am in Kenora or Cornwall — I hear similar things time and time again.

You want a provincial partner that listens to your needs and the needs of your communities, instead of the insiders and the lobbyists.

A partner that helps you bring investment and good jobs to your communities.

A partner that cuts through the red tape and gets things done.

A government that puts up a big sign that says ‘Ontario is Open for Business.’

And we’ve already acted to create and protect jobs in Ontario.

We’ve protected the 7,000 jobs that depend on the Pickering Nuclear Generating station.

We’re also going to reduce the tax burden on businesses to attract investment and jobs across Ontario.

And we’re going to do whatever it takes to stand up for local Ontario jobs — no matter what happens in the trade dispute between the federal government and the United States.

For instance, we promised to get Ontario moving faster than ever before.

For cities like Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, London, Brampton and Mississauga…

That means money to help them get major transit projects up and running.

For the rest of Ontario…

That means getting our highways and roadways back into shape for the millions of families, workers and businesses who use them every day.

And we’re going to make driving on those highways cheaper by reducing the price of gas by 10 cents per litre.

When I was sworn in as Premier, I said that this government would never forget who put us here: the people.

The people of this great province have trusted us to keep our word, and work tirelessly each and every day on their behalf.

For years, the people of Ontario have struggled under fiscal mismanagement, record levels of debt, and crumbling infrastructure.

What I learned as a City Councillor is that the big solutions to big problems often start with solving something small…

Like a phone call from someone in your community, asking for your help.

We’re going to continue to listen to the people.

We will work hard with you — because you are closest to the everyday needs of the people.

And together we will make this province better than it has ever been.

Thank you.

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Fairness for the people

turbine tallOP ED: Who deserves fairness and equity?

 

By Gary Mooney|The Times|July 25, 2018

Since 2007, County groups and individuals have been fighting wind turbine projects in PEC on environmental, human health, cultural heritage and economic grounds. We are grateful that the PC government has taken decisive action to cancel wpd Canada’s White Pines wind project.
In a recent open letter to Premier Ford, Dr. Hartmut Brosamle, CEO of wpd AG, asks for reconsideration of the government’s decision to cancel White Pines, because the cancellation is causing the company “serious damage through no fault of its own”. Some comments are appropriate regarding fault.

wpd Canada and, by extension, its German parent wpd AG, have exhibited major failings or faults with regard to their pursuit of the White Pines wind project:

WRONG LOCATION
wpd originally chose a location that is the last stretch of undeveloped land on Lake Ontario, on a major bird migration route, much of it within an Important Bird Area. This area is home to multiple endangered species, including Blanding’s turtle and little brown bat. As well, the South Shore is an area of significant cultural heritage value, dating back to UEL days.

SECRET DEALS
wpd instructed its sales agents to sign up landowners to host wind turbines secretly, with no notice to the community, and required those landowners to agree to nondisclosure of contract terms.

BIASED CONSULTANTS
wpd hired consultants who provided it with incomplete and flawed reports to legitimize the project, especially with regard to environmental issues and cultural heritage concerns. Citizens’ groups and individuals had to hire their own lawyers and consultants and launch appeals costing about $700,000 to present the other side.

PLEBISCITE
wpd ignored the results of a 2012 plebiscite in South Marysburgh Ward, where the project is located. Ninety per cent of those who voted (turnout similar to that for municipal elections) rejected wind turbines in their ward.

NO ENGAGEMENT
wpd never engaged in a real two-way dialogue with the community; instead it proceeded most of the time as if the County was unpopulated.

COUNTY COUNCIL
wpd ignored the position of PEC Council, which declared itself in 2013 to be an unwilling host to wind turbines.

BREACH OF CONTRACT
wpd failed to deliver 75 per cent of the contracted capacity required by its FIT contract, and failed to meet contract deadlines.

UNDERESTIMATION
wpd underestimated the resolve of local groups to protect County residents, the natural environment and cultural heritage, and the many County residents who funded their efforts.

PROVINCIAL ELECTION
wpd ignored the fact of a coming provincial election and an anticipated change of government to one opposing the Green Energy Act and wind turbine projects.

RECKLESS DECISION
wpd made a reckless decision to proceed with construction of the downsized project without final approval by IESO. Wpd is the author of its own misfortune.

Via the Green Energy Act, the Liberal government suspended democracy as regards renewable energy development and, for nine years, completely ignored the wishes of citizens and municipalities. The PC government was elected in part because of its willingness to listen to the people.

Despite all of the failings listed above, Dr. Brosalme asks for “fairness and equity” for wpd. How many such failings are necessary to disqualify wpd from reconsideration of the government’s decision: only one? maybe three? even all ten?

We in the County have been seeking fairness and equity regarding wind turbine projects for more than a decade, involving many thousands of hours of volunteer time. It’s the government’s choice, and we are grateful that it has made a choice “for the people”.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge the strong support that Todd Smith has provided to our community and our cause since he became MPP in 2011. It’s been good to know that he’s had our back at Queen’s Park.

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Turbine Project Terminated

turbine WPD.jpg
Residents may see be seeing turbine sections leaving the County aftetr Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act received Royal Assent in the Ontario Legislature Wednesday. –  Irv Collier photo

Country Live|Turbine project terminated in Prince Edward County|July 25,2018

With Royal Assent received Wednesday for Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act 2018, wpd’s nine industrial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County is terminated.

“If members opposite wonder why I don’t fear contractual chill, it’s because the proponent in this case has never honoured its agreements with the government of Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Government Affairs, in the legislature. “This project deserves to die. It deserves to die exactly as it should die today – publicly and in front of the whole province.”

Smith told thte legislature the company has been building non-stop since the middle of June, even after the government announced its intentions to legislatively terminate the project on July 10.

“They’ve had construction crews working over the weekend and trucks heading into the county at all hours to try and complete construction before this Legislature can conclude its work on Bill 2…. And they are nine white elephants. They will do nothing to help this province fight climate change—absolutely nothing. Their total capacity now, after previously being 60 megawatts, is down to about 18 megawatts of power.”

He also noted recent ministry charges over violations. “Finally, it was just a couple of weeks ago that the major multinational corporation developing the project was charged not once, not twice, but three times by the province’s Ministry of Environment for multiple violations. That’s because, under the renewable energy approval, to protect endangered species in the area, they’re not supposed to be constructing after May 1.”

The act, retroactive to July 10, terminates permits and revokes approvals, including the Feed-in-Tarriff contract and Renewable Energy Approval issued in July 2015. It requires decommissioning and to “maintain the lands in a clean and safe condition”.

Smith said it’s been seven long years, but he’s glad to be able to have accomplished this feat.

“It certainly seemed like the deck was stacked against us at times,” he said. “Apparently, construction has now stopped. The legislation requires the company to dismantle and return the property to its original state.”

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