Library filed under Offshore Wind from Canada
Ontario’s already lost a related case on very different legal grounds. Last year an international tribunal agreed the government violated the North American Free Trade Agreement with its moratorium on wind farms, which killed a project next to the one Trillium was working on run by an American-backed company. The people of Ontario are out $28 million in damages and legal costs for that.
Six years after Ontario abruptly imposed a moratorium on offshore wind projects, citing the need for more research, the government is signalling it will likely continue for several more years, even with all of its studies in hand.
Ontario’s government signed an electricity deal with an American company to build a wind farm at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, froze the project, and then wanted to treat its own decision like an uncontrollable act of God to get out of the contract it signed, an international panel found in a ruling saying such behaviour is not OK.
Environmental groups from Spain, France and the United Kingdom have now joined North American organizations in opposing a plan to build a pilot wind farm in western Lake Erie, near the Ohio shore, along the U.S. side of the border.
Five years after issuing a moratorium on offshore wind projects, the Ontario government says it still doesn't have enough information to decide if the ban should be lifted.
The suit, filed by Trillium Power Wind Corp. in 2011, is over allegations that provincial officials deliberately timed a decision to scrap all wind-farm developments on the waters of the Great Lakes to cause the most damage possible to Trillium so the company wouldn’t have the resources to fight.
Now, an Ohio group is moving ahead with plans to harness Lake Erie’s strong gusts, in sharp contrast to neighbouring Ontario that slapped a moratorium on wind farms in all its Great Lakes amid a public backlash to the spectre of the highrise-sized turbines along its shorelines.
As the revised suit – which reduced the claim for damages to $500-million – wound through the discovery process, Trillium found that some government documents it expected to see were not handed over. Now the company has filed a notice of motion asking that its claim be amended to include the allegation of “spoliation,” or the “deliberate destruction or elimination of incriminating evidence.”
But the Environment Ministry said there are no plans to go ahead with such wind farms until there is scientific evidence that projects can be developed in a way that protects both human health and the environment.
Trillium Power Wind Corp. has won an appeal that will allow it to proceed with a $2.25-billion lawsuit against the government of Ontario for imposing what the company alleges was a politically motivated moratorium on offshore wind farm development during the 2011 election.
A company planning to build an offshore wind turbine development near Kingston plans to sue the federal government for nearly half a billion dollars over a provincial moratorium on such projects. In court documents filed in mid-October, Windstream Energy indicated it intends to sue the Canadian government for what the company says are violations of the North America Free Trade Agreement.