In an open letter to to Frontenac News, the executive director of NextEra Energy Canada, Ben Greenhouse has stated the following:
In the last few weeks, there have been several stories centered around the wind energy proposal our company, NextEra Energy Canada submitted into Ontario’s Request for Proposal for Large Renewable Energy Projects (RFP | LRP). While we certainly understand that the proposal of a large, new project in a community will foster debate, it is important that this debate be undertaken using facts.
BEARAT and their public relations consultant John Laforet have continuously shown a pattern of ignoring several important facts. The first is a complaint issued to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the community vibrancy fund agreement we entered into with the Township of Addington Highlands. This, and all other similar agreements we have entered into with other municipalities, have been thoroughly reviewed and approved by each municipality’s respective legal counsel as well as ours. In short, these are perfectly legal documents that are compliant with U.S. and Canadian laws.
Mr. Laforet later states that we ran afoul of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) prohibited communications rules when negotiating, or attempting to negotiate, a community vibrancy agreement with municipal governments and that such agreements are new to the Province. Neither statement could be further from the truth. The IESO encourages proponents to meet and discuss proposed projects with local municipalities. In fact, the IESO prioritized projects that had entered into agreements with municipalities. Mr. Laforet’s assertion that these agreements are “not legal” in Ontario is simply not accurate.
While we have not been provided with a copy of either of their complaints to the IESO or the Department of Justice, we are confident that our actions are entirely within the bounds of law and the rules of the IESO’s procurement and will stand up to any scrutiny. To imply otherwise is disingenuous.
In last Thursday’s (Oct 1) article, Mr. Laforet makes a variety of inaccurate assertions. He suggests that our original Northpoint II Wind proposal spanned two townships and identified two grid connection points, and that our ultimate submission to the IESO was smaller. While it is true that our proposed project boundary shrunk from our initial proposal, Mr. Laforet is incorrect in noting that this is somehow in contravention of the IESO’s rules. Quite the contrary, the IESO’s rules specifically allow for proponents to reduce the size and scope of the project during the pre-bid process.
We understand that a community will discuss and debate projects like our proposed Northpoint I and Northpoint II wind projects, but it’s important that these discussions are fact based.
Executive Director, NextEra Energy Canada
BEARAT will be preparing a reply. Things not mentioned in this open letter are under dispute.
Click here to view the letter on the Frontenac News website.