As part of the IESO Large Renewable Procurement engagement process, BEARAT has submitted commentary on the LRP Process. The IESO initiated stakeholder and community engagement to gather feedback on the initial LRP process to determine what improvements could be made prior to the second round of procurement. This engagement process concluded May 3.
The following is a list of recommendations submitted by BEARAT to the IESO, many of these recommendations underscore items raised in North Frontenac's recent resolution.
That a moratorium be immediately placed on wind energy in Ontario until it can be proven to be both green and economical through independent cost-benefit analyses; and demonstration that the Province has a genuine need for additional energy generation in the short term;
That the Municipal Support Resolution become a mandatory requirement in the IESO process;
That the rules be amended to require that the resolution related to this support must be considered in an open Council meeting held after the community engagement meeting organized by the proponent;
That full details of the project, including siting of project elements and site consideration reports, are required to be made available at the community engagement meeting and to the Council before the resolution is considered;
That the terms of any municipal agreement related to the project also need be discussed in open Council and that such agreements cannot contain terms that limit the municipality’s ability to exercise Municipal Act powers relative to the project;
That the process includes the requirement for the municipality to provide comments on the project directly to the IESO;
That any points for Aboriginal participation in a given power project be limited to the First Nation who has a comprehensive claim on the land where the project will be built, or where a substantive historical association exists with the particular parcels of land.
As a part of the RFQ process, proponents should demonstrate that they have taken care to operate transparently and openly with municipal councils when prospecting and evaluating the municipalities for potential site development. This would include notifying council and planning departments that they are signing up landowners for wind energy lease agreements.
That private landowners who enter into a lease agreement with proponents be made public. Gag orders and confidentiality clauses in the lease agreements should not be allowed. By extension, adjacent landowners will also be identifiable and those adjacent landowners who sign agreements with the proponents should also be made public. Additionally, these lease agreements should be registered on the title of properties within Ontario’s Land Registry Offices.
That any announcement of the successful bidders includes an explanation of the points awarded to each bid.
That so-called "Community Vibrancy Funds" or similar inducements be eliminated and replaced with a Province-wide, standard revenue sharing model between renewable energy projects and the affected municipalities.
That so-called “Community Vibrancy Funds” or other inducements by the proponents should never be offered to municipalities conditional upon Municipal Councils passing support resolutions. The current situation is coercive, exploitative and tantamount to bribery.
That Municipal Support by Council only be considered genuine if Council had a clear mandate to give such support (e.g., it was an election issue) OR that Council can demonstrate support by the Community through a referendum, a comprehensive survey, or an equivalent, statistically rigorous process.