Mark Wales, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), said: "We are hearing very clearly from our members that the wind turbine situation is coming to a head, seriously dividing rural communities and even jeopardising farm succession planning."
The OFA, which represents 37,000 farmers, said rural residents must be assured "that their interests are adequately protected" before any new turbines are built.
In its position statement, the federation raised concerns about $0.135/kWh price paid for wind under Ontario’s feed-in tariff (Fit) program, the adequacy of regulations governing how far wind turbines have to be from homes and property boundaries, and the efficiency of wind turbines as an energy source.
It also questioned the province’s decision to exempt renewable energy projects from municipal planning authority, saying it "has alienated the rural population and ignored competing community needs and policies."
The Canadian Wind Energy Association is "surprised and disappointed" by the OFA’s stance, says president Robert Hornung, pointing out farmers across the province are actively participating in wind energy developments.