Canada

Canada

Ontario court overturns halt to EDPR wind farm

An Ontario appeal court has reinstated EDP Renewables’ right to build a 100MW wind farm after the government abruptly revoked consent for the project.

EDPR had already installed turbines at the Nations Rise wind farm (not pictured)
EDPR had already installed turbines at the Nations Rise wind farm (not pictured)

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EDP Renewables had appealed Ontario environment minister Jeff Yurek’s decision to revoke the permit for the under-construction 100MW Nation Rise Nation Rise (100MW) OnshoreOntario, Canada, North America Click to see full details wind farm.

A number of the project’s 29 Enercon E-138 EP3 3.5MW turbines had already been installed when the permit was scrapped in December 2019.

Yurek claimed the project - granted a permit at an auction in 2016 - would be harmful to a local bat population.

But having overturned the minister’s decision, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice stated: “This is a case where the minister’s decision is not reasonable and does not deserve deference.

"The decision does not meet requirements of transparency, justification, and intelligibility, as the minister has failed to adequately explain his decision.”

The decision reinstates the project’s renewable energy approval, enabling construction to resume.

EDP Renewables said the delay had created unnecessary expenditures “at a time when the government should be focused on reducing costs and restarting the economy”.

Precedent

The Nations Rise case is not the first time wind developers have clashed with the Ontario government in recent years.

Four large wind farms were among hundreds of other renewable energy projects to have projects cancelled by the new Conservative government in July 2018.

And on 1 January 2019, Ontario ended its Green Energy Act, the key policy behind the state’s feed-in tariff for wind power projects.

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