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Echos > 2012 > South Western Ontario - Municipality slaps fees on wind turbines

South Western OntarioOctober 31, 2012
by Scott Nixon, Times-Advocate staff

SH passes bylaw for wind turbine fees

SOUTH HURON — Council has passed third and final reading of a bylaw that sets fees for wind turbine structures in South Huron.

Council held a public meeting on the matter in September and later passed first and second reading of the bylaw, finally passing final reading at its Oct. 22 meeting.

The new fees are as follows: $1,500 for wind turbine structures rated three to 49 kilowatts; $3,500 for towers rated 50 to 249 kilowatts; $10,000 for towers rated 250 kilowatts to one megawatt; and $15,000 for towers rated greater than one megawatt.

NextEra Energy, which has large wind turbine projects planned for the area (and whose towers are rated at greater than one megawatt) has expressed concern about the fees. As previously reported, NextEra’s community relations staffer Derek Dudek appeared at council’s Sept. 17 meeting to air his company’s concerns.

In a letter to the municipality dated Oct. 2, Dudek wrote that the company asks council to “strongly reconsider the proposed fee changes to an amount that is both fair and reasonable, and within the authority of the Ontario Building Cote Act.”

Dudek noted the South Huron fees are more than double the company is being charged by the Township of Mapleton for its Conestogo project.

In deciding on the fees, council had the option of choosing a percentage based on the construction value of the towers or going with the flat rate. Council opted for the flat rates as above.

During discussion of the new fees at last week’s council meeting, Coun. Wayne DeLuca asked chief administrative officer Roy Hardy if the fees could withstand a challenge at the Ontario Municipal Board if it comes to that.

Hardy said the municipality believes the fees are defensible, a statement echoed by Mayor George Robertson, who added the municipality’s chief building official said the municipality can defend the fees if it needs to.

South Western Ontario | October 31, 2012