For many years the majority of the people of Thunder Bay and the surrounding area, and the Fort William First Nation, have opposed the development of a proposed large wind turbine installation there, called the Big Thunder Wind Park. These turbines would be installed by Horizon Wind Inc., which is owned by the same Tony Zwig as controls the proponent for the proposed Bala hydro-electric generating station.
Many dedicated volunteers, spending countless hours, presented solid facts, studies, and reports to the provincial Ministries showing that the proposed Thunder Bay project should not proceed as planned.
Last summer, the Ontario Power Authority determined that the proponent was not making adequate progress and therefore did not meet the requirements of their Feed-In Tariff contract with the Ontario Power Authority, who then cancelled this contract. As you see from this listing from Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, it is quite rare for a proposed wind turbine project to be cancelled.
Then late last month the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change issued a formal Notice of Refusal cancelling this proposed Thunder Bay project, stating:
Horizon Wind Inc. has not provided the ministry with certain specific information in response to the ministry’s detailed inquiries on the potential impacts of the project on moose and moose habitat. The additional explanation and detail requested from Horizon Wind Inc. was determined to be necessary to the ministry’s review, and in particular, was requested for the ministry to be satisfied that the potential impacts of the project on moose, moose habitat and the traditional moose hunting practices of members of the Fort William First Nation had been adequately assessed and mitigated.
Congratulations to the Ministry of the Environment for requiring that the Crown’s Duty to Consult be fulfilled, and congratulations to the many publically-minded people who worked to protect their community.