Warwick mayor calls wind money ‘extortion’
Warwick Mayor Todd Case says the latest process to bid for wind energy projects amounts to extortion and his municipality won’t be part of it.
Four wind energy companies are in the process of bidding for industrial projects in Warwick, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen. As part of the process, the companies are approaching municipalities to talk about what is going on and hoping to gain some form of support to improve their chances of approval.
Under the new process approved in June, companies receive bonus points for some forms of municipal approval. There is a form to say they have met with the municipal government which bears no points. If a company signs an Community Commitment Agreement with a municipality, it receives points which make the project more likely to be approved. Municipalities can also endorse projects; those projects are mostly likely to be approved.
Suncor Energy and NextEra, which are both preparing bids for projects in Warwick, are pressing the community to sign Community Commitment Agreements which include compensation for having the turbines in the community.
But Mayor Case says Warwick is not about to sign anything and shouldn’t be penalized financially because of it.
“The process, in my opinion, stinks,” he tells The Independent. “The province says it now gives municipalities a chance to weigh in but there are points for the companies if you sign (for compensation). That’s extortion in my point of view.”