Horizon Wind says it will evaluate its options after the Ontario Power Authority dealt a blow to plans for a wind farm on the Norwester Escarpment.
Because of significant delays in the Big Thunder project, it has terminated a contract with the developer, the OPA confirmed on Friday.
The authority added in a statement that Feed-in Tariff contracts give either party the right to cancel in the event of unanticipated developments ("force majeure" events) that delay projects past 24 months.
'We received no advance knowledge ...' - Thunder Bay city manager Tim Commisso
In a statement issued by Horizon Wind on Friday, the firm said it “has provided Notice of Dispute to the Ontario Power Authority” over its cancellation. Once disputed issues are settled, Horizon Wind will evaluate its options, the statement continued.
An official with the city of Thunder Bay said City Hall was caught off guard by the announcement.
“Like anybody, we heard about it on the basis that it was posted on the website for the OPA,” city manager Tim Commisso told CBC News.
“We had received no advance knowledge of that.”
Thunder Bay is leasing land to Horizon for the project.
Commisso said the city has asked its lawyer to look into the implications of OPA’s decision.
The Big Thunder wind farm project has yet to receive final approval from the ministry of the environment, and has been before the courts with injunction requests from the Fort William First Nation, as well as a request for a judicial review made by Horizon Wind.
Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro didn’t have much to say Friday about the recent announcement.
He has opposed the location of the wind farm, as have nearby homeowners in Neebing.
“My position on the project has been publically known for a very long time,” Mauro said.
“At the end of the day, the Ontario Power Authority is the authority-making and decision-making body on these contracts and they've instructed the proponent that this is their decision.”