Wind turbine bylaws taken to court by Suncor Energy

A wind energy company will square off with a rural Ontario municipality in a Sarnia courtroom Wednesday. Suncor Energy is asking the court for "clarification" on some bylaws passed by Plympton-Wyoming council.

Municipality of Plympton-Wyoming trying to charge $200,000 deposit per wind turbine

A wind energy company will square off with a rural Ontario municipality in a Sarnia courtroom Wednesday. Suncor Energy is asking the court for "clarification" on some bylaws passed by Plympton-Wyoming council.

Two years ago, the municipality east of Sarnia passed a bylaw that requires developers to deposit $200,000 for each wind turbine they intend to build.

Council said it is just trying to protect its people in case developers walk away from the used turbines in 30 years.

The bylaw also requires that turbines be built two kilometres away from homes. Provincial law allows them to be within 550 metres of a home.

Ingrid Willemsen, a member of We're Against Industrial Turbines, is protesting outside the courthouse.

"The Green Energy Act, unfortunately, supercedes whatever a municipality does.  A municipality has no say in where a turbine goes.  But it can decide where a stop sign goes or where a coffee shop goes," she said.

Suncor currently has permission from the province to build 46 turbines in Plympton-Wyoming. That translates into $9.2 million in deposits.

Suncor declined to comment.

However, according to the Petrolia Topic, a local newspaper, Suncor spokesperson Nicole Fisher said earlier this month that the bylaws are "in conflict with provincial laws that govern the process so we require direction to be provided by the court."

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