Amherst Island is part of Loyalist Township, the bulk of which is on the mainland. In order to sweeten the pot a little for those who won’t have to live with the turbines on Amherst, Algonquin secretly offered the Council $375,000 annually. While we don’t know the details of the offer, no doubt Algonquin wants something in return, like “cooperation” on roads, the ferry, the right-of-ways, whatever. Finally the offer came out on their web site and then in the Whig, along with reaction from some islanders.
But a careful reading of what they are offering reveals they are not really offering $375,000. Rather, they are offering a fixed percentage of some undefined rate – which could be based on revenues or generation. They don’t say. Algonquin has stated they are anticipating achieving a capacity factor of 38%. If the $375,000 is based upon that figure we can bet the average payment will be somewhere in the $200,000 range.
UPDATE, May 1, 2012. The Council has written a letter that confirms Algonquin wants something in return for the money, including a road and right-of-way agreement. The Council does have some control over these, and the project installs easier if Council rolls over and lets Algonquin do whatever they want. This offer isn’t altruistic at all. Algonquin is simply willing to pay the Council to get their way as opposed to paying a lot more for lawyers to get their way.
Peter Large, a resident of Amherst Island, wrote a letter to the editor regarding some mistakes in the original article.