Ian Baines’ company, Windstream, has just placed what is apparently a binding order for 130 Siemans turbines for their Wolfe Island Shoals project. Since there is still a moratorium on wind turbines in the Great Lakes one wonders if they are being reckless, or do they know something we don’t? A third option occurs to me – maybe they are positioning themselves for a major lawsuit.
The story was first reported by the CNW wire service and shortly after that by WCO. Subsequently other articles appeared on CTV and on RechargeNews. Scott Luft’s Cold Air blog also reported on it. Kingston’s The Whig also had a short article.
This moratorium was started in February 2011. Brad Duguid, Energy Minister at the time, said they needed more scientific study before they could proceed. But as many people at the time noted, perhaps the looming October elections had more to do with it. As I reported on my windfarmrealities site, this was the second moratorium on turbines in the Great Lakes. In what was an incredible coincidence, the Liberal government had earlier announced a moratorium that also spanned an election, soon to be lifted once the election was over. Only somebody with impaired mental processes would expect something different to occur this time around.
My lawsuit logic goes like this. Windstream claims their contract “obligates” them to produce the electricity they’ve contracted for with the OPA, starting by a certain date. In order to “fulfill” their “obligations” they have to order all these turbines. Cancelling the order would be very expensive, and if Ontario won’t let them build the project, they sue. Including lost profits, of course. Just like Trillium sued for $2.5B, and they didn’t even have a contract. So regardless if the moratorium is lifted or not, Windstream wins. This sort of predatory behaviour is absolutely typical of this industry, encouraged by the Ontario government.
The picture on this site’s home page is starting to fill in, at least on the Canadian side. Look and weep.