The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is urging the province to suspend further wind farm development, claiming wind turbines are causing tension among rural residents.
The OFA's complaints relate to the price paid for wind power, its variability and ‘inefficiency,’ setback issues, and alleged health and nuisance issues – although the latter has been proven false.
Wind advocates disagree with the OFA's statements. The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) says it is ‘disappointed with the OFA statement on wind’ and that CanWEA ‘will continue to work to ensure farmers enjoy a productive relationship with wind energy.’
In fact, many of the issues that the OFA has identified as areas of concern are already being reviewed and examined through processes such as the Ontario government's feed-in-tariff review process, CanWEA points out.
"We are surprised and disappointed the OFA is proposing to put thousands of jobs at risk in Ontario and limit the ability of farmers to participate in Ontario's clean energy economy," says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. ‘We will be seeking a meeting with the OFA to better understand their point of view and discuss their concerns, and will remain active participants in the processes that are already in place to discuss many of these issues.’
"We will continue to provide fact-based answers to ensure Ontarians have the information they need to make informed choices as Ontario moves towards a cleaner, stronger and affordable energy system," he adds.