The Ontario Divisional Court has dismissed a recent decision of the province's Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) to overturn a renewable energy approval (REA) for the proposed Ostrander Point wind project. The ERT had argued that the wind farm would cause ‘irreversible harm’ to the Blanding's turtle.
As proposed by developer Gilead Power, the 22.5 MW wind farm will be located on Crown land on the south shore of Prince Edward County and include nine 2.5 MW wind turbines.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) says the Divisional Court's decision reaffirms that the wind industry is meeting environmental protection standards.
According to CanWEA, the Divisional Court cited a number of inconsistencies in the ERT decision, chiefly that the ERT failed to give due consideration to REA conditions that had been met by the developer, such as a protected-species permit, an environmental management plan that has provisions for Ministry of Natural Resources oversight, and expert scientific evidence that protected species and indigenous plants would not be seriously and irreversibly harmed by the project.
The Divisional Court also denied the appeals of project opposition groups, stating the ERT had correctly determined that these groups had not presented sufficient evidence of irreversible harm to human and habitat health.