Horizon Wind Plans Appeal Over Big Thunder Wind Farm

Nor'wester Mountain Escarpment
This will be the view that residents in the area near the wind turbines will see.

Nor'Westers
Hundreds gathered to fight to preserve the Nor’Westers

THUNDER BAY – Energy – The long battle over a proposed wind farm development on the Nor’Wester Mountain Range isn’t over yet. Horizon Wind is appealing The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s decision that rejected the project last month.

Horizon Wind is proposing a thrity-two megawatt wind farm on the Nor’Wester Mountains that opponents say will impact their quality of life, and that Fort William First Nation states will impact their traditional lands and their traditional hunting and gathering area.

In its decision on the Horizon Wind project the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change reported that the proponent failed to adequately address potential impacts on moose habitat and traditional moose hunting by members of the Fort William First Nation reserve.

Fort William First Nation has opposed the project from the start. The First Nation has stated repeatedly that there was no formal consultations held with the community or its leadership.

Ministry officials therefore did not issue the needed renewable energy approval that would have allowed the controversial project to move forward.

Horizon Wind is saying that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s decision that included a request for additional information, followed by the refusal of the REA was “unreasonable” and has appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal.

The hearing dates for the appeal have not been scheduled yet.

Horizon and the City of Thunder Bay signed an option to lease the project lands in 2007.

The Ontario Power Authority granted a feed-in tariff contract for 16.5MW in 2010 however the agency cancelled the deal in 2014 because the project failed to obtain a REA by the specified deadline.

The ministry deemed the REA application complete in April 2013 but then took two-and-a-half years to make a decision despite a six-month service standard.

Horizon Wind had planned to install 16 Enercon E82 2MW turbines on the Nor’Wester Mountains.