Green Energy

Renewable energy, especially wind, water, biomass, solar, geothermal, and its regulation

Municipal Anti-Wind By-Laws Inoperative

Another Ontario municipality’s attempts to block wind energy development have been thrown out by the courts. Municipalities cannot use anti-wind by-laws to frustrate Renewable Energy Approvals (REA), under the Green Energy Act, S.O. 2009, c. 12 (“Green Energy Act”).

Wind opponents lose health challenges around the world

A recent report  by the Energy and Policy Institute documents the rejection of anti-wind health claims by 48 courts and tribunals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the US. In one anomalous US case,  two turbines which had had a known problem were ordered to be shut down 12 hours a day, four hours…

More anti-wind power appeals dismissed

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) recently dismissed two more anti-wind power appeals, this time relating to the same project. One of the appeals had a new feature: whether wind turbines interfere with weather forecasting radar. July 9, 2014, Fata v. MOE, ERT Registry Nos.: 13-145/13-146.

When it comes to anti-wind power appeals, all turtles are not created equal

The Environmental Review Tribunal has dismissed another anti-wind power appeal, holding that evidence to substantiate claims of “serious and irreversible harm to animal life” must be site-specific, species-specific, and quantifiable. The Tribunal released its decision in Bain v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, 2014 WL 888126 on February 27, 2014, allowing the five-wind turbine Emestown…

Experts permitted to testify via telephone… sometimes

The Environmental Review Tribunal has granted a request to have expert witnesses testify via telephone conference call when the appellants argued that it would be too costly to have them attend in person, and that videoconferencing was also costly, as well as prone to technological failure.

Another anti-wind power appeal dismissed

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) has dismissed another anti-wind power appeal: May 14, 2014,  Pitt v. MOE ERT Registry Number: 13-121. The Wainfleet Wind Energy Project can now proceed, despite objections from a skydiving club. The ERT ruled that the club had not shown that the turbines were likely to cause even one serious skydiving…

Court of Appeal stays Ostrander wind approval pending appeal to protect turtles

The Ontario Court of Appeal has stayed the Ostrander Point wind approval pending an appeal by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists.

Tribunal cracks down on non-expert anti-wind “experts”

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal approved another wind farm on December 24, 2013, in Bovaird v. Director, Ministry of the Environment. In addition to rejecting the Charter argument, described earlier this week, Bovaird was notable for a slightly tougher approach to witnesses who propose “expert” anti-wind evidence in areas beyond their expertise.

Kudos to Environmental Commissioner

Our congratulations to Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner for three more excellent reports: 2012/2013 Annual Report:Serving the Public A Review of Ontario’s Weakened Protections for Species at Risk (Special Report, Nov. 2013) Building Momentum: Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report 2012 (Volume Two)

Ethical Host Internet Service Provider

In our continuing effort to “Walk the Talk”, we always try to pick green and socially constructive suppliers for our law firm. Websites and web servers have a surprisingly large environmental footprint. We are proud to announce that our new Internet Service Provider for this website is an environmentally conscious local firm, Ethical Host.ca. Like…

Off-shore wind law suit against Ontario will proceed

Trillium Power Wind Corporation’s planned off-shore  wind farm in Lake Ontario was effectively cancelled by the provincial moratorium on off-shore wind development, openly adopted for political reasons. Trillium sued the Province for $2.25 billion in costs thrown away and loss of profit, under numerous causes of action. As we wrote earlier, the law suit was thrown out…

Environmental Tribunal reluctantly approves wind turbines near eagles’ nest

The Environmental Review Tribunal has issued another decision approving a 45 turbine wind farm, but strongly recommended that the proponent defer or relocate the two turbines within 800 metres of a bald eagles’ nest.