Informing and engaging area residents


Group Raises Concerns Over City’s Energy Evolution Plan

2008 Plan Allows For 700 Wind Turbines In Richmond-Manotick-Osgoode-North Gower Corridor

Ottawa Wind Concerns says it is deeply concerned over the city’s Energy Evolution plan, which it says contains a lot of measures most people in South Carleton do not know about.

North Gower resident Jane Wilson is the Chair of Ottawa Wind Concerns, an incorporated, not-for-profit group, with a membership list of several hundred residents of rural Ottawa communities and other stakeholders.

According to the group, rural populations around the world are being affected negatively by policies to eliminate use of oil and natural gas and install expensive, intermittent wind and solar power instead. 

Wilson stated that the City of Ottawa not only declared a climate emergency, it also established an action plan called Energy Evolution, approved by council without fanfare during the pandemic, in 2020. It’s a $57-billion strategy with a lot of planned activities. Wilson said most people don’t know anything about it, or the costs involved. 

“Did you know electricity must become the ‘primary fuel for all building types’, which will require installation of more than half a million heat pumps?,” she asked.  “Did you know there are plans for electric vehicle-only areas in the city and Ottawa vehicle registration fees (in addition to provincial fees)?  Did you know that Ottawa will spend almost $1 billion to buy an all-electric bus fleet, without a study on how they will operate in winter weather?  And did you know that, Energy Evolution demands 3,200 megawatts of wind power, or 710 huge industrial-scale wind turbines, in the city’s rural areas? 

“When that last item leaked out to rural residents, several councillors quickly denied it, claiming the statement was just a model. Not so.” 

The City presented its new Official Plan to rural residents in June 2021 in what Wilson called a sparsely attended virtual event. Alain Miguelez, who was the city’s planning manager at the time, said the city needs new power for its “climate” actions, including wind turbines.

Wilson said that Miguelez indicated the power would come from rural and suburban areas. She said that in 2008, a plan was put forward for more than 700 turbines to be built in the Osgoode-Manotick-North Gower-Richmond area.

Wilson said that in February 2021, City official Mike Fletcher wrote to the Ontario Energy Board to say that Ottawa has “vast rural areas” to use for wind power to achieve Energy Evolution goals. In May 2022, Ottawa staffer Andrea Flowers told the environmental protection committee when asked whether industrial wind turbines were planned, “We have explicitly said that would include renewable energy generation both wind and solar.” 

“What’s needed as we move into October’s municipal election campaign are questions to all candidates about the city’s action plan and whether candidates are aware of and support the proposals,” Wilson said.  “One question might be, where is the cost-benefit analysis?  Will banning natural gas and propane furnaces, fireplaces and stoves make a measurable difference to the world? What will be the cost and benefit of relying on intermittent wind and solar power, and what effect will that have on the reliability and stability of Ottawa’s power grid?

“One result will be energy poverty. Estimates are that electricity bills could double, even triple every ten years if we were to rely on wind power, for example, which needs subsidies to attract developers. The complete lack of reference to, or lesson learned from, the province’s own disastrous experience with wind power is worrying: the Ontario Auditor General noted in 2015 that we overpaid for wind power by more than $9 billion, yet the Energy Evolution authors contend the city will profit. How? If costs go up, living here becomes less affordable. An unreliable expensive power grid may cause businesses to reconsider locating here. Jobs may disappear. 

“Will spending $57,000 per person in Ottawa yield any benefits whatsoever at the global level? How can we afford this? Voters need to know.”