Canada: Ontario Faces USD 1 Billion Offshore Wind Lawsuit
The Liberal Government of Ontario is yet again exposed to the public eye, since a second lawsuit has been filed against it and this time by the SouthPoint Wind Company, which is claiming $1-billion worth damages, the Canadian Press informs.
Namely, in February 2011 the Government of Ontario imposed a moratorium on offshore wind farms and confiscated the SouthPoint Wind’s property from the Lake Erie communities of Leamington, Union and Kingsville, where the company was implementing industrial wind power projects.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Ontario Superior Court the company is claiming $1 billion in damages for confiscation of its property and assets, $100 million for failure to negotiate in good faith, and another $100 million for punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages.
SouthPoint Wind claims that the government “acted deliberately and deceptively” when it decided to terminate applications for offshore wind development without notice and that it did so with the intent to stop its projects.
“No prior notice was ever made to SPW of these defendants’ decision to cancel or confiscate the offshore development sites. Previous site-specific environmental studies and reports completed at great expense to SPW were rendered useless”, the company said.
What is more, SouthPoint Wind also refuted the government’s allegations that additional research studies have to be carried out in order to push forward with the project saying that:
“There is absolutely no indication of potential water-quality issues with respect to offshore wind power locations which would justify the cancellation and confiscation of the plaintiff’s site for water-quality studies and examinations.”
On the other hand, the Government claims that the company did not have a contract with the province.
“There’s a moratorium while we are conducting — with our American and other partners — discussions and examinations of the effects of locating wind (turbines) offshore in fresh water,” Energy Minister Chris Bentley said, adding that the Government plans to defend itself before the Court.
This is the second lawsuit against the Ontario Government. A natural gas plant in Mississauga filed a $300-million suit filed against the Government last week for cancellation of its activities.
Offshore WIND staff, April 04, 2012; Image: chrisbentley