I attended an information meeting in the Castor Community Hall presented by Michele Del Colle from the Alberta Farmers Advocate. This was a very informative presentation.
She explained in great detail how the developers proceed to get contracts signed for a wind farm project.
The landowners are on their own when negotiating a contract for the installation of a wind generator on their property.
The Surface Rights Act does not apply to renewable energy projects as it does for oil and gas projects.
The agents who represent the developer do not have to be licensed land men and in most cases are not. They represent the interests of the developer, not your interest.
Del Colle strongly recommended that you engage the services of a lawyer that has expertise in the area of contracts and property rights.
She also explained the role and process of the Alberta Utilities Commission [AUC]. All projects have to be approved by the AUC. For the most part it is a paper process however, if a group of land landowners have concerns, applications can be made to the AUC to conduct a formal hearing. In that case the entire process can involve nine steps.
The Farmers Advocate Office has produced a very good pamphlet that provides very detailed information on the issue of renewable energy in Alberta.
The title of the document is “ Renewable Energy in Alberta” and can be obtained by phoning 310-3276.
I would advise that you obtain a copy before discussing a renewable energy project with an agent from a developer.
Whether we like it or not, this government is determined to impose their Climate Change Plan on the residents of this province.
Understand the plan is about NDP ideology not climate. They insist on phasing out efficient clean burning coal-fired generating plants. The plan is to phase out these plants by 2030 and at that time have 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity produced by renewable energy.
They will spend billions of dollars to compensate the utilities for shutting down their generators long before they would normally retire these plants.
These costs and the costs of subsidizing renewable energy will be built into the price we pay for electricity.
This government does not seem to understand that polices that increase the cost of doing business or the cost of living will result in job losses and investment, nor do they seem to care. What we have is lots of pain and no gain for the taxpayer.
The thing that really gets to me on this issue of the Climate Change Plan is that they are attempting to solve a problem that does not exist.
It is based in the flawed concept that C02 emissions are the cause of climate change. As I have written in previous columns, real research scientists, not wannabe scientists like Al Gore or David Suzuki], have proven that C02 has historically never been a factor in climate change and isn’t this time either. C02 is such a small percentage of greenhouse gas that its effect on climate is miniscule.
Climate change is caused by various solar activities.
Our NDP government can spend billions of dollars that they don’t have, on their Climate Change Plan and all they will change is to destroy our economy as the government of Ontario has succeeded in doing to their economy.
That government still hasn’t figured out that their Green Energy Act has been a colossal economic disaster. The only thing that will prevent an economic disaster in Alberta is a change in government.
Hopefully that will happen before the damage is irreversible.
If the UCP is successful in forming the next government, repealing the Climate Change Plan is just one of several pieces of legislation that will be immediately repealed.
by Herman Schwenk