OHSWEKEN – Last Tuesday night, at Council Chambers, Six Nations Elected Council gave official approval of the Capital Power Wind Farm agreement they have been working on since 2012.
The 104.4 megawatt wind project at Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm and Port Ryerse were both given the go-ahead in a deal that will bring $3,350 per megawatt into the community over the next 20 years. That will bring a total of just shy of $350,000 per year for the next two decades, or totaling somewhere around $3 million over the life of the agreement.
The Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm project is anticipated to generate up to 25 megawatts in renewable energy, which will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority under the Feed in Tariff (FIT) Program. This project will be owned and operated by Gunn’s Hill Windfarm Inc. and will be located in the Township of Norwich, Oxford County. The proposed benefits include a potential 10% equity investment in the project which is estimated to generate revenue in excess of $3 million over 20 years, or a default royalty payment of $1,000 per MW/year for the 20 year term of the FIT Contract ($360,000). In addition, the developer is offering two (2) $4,000 annual post-secondary bursaries for the 20-year term of the FIT contract.
Port Ryerse Wind Project is anticipated to generate ten megawatts in renewable energy, which will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority under the FIT program. This project will be owned and operated by Port Ryerse Wind Farm Limited Partnership and will be located east of the hamlet of Port Ryerse in Norfolk County. The proposed project benefits include a Royalty Payment of $750/MW/year for 20 years ($150,000); mentorship of an on-reserve Small FIT solar development and a proposed Joint Venture development of future non-contracted renewable energy projects within which Six Nations could potentially own up to 15% in each contemplated project.
“The community engagement process ran from January 13th to February 14th, 2014; the community meetings were scheduled for January 23rd, February 1st and 12th,” according to a release from SNEC. “The community meetings provided further information and included the opportunity for community members to have one-on-one discussions with staff.
Input gathered throughout the process indicates that there is generally support for the projects, although community members would like to see a greater commitment in future projects to sustainable employment opportunities and for a higher commitment to education and training initiatives.
The project is already built and up and running, which will see revenues and lease royalties begin quickly now that the agreement has been passed by Council.
Unlike the HDI’s Samsung agreement, Band Council did not agree to any sort of “sovereign immunity,” according to Elected Council lawyer Lonny Bomberry, and will not put Six Nations underlying title claims in jeopardy.