TORONTO, Dec. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EDP Renewables Canada Ltd. (EDPR) strongly objects to the Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ recent decision purportedly to revoke its Nation Rise Wind Farm’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA) and is now assessing all potential legal actions. This unprecedented decision means the REA that was issued by the Minister’s own staff, defended by Ministry legal counsel and subsequently ratified by the Environmental Review Tribunal (Tribunal) is no longer in effect. As a result, EDPR has been forced to halt all construction activities.

The Minister’s decision effectively overturned previous findings of both experts and the Tribunal,  which had both concluded based on significant investigation, expert evidence, and due diligence, that the project has no material adverse effects on the natural environment. Decisions of this nature should be based on science and law, yet there was no expert testimony or evidence presented at the Tribunal or to the Minister that would provide a reasonable rationale for the Minister’s decision. Instead, the Minister based his decision upon an issue the appellant did not raise even once in its appeal submission. The decision also contradicts scientific and expert  findings and appears to exceed the Minister’s legal jurisdiction under the Environmental Protection Act.

The Nation Rise Wind Farm is a 29-wind turbine, 100-megawatt wind energy project in the Municipality of North Stormont within the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry in eastern Ontario, Canada. Nation Rise began construction in May 2019 and construction is significantly advanced with numerous wind turbines already fully erected. The project was competitively procured under the IESO Large Renewable Procurement and will produce zero emission electricity.

Nation Rise also represents a very significant investment for the local and provincial economy. It has created over 230 local construction jobs to date and will create around 10 permanent direct local jobs and numerous indirect jobs during operation. Further, the project will inject more than $45 million over 30 years into the local community through municipal taxes, a community benefit fund, charitable contributions and landowner payments. 

While EDPR is wholly perplexed by this unfounded decision on the part of the Minister, it is prepared to pursue all legal courses of action in response and fully trusts the Canadian justice system as a means of positioning EDPR to resume the construction activities at Nation Rise Wind Farm.

External Communications
Please direct all external inquiries to Blair Matocha, EDPR NA Communications Manager, at blair.matocha@edpr.com or (281) 414-7589. 

About EDP Renewables North America
EDP Renewables North America LLC (“EDPR NA”) and its subsidiaries develop, construct, own, and operate wind farms and solar parks throughout North America. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with 49 wind farms, five solar parks, and 13 regional and development offices across North America, EDPR NA has developed more than 6,900 megawatts (MW) and operates more than 6,300 MW of renewable energy projects. EDPR NA is owned by EDP Renováveis, S.A. (EDPR). For more information, visit www.edprnorthamerica.com.