Windstream Energy had filed a claim under NAFTA saying the province of Ontario treated it inequitably and unfairly. The corporation demanded $475 million worth of damages. Since the claim was filed under an international treaty, the Canadian government had no choice but to defend the province’s decision.
Information on this ruling hasn’t been revealed yet. But Windstream did release information saying they had won and the provincial government confirmed this too. They did, however, observe that Windstream had only been awarded $28 million which is a fraction of their suit. Still, it’s quite a bit of money to pay while getting nothing in return.
Before things went haywire, the Ontario government had planned to put windmills in the water of the Great Lakes to kick start its green-energy industry.
Offshore turbines offend lesser people and get steadier, higher wind. This project was supposed to help generate 300 megawatts which would put it at par with nuclear reactors.
Things were fine till the Ontario government froze offshore wind projects in 2011. The government has denied electoral politics has anything to do with this. A lot of people do not like seeing windmills off their shores, even if they are in the distance.
During the tribunal hearings, John Wilkinson, ex-environment minister said the second moratorium was driven by concerns over windmill installations churning up toxic gunk on the beds of the lakes and more research was necessary in order to address these worries.
Windstream says it had a contract to sell power to the grid even if Ontario wasn’t letting them build windmills to generate the power.
There is a $500 million lawsuit filed by Trillium Energy which is currently in progress too. Both corporations pointed at the lack of documents with regard to the moratorium at the premier’s office, when asked for during the discovery process. A criminal investigation has been launched into that by the Provincial Police of Ontario.