Wind Energy Firm Files $2.25 Billion Lawsuit Against Ontario Government
Trillium, an Ontario offshore wind company, is seeking to obtain $2.25 billion in damages from the provincial Ontario government following a moratorium, on offshore wind farms.
The Trillium company had been planning a massive wind power project, the first for Lake Ontario, when John Kourtoff, head of Trillium, told CBC news that the Ontario government “assassinated” the company and the entire offshore industry through the issuance of a press release saying that more research was needed to determine the environmental and health implications that offshore projects in the Great Lakes might cause before going forward. The announcement apparently came just hours before Trillium was to sign a major financing deal with an investor, and sent the plans for Lake Ontario’s first wind farm out the door.
The company decided to take action when they were informed by someone at the Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office that before and after the elections there was no “political appetite” to deal with offshore energy and that the cancellation was made purely to appease wind power critics in the next elections. Kourtoff used this to steam Trillium’s engines to retrieve lost damages of $5.3 million, and lost potential revenue from the project. He stressed that the development of the project was not supposed to be about politics. The lawsuit filed by Trillium stipulates that the government acted in bad faith and that their actions have amounted to a confiscation of property right without warning or justification, resulting in the demise of the company, as reported by CBC News of Canada.
Government officials of Ontario have said about the suit that it possesses no merit, and that the environmental concerns have to trump any other worries. They also stated the company’s claims have not been proven in court. In fact, Energy Minister, Brad Duguid, went on record to say that in his 17 years of office, he has never seen such a frivolous lawsuit. He added that the company had no contract with the province, and it suggests that the government doesn’t have a responsibility to take care of the environment.
The wind energy plan by Trillium would have supplied power to a minimum of 177,000 homes, potential $5billion revenue for the economy, and added a potential 4,400 jobs per year during construction.
The lawsuit is between Trillium and the Liberal government is currently underway. --MarEx