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City Solicitor Recommends Wind Farm Settlement

April 1, 2011 – A public memorandum is being released today that describes a proposal that, subject to Council’s approval, would result in changes to the Big Thunder Wind Farm project and settle the litigation between the City and the Wind Farm proponent, Horizon Wind Limited Partnership (referred to as “Horizon”).

City Council (sitting as Committee of the Whole in Closed Session) on Monday, March 28, considered a confidential report from the City Solicitor outlining details of the recommended proposal.

On Monday, April 4, at its regular Open Session meeting, the Committee of the Whole will consider the memorandum from the City Solicitor that provides the detail relating to the proposal.  Should Council ratify the proposed revisions to the project, as described in the memorandum, when it next meets on April 11, the lawsuit will be withdrawn, and the project will move forward with improvements over what had been approved in October of 2010.  The Big Thunder Wind Farm project is subject to approval by the Province through the Renewable Energy Approval process.

The matter remains a legal issue at this time; however, information is being made public in keeping with Council’s desire to have the matter discussed, to the greatest extent possible, in open session.  Monday’s meeting will be the 23rd meeting at which this project has been reviewed and discussed.

"By their nature, settlements involve compromise on the part of both sides of a dispute,” said City Solicitor Rosalie Evans.  “Administration acknowledges the co-operation Horizon has shown in this regard, and the assistance of legal counsel on both sides.

“Administration is recommending the settlement as described in the memorandum, which will see the Big Thunder Wind Farm project approved from the points of view of the City as landlord and Horizon as tenant.  The Provincial REA process under the Green Energy Act is still underway.  That process will need to be successfully completed by Horizon before the Wind Farm can be constructed.”

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Contact:     Rosalie Evans, City Solicitor, 625-3382
                  Tim Commisso, City Manager, 625-2224