This is the first of multiple planned APPEC reports on the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings for the wpd White Pines Wind Project.
Last December the APPEC board requested Intervenor Status at the OEB hearing for wpd’s 28 kilometre high-voltage Transmission Line from Royal Road to a new electrical substation on Gorsline Road, north of Picton. The board has recently learned that APPEC has been granted Intervenor Status. APPEC will now be able to bring forward issues at the hearing, present its position and seek clarification from wpd through cross-examination.
The OEB also decided to grant APPEC a cost award. The cost award is particularly important as it allows APPEC to have legal representation at the hearing. Without legal counsel anyone who wanted to participate in the hearing would be effectively neutered as wpd surely knew when it asked the OEB to deny APPEC’s request for a cost award.
In a letter to the OEB wpd noted its concerns with all the requests for Intervenor Status including requests by APPEC, the municipality of Prince Edward County and property owners on the transmission line route. However wpd made note of its “additional concerns with the proposed participation of APPEC.” The OEB must not have found wpd’s reasons too compelling as almost all of the requests for Intervenor Status were granted.
From what one can tell from wpd’s letters on the OEB website they are intent on taking control of the proceedings. Through their lawyer Patrick Duffy of Stikeman Elliott wpd has been telling the OEB what its mandate is, what the proper issues are and what regulations – in its view at least – do not apply and in general throwing its weight around.
For now the OEB intends to proceed by way of a written hearing. The board will decide whether an oral hearing is required after the discovery phase of the proceeding.
Wpd will be contacting property owners on the Transmission Line route wpd has been advised by the OEB that a leave to construct the Transmission Line shall not be granted until wpd satisfies the Board that “it has offered or will offer to each owner of land affected by the approved route or location an agreement in a form approved by the Board”.
This OEB link will take you directly to the OEB website where you can view correspondence on the wpd application (OEB number EB 2013-0339) for leave to construct transmission facilities in Prince Edward County.