Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trillium Power sues Ontario for $2.25 billion CAD over future lost profit for development of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes

Trillium Power Wind Corp. (“Trillium”), which had planned to build a series of offshore wind farms in Lake Ontario is suing the Ontario provincial government for $2.25 billion CAD for alleged damages suffered as a result of Ontario cancelling all offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes earlier this year.

Trillium’s Statement of Claim was filed yesterday in Ontario Superior Court and alleges that the decision to cancel offshore wind projects was made for purely political reasons in order to appease wind-power critics. Of course this is merely a Statement of Claim and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

It is alleged that Trillium spent millions of dollars over many years planning its offshore projects, and had dutifully followed the government’s application processes, but was taken completely by surprise when Ontario said it would not consider any offshore development in the Great Lakes until more scientific studies were done.

Unlike other onshore wind projects in Ontario Trillium did not have a FIT contract (or as I understand, any contract) with the government of Ontario for any of its offshore wind projects.

In the lawsuit, Trillium alleges that the province’s decision constituted “a confiscation of property rights, without warning or substantive justification” and that as a result, Trillium had to “effectively cease its corporate operation and organization, to lay off staff and to cancel contracts with advisers.”

The Statement of Claim indicates that the majority of damages claimed are for future loss of profits, as Trillium had only spent about $5.3 million CAD in planning for its first wind farm.

Canada has 202, 080 km of coastline – by far the greatest amount of coastline in the world - Greenland has 44,087 km and Russia has 37,653 km. Canada has a wealth of prime locations for offshore wind farm projects in British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada. From the outset of this project I questioned the wisdom of building an offshore wind farm in an inland freshwater lake in the most densely populated part of Canada - other than the fact that an offshore wind farm in Lake Ontario would have afforded a great view from Trillium’s head office in downtown Toronto.


  1. Chad,

    Nice post. I agree with you that this idea of using our great lakes for wind energy is ridiculous. I would however like to see a copy of his statement of claim. Any idea on how I would go about getting a copy?



  2. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the enquiry.

    You can contact the Ontario Superior Court directly and request a copy of the Statement of Claim. You may have to pay some copying and/or administrative charges but they should be minimal.

    Best regards,