Since February of 2012, the Energy Farming Ontario website has been down. Energy Farming Ontario is the company behind several wind power plant projects in the area including Settler’s Landing in Pontypool, Snowy Ridge now called Snowy Moraine Edge in Bethany, Whispering Woods in Millbrook, Clean Breeze in Grafton, Collie Hill in Hastings, and Ganaraska in Orono/Kirby.
By chance, someone discovered that the wind power plant projects had been relocated to the website Zero Emission People (ZEP). http://www.zeroemissionpeople.com/
A query was sent to ZEP about the seeming demise of the Energy Farming Ontario website, but no response was received. A month later, a notice was tacked on to the EFO website advising the public to check the ZEP website for information.
The ZEP website, aside from posting a picture of hunky movie star Brad Pitt, and pictures of children pointing at teeny wind turbines in the distance, doesn’t offer very much information; some sections have no content at all.
Since the ZEP website is lacking in information, and phone calls and emails to ZEP and EFO have gone unanswered, it was decided that an in-person visit to Energy Farming Ontario headquarters in Brighton was warranted. There has been no information forthcoming since the first public meetings on local projects were held in 2010. A visit was paid to EFO on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012.
This is Energy Farming Ontario’s head office and operations office located at 14 Lakecrest Circle in Brighton, Ontario.
There is no signage of any sort, and a knock on the door indicated that no one was home. A peep in the windows indicated that this building does not contain offices but is more of a residence complete with a grand piano.
Since no one answered the door, it seemed prudent to check with the next door neighbour. The neighbour, a very nice elderly widow, confirmed that this house in the photo above is indeed Energy Farming Ontario’s base of operations.
It appears that Kelly Campbell, EFO’s project manager and public contact person, due to some sort of internal strife as suggested by the neighbour, may have left EFO and returned to her home in Prince Edward County.
It appears that Bill York from the Chicago area replaced Ms. Campbell from January to May of this year. Bill York is affiliated with Global Harvest Winds http://www.globalwinds.com/, the US branch of Energy Farming Ontario. The neighbour indicated that Mr. York was returning to Chicago in a few days, and that he hoped to return to Canada again sometime in the future.
Since Mr. York was not at home, a return visit was scheduled later that afternoon. Still no sign of Mr. York or his SUV the neighbour indicated to look for.
A follow-up phone call to Mr. York was made and a message was left. No response. So… who is the project manager for EFO now? What is the status of this company and its many projects? What about the additional first public meeting that EFO was to hold since the venue was not barrier-free? Doris Dumais, the head of the approvals branch for renewable energy projects at the MOE promised several residents that a meeting with EFO about the disastrous first meeting would take place and the outcome would be shared with concerned residents. This promised sharing of information did not happen. Complaints that Ms. Dumais failed to follow through on her written promises have been lodged with the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman and the complaints are being actively pursued by this office.
The one project EFO is actively proceeding with – Grey Highlands in Grey County has resulted in a legal challenge. The EFO website is still down.
According to the latest 10Q stock filing, Wind Works, the company that funds Energy Farming Ontario projects is millions of dollars in debt, and in order to reduce expenses, consultants are being paid in shares:
“During the three month period ending March 31, 2012, the Company recognized $112,929 in consulting fees related to the issuance of shares for services.”
Consultants that oversee wildlife, environmental, and noise studies being paid in shares ….? How unbiased will their assessments be considering their income is directly tied to the stock performance of the company?
So the company has no immediate plans, no cash. They have tried to sell projects in the past without success. Our guess is they are waiting until WPD gets the green light and then re-offer their leases to the highest bidder.