What Happened to CS Wind?
CS Wind was a South Korean based company that set up operations in Windsor, Ontario in 2011 to build wind towers for the “Big 3” turbine makers – Vestas, Siemens and GE. It set up operations as part of the Ontario Liberal government’s green energy plans set-up with Samsung, and received $10 million dollars from the province, as well as concessions from the municipal government. The entire Samsung partnership with the government included more than $100 million in incentives, on top of an agreement by the province to buy the energy from CS Wind at above-market rates. It was hailed as an example of the future of green energy for Ontario and the City of Windsor.
The plant, officially closed in 2019, laying off hundreds of workers. In 2015, the Financial Post reported that “since 2006, when the province first started subsidizing wind turbines, the province has provided more than $1.92 billion in subsidies. This act of corporate welfare is far from over. […] In total, the amount of subsidies to wind producers could hit $8-billion over the next decade and $13-billion over the next 20 years.”
The reason CS Wind ended its operations when it did was that the former Liberal government’s Green Energy Investment Agreement was only effective until December 31, 2017 and there were no new agreements put in place to continue subsidizing the building of more wind mills. Shortly after the Ford government was elected in 2018, it announced it was cancelling 758 wind and solar contracts in the province.
The province’s public accounts for 2018-19 show spending of $231 million by the Ministry of Energy on unexplained “other transactions.” An NDP researcher uncovered that these “other transactions” were “to fulfil a government commitment to wind down renewable energy contracts.” In other words, more public funds to cancel the contracts. Now, the Ford government is telling municipalities that they should ramp up electricity production with new contracts for private providers to serve electric battery makers and the agriculture sector.