The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), via one of their subsidiaries, OMERS Infrastructure, just acquired a 180 MW (megawatt) wind turbine project and a 400 MW solar project. They acquired these two projects via their US subsidiary; “Leeward Renewable Energy,* a growth-oriented renewable energy company that owns and operates a portfolio of approximately 2,000 MW of generating capacity.”
Interestingly, the two projects acquired by Leeward (head office in Dallas, Texas) * are located in White County in northwestern Indiana, USA.
In case the reader was unaware, OMERS pension plan has over $100 billion in assets and receives 50% of their annual contributions from us lowly taxpayers by way of the taxes we pay to local municipalities in Ontario for public services. The OMERS pensioners annually receive a cost-of-living adjustment which was 2.29% in 2019 and 1.89% in 2020.
One should wonder why OMERS don’t use those tax dollar contributions to invest in infrastructure projects in Ontario where they might create some jobs and help the economy grow? Are they concerned about Ontario’s future?
Those who are running OMERS must feel Ontario’s taxpayers are a bottomless pit that allows their members to retire at age 55 should they have 30 years of employment! Anyone trying to sustain themselves in the private sector would love some of the same benefits OMERS pensioners receive, but they are on their own and must use their initiatives to provide for retirement without taxpayer support.
Don’t those managing the pension plan wonder what will happen when the money runs out for their 500,000 members? I’m pretty sure Texas’s or Indiana’s taxpayers won’t contribute their municipal taxes when the Ontario economy tanks even more than it has so far during the pandemic!
*In 2018, Leeward was acquired by OMERS Infrastructure Management, Inc., the infrastructure investment arm of OMERS. One of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. Under OMERS’s ownership, we have continued our expansion by successfully repowering legacy assets, developing and constructing projects from our development portfolio, and embarking on our current growth program that includes over 5,000 MW of wind, solar, and energy storage.
**Dallas Texas was severely affected by the nasty February winter storm and the resulting power blackouts and where blame was allocated to the failure of wind generation to perform when needed. Isn’t that ironic!