Meeting: Industrial Wind Turbines & Health Affected Residents of Huron County to Board of Health

HuronCoastTurbinesArea-Wide Concerned Residents of Huron County
We are pleased to announce that we are scheduled to make a presentation in front of the Huron County Board of Health on Industrial Wind Turbines and Health Affected Residents of Huron County. As a member of the public, you are cordially invited to attend. The meeting will be held at 9 am., March 3, 2016, Huron County Health Unit, 77722B London Road, Clinton, Ontario.

One of the challenges facing the residents of Huron County, which impacts our community in a significant way, is families living near industrial wind turbine projects and experiencing negative health effects. More experts are recognizing that the negative health concerns will have to be addressed. See: Recognizing health concerns in wind energy development a key recommendation in new study Jan. 26, 2016 Dr. Janice Owens, Acting Huron County Medical Officer of Health, cited the following article in her February monthly report: Systematic Review 2013: Association between Wind Turbines and Human Distress by Ian Arra , Hazel Lynn, Kimberley Barker, Chiebere Ogbuneke, Sophie Regalado. The review concluded, “The peer-reviewed studies we reviewed provide reasonable evidence (Levels Four and Five) that an association exists between wind turbines and distress in humans.”

To date, there is nowhere affected citizens can turn for help. The Province of Ontario directs residents to the MOECC. The MOECC has failed to act even when their own employees found wind turbines to be out of compliance. Plus, the MOECC does not handle health issues. The failure by the province to address health concerns has caused many small grass root groups to be formed. However, small groups are easily ignored. Our group is trying to bring these small groups together in Huron County to make one voice. Our group has two goals: 1) to improve the quality of life of residents in our county whose health has been adversely affected by wind turbines. 2) to educate the public on the health effects caused by misplaced wind turbines. We have recently reached out to groups in Bruce County.

As more wind turbine projects come on-line, more citizens are having negative health effects. These residents should be able to live in their homes without having to experience ill health effects caused by misplaced wind turbines. The people were promised safe green energy when wind turbines were proposed. Waiting years for the Health Canada study is not an option when people are suffering now. Solutions, not more studies, are needed. The affected residents need politicians and people to start caring.


Area-Wide Concerned Residents of Huron County
Gerry Ryan – Huron East
Jeanne Melady – Former Huron East
Mike Stachura – Ashfield-Colburne-Wawanosh
Pauli Sommer – Ashfield-Colburne-Wawanosh
Patti Kellar – Bluewater

Wynne’s green energy putting Ontario in red

wynneLondon Free Press, Jim Merriam
It’s to be hoped the Fraser Institute didn’t spend much money on its recent study of the fiscal performance of Canada’s premiers. Every resident of Ontario able to sit up and take nourishment — probably including Wiarton Willie last week — has known the study’s conclusion for a long time: Premier Kathleen Wynne is doing a lousy job of managing Ontario’s economy.

Wynne, with the help of her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, has reduced Ontario from a powerhouse to an empty house. On almost every file Wynne’s government is found wanting if not severely under water, to borrow a phrase from the mortgage industry.

The worst is energy. The cost of power in the province has forced industries to close and some families to choose between heat and groceries. A columnist in a Toronto newspaper recently suggested the heat-vs.-food statement is an exaggeration. He should spend a few minutes listening to clients at food banks in rural areas. But I digress. Much of the high cost of power is associated with renewable energy production.

A new study from the University of Ottawa confirms what we’ve been saying all along: Ontario brought in wind energy with a “top-down” style that brushed off the worries of communities where the massive turbines now stand. Stewart Fast, who headed the study, said, “It was a gold rush, basically.” Since those involved kept details secret to avoid giving their competitors an edge, residents didn’t know what their neighbours were planning. “That is really the worst way to go about something that you know is going to have a big impact on landscape and people,” he said. Read article

WIN! Vt. AG will not press charges against environmental activist Annette Smith for wind developer

Vermont’s Attorney General Bill Sorrell will not press charges against one of Vermont’s most outspoken critics of industrial wind and solar projects. But that critic says the fight isn’t over.

Known for her persistence, Annette Smith threatened a civil rights lawsuit against the attorney general’s office if they did not drop the investigation. She claims she’s a lawful advocate for Vermonters and simply exercising free speech.

Smith believes she’s a voice for the powerless, she helps Vermonters without lawyers protect their legal interests before the Public Service Board. “We can work together to site renewable energy. We don’t have to fight over this. We don’t need lawyers to fight over how we build our energy future together,” said Smith. Smith runs the nonprofit Vermonters for a Clean Environment and she works with homeowners who are unhappy with the siting process for solar or wind projects.

But allegations that she was practicing law without a license triggered an investigation by Vermont’s attorney general: An energy developer sent a letter to the AG alleging Smith, “provided legal advice” and helped “draft pleadings” for those parties.  Read article

Dear Mike Crawley (Liberal Wind Pusher for AIM PowerGen, IPC, GDF Suez, and now Northland Power)…

crawley Mike Crawley
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 10:18 AM
Subject: Mike Crawley – Contact information

As some of you may know, I joined Northland Power this past July.   Belatedly, attached and below please find my new contact information.  For those in the power sector, Northland Power ( is pursuing  wind, solar, pumped storage and thermal generation opportunities in Canada, Europe and Mexico.  We are also open to considering good opportunities in other jurisdictions that meet our investment criteria.

mike1Best regards,

Mike Crawley | Executive Vice President
Northland Power Inc.
d: 647 288 1066 | m: 416 554 8513

From: Ginny Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 3:05 PM
To: Mike Crawley
Subject: Re: Mike Crawley – Contact information

Hello Mike,

You cannot imagine how surprised I was to hear from you especially in light of the fact that you have not responded to any of my emails or complaints since the Plateau Wind Project went online in early 2012.

I would like to take this fortunate opportunity to bring you up to date on my current situation. I am very much aware that you will say there is little you can do from your new position at Northland Power, but I would like to bring to your attention how your investment opportunities are destroying the lives of people in all the jurisdictions which you target.

You might be interested to know that from April 17, 2012 through April 7, 2015 I filed nearly 70 complaints with the MOECC, copying Plateau Wind Inc. on many of them. I have incident numbers for each and every complaint. It is also my understanding that the obligation of the MOECC and the Owner/Operator of a Wind Generating facility are to report the complaints to each other. In order to keep a record of my complaints and their acknowledgement and because a record of my complaints was not available to me without a freedom of information request but ironically available to Plateau Wind Inc.,  I began to send my complaints electronically; the only acknowledgement of such to me by your company was one email in 2013 that my emails would be responded to through the Ministry of the Environment.

It is very time consuming, frustrating and degrading to continue to call the MOECC on a routine schedule and not receive any acknowledgement or mitigation for the insufferable agony that I, my family and my neighbours are subjected to regularly. I have however kept an ongoing journal with entries beginning February 24, 2012 through to today. At an ERT hearing in June of 2015 my witness statement boasted a 128 page summary of typed health related entries. That journal continues to date with barley a day going by without the affects of my nightly experiences, especially in the winter.

In September 2012 a presentation was made to The Grey/Bruce Medical Officer of Health and the Board of Directors. Fourteen Casualties submitted their experience by supplying a statement of their experiences. We were all looking for relief for symptoms that presented themselves after the commencement of the turbines in our area.

DestroyedHomeI remember how you came to my home on two occasions and tried to reassure me that there would not be a negative impact to my health, my property values, and that I would barely be able to see the turbines from my home. In fact you brought me an industry study on property values near IWTs that claimed that property values would in fact rise. You sent a photographer to photograph the view from our home and then superimpose the turbines so that I would be assured that they would not be invasive. How brilliantly you deceived me. The reality of massive 120 meter machines placed 1,400 meters to 3 kilometers from a home is drastically different from  photographs of benign looking “windmills” peeping over the tops of trees. Since the installation of your project, 7 families have moved away siting the IWTs as the reason. Some just walked away, others suffered a huge financial loss on the sale of their property.

So while you, Mike continue to meet your investment criteria, I hope that you will remember that it is because of the suffering of so many individuals; babies, children, young adults, middle aged people and the elderly that you reap your benefits. Eventually it will no longer benefit the “common good” because the critical mass will become too great.

Thank you for taking the time to become informed. I’m guessing that the last 4 years have just flown by for you while we suffer a slow agonizing existence.


Virginia Stewart Love

Rural Lambton municipalities investigating any potential impacts to their OPP bills from wind turbiness

IMG_0777[1]By Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey is urging local municipalities to ensure they’re getting enough revenue from wind energy companies following the discovery that policing costs for wind turbine properties are now included in Ontario Provincial Police’s municipal bills.

Politicians in the Township of Frontenac Islands, near Kingston, first raised the red flag this month after they saw close to a $26,000 increase to their most recent OPP bill. After township staff investigated further, they discovered the increase was due to the cost of policing wind turbines on Wolfe Island, according to The Kingston Whig-Standard.

Under the OPP’s new billing model, municipalities are being charged a base service cost per wind turbine property – like they’re already charged for residential, commercial and industrial properties – if these wind turbine properties are already taxed as commercial and industrial, OPP Sgt. Peter Leon confirmed Friday. Calls for service – the second component of the new municipal OPP billing model – are only being charged if police have to respond to these wind turbine properties for service, Leon added in an email.  Read article

Who ponies up for wind turbine teardown?

abandoned_wind_farm_hawaiiFarmers Forum, Brandy Harrison
TORONTO — With more wind turbines coming to Ontario, there has been a lot of talk about what happens when it comes time to take down the towers. While the provincial government may put the onus on wind project developers to pay for teardown, it’s far from certain they’ll be able to collect if a company goes bankrupt — which could mean taxpayers are on the hook, says a Toronto-based environmental and municipal lawyer.

“Many of these companies are relatively small or based outside of Canada and that creates what appears to be a real risk as there will be no pocket you can go to 20 years from now when a cleanup is actually required,” says Eric Gillespie, who has represented landowners and municipalities with wind turbine concerns.

It’s anybody’s guess who would end up paying for decommissioning — the landowner, the municipality, or provincial taxpayers, he says. Farmers shouldn’t underestimate what it takes to remove a single turbine, Gillespie warns. The nacelle — the central hub containing the generator — is 80 to 100 metres in the air and weighs as much as 70 tonnes.

“It’s not something where you just call your neighbour and ask him to bring his tractor over.” While Ontario costs are yet unknown, world-wide decommissioning has ranged from $30,000 to $80,000 per turbine. Read article

Wind Company Lawyers Chilling Free Speech! Help defend Annette Smith, VT

Wind developers and their lawyers are brutal to anyone who consistently stands in their way. Annette Smith of Vermont is one who has fought with everything she has, and helped others have the courage to do the same. She doesn’t give up. Apparently she’s so good at helping that the wind developers and their lawyers need to ‘get rid of her’, and the only way they can think of is to drag out some ancient law that hasn’t been used in Vermont since the ’60’s for “practicing law without a license”.  And it carries potentially severe penalties. “It is punished as criminal contempt of the Vermont Supreme Court, and is potentially punishable by fine or imprisonment or both, in the court’s discretion,” John Treadwell, Chief of the Criminal Division at the AG’s office says.

10231137afreedom-of-speech-postersThis is such a long stretch of an accusation that these lawyers have schemed up, yet Annette has to fight it, she doesn’t have a choice and it is going to cost her a pile just to defend herself. Think about any person in this wind fight that has given you guidance, direction, hope, skills, intelligent thought, and experience (I can think of more than a handful!). That’s the kind of person Annette is. Now imagine that person is getting prosecuted just because she helped you find your way around the messy world of tribunal hearings etc, that were created by legislators and lawyers to be as incomprehensible to the average person as possible.

SLAPP_jpg_800x1000_q100There are broader implications of this sort of action that wind company lawyers hunger for too. It has the same effect on free speech and protest as a SLAPP suit. Those who need to fight for their homes will have nobody to turn for for help, unless they can afford lawyers that cost at least tens of thousands of dollars, usually hundreds of thousands. These people will not have a voice, and the wind companies can have smooth sailing. On top of this, those who have the experience and knowledge
will feel threatened to lend a hand to those who are desperate for some direction but can’t afford a lawyer – yes they are silenced too. images-3The only people left to speak are the LAWYERS! Alarm bells! Does that sound a tad frightening to you too?!

Please spread the word and generously help Annette out. Here’s the GoFundMe site that takes donations to help with this legal battle that has been imposed on her.

~Esther Wrightman

AG’s Office Investigating Complaints Against Annette Smith, Anti-Wind Advocate 
…The state attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into criminal complaints against a prominent champion of Vermonters who are adversely affected by renewable development. The attorney general’s office is investigating whether Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, has practiced law without a license — a charge with penalties left entirely to the court’s discretion. Continue reading

Turbine Construction Liens of over $32 million Registered on Parcel Registers for St. Columban Wind Project 

spiderplow lien windHuron Perth Landowners Association – Press Release – January 11, 2016 – UPDATE

There have been construction liens registered on property profiles in the St Columban Wind project for the past 9 months. Four construction liens and four court actions are still registered for $30 million.

This story first rose to attention in early 2015 when a landowner was reviewing his parcel register at Service Ontario in conjunction with obtaining his Crown Land Patent. He was surprised to find a demand debenture for hundreds of millions of dollars registered on his parcel registry at Service Ontario. In June 2015, while checking parcel registers for the St. Columban Wind Project of 15 turbines, it was discovered that two construction liens had been registered in the amount of over $2 million.

In October 2015, after reports that the liens may have been removed, Dave Hemingway, a reporter for the Landowner Magazine, checked again and discovered that there were now six construction liens on the properties valued at over $32 million.

In addition, there were certificates registered for three Superior Court Actions regarding three of the liens.  That number had risen to six court actions when checked again on November 16, 2015. At the time, one of the Superior Court Actions named as defendants: 21 leaseholders, four wind companies, one bank, as well as two Farm Financial Corporations, and two credit unions. Mr. Hemingway learned on January 4, 2016 that two small liens for approximately one million each have been deleted so far leaving four liens amounting to $30 million.

“It appears that the banks are now concerned about the liens as, of course, we have learned, they do not like to be second or third in line when securing loans or mortgages,” said Mr. Hemingway. “Some bankers are still saying they will consider loans to leaseholders after they have checked with their bank’s legal department. However, according to reports, other banks are refusing loans for some farm operations due to the liens. Landowners are wondering, “Why haven’t the wind companies paid their contractors?”  Continue reading

17 sperm whales die after becoming disoriented in the North Sea… that also happens to have 1600+ offshore wind turbines

Five sperm whales have washed up on beaches in Lincolnshire and Norfolk. They are thought to belong to the same all-male pod as 12 others that were found dead around the Netherlands and Germany last week. Read more



Impacts of Noise from Wind Farm Construction and Installation on Large Whales A Brief Summary“, by Karen Stamieszkin, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
“Wind turbine operation also creates noise that may affect right whales and other cetaceans. Noise from operating turbines can reach a marine mammal through an initially waterborne, airborne, or substrate- borne path. Aerodynamic vibrations caused by the rotating blades travels through the air before reaching the water and then the animal. Vibrations from the structure itself will enter the water directly. Vibrations from the nacelle (the housing for the energy generating components of the turbine) will depend upon mechanical refinement and construction, and will transmit down the structure, becoming waterborne noise, as well as through the air. Vibration from this source may increase over time as the mechanical components wear. Vibrations transmitting from the base of the turbine must propagate through sediment before becoming waterborne; therefore these noise levels also depend upon substrate composition. Generally, sounds produced from operating turbines are harmonics of the rotational frequency of the blades (Nedwell & Howell 2004).”

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List of Offshore Wind Developments in the North Sea

beached whale

From Wind Turbine Syndrome:

Residents hit with unexpected turbine construction impact

Adelaide concrete4Port Colborne Leader, By Steve Henschel
WAINFLEET — They knew the turbines were coming, they even knew the fight to stop them was all but over; what they didn’t know however was how construction would impact their lives. A group of Wellandport residents living on Side Road 42 and Concession 6 recently met with Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs to go through a laundry list of complaints associated with construction of wind turbines, specifically the transmission lines for the project. “There is no notice,” said Concession 6 property owner LeaAnne Robins, who has seen construction devastate roadside trees in front of her property. “They’ve massacred all the 80-year-old oaks on the road,” she said, explaining she expects construction of transmission towers to follow the clear cutting.

She said there was no notice given of how her property would be impacted and added it is hard to see the trees go. “It’s kind of the reason you live in the country,” she said, adding, “we didn’t buy property out here to stare at metal monsters.” Robins noted one instance where construction trucks have delayed access significantly to her property. On Side Road 42 where transmission towers are already going up those delays have become common.

Construction has repeatedly blocked access at the north end of the road, forcing residents to take long detours. “The school bus won’t even come down the road,” said Scott Murphy, whose four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter now have to walk about a half kilometer through a construction zone to catch the bus. Read article

Ontario wind turbine projects need to be more sensitive to residents: study

2014_05140205Richard Blackball, The Globe and Mail
Renewable energy developers – and those who regulate them – need to be more sensitive to the concerns of residents who are going to have massive wind turbines built near them, a group of Canadian academics says.

In a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Energy, the eight authors – six of whom are university professors or researchers – analyze why there is so much debate over the placement of wind turbines in Ontario.

Ontario has the greatest number of wind turbines of any province, and their construction has created considerable conflict between developers and those opposed to the installation of large industrial machinery in rural environments. Often these fights end up pitting neighbours against neighbours, and they can become big political battles at the municipal level.

Ontario has altered its rules since it first encouraged wind farms in its Green Energy Act in 2009, said Stewart Fast, a senior research associate at the University of Ottawa and one of the paper’s authors. But even though the new rules encourage more input from local governments and residents near proposed turbines, these changes haven’t been enough to stop the disputes, he said. Read article

Victory for Eagles! USFWS Gives Up Fight for Wind Turbine 30-Year ‘Take’ Permits

Now if Ontario would only follow suit…

Audubon, Liz Bergstrom
Eagles just scored a big victory in the courts. This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped an appeal it was pursuing in support of 30-year “take” permits that allow wind farms and other industries to disturb and kill Bald and Golden Eagles, as long as they take steps to protect the raptors. The appeal was part of a legal battle over the agency’s 2013 move to extend the length of these take permits’ validity by 25 years.

The 2013 rule extended five-year take permits, administered under 2009’s Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, to a maximum length of 30 years with periodic check-ins. But in 2015 a federal judge sent the rule back to the drawing board, saying that the agency had not assessed the possible environmental impacts of extending the permit length as required by law.

The government initially appealed this court decision, but now has dropped its appeal. While USFWS did not provide a reason why they were dropping the appeal, the extended permit period has been met with substantial criticism. When it was first introduced, the proposal was criticized for allowing companies to self-report deaths and giving too much leeway to harm birds. It was also somewhat vague, stating that USFWS would work with companies to use “advanced conservation practices” if projects continued to kill eagles, but it never specified what these practices were. Read article

Frontenac Island Township ‘dumbfounded’ by OPP police fees of $300/wind turbine

By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
MARYSVILLE — Recent changes to how the Ontario Provincial Police bill municipalities for service could have a major impact on rural townships that are home to wind turbines.

More than six years after the turbines on Wolfe Island became operational, Frontenac Islands Township council was surprised in December when it received a bill for policing from the Leeds County OPP. “They charge us the same in this new policing formula for a wind tower as they do for a house,” Mayor Denis Doyle said. “It costs us a lot of money.”

Frontenac Islands Township pays an average of about $300 per household for policing, meaning new policing fees for the wind turbines properties added almost $26,000 to the township’s policing bill for 2016. “We were dumbfounded why our rate went up so much,” Doyle said, adding that township staff had to go back through the bill to find out the reason for the increase. “That’s gone way up from what we were expecting.”

Ontario sets tax rates on different types of properties depending on their use. Residential and commercial properties pay the full amount of property tax, while land being used for farming or forestry pay 25 per cent of the tax rate. Properties where wind turbines are located can only be taxed at a rate of five per cent of the full tax rate, Doyle said. Read article

Chatham-Kent Wind company pleads guilty to two offences. Fined $11,000

fine penaltyDaily Commercial News
CHATHAM-KENT, ONT.—A company that develops renewable energy projects has been fined $11,000 for two environmental offences, including failing to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) by installing a transformer substation.

Gesner Wind Energy Project operator, Saturn Power Inc., pleaded guilty to the two offences, which also included failing to submit an annual bird and bat monitoring report on time, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), explains a December 2015 release from Ontario’s ministry of the environment.

Operating from New Hamburg, Ont. the company works on renewable energy projects and also operates a wind energy project, the Gesner wind farm, in Muirkirk, Ont.

According to the ministry, the REA was issued for the Gesner wind farm, where, during construction, it was discovered that the project needed construction of a transformer substation, which the REA did not include approval for.

“Approval of a transformer substation is significant because of the potential for transformer substations to produce noise,” explains a release. “The company constructed the substation without seeking an amendment to the REA.” Read article

Today, remember NextEra, and their Nest Terror

There is this thing that Facebook does: reposts a picture or comment from any number of years ago that was on your timeline, sporadically, and calls it a Memory. I believe you are supposed to cherish these posts and sigh with, “Time flies!” or “Isn’t that cute?!”

FBEagleNestThis morning the picture of the severed eagle nest was there and Facebook said: “Esther, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 3 years ago.” Ahem. Well now. Some people have sweeter memories than others apparently. I should like all the cute little pictures scattered around the gruesome one of the crane and nest – kittens, flowers, children – awww! But I hate to tell ya FB, that so called ‘memory’ still feels like yesterday, and not in a good way.

The night before the eagle nest was cut, my dad was dutifully browsing the “Friday evening approvals” by the Ontario government (you know, when the reporters have all gone home for the weekend and no news story can be made until Monday, when the lead has lost most of its heat), and he saw this permit issued to NextEra Energy to destroy an active bald eagle nest. Really. He called me up. We didn’t believe it. Read and reread it. No… they wouldn’t do that. I mean, even when the government would unthinkably hand you a permit to commit an act like this, you wouldn’t go and cut a rare (only forty-eight nests in SW Ontario), massive nest, that was currently home to two eagles, down… would you?

Oh but then we had to think, “What Would NextEra Do?” Well yes, they would cold bloodedly do this, they had an access road that had be plowed through to three of their proposed wind turbines (yet to be built) – and this road demanded that these trees (including one with the nest) be cut in order for the project to proceed. They like words like ‘proceed’, as in “Proceed as Planned”. They wouldn’t want to disrupt a Plan for a silly little (or big) nest. Continue reading

Queen’s Park moves to silence dissent on electricity

voltaire-quoteToronto Star, Brady Yauch
Ontario’s desire for total control over all aspects of the electricity sector is nearly fulfilled.
The push to eliminate dissent and independent review of the province’s energy monopolies has been a decade in the making. Since 2004, many of the province’s largest and most expensive policies were implemented with little to no oversight — at great cost to ratepayers, as the Auditor General forcefully highlighted in her recent annual report.
But Queen’s Park is set to fully take over all decision-making regarding the province’s energy monopolies by solidifying its control over the province’s energy regulator, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), with the recent passing of Bill 112. In doing so, Ontario is shutting down the last arena of independent public review of the billions of dollars being spent by the province and its many publicly owned utilities.

The legislation, “Strengthening Consumer Protection and Electricity System Oversight Act,” would deny independent intervenors the funds needed to hire the lawyers and experts needed at these hearings, effectively blocking their participation.

Prior to this legislation, any individual ratepayer or organization representing ratepayers — ranging from big, industrial groups to cottage associations or low-income organizations — could apply for funding and act as an intervenor in any rate application. The government would instead replace the independent intervenors with a new government-appointed consumer representative.

In other jurisdictions where this has occurred, the direct cost of this new bureaucracy has been far more expensive than the cost of reimbursing intervenors for their lawyers and consultants. The indirect costs of losing the ability to hold the utility monopolies to account by forcing them to justify their proposed rate increases before the OEB could be much greater still. Read article

Expect higher hydro bills in 2016, even with debt charge eliminated

electricity pricesCTV News
TORONTO — Ontario residents can brace for another hike in electricity bills on Jan. 1. The increase comes on the heels of a jump just two months ago, and hydro bills will rise again after the Liberals introduce a cap-and-trade plan in the spring.

Under the Liberal government, electricity prices in Ontario soared from a flat 4.7 cents a kilowatt hour in 2004, to the Nov. 1, 2015 rate of 17.5 cents a kwh at peak times, increases that total almost 375 per cent. There are various changes taking effect in the new year that will have an impact on electricity bills.

Energy sector analyst Tom Adams calls it “a multi-dimensional, inter-temporal shell game” of power rates. There are few details known about the Liberal’s cap-and-trade plan to fight climate change, but it is expected to push up prices for many consumer goods, including electricity.

“In terms of cap and trade, the cost of doing nothing is huge,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press. “We don’t have a choice as a globe.”

The Liberals have started the process of selling up to 60 per cent of Hydro One, which the opposition parties warn will also drive up electricity rates, but the government says rates will still be set by the Ontario Energy Board. “There’s no doubt about it, that we think the sale is going to have a negative impact on the electricity bill,” said Progressive Conservative energy critic John Yakabuski. Read article

Dear Architects [and developers]: Sound Matters

amplitude modulation(If we could add just one more audio to this article – a field, before and after wind turbines.)

New York Times, By Micheal Kimmelman
We talk about how cities and buildings look. We call places landmarks or eyesores. But we rarely talk about how architecture sounds, aside from when a building or room is noisy.

The spaces we design and inhabit all have distinctive sounds. The reading rooms at the New York Public Library have an overlay of rich sound. Your office may be a big room in a glass building with rows of cubicles where people stare into computer screens.
It may be sealed off from the outside, and you may think it is quiet.

Is it?

Often the sound of a place is so pervasive that we stop noticing what we hear. Or we think the sound could not be otherwise — that is, until we, say, turn off the buzzing overhead lights.

Compare, for instance, the ear-shattering subway platform in New York City with a relatively silent station in Paris, where trains slide into platforms on whooshing wheels: Read article (and listen to the audio)

Climate change “solutions” must demonstrate effectiveness

Trillium DinerMEDIA RELEASE 19 December, 2015
Now that a second Auditor General’s Report has severely criticized Ontario’s electricity system, it is time to rethink a politically motivated energy policy. Action on climate change must not squander crucial time and resources on schemes that may be ineffective, economically unfeasible, or harm human health and the environment.

Why did the Government of Ontario choose to ignore the 2011 Auditor General’s Report that questioned the negligible ability of intermittent wind power to lower carbon emissions because natural gas-fuelled back up is required 24/7?

The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, made up of councillors from jurisdictions where wind turbine development has been most intensive, is ideally positioned to observe first hand the effects of wind turbines on the local community. Adverse health effects are occurring to citizens exposed to wind turbines at approved setbacks. Noise and health complaints have been ignored by government officials. Restrictive Environmental Review Tribunal procedures under the Ontario Green Energy Act make residents’ participation meaningless. Biologists’ observations of degradation of significant habitat and loss of biodiversity near wind turbines have been disregarded.

Because of wind power’s difficulty in matching production with demand, a substantial amount of the emission-free electricity from hydro and nuclear plants is being dumped (in order to stabilize the grid) because the Government’s energy policy gives priority to nominally “green” wind energy. This results in throwing away a large portion of the “base load” electricity already paid for by consumers.

Our technical consultant, William Palmer, using IESO (Independent Electricity Supply Operator) data, found that in 2014 hydraulic generating stations (water power) were reduced by 3.2 TWh (Terra Watt Hours) due to surplus base load generation. Bruce Power nuclear units were reduced 588 times, each occurrence resulting in bypassing some 300 MW of electrical equivalent of high pressure steam directly to the turbine generator condensers [Read William Palmer’s report here] . These transient adjustments result in accelerated wear on the condensers.

At the same time, much of the excess wind energy has to be sold outside the province at below production cost. This drives down the market price for electricity and means that Ontario is often forced to dump surplus electricity to our neighbours in New York and Michigan at negative prices – paying them to take it, further penalizing Ontario consumers.

The Auditor General’s 2015 report discloses that

  • excess payments to generators over the market price have cost consumers $37 billion between 2006 and 2014
  • are projected to cost another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032
  • electricity consumers will eventually pay a total of $9.2 billion more for renewables under the Min­istry’s guaranteed-price renewable program
  • we are paying double the U.S. average to generators of wind power
  • the electricity portion of hydro bills has risen by 70%.

Not surprisingly the Government has now denied the Auditor General access to Hydro One finances, shielding the company from public scrutiny.

A recently published “Council of Canadian Academies Report: Technology and Policy Options for a Low-emission Energy System in Canada” is an example of policy recommendations that fail to recognize the adverse impact on the existing system that the transition in energy systems is already having. It would have been more useful if its authors had given thoughtful consideration to the IESO data and investigated more fully the consequences of wind turbines in Ontario.

The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group has written to the Federal Government, which provides substantial subsidies for wind turbines, requesting reality-based climate change policy decisions for solutions that are actually effective in converting to a low emission energy system without themselves resulting in adverse impacts.


Mark Davis, Chair, Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group
Res. (519) 353 5466

Wind turbines: rural fight against might of city-based politics

Hendrik Gout,

The fight between city and country over a plan to install over a hundred giant turbines in the Mt Lofty Ranges, Australia.

Ontario’s Liberals have completely broken the electricity system

The Hamilton Spectator - Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay

The Hamilton Spectator – Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay

Finally – the Globe and Mail gets it!

The Globe and Mail, Editorial
In politics, as we wrote Wednesday, people get upset about the little things. Remember Bev Oda’s $16 glass of orange juice? In the context of a 12-figure federal budget, or ministerial trips justifiably running into the tens of thousands of dollars, some overpriced OJ hardly mattered. And yet it galled. Small misdeeds are relatable. A big, complicated and massively costly government screw-up, in contrast, sometimes leaves people cold.

Let’s see if this warms you up. On Wednesday, Ontario’s Auditor-General announced that, between 2006 and 2014, thanks to incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the province’s Liberal government, Ontarians overpaid for electricity to the tune of $37-billion. And over the next 18 years, consumers will be overpaying to the tune of another $133-billion.

Let’s try to put those numbers in context. Electricity overpriced by $170-billion is equivalent to $12,326 in excess costs for every man, woman and child in Ontario. Over 27 years, that averages out to $457 per person, per year. According to Statistics Canada, the average Ontario household has 2.6 people, so for the typical family, we’re talking about a power utility bill roughly $1,188 higher than it should be – every year. Read article

Wynne energy: excuses excuses excuses

By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist

By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist

I’m reminded of this sign I lost at the last protest we did on Wynne in London. Used it for her in Sarnia too (yeah, when I was wearing a jail bird dress… didn’t think that one through (-;). Fact is McKay’s cartoon proves she hasn’t changed a bit in the past 2+ years.

Give us a voice and choice!! Bill 150, Energy Referendum Act

remedies_download-0Download Petition to support Bill 150, Energy Referendum Act

If the result on a referendum described in subsection (2) is that the local municipality is not willing to permit large-scale renewable energy projects to be located in the local municipality, then any such project that is subsequently proposed shall not be accepted by the local municipality and the local municipality shall not permit any work or development on any such project to take place in the local municipality.

Ontario Legislative Assembly
Bill 150, 2015: An Act to amend the Electricity Act, 1998
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1.  The Electricity Act, 1998 is amended by adding the following section:
Referendum for large-scale renewable energy projects

402 protestDefinitions
25.35.1  (1)  In this section,
“large-scale renewable energy project” means a renewable energy project permitted under the feed-in tariff program developed by the IESO under section 25.35, other than a project permitted under the microFIT Program; (“projet d’énergie renouvelable à grande échelle”)

“local municipality” has the same meaning as in the Municipal Act, 2001. (“municipalité locale”)

(2)  The council of a local municipality may hold a referendum at any time on the question of whether the local municipality is willing to permit large-scale renewable energy projects to be located in the local municipality.

(3)  If a person or entity proposes that a large-scale renewable energy project be located in a local municipality and a referendum described in subsection (2) has not been held in that local municipality, the council of the local municipality shall hold such a referendum before considering whether to accept the project and before permitting any work or development on it to begin in the local municipality.

Municipality willing to host
(4)  If the result on a referendum described in subsection (2) is that the local municipality is willing to permit large-scale renewable energy projects to be located in the local municipality, then any such project that is subsequently proposed may proceed in the usual course.

Municipality not willing to host
(5)  If the result on a referendum described in subsection (2) is that the local municipality is not willing to permit large-scale renewable energy projects to be located in the local municipality, then any such project that is subsequently proposed shall not be accepted by the local municipality and the local municipality shall not permit any work or development on any such project to take place in the local municipality. Continue reading

Shocking stupidity by Wynne, McGuinty

wynne Mcguinty boondoggleToronto Sun Editorial
Thanks to Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk we now know that every substantial thing the Dalton McGuinty/Kathleen Wynne governments have said about their management of Ontario’s electricity system is a fraud. They told us they were carefully planning for the future.

In fact, Lysyk found the Liberals ignored their own legislation and regulations in developing their electricity plan. As a result, “Ontario electricity ratepayers have had to pay billions for these decisions” Lysyk found.

Among Lysyk’s shocking findings:

Between 2008 and 2014 hydro rates skyrocketed 70%, costing $37 billion more than the market price for electricity. From 2015 to 2032, the added cost is projected to be another $133 billion.

Ontarians will pay $9.2 billion more for renewable energy than necessary, despite the fact the province has a massive energy surplus.

Last year, Ontario paid wind power companies twice as much for electricity as the U.S. average and solar companies 3.5 times the U.S. average.

Electricity generated by a biomass plant in Thunder Bay costs 25 times more than the average price in Ontario because the government ignored warnings from the Ontario Power Authority that converting the plant to biomass from coal wasn’t cost-effective. Read  article

Ontario auditor finds hydro consumers pay billions extra for Liberal’s decisions

auditor general lyskAuditor General’s Report 2015 

CTV News, Keith Leslie, Canadian Press
TORONTO — Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk says Ontario electricity customers paid $37 billion for the Liberal government’s decisions to ignore its own planning process for new power projects, and warns that’s just one factor driving up hydro rates.

“We found the electricity planning process had effectively broken down over the past decade,” she said. “Instead of following the legislated process, the Ministry of Energy itself effectively assumed responsibility for electricity planning.”

The ministry issued two policy plans and 93 directives that “did not fully consider the state of the electricity market” and at times went against the advice of the Ontario Power Authority. “Ontario electricity ratepayers have had to pay billions for these decisions,” said Lysyk.

The electricity portion of hydro bills rose 70 per cent between 2006 and 2014, which Lysyk said cost consumers $37 billion dollars in so-called Global Adjustment payments to generators — and will cost ratepayers another $133 billion by 2032.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said the Global Adjustment is needed to encourage more companies to get into energy generation, and doesn’t mean people paid too much for hydro. “The words over paying don’t enter into the equation,” he said. “What it is the true costs of providing generation in the province of Ontario, which is added onto the wholesale price because it is not sufficient to cover off the generators.”

The auditor found hydro customers will also pay a total of $9.2 billion more for wind and solar projects under the Liberals’ 20-year guaranteed-price program for renewable energy than they would have paid under the old program. Read article

Terrors and errors with wind turbines

2014_06010041by Harvey Wrightman

The wind battles are over in the areas of  Adelaide, Bornish, Bosanquet and the wind company landmen have moved on to “greener” pastures for their prospecting and duping.

In their wake they have left a cluttered mess of leaning towers and graceless power lines above ground, and less noticeably – the barely hidden maze of electrical 34 kV cabling that conveys the power to the substations and the grid. There’s a big punch in those cables when the wind chooses to deliver.

Trenches for these cables meander back and forth from private to public property.  According to the regulations, they must be buried a minimum of only one metre below the surface, but who’s checking.  Regardless, these are very dangerous cables to locate in a zone where others might be digging.  A breached collector cable by an excavator could cause a massive explosion.  We have heard of two incidents where collector cables have been “touched” in the NextEra Jericho wind project in the former Lambton County township of Bosanquet.

In the first case a drainage contractor who was replacing a collapsed header drain along Thomson Line, east of the Arkona Rd., hooked onto the control cable of the adjacent 34 kV collector line.  That would have been very scary!! The line had been marked for location with stakes, but the cables either weren’t where they were supposed to be as they were too shallow, or not ID’d properly by the highly qualified “locate company”.  Regardless, it should never have happened.

A similar incident occurred over on the 8th Concession, only the cable was struck by a post hole auger for a new fence, even though the line had been ID’d by the same locate contractor. See the pattern here? Continue reading

Public inquiry needed on Green Energy Act

wind scam inquiryToronto Sun, Bob Runciman
Ask any provincial politician and he’ll tell you one of the biggest complaints he gets is the increasingly unaffordable cost of electricity in Ontario. It’s killing the province’s economy and will only get worse.

Factoring in the 3.4% hike imposed Nov. 1, the cost of on-peak electricity has skyrocketed 77% since smart meters were imposed in 2010. So don’t be surprised if those Christmas light displays are a little less bright this year. Another 10% increase kicks in Jan. 1, with massive increases to follow for the foreseeable future.

It’s been clear for some time — the past two provincial auditors have confirmed it — that government policy is responsible, with much of the blame going to the disastrous Green Energy Act. Yet the madness initiated under Dalton McGuinty is being continued under Kathleen Wynne. If anything, she’s doubling down, continuing to award new long-term contracts at outrageous prices to produce power that we don’t need. And it will only get worse when her cap-and-trade scheme finally takes shape.

Losers under this green energy folly are easy to identify — businesses large and small, seniors on fixed incomes, low-income Ontarians and on and on. There is no shortage of losers. Read article

1,600 wind turbines for Lake Ontario – The “Saudi Arabia of Wind”

offshore_windLondon Free Press, John Miner
It’s been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind” — not an oil-soaked desert, but a breezy lake on Ontario’s American border. Now, an Ohio group is moving ahead with plans to harness Lake Erie’s strong gusts, in sharp contrast to neighbouring Ontario that slapped a moratorium on wind farms in all its Great Lakes amid a public backlash to the spectre of the highrise-sized turbines along its shorelines.

The Icebreaker, as it’s been dubbed, will be a small demonstration project with six wind turbines in Erie, about 10 kilometres northeast of Cleveland. It would be North America’s first freshwater wind farm, with construction starting in 2018. But the project’s backers have visions of wringing much more electrical power out of Erie, saying more than 1,000 industrial wind turbines could be built along the shore of Ohio, a small state without the huge land mass for giant wind farms found in places like Ontario, Texas and Iowa.

Together, all that juice would add up to nearly double the output of Ontario’s inland wind farms, most of which are located in Southwestern Ontario. “We are definitely going forward — all system are go,” said Dave Karpinski, vice-president of operations for a consortium behind the project, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo). Read article

NextEra’s Varna Wind: What’s going on in the neighbourhood?

leaving evictionOpen Letter to ERT Panel Lawyers in Ontario
Patti Kellar
I thought it time to provide an open update to the people who put the last nail in our coffin.  That would be all of the Environmental Review Tribunal Panel consisting of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s lawyers who were deemed to be independent and hence, capable of deciding our fate.

You likely won’t remember me.  I was a member of the community of Bluewater who testified in NextEra’s Goshen Project and Northland Power’s Grand Bend Wind Project regarding the serious health concerns associated with Industrial Wind Turbines.  I recall being asked very little by either the Director or the proponent’s lawyers, other than to point out my past efforts in objecting to turbines and questioning something I said regarding the lack of information with respect to the cumulative effect of turbines.  The clear message given by both the Director and wind industry was that there is no problem here, nothing to see, move along folks.

Well, now that you are safely ensconced in the your own lives, gone about your business, I thought it fair you be aware of exactly how your choice has impacted our lives.  As I draft this, I have a sharp pain behind my left eye, the tinnitus that I mentioned to the Tribunal which began five days after the NextEra’s Varna Project started sounds like a violin screeching in my ears, the pressure I feel in my head is intense and I even though I just finished vomiting my dinner, my stomach feels as though it is tied in knots.  Oh yes, my teeth (only in the spots where I have titanium implants) feel as though they are humming. Read article