Amherst Island wind project approved

Amherst Is3By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
STELLA – A controversial wind energy project for Amherst Island has received conditional approval from the Ontario government. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change announced Monday the project received a renewable energy approval with more than two dozen conditions.

Windlectric Inc.’s Amherst Island Wind Energy Project is to include up to 26 wind turbine generators and one substation transformer. The project has been ferociously opposed by many island residents, who argue the project is bad for their health, the environment and the heritage of the island.

The Association to Protect Amherst Island said the project proposal, which the government deemed complete in January 2014, is not finished and leaves too many unanswered questions.

“The Association to Protect Amherst Island deplores today’s decision by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to approve a Renewable Energy Application by Windlectric Inc. for the construction of turbines on Amherst Island, the jewel of Lake Ontario,” association member Michele Le Lay said in an email Monday evening. “The APAI team is ready to continue its commitment to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the Island with a strong legal position and fact-based evidence.” Read article

Posted in OWR | 45 Comments

Simon Chapman apologizes for defaming Dr. Sarah Laurie

Sarah-Laurie321x375Dr. Sarah Laurie has been a champion and fighter with a big heart for the length of the wind battle in Australia and around the world. It’s taken over a year, but Chapman finally retracted his defamatory comments.

Posted in Ethics, Health | 8 Comments

NextEra wind turbine power lines creating problematic ‘induced voltage’ for Union Gas

by Harvey Wrightman
Try as we might to get proper recognition and proper assessment of the dangers of  “stray voltage”, both the MOECC and the wind companies vigorously opposed any degree of scrutiny whether at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings or the project appeals at the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).  The stock response from wind company flunkies was that “stray voltage” was a problem for Hydro One and was not caused by wind turbines or associated equipment.

It all began in early March 2015, from local reports in the NextEra Adelaide wind project:

March 5 – resident calls in power outage. Hydro One rep is not aware of any scheduled outage, but several Hydro trucks are seen in the wind project area and the turbines are off. Hydro rep says, “to ask the guys driving around…” ???

March 18 – resident reports, “So, we had another hydro outage today…Bell phone and internet is out. A Bell recorded message says, it is out in the area til 10:30 PM on Friday !!!!!” –  3 days away. By coincidence (surely), turbines are not operating.

April 21 – Union Gas Rep talks:

Resident:  What about stray voltage?

Union Gas Rep: How’d you know about that?

Resident: I guess that Gas and Bell trucks don’t normally work weekends, do they?

Union Gas Rep: (head hanging down) No, they sure don’t…. It’s been a nightmare with Hydro having stray voltage like crazy.

Apparently Union Gas is confident enough to offer some detail in this application for a work permit submitted  to Adelaide-Metcalfe Township on August 10, 2015.

“To install on existing pipe, Cathodic protection to mitigate induced voltage from Nextera Power Lines. (Kerwood Rd, Cuddy Drive, Langan Dr). Mitigation wires to be installed using directional drilling at 1.5m or as close to fence line (P/L) as possible and 1m below any drains that are to be crossed.”
union gas stray current

 

 
One would think that Union Gas would have run this past their legal staff before pointing the finger at NextEra. Continue reading

Posted in Electrical Pollution, Ontario government, Safety | 29 Comments

Ontario wants wind turbines closer than 550m from homes: “new models are taller and quieter” ?!

2014_05140205Just when you didn’t think it could get worse, the Ontario government shows they are more vicious than imaginable. They want to put LARGER turbines CLOSER to homes, farms and schools! They are looking to do away with the meagre 550m setback to accomplish this.


Comment Period: 45 days: submissions may be made between August 04, 2015 and September 18, 2015

Environmental Registry

Updates and clarifications to the “Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms”

Description of Regulation:
O. Reg. 359/09 Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Act (REA regulation) is intended to support the Ontario Government’s Green Energy initiative to expand renewable energy generation, encourage energy conservation and promote the creation of clean energy jobs, while upholding our commitment to protecting the environment. The renewable energy approval (REA) process is based on clearly communicated complete submission requirements, whereby proponents of renewable energy projects know in advance what studies and reports are expected of them in preparing a complete application for a REA.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing amendments to the REA regulation to reflect the most recent Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 2013 Noise Standard, “Wind Turbine Generator Systems: Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques”. The CSA Standard is used by proponents for the purposes of determining the sound power level of wind turbines under the REA regulation. The amendments also address advancements in wind turbine technology, issues related to operational flexibility and continued protection of noise receptors. An amendment is also being proposed that relates to the natural feature protection and assessment sections of the REA regulation to reflect current practices in the province. Additional minor amendments are also being proposed to clarify other aspects of the REA regulation.

The ministry is also proposing updates to the Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms. For more details on the proposed changes to the Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms, a link has been provided to the associated Environmental Registry posting.

Descriptions of the key proposed regulatory amendments can be found below.

Adoption of 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) 

MOECC’s REA Regulation currently references the CSA 2007 Noise Standard, “Wind Turbine Generator Systems: Acoustic Noise Measurement Techniques”.

An amendment is being proposed to adopt the most recent 2013 CSA standard (CAN/CSA-IEC 61400-11, Wind turbines — Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques) to replace the existing CSA 2007 Noise Standard.

The CSA standard is referenced in the definition of “sound power level” in the REA Regulation and is used by proponents to determine wind facility classification. It is also referenced in the specifications report, which all proponents of Class 3, 4 and 5 wind facilities are required to submit as part of a complete REA application.
Proposed Modifications to the Definition of “sound power level”

To reflect the ministry’s conservative approach to dealing with noise emissions from wind turbines and to support the adoption of the 2013 CSA standard, three amendments are being proposed to the definition of “sound power level” in the REA Regulation to provide clarity:

Clarify that the definition of “sound power level” refers to the rating expressed as an “apparent” value.

This amendment would re-affirm MOECC’s current requirement of the use of the “apparent” sound power level when conducting a noise assessment, and is reflective of the value used by other jurisdictions.
Modify definition to require the inclusion of the positive uncertainty value.

The ministry does not currently require the inclusion of manufacturers’ uncertainty values in its definition of “sound power level”. The “uncertainty value” is a +/- value assigned under the CSA standard to account for potential range of uncertainty in the sound power level rating of a wind turbine.

The ministry is taking the conservative approach in requiring proponents to include the positive uncertainty value, given by a manufacturer of the wind turbines under the CSA Standard, as a conservative value to be accounted for in noise assessments for their project.
Clarify that proponents are not required to use a rounded value when conducting a noise assessment in accordance with the ministry’s Noise Guidelines for Wind Farms.

Proposed Changes to the Classification of Wind Facilities and the Application of the 550 Setback 

Due to technological advancements of wind turbines, such that new models are taller and quieter, amendments are being proposed to the wind facility classification table and to the 550 metre setback. The purpose of the proposed changes is to ensure that all wind turbines used on a commercial scale continue to meet all of the comprehensive standards in the REA regulation that were designed to be protective of human health and the environment.

The proposed regulatory amendment is to include a wind turbine hub height of 70 metres as additional criteria to the existing wind facility classification requirements of greatest sound power level (expressed in dBA). Complementary amendments would also be made throughout the regulation including the provisions governing the noise setbacks.  Continue reading

Posted in Environmental, Ministry of the Environment Ontario, Noise, Ontario government, Setbacks | 61 Comments

Tensions form over Falconbridge wind turbines

DSC_0713Mary Katherine Keown, The Sudbury Star
The debate around a proposed wind farm in Falconbridge is heating up. Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo attended the meeting of the planning committee on Monday and told members that he and his colleague, Deb McIntosh of Ward 9, ardently support the project, which would include 30 to 50 wind turbines generating as much as 150 megawatts of hydro power annually (enough to power as many as 50,000 typical American homes, according to online research).

The farm would bisect the Garson-Coniston road and spread northeast, split almost evenly between wards seven and nine. In addition to the turbines, it would include a transformer substation, low-voltage electrical collector lines, access roads, a high-voltage line, as well as work areas.

Jakubo laid out the benefits of the project and referred to the mountainous lands as ideal. “This development wouldn’t hinder any of the recreational users, such as ATVers or snowmachiners,” he said. He admitted there would be disruptions to wildlife corridors and habitats during construction, but added studies have shown those disturbances are temporary. “By about six months following construction, all wildlife returns,” Jakubo added. “They’ve seen antler scratchings at the base of these turbines.”

Chris Dougherty sees things differently. The Thunder Bay-based resource and industrial engineer has long opposed wind farms and was actually involved in stopping a project near his Lake Superior base. His family has lived on the Garson-Coniston road for nearly a century and he does not want to see the Falconbridge farm established. Read article

Posted in OWR | 3 Comments

Blue Sky wind project not welcome in Essex

GDF-Suez-Essex-Presentation-1-620x400Blackburn News
Essex council is making it clear it doesn’t want to see any more wind turbines in the town, rejecting a community benefit agreement for the Blue Sky Wind Project.

“We are not interested in any more windmills in our municipality,” says Ward 3 Councillor Bill Caixeiro to loud and long applause in council chambers Monday night.

Councillors even charged the company behind the project, GDF Suez, had paid for letters of support to be sent to council.

“There was no payment made for any letters of support,” says Bonnie Hiltz, government relations for GDF Suez. “They, I believe, were referring to letters of support for landowners who have voluntarily come forward to participate in the project.” Read article

AUGUST 12, 2015
Tecumseh Public Meeting
Tecumseh Arena, 12021 McNorton Street, Tecumseh
5:00-8:00pm

AUGUST 13, 2015
Essex Public Meeting
McGregor Community Centre, 9571 Walker Road, Essex
5:00-8:00pm

Posted in Ethics, Event, Municipalities of Ontario | 3 Comments

Nova Scotia scraps FiT program fearing future “negative impact on power rates”

unfitAGCanada
Nova Scotia is ending its feed-in tariff program that pays local-level groups to generate power from biomass, wind and other renewable sources. Energy Minister Michel Samson said Thursday a provincial review of the community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program shows it’s “at a point where the program could begin to have a negative impact on power rates.”

The review found no new generation is needed to meet electricity demand, the province said. Adding capacity “would negatively impact rates as Nova Scotians pay more for energy with small-scale, community-based projects than from other sources.” Also, the province said, some proposed COMFIT projects “are seeking extensions beyond what would be expected for a well-developed project.”

That said, the program “has exceeded expectations as a contributor to economic development in communities throughout Nova Scotia,” the province said. Also, the review found COMFIT had “exceeded expectations in energy output, with more than 80 (megawatts) in production and more than 125 MW expected by the end of 2015.” The cancellation means no new COMFIT applications will be considered, though projects already underway “will continue,” the province said. Outstanding unapproved proposals, extensions and lapsed-permit renewals are to be considered on a case-by-case basis and processed within 60 days. Read article

Posted in Subsidies / Costs | 1 Comment

Residents of Nation, east of Ottawa, fight wind turbine projects

nationCTV, Joanne Schnurr
A storm is brewing over wind turbines in the municipality of nation, east of Ottawa.

Town council tonight plans to reverse an earlier decision to give the green-light to two massive projects. Two private companies have proposed to develop separate industrial wind turbine projects in St. Isidore and St. Bernardin, in Nation municipality, about an hour east of Ottawa.  Council initially supported the bid but at a council meeting Monday evening, Nation’s mayor was planning to move to reverse that decision, after a massive appeal by local residents. This has been a contentious issue in many parts of Ontario as more and more landowners rent their properties to companies looking to set up these wind turbine farms.

What is unusual here is a municipality’s change of heart.  Steve Dick and his wife moved out to the peaceful rural area of St. Isidore for just that: peace and quiet.

‘We’ve been here for more than 26 years,’ says Dick, ‘looking to be in the country, to enjoy the peace and serenity and sense of community.’ It is something the couple worries will be destroyed if a wind turbine project goes ahead as planned at a farm across the road from them. ‘And we don’t want to see that ruined by bringing a big industrial complex out here,’ Dick adds. Read article

Posted in OWR | 4 Comments

The Roads to Wind Turbine Hell

dsc04886LSARC
60 Km of new roads and over 40Km of transmission/collector lines cut through the forest.

Despite our desperate resistance to the economic suicide of the allegedly ‘Green’ Energy Act,  giant monuments to greed and gullibility blight our iconic landscape which inspired artists, most notably the Group of Seven, whose masterpieces have been part of the Canadian “brand” for generations. Read article

Posted in Environmental | 8 Comments

Infrasound and Wind Turbines, Keith Stelling , reviewed by William Palmer


infrasound

Posted in OWR | 10 Comments

NextEra wind turbine blade near Grand Bend snaps

1297732952397_ORIGINALBy Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer
Lightning is the likely culprit after a wind turbine blade snapped amid a storm late Sunday into early Monday, near Grand Bend, a NextEra spokesperson says. One of the towering turbine’s three 50-meter-long blades was dangling Tuesday as the energy company worked to get a crane to safely take it down and uncover exactly what happened, said Josie Bird, of NextEra.

The $2-million turbine is one of 63 in the company’s 102-megawatt Goshen Wind Energy Centre — along Kirkton Road, between Blackbush and Shipka lines – in Huron County. “It’s so rare,” Bird said about the snapped blade. Only twice have NextEra turbines been similarly damaged, she said, including once at the company’s Mt. Millar Wind Farm in Quebec.

Lightning is the presumed cause there too, she said. “Obviously lightning is No. 1 on everybody’s mind,” she said about this weekend’s damage, noting turbines are designed to weather strong winds and it doesn’t appear gusts caused the blade to break. No one was injured, but the extent of falling debris on the property from the 80-metre-tall turbine isn’t clear yet, she said.

Officials haven’t been able to get close enough while the blade is hanging. “Safety is our No. 1 concern,” she said, noting the area has been secured. A damage estimate and exact cause could take a few days to a week, she said, noting NextEra will cover any property damage caused by falling debris. “These turbines are sited in a way that they’re not near any major infrastructure: any homes, any major roads,” she said. Read article

[Ed note: as most of you know bolded statement by Josie above is a blatant lie. NextEra turbines are within blade throw, ice throw, and topple distance of roadways ranging from dirt roads that school buses travel, to Highway 402.]

Posted in Safety | 45 Comments

Ministry of Labour investigation continues into cause of fall from wind turbine

first tower and turbine in place awaiting blades Feb.13/13By Chris O’Gorman, Sarnia Observer
A Sentry Electrical worker who was injured at the construction site of a Lambton County wind farm has been released from hospital, officials say. The Ministry of Labour, however, is still investigating what caused the worker to fall from an “elevated height” inside a wind turbine shaft at the Cedar Point wind farm July 21.

In an emailed statement, Tony McInally, of engineering firm Amec Foster Wheeler who is overseeing the construction job, said the identity of the worker won’t be released “in order to respect his privacy.”

Construction at the Ravenswood Line site has since resumed after the Ministry of Labour issued 13 orders and requirements following the incident, including a stop-work order for workers climbing vertical ladders in turbines. Six of those orders and requirements were issued to constructor Amec Foster Wheeler, with Borea Construction ULC – another constructor – and Sentry Electrical receiving the remaining requirements.

The Ministry of Labour confirmed Tuesday that 11 of the 13 orders were met by July 24. The two outstanding orders, dealing with proper documentation, were later met. Read article

Posted in Safety | 6 Comments

Six members of Dutton/Dunwich wind turbine community engagement committee resign

no_1St. Thomas Times Journal
Weeks ahead of the submission deadline for Invenergy LLC’s Dutton Dunwich wind energy project, six members of its community engagement committee are packing it in. Six of the 13 people on the Strong Breeze Wind Project’s working group submitted their resignation Thursday evening. The half-dozen members, all of whom oppose the project, were frustrated their concerns were not being taken seriously.

“We just don’t seem to be able to reach any agreement or we don’t see that the company is really changing any of the plans for their project,” said Bonnie Rowe, a former member of the working group. “We weren’t accomplishing anything . . . We just feel as though our perspectives are demeaned and are made light of.”

The group, which includes company representatives and concerned community members, was established by Invenergy as a way to facilitate discussion and constructive debate, promote transparency and educate the public about the Strong Breeze Wind Project. Read article

Posted in OWR | 12 Comments

Wind Turbine Blade Breaks (Shipka, Ontario)

Facebook, Kevin Roelands

NextEra’s Goshen Wind Project11822631_10153434729099360_749101345687174178_n

Posted in OWR | 11 Comments

Watch Video: Dozens of Dead Partridges under Wind Turbine

windwah.de

From the videographer:
“In this video, a swarm (dozen) was pressed partridge on a plateau by a tailwind against the foot (base) of a wind turbine (I stood in the middle). The birds, it was impossible to avoid the wind turbine! Result were various neck fractures and other fractures. These wind turbines standing in a bird sanctuary!”

Posted in Bats and Birds | 8 Comments

Warwick mayor calls wind money ‘extortion’

extortion

Petrolia Independant, Heather Wright
Warwick Mayor Todd Case says the latest process to bid for wind energy projects amounts to extortion and his municipality won’t be part of it. Four wind energy companies are in the process of bidding for industrial projects in Warwick, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen. As part of the process, the companies are approaching municipalities to talk about what is going on and hoping to gain some form of support to improve their chances of approval.

Under the new process approved in June, companies receive bonus points for some forms of municipal approval. There is a form to say they have met with the municipal government which bears no points. If a company signs an Community Commitment Agreement with a municipality, it receives points which make the project more likely to be approved. Municipalities can also endorse projects; those projects are mostly likely to be approved.

Suncor Energy and NextEra, which are both preparing bids for projects in Warwick, are pressing the community to sign Community Commitment Agreements which include compensation for having the turbines in the community.

But Mayor Case says Warwick is not about to sign anything and shouldn’t be penalized financially because of it. “The process, in my opinion, stinks,” he tells The Independent. “The province says it now gives municipalities a chance to weigh in but there are points for the companies if you sign (for compensation). That’s extortion in my point of view.” Read article

Posted in Ethics, Legal, Municipalities of Ontario | 42 Comments

Wainfleet trail use approved by Conservation Authority for wind company

NPCA LogoBy Maryanne Firth, The Tribune
Despite concerns from Wainfleet leaders, Niagara Region Wind Corp. has been given the green light to use the Gord Harry Trail. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board approved an agreement with the company Wednesday night, that will allow 635 metres of the 13-kilometre trail to be used to bury wind turbine conduits.

In return, the NPCA Foundation will receive $100,000, which staff has recommended be earmarked toward capital projects in Wainfleet, as well as $20,000 annually for the next 20 years that will support trail development, maintenance and signage throughout the watershed. The agreement will also provide the wind energy company vehicle access to the trail, west of Burkett Rd., for subsequent turbine maintenance.

Given the NPCA’s conservation mandate, Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said she feels the decision is steeped in hypocrisy. “People look at us to be stewards of land in general, especially our own land,” said Jeffs, who represents the township on the conservation authority’s board. “We tell people they can’t do things on their property, but then with ours say, ‘Sure, come on in — and bring your trucks.’ ” Read article

Posted in Environmental, Ethics | 14 Comments

Enniskillen eyes fire suppression bylaw for wind turbines

K1 FIRE DPetrolia Independant, Heather Wright
Enniskillen Township is looking for ways to protect residents and firefighters if a wind energy project comes to the community. Two companies, Enerfin from Spain and EDF EN are considering projects in Enniskillen Township. While township council has refused to meet with the companies, Enerfin has revealed its project in Enniskillen and Brooke-Alvinston could have up to 30 turbines in the region.

Mayor Kevin Marriott recently presented three bylaws from communities in Grey and Huron Counties, which require wind energy companies to install fire suppression units in the motor of the industrial turbines. There motors, in some cases, are up to 300 feet off the ground making it impossible for local departments to fight a blaze. In Brooke-Alvinston, where there are four turbines, the municipality has made it clear to the owner that if there is a fire, the local department will not be able to help put it out.

But Marriott says the solution would be the fire suppression units. “If they are going to catch fire they should have their own self containment unit rather than expecting the local departments to do it,” he says noting the municipality simply could not afford to have the type of equipment on hand to fight the fire. Read article

Posted in OWR | 2 Comments

An ill-wind in Ontario

2014_06010079Toronto Sun, Tom Harris
Environmentalists often talk about people whose lives are ruined by man-made global warming. But they never mention the lives that are devastated by misguided climate change policy.

There is no better example than the debilitating human health impacts of the hundreds of thousands of industrial wind turbines (IWTs) that are being erected around the world to supposedly mitigate climate change.

In “Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines,” a 2013 paper in the magazine of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Dr. Roy D. Jeffery, Carmen Krogh, and Brett Horner explained, “People who live or work in close proximity to IWTs have experienced symptoms that include decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction.”

“The problem is not just cyclical audible noise keeping people awake but also low frequency infrasound which can travel many kilometres,” notes Dufferin County-based Barb Ashbee, who says she was forced out of her Amaranth, Ontario home by the siting of IWTs too close to it. Read article

Posted in OWR | 5 Comments

Turbines should be taxed at higher rates

Corporate%20welfare%20all%20reward%20no%20riskChatham Daily News, Ellwood Shreve
A former City of Chatham alderman has concerns about the amount of taxes levied against industrial wind turbines. Henry Regts, who is also a developer, contacted The Chatham Daily News regarding a recent administrative report to Chatham-Kent council that stated a proposed 12-turbine project by Kruger Energy Chatham Optima Limited Partnership would generate an estimated $37,500 in annual taxes.

Noting he’s not opposed to wind turbines, Regts said he doesn’t believe nearly enough taxes are being charged for the large structures. He points to his office building, which is valued at just under $500,000 and costs nearly $20,000 a year in taxes. Noting the revenue each of these turbines must generate in a year, Regts said, “they ought to be assessed 10 times higher than what they are.” He acknowledged turbines don’t use services such as water and sewer, but they are large structures that take a toll on roads when transported through the municipality to where they are erected. Regts said these turbines are also tying into the local electricity grid. “I want them to pay the same taxes we’re paying for similar services,” he said.

Chatham Coun. Doug Sulman agrees with Regts’ assessment of the situation. “No, they don’t pay their fair share,” he said Monday. Sulman, who is a lawyer, cited the law office he and his partners own in Chatham is less than 5,000 square feet but their tax bill is higher than what Regts pays for his office “by a long shot.” Read article

Posted in OWR | 9 Comments

NextEra Won’t Drop Its Lawsuit against Esther Wrightman

You’d think NextEra, which operates more than 100 wind projects in 19 states and Canada, could afford to tolerate a critic
or two.

esther nexterrorNational Review, Robert Bryce
Two years ago, I wrote a piece for NRO about a SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation) that NextEra Energy, America’s biggest wind-energy producer, had filed against Esther Wrightman, an anti-wind-project activist from the tiny village (pop.: 120) of Kerwood, Ontario. It’s now time for an update. NextEra overcame Wrightman’s opposition to the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, a 60-megawatt project that began producing electricity last year. The 38-turbine wind project was erected right next to Wrightman’s home. In June 2014, she left not only Kerwood but Ontario and, along with her two children, her husband (who is disabled), and her parents, moved to the larger village (pop.: 1,889) of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The Wrightmans also relocated their family business, Wrightman Alpines, a nursery that specializes in alpine plants.

Esther Wrightman couldn’t stop the wind project that turned her into an activist. But here’s the reason for this update: NextEra is still SLAPPing her. For reasons the company won’t explain, it hasn’t dropped its litigation. This is more than a story about Goliath beating up on David (or Esther). It’s also fundamentally about freedom of speech and the ability of citizens to speak out against (or, in Wrightman’s case, to make fun of) big corporations. Read article

Posted in Ethics, Human Rights, Legal | 27 Comments

It would be funny…

sign-blanding-turtleWellington Times, Rick Conroy
With school children arrayed at his feet, Ontario’s environment minister, Glenn Murray, announced last week his government was giving $1 million to an organization dedicated to educating children aged five to 11, about how to help protect animals and their habitats. His advice to the children assembled at the ROM for the press event was predictable, if somewhat ham-handed: Go home and tell your parents and grandparents to use less carbon.

Murray isn’t the first to employ children to market his wares. Cereal makers, burger sellers and dictators have all used children to influence decision-makers. The Ontario government isn’t above using an effective marketing technique to sell its message, even when the moral and ethical turf is a bit squishy. Earth Rangers formed in 2001. The funding from the province will help the organization expand its school assembly program and develop a new Grade 6 class visit program.

For Murray, this is an investment in the minds of young and impressionable children— a recruiting drive for foot soldiers in his campaign to restore his government’s credibility on environmental matters. “The most thoughtful discussions that move people to change are discussions between children and their parents, and children and each other,” noted Murray to the children before him.

Eventually, however, Murray will be challenged to square his government’s words with its actions. Rather than educate children about nature, he risks teaching them about the nature of government. Read article

Posted in Environmental, Ethics, Ministry of the Environment Ontario, Ontario government | 5 Comments

Big wind 2.0

2014_05140222London Free Press, John Miner
Ontario has rewritten the rules for its next round of wind farms, but will that end the high-voltage backlash the projects have sparked in rural Southwestern Ontario and elsewhere? John Miner reports.
— — —

Chalk one up for small-town Ontario. Dismissed, ignored, stripped of control, defeated before tribunals, blocked in the courts — when it comes to giant wind farms built to generate power, rural Ontario has been on a long losing streak. Until now. Powerless for years to stop the wind farms, as the Liberal government plunged headlong into green energy with 2009 legislation that seized control from municipalities over where the highrise-sized turbine towers could be built, many of those same areas are finding the rules of the game have changed.

For starters, wind energy companies will have to buy peace to win new contracts, getting local communities — many of them deeply polarized by past projects — on board. Gone, too, are the sweetheart deals that paid companies far more to generate power than consumers paid, piling up more red ink in a province that hasn’t balanced its books in years. Instead, wind companies will have to bid on price.

And with Ontario’s next round of energy contracts this fall amounting to only 300 megawatts, enough to power about 90,000 homes, competition will be fierce and fought over a much smaller share of the spoils. Wind power generates only a fraction of Ontario’s juice, but its political voltage has loomed large for years, especially in wind-swept Southwestern Ontario’s farm belt where many wind farms have sprouted. Read full article

NEW PROPOSALS

Among those vying for the next round of contracts:

NextEra Energy

  • Hardy Creek Wind Energy Centre: (Middlesex and Lambton counties); up to 50 turbines, 100 megawatts (MW)
  • Northpoint 1 Wind Energy Centre: (Eastern Ontario): Township of North Frontenac, 35 to 50 turbines, 150 MW
  • Northpoint 2 Wind Energy Centre: (Eastern Ontario) Townships of Addington Highlands and North Frontenac, 35 to 100 turbines, 200 MW

Kruger Energy 

  • 30- to 40-MW project, 10 to 15 wind turbines, on existing Port Alma and Chatham wind farms.

Invenergy

  • Strong Breeze Wind Project, in Dutton-Dunwich Township in Elgin Country, 60 MW
  • Nine Mile Wind Farm, in Eastern Ontario South Dundas, 50 to 90 MW

Suncor

  • Nauvoo Wind Power Project, 75 megawatts, Townships of Warwick and Brooke-Alvinston, Lambton County

EDF-EN Canada

  • Churchill wind project, 100 to 150 MW, in Enniskillen and Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton

Capstone Infrastructure Corp.

  • Erie Shores Wind Farm 2, up to 70 MW, within Township of Malahide and Bayham, Elgin

Enerfin Canada

  • Sydenham Wind Power Project, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen Townships, Lambton, up to 100 MW

WPD Canada

  • Silver Centre Wind Project, West Timiskaming District, up to 120 MW

SWEP Development LP

  • Meadowvale Wind Farm, south of Wallaceburg, Chatham-Kent, 18 to 19 MW
  • Clachan Wind Farm, north of Duart, Chatham-Kent, 9 to 15 MW
  • Duart Wind Farm, west of Duart, 8-9 MW
  • Townsend Wind Farm, north of Jarvis, Haldimand County, 6-7 MW
Posted in Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario government | 57 Comments

Alberta raptor expert warns wind turbine developments may hurt birds of prey

Mia Sosiak, Global News

eagle nestCALGARY – John Campbell has worked with falcons, eagles and hawks in the wild for decades, all over Western Canada. He has monitored nests near Pincher Creek since the 1970s, and banded thousands of baby raptors, long before the area became the birthplace of wind power in Canada.

Campbell has been finding more and more empty nests in the area. “Currently there are 10 sites that could be occupied; only five are producing young right now,” Campbell said. In Alberta, several species of raptors are considered sensitive, or at risk.

The birds aren’t dying from turbine strikes, Campbell said. They are abandoning high-quality nests because of the pressure of turbine development. Wind turbines mess up the birds’ lives, much in the same way drivers would be stressed if a busy freeway suddenly closed. The raptors move to lower quality sites, where fewer chicks survive. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds, CanWEA, Environmental, Ethics | 49 Comments

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Expands Ownership Of BluEarth Renewables

North American Wind Power
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has acquired all of the outstanding shares of BluEarth Renewables. The pension plan, through its Teachers’ Private Capital group, has been a lead investor in BluEarth since the developer was established in 2010. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. Closing is expected by the end of July.

Calgary-based BluEarth is a private independent renewable power producer focused on the acquisition, development, construction and operation of wind, hydro and solar projects. BluEarth’s portfolio currently includes interests in 18 projects across Canada totaling 174 MW, with a pipeline of earlier-stage development projects. BluEarth will continue to focus on growth through the acquisition and development of renewable energy projects in Canada and other markets globally.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – with $154.5 billion in net assets – is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada. It has earned a 10.2% annualized rate of return since its founding in 1990. Read article

Posted in Ethics, Investment | 16 Comments

Flight paths and stray current concerns raised at Gunn’s Hill wind project ERT

1297718857081_ORIGINALBy Bruce Chessell, Woodstock Sentinel-Review
Five witnesses for the East Oxford Community Alliance (EOCA) took the stand during the second day of the Environmental Review Tribunal regarding the proposed Gunn’s Hill wind farm, bringing forward further concerns regarding health and the airways above the proposed turbine site.

The first three witnesses to take the stand on Tuesday all brought forward the same concern regarding Prowind’s proposed wind farm: How the turbines will affect the Curries Aerodrome and the planes that fly out of there.

Keith McKay, a pilot for 32 years and member of the EOCA, said he was concerned with flight safety around wind turbines. “We are very concerned about the safety of ourselves… but also for commercial flights going overhead,” McKay said. “We don’t know if all the mitigating options that (Prowind) are proposing will work, we don’t know the time span. So any commercial flights flying over, we are concerned about their safety as well as ours.”

McKay added that Prowind is in negotiations with NAV Canada to put in mitigation standard to solve the problem, but he isn’t convinced this will work in an appropriate time. “Prowind has decided that if this goes ahead, they will put up the turbines,” he said. “We are opposed to that for safety reasons.” Read article

Posted in Aviation Safety, Electrical Pollution | 4 Comments

Wind turbine giant Duke Energy lobbies to gut Migratory Bird Treaty Act

dead eagle at base of turbineAudubon Society
In early June the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill—with a sneak attack on birds attached. The bill included an amendment prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funds to prosecute or hold liable any person or corporation for a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If it becomes law, anyone could kill birds with impunity, with no risk of jail time or even fines. It would decimate one of the most successful pieces of conservation legislation in history.

Audubon has obtained documents linking Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the country, to the amendment, which was sponsored by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.). Duke’s renewable energy division had been the first green power company to be prosecuted under the MBTA, pleading guilty in 2013 to the deaths of more than 150 protected birds, including 14 Golden Eagles, at two wind farms in Wyoming, and forking over $1 million in fines.

In the wake of that guilty plea, Duke, which has contributed $23,000 to Duncan’s political campaigns, apparently began deploying its considerable resources and political muscle to undo the very law it had violated, paying at least $60,000 in 2014 to The Majority Group, LLC, a lobbying firm with offices on D Street in Washington, D.C. On the “lobbying report” it was required to file, Majority Group recorded one purpose of its efforts as “Amending the Migratory Birds Treaty Act and Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act to address accidental avian deaths.” A staff member in Duncan’s office confirmed that the Congressman has discussed amending the MBTA with Duke Energy but did not confirm or deny that Majority Group lobbied Duncan on the energy company’s behalf. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | 52 Comments

This Blows- Ontario’s Wind Energy Fallacy

Posted in OWR | 21 Comments

Suncor admits their wind turbines have a negative impact on communities: “the precedent is there”

Petrolia Lambton Independant
[excerpt] “You are offering us $5,000 per turbine and you’re going to tell us how to spend it?” asked Councillor Frank Nemcek. “You’re going to tell us how to spend the money you’re bribing us with?

Suncor spokesperson Jocelyn Kelln says the money is not a bribe but a recognition of the impact the projects have on a community. “It directly addresses the physical impact to the community,” says Kelln. “We’re not paying to get your permission – that is not the intent; that is not the idea. We do recognize we have an impact, the precedent is there. The government has asked for an agreement and some people are not happy with the idea of a project; this is to offset that.” Read article

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Posted in OWR | 48 Comments

NexTerror strikes again – wind company threatens elderly leaseholders

NextTerror lawyerFebruary 13, 2014 we received registered mail from McCarthy Tetrault LLP stating… “our client [NextEra Energy] demands that you promptly execute and return two fully executed copies of such lease by no later than February 21, 2014.

If you fail to deliver such copies of the signed lease, you should be aware that Goshen has requested us to take immediate legal action on its behalf to enforce its rights and remedies for your breach of the Option Agreement, which action may result in you becoming liable for, amongst other things, Court costs, damages (which can extend to substantial amounts on account of delayed construction of the overall project and lost revenues arising from such delays), and interest on such damages at the rates prescribed under the Courts of Justice Act of Ontario. As well, you should be aware that such litigation against you may result in adverse implications for your credit ratings.”

Mayor Hessel, Council members and CAO:
I am attaching a self-explanatory letter from Bev Teeter, a Bluewater resident and turbine lease holder in Nextera’s Goshen Project.  In addition the addressee within the attached, she has also sent it to the London Free Press as an open Letter to the Editor however it is unlikely they will print it.

This brave woman has been a thorn in Nextera’s side for a long time now.  They eventually removed Turbine #13 from being built on her property however the transmission/collection lines do go through their property.

Bev has been a staunch supporter of the anti-wind movement after she realized she was duped by the wind companies.  She is in her 80’s, has a hearing impairment and cares deeply about doing what she can to right a wrong which is what she felt she did by signing the lease.  She was bullied into doing so without a care towards her or her husband of over 50 years.  I cannot express how disgusted I am with Nextera for treating vulnerable people such as Bev and her husband, Irv, so callously.

My hope is that Council is able to see this as just one example of how useless it is to enter into any sort of agreement such as a Vibrancy Fund that would ‘recognize’ wind companies as anything other than the wind weasels they are.  Should you disregard the manner in which they have treated this senior citizen and taxpayer of this county, you do so knowing full well that you are putting all the the citizens of Bluewater at risk.

Please do the right thing and stop the ongoing data collection with the wind companies.  Your actions in continuing to engage with these companies will do nothing other than sell us all down the river.

I would request this letter along with Bev’s be attached to the agenda of a Municipal Council meeting and that they be read aloud in their entirety. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.
(pk)

The following is a prime example of how people are actually treated by wind developers after they get their signatures….


Open Letter
Dashwood, ON N0M1N0
June 3, 2015
Goshen Wind, LP
700 Universe Blvd.
Juno Beach, FL 33408
Att. Carlos Megias, Senior Counsel
Re: Lease with Goshen Wind Inc. with Effective Date of  December 15, 2013

Dear Sir,
Your letter dated May 28 arrived here June 1.   You object to our informing the Sumitoma Mitsui Banking Corporation of Canada that “the lease on our land assumed by Goshen Wind was obtained illegally, as our signatures were attached without our knowledge or consent”.   This in our opinion is absolutely true.

As stated in my reply to NextEra’s Goshen employee in June 2014:
“Nicole, before responding to your June 19th letter, I would like to set down my view of the overall situation and the Green Energy Act . For every monster turbine set in motion, the people of Ontario lose.  Every wind project increases our future energy payments.  People complain about their “hydro” bills but may be unaware that wind power has been given special status…  guaranteed high rates and first usage before cheaper sources already available.  They may be unaware that excess  power is dumped across the border for far less than what we have paid for it.  Along with the enormous costs of building these projects which we do not need, they destroy  habitat for birds and people alike,  cause many to suffer Wind Turbine Syndrome documented where ever such mammoth turbines spin  and ultimately facilitate a process which turns our prime agricultural land over to Corporate owners at drastically diminished values.  And as turbines go up, possibilities for truly green alternatives diminish. There is nothing beneficial to Ontario in this.  Wind Turbines do not serve to reduce CO2,  they are not pristine and green. Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Legal, Wind Industry | 56 Comments