Sex, Lies and Videotape: NextEra “Won” Wind Farm Approval by getting its Operative to Bonk Top Government Adviser

next terror protest 004Stop These Things (they are so good with words)

We’ve reported on just how rotten the wind industry is – from top to bottom – and whether it’s bribery and fraudvote rigging scandalstax fraudinvestor fraud or REC fraud – wind weasels set a uniform standard that would make most businessman blush. Struggling Danish fan maker, Vestas set the benchmark a while back – true to form, it keeps lying and cheating its way into trouble wherever it goes – and absolute corruptionis the order of the day.

In previous posts we’ve looked at how the goons that work for RATCH didn’t hesitate to invent a character – Frank Bestic – in a half-cunning attempt to infiltrate their opponents at Collector and elsewhere – see our posts here and here and here.

These boys (and girls) have no shame and, apparently, moral business conduct is an “opt in” model, rather than a day-to-day proposition – like it is for most everybody else.  It’s all about “ways and means”, really.

If that requires a little horizontal “folk-dancing” to win government favours and planning approval, then – as we’ve seen before – so be it. It seems wind power outfits – like Nexterror – are quite happy to have their operatives go way (read “all the way”) beyond the ordinary call of “duty”.

Here’s a tale from California showing how – for the wind industry – “shameless” is the new “black”.

Romance may have derailed science in California energy development
Rewire, Chris Clarke, 12 November 2014
A newly released report by the Interior Department’s investigative officereveals that a high-ranking department official may have intervened on behalf of a renewable energy firm while dating an executive in that firm, and pressured federal scientists to soften their opposition to renewable energy development.

The report by Interior’s Office of the Inspector General detailed potential improper conduct by Steve Black, who worked as senior adviser to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for energy, environment, and natural resources policy. While he held this position Black dated NextEra Energy Resources lobbyist Manal Yamout, a conflict as Black oversaw several applications by Yamout’s employer to build wind and solar facilities on public land.  Read article

Posted in OWR | Leave a comment

Berkshire Energy Fined $2.5 million for Eagle Deaths by Wyoming Wind Turbines

dead golden eagleBloomberg Businessweek, By Noah Buhayar

PacifiCorp, one of the utilities owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A:US)’s energy unit, agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle charges that its wind facilities in Wyoming killed eagles and other birds.

The deaths near the Seven Mile Hill and Glenrock/Rolling Hills wind farms violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, according to a statement today from the utility. PacifiCorp said it will pay $400,000 in fines, $200,000 in restitution to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and $1.9 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help protect golden eagles near the facilities.

“PacifiCorp is concerned about the impacts to wildlife from our renewable energy facilities and we have been diligently working with federal and state agencies to protect migratory birds,” Mark Tallman, vice president of renewable resources at PacifiCorp, said in the statement.

Berkshire, run by billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett, has been boosting investments in wind and solar, committing more than $15 billion to renewables in recent years. The projects often earn credits that can be used to reduce the tax liabilities from other operations. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | 1 Comment

Spectators at wind turbine appeal suspicious of last-minute objections

pontypoolMy Kawartha, Mary Riley
PONTYPOOL – The lawyer representing the appellants opposed to a controversial wind energy project in Manvers Township told the chair of the Environmental Review Tribunal that he had never before heard people ‘boo’ a tribunal. “And, I’ve been doing this for 20 years.” Eric Gillespie made his comments on Friday (Dec. 19) as the hearing of the appeal of wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge industrial wind turbine project entered its last day at the Pontypool Community Centre.

It was a full turnout as those opposing Sumac Ridge made a last stand, calling ‘reply witnesses’ to rebut previous testimony from witnesses for wpd Canada. The Environmental Review Tribunal is an independent body that has conducted the appeal hearing for the last few weeks.

Citizen group Manvers Wind Concerns, Cransley Farm Homes and the Buddhist Association of Canada’s Cham Shan Temple launched the appeal last December after the Ministry of Environment (MOE) granted wpd Canada approval for Sumac Ridge. That involves the building of five industrial wind turbines (two of them on the Oak Ridges Moraine), which met fierce opposition from residents. Read article

Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal, Ethics | Leave a comment

Real Estate Industry criticizes wind turbine report

2014_06010032Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Jenifer Paterson
A recent study by the University of Guelph, which found wind turbines do not have an impact on nearby property values, might have earned a big sigh of relief from investors – but the study’s results have been strongly criticized by members of the real estate industry.

“I have had several deals fall apart in this area because, in the appraisal report, it has been mentioned that there are windmills visible or adjacent to the property and, once a lender gets wind of that (forgive the pun), they will not fund a mortgage,” said Angela Jenkins, a mortgage agent at Dominion Lending Centres, who lives and works in the Melancthon region, where the study was conducted.

“If a person cannot get financing due to windmills, then how can this be a positive thing?” The study, which was published this month in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, analyzed more than 7,000 home and farm sales in the area, and found that at least 1,000 of these were sold more than once, some several times.

John Leonard Goodwin, who has been a real estate broker for more than 10 years in the Grand Bend, Ont. market, asserted that wind turbines absolutely do affect property values. “Turbines complicate your property enjoyment, period,” he said. “That alone spells depreciated value(s). Read article

Posted in Land Values | 11 Comments

Lakeshore is now an Unwilling Host‏ of wind turbines too

Chatham Kent wind turbines from Lake Erie and Rondeau Bay25Blackburn News
The Town of Lakeshore doesn’t want to see any more wind turbines erected within its municipality. It passed a moratorium this week that will be sent to the provincial government, as it’s seen 110 turbines go up since 2009.

Mayor Tom Bain says the agricultural areas are starting to be saturated and they’re starting to intrude on residential land and the shores of Lake St. Clair. “During the recent election campaign, all of the candidates heard from the residents that they’ve really had enough of the wind turbines and were opposed to them.” Read article

Resolution
It is recommended that.-

WHEREAS, In excess of 110 wind turbines have been located in the Town
of Lakeshore since November 2009
AND WHEREAS, the Town of Lakeshore has become saturated with wind
turbines
AND WHEREAS, residential and highly populated areas are now being
considered for further wind turbine projects
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Town of Lakeshore hereby
declares a moratorium effective immediately on any future wind turbine
projects and is not a willing host municipality for wind turbine projects
which are beyond the areas already approved by Council.

Posted in Municipalities of Ontario | 39 Comments

Sign a shitty turbine contract – everyone loses

no to wind leasesby Harvey Wrightman
I had a quick read of the recently published paper, part of a continuing project-thesis series for students in a graduate program at Western overseen by Dr. Jamie Baxter. I gather that Baxter originally viewed wind projects as a benign source of green energy and didn’t anticipate the more complex problems of the projects. I think most of us started from a similar position.  Baxter’s students attended some of the open house ‘sessions’ put on by the wind companies in Adelaide-Metcalfe. We were there also and you can imagine the fireworks that transpired. It was eye-opening for the students, that’s for sure. While I hardly think we need academic research into the cause of the resistance to wind projects, it may be a good idea to get it down formally somehow. I can’t write a peer-review; but, I can tell him how to make the process logical and fair. First, they must ditch the idea of bringing everyone (community, wind developers, government) together, providing them tools for discussion, and making some sort of consensus decision. This is just utopian BS that will please the wind fraudsters and fail the people who are sentenced to live there. You have to get the tools to the individuals, who will be targeted by the landmen, AND their neighbours. Wind companies don’t need any help.

It hardly matters how people rationalize or perceive their real-estate position once a wind project arrives, the over-riding fact is that it is an industrial development and such developments have impacts on all of the properties – lots of negative factors for everyone to share in. In the west Middlesex and north Lambton projects what is very interesting is that many of the large farm operators have refused to sign.  A family member of one such operation said to a wind company rep, “What you’re offering is not enough for what we’re giving up. Double your offer and we’ll negotiate.” This came at 3 AM after a night of discussions. No contract was signed. Wind reps left with empty pockets and groggy, sore heads. There’s a big empty space along 402 west of Strathroy that the wind companies badly wanted, but did not get. This is repeated elsewhere in Middlesex and Lambton. Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | 7 Comments

More Subsidies for Big Wind

fat cat wind scamRobert Bryce, National Review
I
f anyone needed proof that subsidy-dependent businesses will always seek more subsidies, look no further than the U.S. wind industry. On Wednesday, the wind sector won a vote in the House on a tax bill that includes a one-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC), which gives wind companies 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce. The companies can collect that subsidy for a decade after they are deemed eligible.

The extension of the PTC was part of a bill that contained more than 50 tax breaks and subsidies that will cost taxpayers more than $40 billion. The portion attributable to the wind industry: about $6.3 billion. It appears that the Senate will pass the bill and President Obama will sign it into law. Thus the wind industry, which has been getting subsidies (with a few short interruptions) since 1992, will continue feeding at the trough. If there was any doubt that the wind industry needs subsidies, look at the statement put out on Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association, the sector’s main lobbying group. AWEA said that after the PTC expired in 2013, “new wind installations came to a halt, resulting in a 92 percent drop in new wind projects.”

Of course, rent-seeking entities love to claim that their pet projects deserve subsidies because they will create jobs. Indeed, the phrase “create jobs” appears twice in a one-page letter that was sent to leaders of Congress last month imploring them to extend the PTC. The letter was signed by AWEA and some 450 organizations, including the usual environmental groups — the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Wilderness Society — as well as a host of major corporations. Among them: NextEra Energy, one of the world’s largest wind-energy producers. I wrote about NextEra last year in these pages after the company filed a SLAPP suit in Canada against Ontario anti-wind activist Esther Wrightman. (Here’s a link. Wrightman, by the way, has since moved out of Ontario, and the project she was fighting, NextEra’s Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, has gone forward.) Others that signed the subsidy-seeking letter included Siemens Corporation, E.On, and Nucor Corporation, which is one of America’s biggest steel producers. Read article

Posted in OWR | 6 Comments

Lawyer at wind turbine hearing ruffles bird expert’s feathers

kerlinger2MyKawartha, Mary Riley
PONTYPOOL –The lawyer acting for the appellants at a hearing opposing the controversial Sumac Ridge wind turbine project in Manvers Township ruffled a bird expert’s feathers during his cross examination on Friday (Dec. 12). Paul Kerlinger is an expert on the effect of wind turbines on birds and their habitat. He was appearing via video link on behalf of wpd Canada, who received provincial approval last December to build five industrial wind turbines in the Bethany area.

But, the question of how industrial wind turbines could affect bird species was never answered, even after tough questioning from Eric Gillespie. The Environmental Review Tribunal is an independent body conducting the hearing in Pontypool after several groups opposed to industrial wind turbines appealed the Ministry of Environment (MOE) granting approval the approval to wpd Canada. Sumac Ridge involves the building five industrial wind turbines (two of them on the Oak Ridges Moraine), which met fierce opposition from residents. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds, Environmental Review Tribunal | 1 Comment

Transport Canada rescinds turbine order

plane chatham airportBy Trevor Terfloth, Chatham Daily News
With several changes to ensure flight safety, eight wind turbines that Transport Canada had ordered removed near the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport earlier this year can now stay. Transport Canada had said the turbines, owned by Erieau Wind, violated height limits on lands at the airport, which are subject to the airport zoning regulations (AZRs).

However, the agency said it is discontinuing the enforcement action that commenced in July. “We’ve stated all along the airport’s been safe and it’s proven in the order,” Mayor Randy Hope told The Daily News on Wednesday. “Now it’s just about moving on. … One more hurdle behind us.”

According to a media release, the potential safety risks were “mitigated by Nav Canada with the issuance of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which was later replaced with an altered Instrument Approach Procedure Chart so that pilots are aware of the wind turbines and can avoid them.” Read article

Posted in Aviation Safety, Canadian Government, Safety | 31 Comments

Concerns raised about wind turbine property study

abandoned expropriationCBC Radio
A professor at Queen’s University is raising concerns about a recent study that found that wind farms have a minimal impact on property values.

Posted in Land Values | 2 Comments

Conestoga Wind Project near Listowel Terminated

CTVconestogaCTV News
A wind turbine project near Listowel has been cancelled. The 26-turbine Conestogo Wind Project has been “mutually terminated” by the Ontario Power Authority and Invenergy LLC, the company in charge of the project. No reason for the decision was given. The project, like many across the province has seen vocal opposition Perth-Wellington PC MPP Randy Pettapiece says.

“The end of this project is nothing less than a victory for those who did not want industrial wind turbines imposed on their communities. It is a victory for the grassroots organizers who worked tirelessly to preserve their neighbourhoods, their farms, and their way of life. They prevailed over a multi-national wind company as well as the Liberal government, whose process was rigged against them.” Read article

Listowel Banner, Andrew Smith
NORTH PERTH – Opponents of a proposed wind turbine project in Elma and Mornington can celebrate Christmas a little early with news that the Invenergy Canada project has been cancelled.
Information surrounding the plan to build up to 26 industrial wind turbines in North Perth and Perth East has been limited since the Ministry of the Environment deemed the application to be incomplete in August 2013, but an inquiry by The Banner to Invenergy LLC director of communications Alissa Krinsky confirmed on Monday that the Conestogo Wind Power Partnership and the Ontario Power Authority have mutually agreed to terminate the Feed-In Tariff contract for the Conestogo Wind Project.
“Invenergy is disappointed that the project will not move forward,” a statement from the company said. Read article

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Contradictions and bias undermine credibility of the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise Study

MULTI-MUNICIPAL WIND TURBINE WORKING GROUP

3 December, 2014
RE: HEALTH CANADA WIND TURBINE NOISE STUDY AN OPEN LETTER TO
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister pm@pm.gc.ca
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health minister_ministre@hc-sc.gc.ca

carpet truth liesThe Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group is comprised of elected municipal councillors and appointed citizens from parts of Southern Ontario where approximately 30% of industrial wind turbines are concentrated. Over the past several years we have received a growing number of delegations from constituents whose health has been adversely affected by proximity to the wind turbines. It is not easy to listen to people who continue to suffer from ringing and pressure in the ears, pounding vibrations in the head and chest, nausea, dizziness and the ongoing inability to sleep. Their stories are especially disturbing because we know these people; we know they are not lying; and it is our responsibility under the Municipal Act to protect their health.

We are dismayed that the recently released Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study has ignored the distress of real people by hiding behind meaningless “estimated” noise projections and predictive modeling rather than first making professional clinical observations based on the histories of actual sufferers. Investigation of anecdotal evidence is the foundation of all medicine. The Health Canada study summary contains no reference to the growing body of research that contradicts the main theme of the summary. Our Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn has found 18 peer-reviewed studies that “provide reasonable evidence . . . that an association exists between wind turbines and distress in humans”. The Brown County (Wisconsin) Board of Health has declared its wind turbines a “public health nuisance” and a “human health hazard for all people . . .  who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health”. Read letter here

Posted in Canadian Government, Health | 8 Comments

Ontario government approves Clarington wind project

Approved-Rubber-Stamp-724817Environmental Registry
reNews
Sierra Nevada Power has received provincial consent for the 8.1MW Clarington wind project in Ontario. The Environment Ministry has issued a renewable energy approval for the five-turbine proposal. Clarington will consist of GE 1.6MW 100 turbines (pictured) with a 96-metre hub height and interconnection to a Hydro One 44kV power line.

Leader Resources Services was contracted to develop, build and operate the project, located in the Regional Municipality of Durham. Construction is anticipated to begin next spring and commissioning is expected in the third quarter of 2015, said Leader in a regulatory filing. Mortenson Canada was named project engineering contractor and Dessau Inc. is a subcontractor. Read article

Posted in Ontario government | Leave a comment

Last night while you slept…

Posted in Health | 5 Comments

At-risk turtles vs. turbines: Wind-power project before Ontario’s top court

blandings_turtleColin Perkel,The Canadian Press
TORONTO – An expert tribunal was entitled to conclude a proposed wind farm would devastate a population of already threatened turtles, Ontario’s top court heard Monday. The case, which pits turtles against turbines, could have widespread repercussions as to how endangered species are protected across Canada, and raises questions about the protection of unspoiled areas.

At issue is a proposed nine-turbine wind farm at Ostrander Point south of Belleville on the shore of Lake Ontario. Prince Edward County Field Naturalists Club had successfully argued before the province’s environmental review tribunal that the project on the 324-hectare site would threaten Blanding’s turtles in the area.

Gilead Power, through its Ostrander Point Wind Energy, had Divisional Court overturn that decision in February. It argued the tribunal had made a half-dozen errors in concluding the project would cause “serious and irreversible” harm to the turtles. Addressing the panel in the packed courtroom, lawyer Eric Gillespie, who speaks for the naturalists, pleaded with the three justices to defer to the review tribunal. Read article

Posted in Environmental, Legal | Leave a comment

The Vindication of Don Quixote: The impact of noise and visual pollution from wind turbines on local residents in Denmark

South Kent Wind Samsung Pattern Chatham Kent Sinclair Ln 1

This is a paper published last year by reseachers at the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen.

I’ll leave the considered comments for others better qualified than myself; but, these 2 excerpts give a taste of what the researchers found –  they provide the all  important numbers in the text.

In this article we quantify the marginal external effects of nearby land based wind turbines on property prices capitalized through traded residential properties located within 2,500 meters or less. We succeed in separating the effect of noise and visual pollution from wind turbines.

We conclude that noise and visual pollution from wind turbines have a considerable impact on nearby residential properties.

When Don Quijote was tilting at windmills he was fighting imaginary giants. At present, wind turbines are a symbol of sustainable energy, the way of the future. However, local residents who live in close proximity to these sustainable giants experience some very real negative externalities in the form of noise and visual pollution.

Okonomi
Cathrine Ulla Jensen
Toke Emil Panduro
Thomas Hedemark Lundhede

Abstract
In this article we quantify the marginal external effects of nearby land based wind turbines on property prices capitalized through traded residential properties located within 2,500 meters or less. We succeed in separating the effect of noise and visual pollution from wind turbines. This was achieved by using a dataset covering 21 municipalities and consisting of 12,640 traded residential properties sold in the period 2000-2011. We model the hedonic price function in two steps. First we detrend data across municipalities using a pooled cross sectional model which allows for different price trends across municipalities. Second we control for spatial autocorrelation by using explicit spatial models. Properties affected by noise and visual pollution from wind turbines are identified using Geographical Information Systems. Our results show that wind turbines have a significant negative impact on the price schedule of neighboring residential properties. The visual pollution accounts for 3.15% of the residential sales price. The price premium declines with distance by about 0.242% of the sales price for every 100 meters. The effect of noise depends on the noise level emitted and ranges from 3% to 7% of the sale price for residential properties.

Read paper here

Posted in Land Values | 3 Comments

Over 1300 Trucks needed to install ONE Wind Turbine

Smithville Turbine Opposition Party

The following chart is taken from page 23 of the NIAGARA REGION WIND FARM CONSTRUCTION PLAN REPORT.   1342 Truck Deliveries and Removals Per Turbine.  That’s 1342 x 77 turbines = 103 334 Heavy Industrial Trucks running up and down our country roads. If you want to help prevent this from happening then donate to the MAWT Inc. Legal Fund. Donate Now Before it’s to late!

103 334 Trucks.

truck-loadsDSC_0788

 

Posted in OWR | 55 Comments

Support the SWEAR – Drennan Charter Challenge

Paypal_IconSWEAR Ontario
“SWEAR is a non profit organization dedicated to holding government accountable for the production of safe wind energy. SWEAR believes the government of Ontario did not exercise due diligence when crafting the Green Energy and Economy Act.  A very heavy handed approach was used.  Rural Ontario does not take kindly to this type of governance. The Drennan’s, members of SWEAR stepped forward in 2012 to be the named persons on the lawsuit.

SWEARAlthough the Drennans’ name is widely known in this case, there is a broader public interest being served. “It has taken time to educate the public to the fact that this case  is not personal to the Drennans, but the understanding is now clearly there. This case is for the people of Ontario who want safe wind energy in their communities and beyond. The government says that massive industrial wind turbines are safe. We, the people, are holding them accountable.””

Read more on Falconers LLP

Posted in Legal, Take Action | 7 Comments

Dufferin Wind has “No Comment” at tribunal hearing, refuses to make mitigation plans public

Hydro pole beside house at Kerwood and Townsend Rds.. Property devaluation much?Orangeville Citizen
At a preliminary hearing by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal held Tuesday, Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) lawyers refused to explain why the corporation, which has erected 316 transmission-line poles between its wind farm and Hydro One’s Orangeville Transformer Station will not make mitigation plans public as requested by Melancthon Council and residents near the right-of-way. Citizen concerns arising from pole bore holes extending into the local aquifers, possibly allowing for ground water contamination, and fears that the pentachlorophenol (penta), a wood preservative coating the entire length of the poles, may travel into surrounding wells, prompted Green Party candidate Karren Wallace to file for the hearing as a private citizen.

The panel for the preliminary hearing, held at Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex in Shelburne, included Dirk VanderBent, Vice Chair of the Environmental Review Tribunal, and Tribunal member Justin Duncan. The Tribunal is an independent body that hears public appeals under the Environmental Protection Act. Also present were Sylvia Davies, lawyer for the Director of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Control (MOECC) and lawyer John Terry plus an additional lawyer for DWPI. The hearing was to confirm procedural directions for the main hearing to be held in the new year.

Ms. Wallace had said previously that her objection was based on DWPI’s mitigation plan for transmission lines never having been formally approved. The transmission poles, located alongside the County-owned rail corridor, will carry power from 49 new turbines in Melancthon to the transformer station near Dufferin 109 and the 3rd Line of Amaranth. Ms. Wallace looked at the issue of possible health risks posed by DWPI penta-covered transmission pole holes, many surrounded by water, some constructed in wetlands, and others near manure piles, “Walkerton had one conduit for contamination,” she said. “We now have 316.” Read article

Posted in Environmental, Environmental Review Tribunal, Safety | 20 Comments

Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You and Your Career

sleep deprivationDr. Travis Bradbury, LinkedIn
The next time you tell yourself that you’ll sleep when you’re dead, realize that you’re making a decision that can make that day come much sooner. Pushing late into the night is a health and productivity killer.

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, the short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on your mood, ability to focus, and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep.

Why You Need Adequate Sleep to Perform

We’ve always known that sleep is good for your brain, but new research from the University of Rochester provides the first direct evidence for why your brain cells need you to sleep (and sleep the right way—more on that later). The study found that when you sleep your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when you’re awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you’re asleep. So when you don’t get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix.

Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity. Read article

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

Rural-urban divide blowing in the wind

wynne sarniaPeter Epp, London Free Press
Several factors contributed to Ontario’s rural-urban divide, but perhaps the greatest has been the Ontario Green Energy Act of 2009, which continues to exclusively target rural properties for wind turbines and, to a lesser extent, solar farms.

Since the legislation was rolled out five years ago, parts of rural Ontario have had its landscape altered and changed, probably for decades to come.

Yet what has contributed mostly to the ongoing rural-urban divide is people who live with wind turbines have had little to say about their development. They are almost all rural residents; those who live within urban centres have yet to be asked to be a neighbour to the towers. Read article

Posted in Ethics, Green Energy Act | 10 Comments

SLAPP suits are being used to muzzle – Bill back in legislature

SLAPP_jpg_800x1000_q100London Free Press, Jane Sims
The Ontario government wants to halt the growing practice of using meritless lawsuits as a way to muzzle opponents. It’s proposing legislation, the Protection of Public Participation Act, it hopes will stop so-called SLAPPs — strategic lawsuits against public participation — often used to quash criticism and tie up the courts.

“The proposed law would minimize the time and resources wasted by plaintiffs, defendants and the courts on meritless claims, while allowing legitimate complaints to proceed in a timely manner,” the attorney-general’s office said Monday. The new law was drafted after extensive consultations starting in 2010. An advisory panel concluded strategic lawsuits are stopping many people from speaking out on matters of public interest.

The law would be a “fast-track review process for lawsuits alleged to be strategic in nature,” the attorney-general’s office said. A judge would be given powers to apply a legal test to determine if the case could proceed or be dismissed. Read article

Posted in Legal | 8 Comments

NextEra’s 92-turbine project is the largest in Lambton County

JerichoSarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Lambton County’s largest wind turbine project has begun producing power. NextEra Energy said Tuesday its 92-turbine Jericho Wind Energy Centre has achieved commercial operation in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.

Construction of the more than $400-million project began in May, creating some 200 construction jobs as turbines and power lines were erected across the rural community. The 149-MW project is capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 37,500 homes, the company said in a press release.

“This project is significant not only because of the emissions-free electricity it provides Ontario, but also because of the investment in the local economies of both Lambton and Middlesex counties,” said Ben Greenhouse, director of development for NextEra Energy Canada. While the turbines are in Lambton County, power lines for the Jericho project travel into neighbouring Middlesex to connect the wind energy centre to Ontario’s electricity grid. Read article

Posted in OWR | 13 Comments

Wind energy development and perceived real estate values in Ontario, Canada

211586-a-house-for-sale-hasreduced-price-signAIMS Energy
Chad Walker, Jamie Baxter, Sarah Mason, Isaac Luginaah, and Danielle Ouellette
Department of Geography, Western University, London, ON N6A 5C2, Canada Environmental Science Program, Western University

Abstract:
This paper focuses on public concerns about real estate value loss in communities in the vicinity of wind turbines. There are some conflicting results in recent academic and non-academic literatures on the issue of property values in general—yet little has been studied about how residents near turbines view the value of their own properties. Using both face-to-face interviews (n= 26) and community survey results (n= 152) from two adjacent communities, this exploratory mixed-method study contextualizes perceived property value loss. Interview results suggest a potential connection between perceived property value loss and actual property value loss, whereby assumed property degradation from turbines seem to lower both asking and selling prices. This idea is reinforced by regression results which suggest that felt property value loss is predicted by health
concerns, visual annoyances and community-based variables. Overall, the findings point to the need for greater attention to micro-level local, and interconnected impacts of wind energy development. Read article

Posted in Land Values | 21 Comments

Mothers appeal turbine approval

mum march12Grimsby Lincoln News, Amanda Moore
WEST LINCOLN — Despite government approval, a group of West Lincoln resident continues to fight impending industrial wind turbines. Earlier this month the provincial government gave the green light to a wind farm planned by Niagara Region Wind Corp. The company plans to erect 77 wind turbines with the majority located in the township. Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. is doing anything but accepting the approval and has filed an appeal the project.

The appellants allege they have several grounds to prove the proposed project will cause “serious and irreversible harm to plants, animals and the natural environment” — which is what the tribunal can make decisions based on. MAWT alleges the project could harm butterflies and an endangered tree species within the project study area. They say that studies on both by the proponent are incomplete and that site surveys for several natural features were not conducted.

The group also alleges the project will harm human health, alleging that more than 600 people will be experience negative health effects from the turbines and that the project is a violation of rights granted to all Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read article

Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal | 3 Comments

U of Waterloo year 4 wind turbine summary

Magnetically-Levitated-MEMS-RobotRenewable Energy Technologies and Health, University of Waterloo
1.1 Wind Turbine Health Studies: Epidemiological study and GIS analysis
As previously reported, the RETH survey was sent to 5000 homes across eight Ontario communities with wind generation facilities (the counties of Bruce, Dufferin, Elgin, Essex, Frontenac, Huron, Norfolk, and Chatham-Kent) in January, 2013. Homes within 5km of the selected wind farms received a survey and, later, an invitation to participate in the same survey online if they had yet to participate. The survey included sections focussing on health, sleep, environmental stressors, housing and community, and perceptions of wind. Analysis and publication of survey data is still ongoing. Results from the sleep and health sections are now available and are being prepared for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Results from other sections of the survey (perceptions, environmental stressors, health) have beenpresented at conferences and preliminary results are discussed here.

Sleep and Health
Results from the survey could suggest that there is a possible association between various health outcomes and how far someone lives from an industrial wind turbine. A cross-sectional study involving eight Ontario communities that contain greater than ten industrial wind turbines were selected for study. The ‘Quality of Life and Renewable Energy Technologies Study’ survey was sent to 4,876 residences near industrial wind turbines in these eight communities. Descriptive analyses were performed and multiple regression models were run to investigate the effect of the main independent variable of interest (distance to nearest industrial wind turbine) on the various outcome variables. Descriptive statistics, including means and standard deviations were performed on a number of dependent and independent variables including age, sex, time in home, number of industrial wind turbines within 2,000 meters and sleep and health outcomes.Read article

Posted in Health | 13 Comments

Ill winds blow from wind turbines

2014_05140216Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post
The wind industry is dangerous to human health, posing risks to everything from dizziness and nausea to chronic stress and heart conditions

A Canadian court will soon decide if wind turbines violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms by posing a risk to human health. Charter case decisions can be convoluted but the fundamental question of health at issue here is straightforward. Wind turbines, from all that is today known and by any rational measure, represent a risk to those living in their vicinity.

Although the wind industry and its government backers tend to dismiss concerns, the evidence of harm in communities that host wind turbines is overwhelming. Literally thousands of people around the world report similar adverse health effects, some so serious that owners abandon their homes. Studies of noise from turbines — though few in number, short in duration, tentative in their findings and conducted by interested parties — point to dangers. As if these weren’t enough, basic science sounds the alarm on wind turbines. Read article

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Denise Wolfe: Review of the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

do no harm

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Tom Adams on OFA: Turkeys Voting for Thanksgiving

mccabeTom Adams Energy
Yesterday, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture membership elected Don McCabe as president. Mr. McCabe was one of the architects of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act, the main driver of the rampant price increases now hitting Ontario electricity consumers, including farmers.

In 2011, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association awarded its Rural Community Power Leader Award to Mr. McCabe. The award recognized McCabe for the role he played in the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance, the organizing body of the lobbyist campaign behind the creation of the Green Energy Act.

Here is an example of Mr. McCabe endorsing the Green Energy Act.

Here is an example of Mr. McCabe getting an earful from farmers and other rural folks who think McCabe’s advocacy for the Ontario Liberal government’s energy energy policies was a mistake. Read article

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Health Canada and Wind Turbines: Too little too late?

IMG_0914CMAJ Blogs
Carmen Krogh, BScPharm (retired), is a peer reviewed IWT health researcher and former Director of Publications and Editor-in-Chief of the CPS.
R Y McMurtry is Professor Emeritus (Surgery) of Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario). Dr. McMurtry was also an ADM at Health Canada 2000-02

Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are being erected at rapid pace around the world. Coinciding with the introduction of IWTs, some individuals living in proximity to IWTs report adverse health effects including annoyance, sleep disturbance, stress-related health impacts and reduced quality of life. [i],[ii],[iii],[iv],[v],[vi],[vii],[viii],[ix],[x],[xi],[xii] In some cases Canadian families reporting adverse health effects have abandoned their homes, been billeted away from their homes or hired legal counsel to successfully reach a financial agreement with the wind energy developer.[xiii]

To help address public concern over these health effects Health Canada (HC) announced the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study (HC Study) 2 years ago and brought forth preliminary results November 6, 2014.

Here we briefly comment on the HC Study results and provide some historical context.

Acknowledgement of IWT adverse health effects is not new. The term “annoyance” frequently appears when discussing IWT health effects. In a 2009 letter the Honourable Rona Ambrose, disclosed:
“Health Canada provides advice on the health effect of noise and low-frequency electric and magnetic fields from proposed wind turbine projects…To date, their examination of the scientific literature on wind turbine noise is that the only health effect conclusively demonstrated from exposure to wind turbine noise is an increase of self-reported general annoyance and complaints (i.e., headaches, nausea, tinnitus, vertigo).” [xiv] Read article

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