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 | 32 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 | 11 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 | 46 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

Wind companies buying “support”

bribesBelow are some notes on “Support” that wind companies seek from just about everyone. What is the one and only method of gaining “Support”? You guessed it, moolah.

Throughout the whole run of the wind turbine monster story there is one constant: money, and the scumbag landmen whose task it is to trap the rubes into putting ink on the paper, have handed out $100 bills at buffet dinners for “prospective leaseholders,” presented falsified maps of signed leaseholders, pressured elderly farmers with verbal threats of legal action, provided indirect payments to family members to drop ERT appeals…the list goes on and on. 

In short, money and its corruptive effects is the root of all the problems wind projects imposed on a community. Faced with an increasingly sullen and sometimes hostile rural populace who slowly have come to realize they are targets, government response has been to encourage wind companies to spread the grease money a little wider to co-opt the opposition. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has come up with a form “Adjacent Landowner Agreement” to be filled out and signed by “willing” landowners – all identified by the property “PIN” – how clever, so personal.

Here’s a letter from Suncor to Adelaide-Metcalfe council outlining what they would like to see the council commit to for some cash. Some highlights:

Adjacent landowner support 
• Pool payments will be made to Landowners who are adjacent to the Project and have executed the IESO prescribed form: Adjacent Landowner Support Agreement
— Includes all assessed parcels with title, including Municipal Right-of-Way
— Annual payment based on Acreage with a minimum payment
— Should 75% of all Adjacent Landowners support the Project, payment doubles

Municipal agreement and support resolution |
• Request for municipalities to sign a binding agreement with Suncor, contingent upon successful award of a contract, with the following terms:
— Community Support Plan as described
— Agreement to work with Suncor to develop a framework for distribution of the funds in a way that respects Suncor’s funding priorities
— Intent to execute a road use agreement with Suncor allowing for use of Municipal Roads and Right-of-Ways for equipment delivery and infrastructure placement
• Request for municipalities to sign the Large Renewable Procurement Prescribed Forms: — Municipal Meeting
— Municipal Agreement
— Municipal Council Support Resolution
— Execute Adjacent Landowner Support Agreements 


Very helpful Suncor is, and take note:

  • that the municipality through its ownership of the Right-of-Way gets counted
  • so far no word as to how the payments are; thus, the promise of “payment doubles” for reaching the 75% level could be… double of nothing.

Nonetheless, this puts pressure on Nextera whose landmen, according to sources, have been playing hard-ball with the locals, telling them if they don’t sign they’ll get nothing, and the lease payments are less because the FIT price is less.

What the wind companies don’t produce is their spreadsheet with all the numbers for costs and revenue. Since we’re talking money now, I’ll do the simple math for them, taking the approximate operating expenses and revenues for the Adelaide wind project.

  • We’ll  estimate the operating efficiency at 27%
  • Yearly gross output 60MW/h x 24 x 365 x 27% = 141,912 MWh
  • Gross revenue is  141,912 x $135/MWh = $19,158,120 for a year’s production.
  • Payment to the leaseholders is 2% of the gross or $19,158,120 x .02 = $383,162
  • The other optioned properties get another half percent=  $95,790
  • NextEra is conditionally offering the township $1750/MWh x 60 =  $105,000
  • Property tax $40,000 x 60 x .0269259 = $64,622
  • Yearly payment on capital expense and interest: $8,000,000
  • Grand total: $8,648,574

After all the expenses NextEra takes home over $10million/year from the Adelaide Wind Project. They pay the township and leaseholders a measly $648,000  which is less than 3% of the gross revenue. Some of the Samsung projects were handing out 5%-6% to leaseholders. Wind companies are cheap. Think about that when they call on you.


Then have a look at the question/comments that were posed by energy developers to the IESO:

Trying to get away with as little “support” as possible…
17. With respect to adjacent/abutting landowners to proposed connection lines, should the proponent be responsible for the adjacent landowner support for a connection line that already follows existing municipal infrastructure – including roadways and electrical corridors – or does the proponent only need to contact those adjacent landowners that have the line passing through their personal, private property. For further clarity, is our understanding correct that the abutters for the connection line on municipal road are the municipality? (Abutting) Continue reading

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Four more wind projects for Chatham Kent and Haldimand counties

event_icon

Meadowvale Wind Farm – Public Community Meeting
22 Jun 2015 7:00 PM
• Knights of Columbus, 800 Murray St, Wallaceburg
Meadovale Wind Project 
6-9 wind turbines

Townsend Wind Farm – Public Community Meeting
23 Jun 2015 7:00 PM
• Jarvis Lions Club, 18 James St.,  Jarvis
Townsend Wind Project
2-3 wind turbines

Clachan & Duart Wind Farms – Public Community Meeting
25 Jun 2015 7:00 PM
• Mary Webb Centre, 87 Gosnell Line, Highgate
Duart Wind Project
3-4 wind turbines
Clachan Wind Project
3
-7 wind turbines

Posted in OWR | 21 Comments

Plympton-Wyoming council says Suncor road use agreement ‘too cheap’

gravel 008The Independent, Heather Wright
Plympton-Wyoming council has kicked a proposed road-use agreement with Suncor Energy for its Cedar Point Wind Project back to staff for further negotiations. The 46-turbine project is a 50/50 partnership between Suncor and NextEra in Plympton-Wyoming, Warwick and Lambton Shores.

Plympton-Wyoming’s Chief Executive Officer, Kyle Pratt, says earlier this year council had directed staff to discuss a road-use agreement with Suncor. “We looked at a number of road use agreements from other municipalities, namely those of Lambton, Huron and Middlesex counties,” he told council May 27.

“Their lawyers had already looked at certain things so we thought we could use them as a template and come up with something better for Plympton-Wyoming.” While Pratt noted the 30-year agreement was a lengthy document and clearly states Plympton-Wyoming remains an unwilling host and any approval of the agreement is intended solely for the protection of its taxpayers. Read article

Posted in Legal, Municipalities of Ontario | 3 Comments

Wind developer hosts English-only meeting in francophone village

WespeakfrenchsignCarolyn Thompson Goddard, AgriNews
CRYSLER — A day after Finch & District Lions Club hosted a Wind Power Information Night in Finch, EDP Renewables Canada provided North Stormont residents with a community information evening in the Crysler Community Centre on May 7.  But the English-only documentation and presentations by the American developer in francophone Crysler came off as a cultural faux pas by some observers at the event.

Director of Development for EDP Canada Tom LoTurco explained that the evening was planned “to get the information on the project we are proposing out to the general public” and Ken Little, EDP Renewables Project Manager, commented that it was a coincidence that the Crysler meeting was held the day after the Finch event as the Crysler Community Centre had been reserved in early to mid-April for this meeting by his company.

Around 70 local residents listened as representatives of EDP Renewables explained the process whereby their company will submit a proposal to the Independent Electrical System Operator in Ontario regarding the planned construction of 20-40 turbine wind farm in this predominately agricultural township. Read article

Posted in Ethics | 18 Comments

Ontario Liberals pull veil of secrecy over Hydro One sell-off

WYNNE NEGLECTGlobe and Mail, Adrian Morrow
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has pulled an iron curtain over Hydro One, ensuring one of the largest privatizations in the province’s history will unfold in secret.

The Liberals’ omnibus budget bill passed a final vote in the legislature Wednesday. The legislation, which will allow the government to start selling off the Crown corporation on the stock market later this year, contains a raft of clauses that remove public oversight of the company.

The bill strips the provincial auditor-general, financial accountability officer, ombudsman and several other independent watchdogs of their right to investigate Hydro One and resolve customer complaints. It also bars freedom-of-information requests and shields Hydro One employees’ salaries from the Sunshine List of provincial workers earning more than $100,000.

These provisions all take effect as soon as the bill is signed into law – even though none of the shares may be sold for months and the government could remain the company’s majority shareholder for years as it slowly sells down its stock. Read article

Posted in Ethics, Ontario government | 32 Comments

Trillium accuses Liberals of destroying wind project lawsuit documents

977054_10151435763616463_1203818282_oGlobe and Mail, Richard Blackwell
An offshore wind farm developer that is in the midst of a lawsuit against the province of Ontario is now accusing the Liberal government of destroying documents related to its case.

In a notice of motion filed with the Ontario Superior Court, Trillium Power Wind Corp. says: “It has become apparent … that documents have been destroyed and records of communications have been wiped clean or deleted from computers, or assigned a code name to render their retrieval impossible.”

Trillium spent years and millions of dollars developing plans for an offshore wind farm in Lake Ontario near Kingston, but it had the rug pulled out from under it in February, 2011, when the province said it would not consider any offshore development until more scientific studies were done. The decision came the same day Trillium was to sign a large financing deal.

Trillium sued the government – initially for $2.25-billion in damages – but most of the grounds for the suit were thrown out of court.

However, in 2013 the Ontario Court of Appeal said the company could go ahead with one specific allegation, that the government’s decision amounted to “malfeasance in public office.” Read article

Posted in Ethics, Legal, Wind Industry | 5 Comments

Statement on Divisional Court ruling on Ontario’s Endangered Species Act

eagle nestOntario Nature
TORONTO — Ontario’s Divisional Court has upheld a provincial regulation that exempts major industries from the Endangered Species Act and allows them to kill species at risk and destroy their habitat.

“This is a disappointing decision for Ontario’s endangered and threatened wildlife,” said Ecojustice lawyer Lara Tessaro. “The Endangered Species Act is intended to put species first — not to let their survival be balanced against competing industrial interests. That would tip the scale towards extinction.”

When it was introduced in 2007, the Endangered Species Act was considered the gold standard law for species protection in North America. Unfortunately, recent years have seen Ontario shirk its duties to protect at-risk wildlife.

In 2013, the province introduced a regulation that exempts major industries from strict protection standards under the Endangered Species Act — in many cases giving them a free pass to kill endangered or threatened species and destroy their habitat, as long as this harm is “minimized.” To challenge this regulation, Ontario Nature and Wildlands League, represented by Ecojustice lawyers, brought a lawsuit that culminated in a hearing earlier this year.

“There are too many plants and animals that are teetering on the edge in this province,” said Anna Baggio of Wildlands League. “We will continue to speak up for them until their habitat is protected and until they are no longer at risk of extinction.” Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds, Environmental, Ethics, Fish and Wildlife | 35 Comments

Highest court in Ontario declines to hear wind appeal, farm families disappointed

SHAWN DRENNANFor Immediate Release
HIGHEST COURT IN ONTARIO DECLINES TO HEAR WIND APPEAL FARM FAMILIES DISAPPOINTED
May 29, 2015

On May 28, 2015, the Court of Appeal for Ontario denied leave to appeal to the Drennans, Dixons, Ryans, and the Kroeplins, in respect of their Charter Challenge to the current legislation for the approval of wind turbine projects.

These farm families had been seeking the opportunity to argue that the Environmental Protection Act provisions approving renewable energy projects exposes them to a reasonable prospect of serious harm to their health and therefore does not comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Health Canada Study Summary Results released on November 6, 2014, showed an association between wind turbine noise and annoyance, and an association between wind turbine noise annoyance and sleep disturbances, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, and measured blood pressure and hair cortisol.

Shawn Drennan commented on the Court of Appeal’s decision: “We are disappointed with the Court’s decision not to hear our case. No one has been able to tell us that the turbines are safe.  We are being told that we have to wait to be harmed before we can do anything to stop them. The Court has given us two choices: leave the land my family has farmed for three generations, or be a guinea pig for the government and the wind companies.” Continue reading

Posted in Legal | 12 Comments

‘We’re not done yet’ say wind turbine opponents

2012 keiths birthday protest dalton 047Grimsby Lincoln News, Amanda Moore
A group of mothers is not done fighting the onslaught of 77 wind turbines in their community despite a ruling against them by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The ERT dismissed the case against the Niagara Region Wind Corp. project brought forward by Mothers Against Turbines Inc. in a decision issued in May.

“The Tribunal finds that the Appellant has not established that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause serious harm to human health,” ERT vice-chair Dirk VanderBent wrote in his decision. “The Tribunal further finds that the Appellant has not established that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.

“The Tribunal finds that the Appellant has not established that s. 142.1 of the EPA (Environmental Protection Act) violates the right to security of the person under s. 7 of the Charter.”

The decision came after a series of hearings held earlier this year in Wellandport and Wainfleet.  “We’re not done yet,” said Linda Rogers, MAWT director. “That’s the take home message from this. We are looking at other options carefully.” Read article

Posted in Health, Legal | 5 Comments

Wind Companies lining up in Lambton-Middlesex – another 430MW (~280 turbines)

2013 MLWAG mapOn top of the 360+ turbines installed, these are also being proposed:

  • Suncor Nauvoo Project             60MW
  • NextEra Hardy Creek Project 120MW
  • EDF-EN Churchill Project       150MW
  • Enerfin Sydeham Project         100MW

Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Another energy company is proposing a wind turbine project in Lambton County. Mayor Don McGugan said representatives of Enerfin attended a council meeting this week to speak with Brooke-Alvinston Township officials. McGugan said the proposed site for the wind project is on the east side of Brooke-Alvinston, and west side of neighbouring Enniskillen Township.

“They have some landowners signed up, so they say,” McGugan said Friday. Sebastien Verzeni, director of Enerfin Canada, said the company has been active in Lambton for a little more than two months, after acquiring the Sydenham wind power project proposal from Mainstream Renewable Power.

Verzeni said the company has been talking with landowners and looking at locations for the project infrastructure, as well as beginning consultations with the community. Public open houses are expected to be held at the end of July, he said. Read article

Posted in OWR | 2 Comments

Suncor Energy recently filed a court application to quash Plympton-Wyoming’s legislation

Suncor BullySarnia Observer, Tyler Kula
PLYMPTON-WYOMING – 
A legal challenge from Suncor Energy has prompted town council to back away from a noise bylaw the municipality enacted last year to limit local wind farm development.

Suncor, a developer behind the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project under construction in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township, recently filed a court application to quash Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaw, said town clerk Brianna Coughlin.

The municipal legislation sought, among other things, to limit wind turbine-produced noise lower than 20 hertz — infrasound: the normal limit of human hearing. Wind turbine opponents argue exposure can negatively impact people’s health. Complying with the bylaw would have made it impossible to operate the 100-MW wind farm, expected to be operational by late 2015, Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said Thursday.

“We are committed to complying with and operating within the limits that are set out for us by the province,” he said, noting noise limits for wind farms are provincial territory. “And we felt that the municipality just didn’t have jurisdiction on this particular matter.” Read article

 

Posted in Legal, Municipalities of Ontario | 1 Comment

Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines

chickenPhys.org
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations. In a new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, a group of researchers demonstrate the impact that one wind energy development in Kansas has had on Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) breeding in the area. Virginia Winder of Benedictine College, Andrew Gregory of Bowling Green State University, Lance McNew of Montana State University, and Brett Sandercock of Kansas State University monitored prairie-chicken leks, or mating sites,
before and after turbine construction and found that leks within eight kilometers of turbines were more likely to be abandoned.

Leks are sites at which male prairie-chickens gather each spring to perform mating displays and attract females. The researchers visited 23 leks during the five-year study to observe how many male birds were present and to record the body mass of trapped males. After wind turbine construction, they found an increased rate of lek abandonment at sites within eight kilometers of the turbines as well as a slight decrease in male body mass. Lek
abandonment was also more likely at sites where there were seven or fewer males and at sites located in agricultural fields instead of natural grasslands. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | 19 Comments

American Bird Conservancy Wind Development Bird Risk Map

wind-map-screenshotAmerican Bird Conservancy
(Washington., D.C., May 3, 2012) A new, interactive web-based map, created by American Bird Conservancy (ABC)—the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, is now available, and has the potential to dramatically reduce bird impacts from wind turbines. Open the map. Using Google Earth as a platform, the map highlights more than 2,000 locations in the United States where birds are likely to be particularly vulnerable to impacts from wind energy development. Key sites are colored either orange or red to indicate their relative importance to birds.

Birds can be impacted by wind power both through direct collisions and by displacement from nesting, foraging, or transit areas. The map addresses both of these issues by identifying both concentrated migratory flight paths and key habitat locations. The map also provides extensive background data for each location, including details of ownership, habitats, land use, bird species, and conservation issues.

“This map offers a way to prevent millions of bird deaths from wind power, while at the same time providing ample opportunity for the prudent development of this potentially bird-smart energy source. Careful siting of wind energy remains the single most important factor in reducing bird deaths from wind power, and this map provides a means to do just that,” said Mike Parr, Vice President of ABC. “ABC strongly supports bird-smart wind energy development” he added. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | 13 Comments

House Bulldozed for Wind Project, Family Says

DSCF4783Courthouse News Service, Rebekah Kearn
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Wind energy companies bulldozed a black family’s house because they were the sole holdouts who refused to sell out to a huge wind farm, the family claims in court. Darlene Dotson and her sons David and Daniel sued EDP Renewables North America, Horizon Wind Energy Co., Rising Tree Wind Farm, CVE Contracting Group, and Renewable Land LLC, on May 7 in Superior Court.

The family wastes no time in getting down to specifics. “Plaintiffs in this action are the victims of a multinational energy developer who refused to accept ‘No’ for an answer,” the 32-page complaint begins. “The heart of the issue is that the Dotsons own property in Mojave that is sought after by EDP Renewables for windmills, and they refuse to sell,” the family’s attorney Morgan Stewart told Courthouse News.

Mojave, pop. 4,300, is 50 miles east of Bakersfield, below the Tehachapi Mountains, on the edge of the immense Mojave Desert. “The home on the property was a family home they used for family vacations and gatherings. EDP pressured them to sell, but they still refused,” Stewart said. “The house was damaged several times when they were away. And then one time when they went back to the house they found that it had been demolished, scraped to the foundations, along with all of their belongings. The companies did it. “We see it as intentional because EDP needed the property for the wind farm, but the Dotsons wouldn’t sell,” Stewart said. Read article

Posted in Ethics | 18 Comments

Sweetheart Deal: Lower property assessments just another subsidy for wind industry

imagesdanger-thieves-jun-05-smallPeter Epp, The Observer
Among the incongruities found within the Green Energy Plan is the way in which wind turbines are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). In a word, the assessment is low.

The Ontario government’s purpose, when the plan and its accompanying legislation were approved in 2009, was to encourage the development of wind energy in this province. Developers would be given incentives, including generous subsidies. They would also be modestly taxed, which was just another form of subsidy.

For those rare municipalities that actually welcomed wind turbine development (Chatham-Kent, for one), the relatively low assessment on turbines wasn’t seen as a hurdle; it was viewed as new-found tax revenue, even if that revenue was modest when compared to what other developments might generate.

But for those municipalities that called themselves “unwilling hosts” to turbine development, the lack of sufficient assessment has become just another irritant.

In Plympton-Wyoming – which has been on the forefront of those municipalities that have been actively and vocally campaigning against wind turbine development – Mayor Lonny Napper says wind turbines worth an estimated $5 million have been assessed at a mere fraction of their value, by an estimated $60,000. Indeed, Napper suggests that every time a new turbine is erected in Plympton-Wyoming, his municipality loses tax revenue. Read article

Posted in OWR | Leave a comment

Cutting down trees for wind project in provincially protected zone was a “mistake”, Suncor and NextEra say

1297699121425_ORIGINALSarnia Observer, Tyler Kula
Ontario’s Environment Ministry is investigating after protected trees were recently cut down during land development for Suncor and NextEra’s Cedar Point wind farm in Lambton County. Strips of protected woods, together measuring 3,000 square metres, were levelled near Fuller Road and Proof Line in Lambton Shores last month, said Kate Jordan, a ministry spokesperson. That violates one of the conditions of Suncor’s environmental approval for the project, being built in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township.

“We have reminded the company that it must make sure that all of its contractors that are operating on its behalf do follow the requirements of the ministry approval,” said Jordan. “We have also referred the incident to our investigations and enforcement branch.” Ministry officials are talking to witnesses, the company, and others — gathering evidence to see if charges will be laid under the Water Resources Act, she said. “Certainly it is something that we are taking seriously,” Jordan said.

Some of the woodlots impacted, listed as provincially significant wetlands under Suncor’s Natural Heritage Assessment – Environmental Impact Study, include rare red bark hickory trees, said Santo Giorno, with the We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) group that’s fought against wind turbines in the area. Read article

Posted in Environmental | 127 Comments

Leaked Samsung documents prompt declaration to dismantle HDI: launch investigation

1297489333163_ORIGINALTwo Row Times, Nahnda Garlow
SIX NATIONS – A declaration was presented during Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council this weekend calling for the immediate dismantlement of HDI and dismissal of lawyer Aaron Detlor, HDI Director Hazel Hill and HDI board member Brian Doolittle.

This declaration, read aloud in council by Cayuga Wolf Chief Sam General, calls for the dismantlement of the HDI for not negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Confederacy, the immediate dismissal and removal of Detlor, Hill and Doolittle for misrepresenting the Confederacy, immediate halting of all HDI business and the launch of a full investigation into HDI by the Confederacy.

These demands come after copies of two Engagement Agreements HDI signed with with Samsung in 2013 and 2014, locally known as ‘the Samsung deals’, were leaked to clan families.

Those leaked documents reveal that HDI agreed to, on behalf of the HCCC and all Haudenosaunee member nations, waive Haudenosaunee sovereign immunity and any other claim of traditional or treaty rights surrounding Haudenosaunee right to lands that the projects are utilizing in exchange for financial compensation. Read article

Posted in First Nations | 9 Comments

Wynne’s green scheme could deal massive blow to Ontario and Canada

web-rob-wynne-0503Gwen Morgan, The Globe and Mail
Last month’s announcement by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne that her province would link up with the existing Quebec and California carbon dioxide cap-and-trade systems prompted an editorial in this newspaper headlined, “Is this Green Energy Act Round Two?”

Ontario’s Green Energy Act offered so-called “feed-in rates” almost four times existing electricity rates for wind and more than 10 times for solar power. Like bees to honey, wind and solar companies rushed in. By the time the government realized that these subsidies were driving Ontario from one of the lowest to one of the highest power cost jurisdictions in North America, the province had signed myriad 20-year-locked-in-rate-guaranteed contracts that will drive power rates up a further 40 per cent to 50 per cent in coming years. Adding salt to this self-inflicted wound is the reality that much of the green power comes on stream when it isn’t needed. This unneeded electricity is dumped into the United States at bargain-basement prices that Ontario’s Auditor-General found has already cost Ontario power consumers billions of dollars, with much bigger losses yet to come before those 20-year contracts expire. Read article

Posted in Ontario government | 80 Comments

Dr. Swinbanks: Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community

[This paper was to be presented at the Glasgow International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise last week, but Dr. Swinbanks was relegated to only presenting his poster. Typical of this whole wind fraud – silencing the voices that speak the truth. So let’s do our part and share Dr. Swinbanks report far and wide!!]

Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community

swinbanks6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise
Glasgow 20-23 April 2015
M.A.Swinbanks, MAS Research Ltd
8 Pentlands Court, Cambridge CB4 1JN
E-mail: malcva@msn.com

Summary
The author first became aware of the adverse health problems associated with infrasound many years ago in 1974, when an aero-engine manufacturer approached him to consider the problems that office personnel were experiencing close to engine test facilities. He had been conducting research into the active control of sound, and the question was posed as to whether active sound control could be used to address this problem. At that time, this research was in its infancy, and the scale of the problem clearly lay outside practical implementation. Five years later, however, the author was asked to address a related problem associated with the low-frequency noise of a 15,000SHP ground-based gas-turbine compressor installation, having a 40 foot high, 10 foot diameter exhaust stack. This problem was of a more tractable scale, and the author and his colleagues successfully reduced the low-frequency noise of the installation by over 12dB. He subsequently was requested to address a similar installation of significantly greater size and power, again with accurately predicted results.

As a consequence of this and subsequent work, the author has gained considerable experience of the disturbing effects of low-frequency noise and infrasound. So when he first became aware of the nature of adverse health reports from windfarm residents, they were immediately recognisable as effects with which he had been familiar for as many as 35 years.

Since late 2009, the author has lived part-time within a Michigan community where wind turbines have been increasingly deployed. Consequently he has had significant interaction with residents whose lives and well-being have been damaged, and moreover has experienced the associated very severe effects directly, at first hand. His resultant perspective is thus based on both detailed theoretical analysis, and extensive personal, practical experience. Read full paper

Posted in Health, Noise | 38 Comments

Failed rink wind turbine investments to be returned

PEICBC News
The four P.E.I. communities that put wind turbines up at their rinks have been given their initial investment back by the province. The province will also cover the cost of taking down the turbines in Alberton, Kensington, Crapaud and Murray River.

Kensington CAO Geoff Baker told CBC News the town is happy it’s getting its $70,000 investment back and that the turbine is coming down. “We’re disappointed that the project didn’t work, really from the very beginning,” said Baker. “I would say we’re very pleased that the Wind Energy Institute and the provincial government came through and really looked after us as far as the investment we made into the project.”

Kensington’s rink was one of four that hoped to reduce electricity bills through wind energy, a project that received joint funding of almost $1.3 million from the communities, and provincial and federal governments. The Wind Energy Institute of Canada was the project manager. It chose a turbine made by Seaforth and decided which P.E.I. rinks were the best sites.

But Kensington’s turbine only produced a third of the power the wind institute projected. Read article

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Turtle beats turbine

Blandings turtle rulesQuinte News
An endangered species has won the power struggle over Ostrander Point as Ontario’s top court has ruled in favour of the Blanding’s turtle over turbines.

In a historic ruling the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a provincial court decision in relation to the Renewable Energy Approval of Gilead Power’s nine turbine project.

[…]

Gillespie says Gilead now has a couple of options going forward one of them being to ask the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa to hear the case. He says there’s no automatic right to do that you need leave or permission from the Supreme Court.

Gillespie says the other way that this is definitely going to play out is the Environmental Review Tribunal has been asked by the Ontario Court of Appeal to hear some further submissions on what the solution to this situation should be. Read article

Posted in Fish and Wildlife, Legal | 6 Comments

NextEra still doing the “eat, drink & sign wind lease” meetings

Eat, drink and sign your property away! NextEra serves a buffet to people with land in Hardy Creek Wind Project area (Middlesex/Lambton).

Notice that a public meeting hasn’t happened yet for this project. NextEra needs to get all the land signed up first, then they’ll tell the rest of you about it (maybe). This invite was sent to some landowners, but not all. Those with a few acres are still left out of the loop on what is happening in this project.

Can you see how this way of ‘doing business’ DESTROYS communities?

image1-2

Posted in Ethics, Leases | 19 Comments

Wind Leaseholders May Be On The Hook For Billions

global-landgrabA recent visit by members of the Ontario Landowners Association to the Land Registry Office in Goderich (Service Ontario) has revealed the registration of a one billion dollar mortgage by K2 Wind Ontario Inc. on 100 wind leaseholder properties in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW), home of the 140 turbine K2 Wind Project. They were looking for the original deed for a property and stumbled on K2 Wind’s charge. Certified public records indicate that some properties may be encumbered at twenty times their farm land value, or more.

“We don’t know the full ramifications of what we have discovered this week”, stated Dave Hemingway, President of the Huron Perth Landowners Association. “We know that K2 Wind is not the only wind company following this practice but we don’t know at this point just how many others are involved.” Mr. Hemingway went on to say, “This raises some serious questions. Have the wind developers been smooth talkers and have rural leaseholders been too naïve and trusting? This might very well impact leaseholders’ ability to borrow money for their farming operations.”
Mr. Hemingway states that this discovery could have a profound effect on a leaseholders’ ability to borrow money, sell the farm or otherwise do what he/she sees fit with their own land.

The Ontario Landowners Association has been promoting the concept of property rights for landowners and has been encouraging them to make application for their Crown Land Patent. As part of this program the association encourages property owners to get a copy of the original deed for when the property was transferred from the Crown to private ownership. In the Huron Perth area, this happened from around 1830. The Crown sold the land to the Canada Company which then sold parcels to the local landowners of the time. The Huron Perth Landowners Association has published a Crown Letters Patent booklet to explain what a Crown Letters Patent is and how to get one for your own property. The association also recommends getting the original deed for one’s property which sets out the terms under which the first individual landowner received the property rights which have subsequently becomes the current owner’s property rights.
For further information, contact Dave Hemingway at 519-482-7005 or davehemingway@gmail.com.

Posted in Leases | 56 Comments