Steven Cooper’s Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm Study the Beginning of the End for the Wind Industry

wind-turbine-signatureStop These Things
Earlier this week, a small, but very effective, nuclear device was detonated at Cape Bridewater, which – before Union Super Funds backed Pacific Hydro destroyed it – was a pristine, coastal idyll in South-Western Victoria.

The bomb that went off was a study carried out by one of Australia’s crack acoustic specialists, Steven Cooper – and some typically solid journalism from The Australian’s Graham Lloyd – that put the Pac Hydro initiated pyrotechnics in the International spotlight.

Over the next few posts, STT will analyse just what the detonation, its aftermath and fallout means for an industry which, in Australia, is already on the ropes. And we’ll look at what it means to the thousands of wind farm victims here – and around the world.

We’ll kick off with the front page story that has sent the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers into a state of terror filled panic.

Turbines may well blow an ill wind over locals, ‘first’ study shows
The Australian, Graham Lloyd, 21 January 2015

PEOPLE living near wind farms face a greater risk of suffering health complaints caused by the low-frequency noise generated by turbines, a groundbreaking study has found.

The study by acoustics expert Steven Cooper is the first in the world in which a wind turbine operator had fully co-operated and turned wind turbines off completely during the testing. Read article

Posted in Health, Noise | 34 Comments

Anti-wind turbine group seeks leave to appeal in Charter fight

li-charter-of-rights-cbcBy Denis Langlois, Sun Times
A group of southwestern Ontario residents is hoping to take to the next level a constitutional challenge of the province’s approval process for large-scale wind farms. The residents, represented by Toronto-based law firm Falconers LLP, are seeking leave to appeal a Dec. 29 decision by the Ontario Divisional Court, which ruled against four families who live close to proposed wind farms and have raised serious concerns about the health impacts of industrial turbines. A decision on whether or not the Ontario Court of Appeal will hear the matter is expected within 30 to 90 days.

“Basically what we’re fighting is setbacks. It’s not necessarily an anti-wind movement. It’s that the setbacks aren’t appropriate to protect the health and safety of people,” said Kevin McKee, president of Huron-Kinloss Against Lakeside Turbines (HALT), which is helping to fund the legal fight. The so-called “Charter Challenge” claims the province’s process for granting wind farm approvals violates the residents’ right to security of the person as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

McKee said an Ontario court has not yet heard or ruled on that claim. “What we’re hoping for is the appeals court of Ontario, which is the next step, will listen to our case, will respect the law and will invoke the Charter,” he said. Read article

Posted in OWR | 20 Comments

‘Sizzling’ noise from Samsung wind turbine transmission line a concern for council

mum march4The Sachem
Some Haldimand council members are concerned about a “sizzling” noise coming from Samsung Renewable Energy’s transmission line. Ward 1 Coun. Leroy Barlett said he witnessed an usual noise along Haldimand Road 20 where the transmission line runs. “It’s a sizzling of those lines up ahead,” he told council at the Jan. 13 committee meeting.

Bartlett said he feels this is one of a number of “significant issues” related to Samsung’s transmission project. “We have towers that I think are put in the wrong spot,” Bartlett said. “Now, we have these concerns from residents about the sizzling or crackling of the lines.” He suggested council send letters to the province and Samsung about these issues, and added that he feels residents “shouldn’t have to live through” this.

Bartlett’s concerns were backed up by other councillors at the meeting when Ward 2 Coun. Fred Morison said he also heard the noises as well. Morison described the transmission line noise as “bacon frying.”

“If you got these things making noise then there’s obviously a lot of power getting out that shouldn’t be at all,” Coun. Craig Grice added. “Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we should find that out.” Read article

Posted in Transmission | 1 Comment

NextEra’s stray voltage affecting gas and telephone lines …. what about people?

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Over the last year, our communities have been overwhelmed by the installation of Industrial Wind Development.  In the municipalities of North Middlesex, Lambton Shores and Adelaide-Metcalf NextEra’s Bornish project (45 turbines), Kerwood project (37 turbines) and Jericho project (92 turbines) all use the same transmission line to feed electricity into the grid.  Bornish and Kerwood became operational this past summer while Jericho went live last month.  The Suncor Adelaide project of mammoth 2.3 MW turbines has yet to come on line.

All three of NextEra’s projects were appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).  All of the appeals were dismissed, by the esteemed panel; noting that the community had no grounds for concern, as the expert panel provided by the proponents testified under oath that there was no possible impact to the community or the environment.  The ERT found that the Appellants failed to provide evidence to show that engaging in these projects WILL cause serious and irreversible harm.

Here is an example of that testimony from the Jericho ERT:

NextEra’s expert witness, Mr. James Arkerson, Manager – Wind Project Engineering at NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the Approval Holder’s parent company, testified that “he was not an expert in stray voltage“.  He also testified “that the transmission and collection lines for the Project were designed by licensed professional engineers and that the system complies with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and other applicable standards.”  So they must be safe, and that was evidence enough to prove that the projects would not impact the health and well being of the residents of our communities.

Mr. Arkerson also raised the possibility that other conductive objects, such as metal fences or pipelines, might induce voltage but noted that the Approval Holder is obligated to perform induction studies and demonstrate compliance to the ESA and the affected utilities, but he expected in this case that any voltage induced would be insignificant. When questioned about whether this conclusion was premature given that the induction studies were not complete, Mr. Arkerson stated that he was drawing on his past experience with numerous similar projects.  He also noted that the Project cannot be energized until compliance with the applicable standards has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the ESA.  Unfortunately, for the residents affected by this project, Mr. Arkerson was merely a puppet, speaking the words of NexTerror, and his ‘expertise’ failed to prove that there was definitely NO reason for concern, with regards to stray voltage.

This is what’s really happening in our communities ……………..

Gas Lines
Both the Jericho and Kerwood projects have transmission lines running along side the gas lines.  In both projects Union Gas found the risk of stray voltage to be a significant concern.  So much so, that they marked each regulator in front of homes along the transmission routes and temporarily placed hard plastic suitcase-like containers over each regulator.  Once all the regulators were ‘secured’ they dug up each pipeline and regulator on residences’ front lawns to insulate the equipment. Continue reading

Posted in Transmission, Wind Industry | 2 Comments

Families keep battling turbines

CTV News

CTV_Fotor

Falconers LLP
January 13, 2015- Drennan, Dixon-Ryan & Kroeplin Wind Farm Appeals
The Drennan, Dixon-Ryan, and Kroeplin Appellants’ are seeking leave to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal on the constitutionality of the government’s approval process for wind turbine projects, and their effect on human health for those living in close proximity to the turbines. The Appellants, all of whom are represented by Falconers LLP, are Families who live in close proximity to pending windfarm projects.

Related Documents
Appellants’ Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal. January 13, 2015
Judgment. December 29, 2014

In the News
“MPP Upset With Court Decision.” January 12, 2015
“Challenge to Green Energy Act based on deemed breach of rights fails at Ontario appellate court.” January 7, 2015
“Turbine appeal tossed.” January 6, 2015
“Appellant Disappointed with Wind Charter Challenge Ruling.” December 30, 2014

 Further Documents on Drennan & Dixon-Ryan Families’ Cases

Posted in Legal | 15 Comments

Township considers sound expert to deal with turbine complaints

wind-farm-noise-mapGrimsby Lincoln News
WEST LINCOLN — After an exhausting search, township officials have turned up at least one way to protect residents from industrial wind turbines. Staff was directed by the previous council to undertake a review of township bylaws, as well as those of other municipalities, to determine if any additional regulations can be put into place that would protect residents from wind turbines.

As far as the township’s existing bylaws go, there is little that can be done. But a look to Plympton-Wyoming may have turned up one way to protect residents from the nuisance noise associated with turbines.

The Municipality of Plympton-Wyoming, near Sarnia, Ont., has passed a bylaw that requires an expert in decibel reading to deal with noise complaints. Should a noise exceed the allowable limits of the municipality’s noise bylaw, a fine can be applied. The municipality’s CAO confirmed to township staff they have a sound engineer on retainer to address complaints under the bylaw, should any occur. Read article

Posted in Municipalities of Ontario, Noise | 10 Comments

Surveying the wreckage

2014_06010093Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
A  good friend of mine runs a business in the County. He has done so for 40 years. He showed me his electricity bill last week. In December, he spent $770 on electricity. It was one of the least expensive lines on his bill. The global adjustment charge was $4,267.32. There was also a delivery charge, a debt retirement charge and an array of taxes. In total, he spent nearly $10,000 in December—for $770 of electricity. He doesn’t know where this money is going. He is not sure he can keep up. He isn’t alone.

The global adjustment is a catch-all fee that covers the provincial government’s intervention in electricity generating market. It pays for solar generators, industrial wind turbine plants and subsidized exports to Michigan and Quebec. It covers the subsidized rates some chosen industries pay. It pays for the lawyers who battle residents and groups—including the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists—at tribunals and courtrooms across the province.

In essence, my friend is paying an amount nearly six times the value of the electricity he used to line the pockets of industrial wind developers, solar companies, lawyers, foreign owned smelters, as well as enriching Michigan’s coffers to take this power off our grid. Read article

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Green energy is not affordable

Posted in OWR | 24 Comments

Dufferin County pursues environment assessment of wind project transmission line

5-Transformer StationOrangville Banner, Chris Halliday
It will only go as far as Dufferin Wind Power’s transmission line is long. County politicians, however, plan to hire a land surveyor to measure the length of the wind farm developer’s transmission line and see if the findings could trigger an environmental assessment (EA).

As per provincial regulations, any transmission line in Ontario exceeding a length of 50 km automatically requires an EA be conducted.  According to Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts, the line running from Melancthon to Amaranth is 47.25 km long, but county council wants to find out for itself.

“The easiest thing I think you can start with is getting a survey. See how long that line actually is,” local resident Karren Wallace told county council on Thursday (Jan. 8). “What would the cost of a survey be? I don’t know, but what is the cost of regret?” Controversy has swirled around the construction of Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line ever since the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved the company’s plan last year. Read article

Posted in Transmission | 25 Comments

Councillor in awe of volunteers who helped with wind turbine appeal

kawartha_lakesKawartha Lakes This Week, Mary Riley
(MANVERS TWP) Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble says she’s “in awe of the amount and the quality of the work” that went into a legal challenge to the building of industrial wind turbines in Manvers Township.

As those fighting wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge wind energy project prepare for a decision next month, Coun. Stauble had nothing but praise for those who put “a tremendous amount of time, energy and skill” volunteering to help the case.

In December 2013, wind energy company wpd Canada was granted Ministry of Environment (MOE) approval to build Sumac Ridge wind energy farm, which involves building five 500-metre high industrial wind turbines near Pontypool. Two of those would be on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Read article

Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal, Legal | 29 Comments

Monte McNaughton says he would get rid of all wind turbines

monteLondon Free Press, Deb VanBrenk
Ontario wind turbines would stop spinning for good — saving money in the long run, despite up-front cancellation costs — if he became premier, says the Tory leadership candidate from Southwestern Ontario.

“It’s time to end this ripoff,” said MPP Monte McNaughton, one of five candidates for the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership and the only one from the southwest, where many of wind farms are located. “Wind power is going to cost between $20 billion and $60 billion over the next 20 years,” said McNaughton, a second-term MPP from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.

Tearing up existing contracts would cost less than what turbines are costing Ontarians now, he said, but he had no estimates of the cost to cancel contracts and raze turbines. “We’ve got to cut our losses now,” he told The Free Press on Sunday, ahead of rolling out his plan Monday. McNaughton said he’d repeal legislation that allows turbines to be built and would decommission ones already on the grid. Read article

Posted in OWR | 88 Comments

Calgary student turns to crowdfunding to finish bat research because wind companies & government won’t fund it

CNSPhoto-Munro-Batsipick Canada’s Front Page
A student at the University of Calgary has turned to crowd funding to be able to finish her PhD. Erin Baerwald’s doctoral research involves gathering genetic information to determine the migratory routes of bats. The goal is to help reduce the number of bats killed during migration as a result of collisions with wind turbines.

“We think closer to two million bats have been killed in the last ten years,” she said. Baerwald says genetic research is expensive and unexpected costs have outstripped her existing funding. She says she hopes to complete her research by the summer.

Baerwald and her supporters have launched a campaign on the web site Indiegogo. The goal is to raise $15,000. “I’ve had some donations from Germany and Slovakia and from across the U.K.,” she said. “A lot of the bat community is getting behind me as well; they’re re-tweeting and sharing on Facebook and donating,” she added. Read article

Click here to help out.

Posted in Bats and Birds, Take Action | 4 Comments

High Ontario power rates blamed for deterring investment

2014_06010078CBC News
A growing number of Ontario mayors and manufacturers say the province’s energy prices and infrastructure are bad for business.

According to the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario, industrial customers pay approximately $85 per megawatt hour in Ontario when all components of the price of electricity is included. That’s more than double the $40 average paid in neighbouring provinces Manitoba, Quebec and the state of Michigan.

Ian Howcroft, the vice president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Ontario, said energy is a major factor when companies look to invest or expand in the province. “Companies are looking at all costs. It could be a deal breaker,” Howcroft said of energy rates. “Ontario is a high-cost jurisdiction, especially with the high dollar.

“It could be the straw that broke the investment camel’s back.” Howcroft said energy could account for as much as 30 per cent of a company’s expense, especially in mining and foundries. Read article

Posted in Subsidies / Costs | 57 Comments

County urged to study EMF levels along Dufferin Wind transmission line

wind transmission linesOrangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
While Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) “unequivocally” states its transmission line meets all regulations, Melancthon Mayor Darren White wants the county to conduct its own electromagnetic field (EMF) tests. At county council’s meeting this Thursday (Jan. 8), White plans to urge politicians hire an electrical engineering consultant to determine whether the amount of stray energy being emitted from Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line is safe or not.

“It’s in the best interest of us to at least know what the levels are that we’re dealing with,” White said. “To have somebody, who is professional in the field, explain to us that this is safe, this is not safe, or under which conditions it is safe.” Since Health Canada doesn’t consider EMF a hazard, there are no precautionary measures required when it relates to daily exposure. As such, Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts noted the company has no testing guidelines to follow. “We state unequivocally that all protocol has been followed in the construction of this line,” Roberts explained in an email, claiming opponents to her company’s project are requesting EMF measurements that aren’t mandated in Canada.

“DWPI has installed a safe power line,” Roberts added. “It has been built to the latest industry standards; and it is consistently operating at well under capacity.”
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved Dufferin Wind’s plan to construct the transmission line from its 49-turbine wind farm in Melancthon to Amaranth last year.
The most recent criticism of the project came after a group of residents reportedly witnessed stray energy emitted from the line light a fluorescent light bulb.

While Roberts noted the phenomenon witnessed was a “well-documented side effect of the conduction of alternating current,” White thinks it would be best if the county investigated the matter further. “It’s the responsible thing to do. You can only make a good decision if you have all the information,” he said. “I just want to make sure it was done in a manner that is safe for the residents and safe for anybody that is in the area of the project.” Read article

Posted in Electrical Pollution, Health, Municipalities of Ontario, Transmission | 1 Comment

New regulations to reduce coal?

hagersvilleby Harvey Wrightman
I’ll bet you thought that Ontario is all cleaned up now that the coal generators are shuttered. What could be next. Well, those oh so helpful cement companies have a little problem. Hey need some “regulatory relief” and who better to deliver than the environmental fascists. Paint it green and it’s ready to roll for 2015. From the pro-wind website of Envirolaw, “New regulations to reduce coal?“:

[Para 3]  “Lafarge spent millions of dollars on an application to burn waste tires in its cement kiln.

What’s this all about?

Back in 2008 cement and aggregate behemoth, Lafarge actually lost (hard to believe) an ERT appeal re: its proposal to burn used tires in its cement kilns at the cement plant in St. Marys. Coal was and remains the choice for fuel because of economics. Cement kilns need power-plant sized amounts of thermal energy to produce cement.  Steel making and other metal refiners are also dependent on a low-cost coal as a source of energy/heat for operations. But burning rubber tires? Anyone remember the tire dump fire at Hagersville in 1990 and those plumes of black, toxic smoke? Continue reading

Posted in Environmental, Environmental Review Tribunal, Ontario government | 3 Comments

Standing with Freedom of Expression & against Terror

Mother Jones

France Newspaper Attack

BBC

B6w4BgRIAAQlPJ3.jpg-large
Sun News- Watch Ezra Levant

Editorial
Until Wednesday, very few Canadians were aware of the existence of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based magazine that routinely satirizes politicians, celebrities and the dogma of all major world religions.Their cartoons are biting, crude, explicit and often shocking and repugnant to the sensibilities and moral code of many in Europe. Some would be offensive to readers of this newspaper.

But those cartoons represent free expression in a democratic society, and none of them should have meant death sentences for cartoonists known to their fans as “Charb,” “Cabu,” “Wolinski” and “Tignous.”

For centuries, satire has been a legitimate form of expression, intended to challenge comfortable assumptions and appeal to our sense of the ridiculous. Great satire can impart in a single image what 1,000 words cannot match. Read article

Posted in OWR | 1 Comment

Power prices zap Ontario’s oil gains

wynneFinancial Post, Parker Gallant
According to the Globe and Mail, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says her province “is ready to shield Canada from the economic tsunami caused by declining oil prices and a sinking dollar.”

Ms. Wynne’s comments came after an RBC report estimated the fall in oil prices will actually help the Canadian economy by boosting household purchasing power by $8.9 billion this year. With annual Ontario gasoline consumption of 16.4 billion litres, a permanent slide in the price of about 25 cents (from $1.20 a litre to 95 cents a litre) should translate to about $4-billion annually in the hands of Ontario consumers.

Premier Wynne went on to say: “I don’t wish for low oil prices and a low dollar for Alberta,” she said. “But at the same time, we want our manufacturing sector to rebound. So if that [low oil price] helps, then that’s a good thing.”

If lower oil prices are a good thing, what can the premier say about the higher electricity prices she is responsible for? Ms. Wynne cannot have it both ways. The cut in gasoline prices, in fact, will only replace a portion of the cash the Liberal government’s Green Energy & Green Economy Act (GEA) annually extracts from consumers on their electricity bills. If one goes back to 2009 when the GEA was passed into law and compare the price of electricity with today’s prices, the hit to Ontario’s ratepayers (including manufacturers) is about $4.5 billion per year. Read article

Posted in Subsidies / Costs, Viability | 47 Comments

Road use agreement to be proposed for Suncor wind project

Adelaide concrete4Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Lambton County’s public works department is gathering comments from residents about power lines Suncor Energy plans to build near or on county road allowances as part of its 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind energy project. Lambton residents have until Feb. 3 to submit comments to Jason Cole, the county’s manager of public works, by e-mail at jason.cole@county-lambton.on.ca, or by phone at 519-845-0801, ext. 5370.

“We’re try to address any of the concerns we can within the construct of the road use agreement, or will respond accordingly as to why those issues can’t be dealt within this agreement,” Cole said. “It’s a valuable process that we’ve initiated to make sure everyone is aware of what we can and cannot deal with, and how this project will impact the county roads.”

Transmission lines for the wind project are expected to be built close to county roadways, while collection lines from the turbines to a transmission station are expected to be buried within county road allowances, Cole said. “Those two aspects have a very large impact on the county road allowance and we want to make sure we protect its long-term viability.” The proposed agreement will also lay out responsibilities for any damage to the road allowance during construction, he added. Read article

Posted in Municipalities of Ontario, Transmission | 4 Comments

Wind turbine collapses in Northern Ireland

The Telegraph, Emily Gosden
A 328-foot tall wind turbine worth more than £2 million has buckled and collapsed on a mountainside in Northern Ireland.  Unconfirmed reports suggested the blades of the turbine had spun out of control – despite only light wind speeds – before the structure came crashing to the ground on Friday.

Lturbine-1_3153748cocals claimed the sound of the turbine hitting the mountain could be heard up to seven miles away from the Screggagh wind farm, near Fintona in County Tyrone.  Some people compared it to an explosion while others claimed to have heard the sound of metal grinding throughout the day.  No-one was injured in the incident, which left debris scattered across the wind farm site. Read article

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Ontario Liberals to pay back $10,000 in relation to gas plant scandal. Just $999.99-million to go

Dalton GasNational Post, Robyn Urback
Last week, the Ontario Liberal Party said it would reimburse taxpayers for the $10,000 it paid a computer expert to allegedly wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office. Sorry, the Liberals said. Our bad. Police are in the process of investigating the matter, and so the office of Premier Kathleen Wynne conceded that taxpayers probably shouldn’t get dinged for these seemingly nefarious expenses. And that’s absolutely correct; everyone knows that honest governments should foot the bills for their own alleged cover-ups.

The $10,000 from the government originally went to IT consultant Peter Faist, who is the spouse of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff. According to police, Faist was hired by David Livingston, McGuinty’s chief of staff, to delete information from approximately 20 government computers relating to the cancellation of two gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville, which cost the province upwards of $1.1-billion. Faist did not have security clearance to access the computers, nor did he have an actual contract for the work from what he told police. That said, according to the Liberals, no one thought Faist was doing anything wrong. Read article

Posted in Ethics, Natural Gas, Ontario government | 15 Comments

Dixon-Drennan Divisional Court decision

Posted in Legal | 27 Comments

2014: Ontario’s turbine fight in pictures

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Posted in Protest, Take Action | 2 Comments

Appeal denied relating to Dufferin Wind’s utility pole sealing work

Orangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
The Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) has dismissed an appeal centred around the remedial utility pole sealing program completed by Dufferin Wind Power Inc. along its transmission line.

Earlier this fall, local resident Karren Wallace claimed the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) had made an amendment to Dufferin Wind’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA) license without properly consulting the public.

After holding a preliminary hearing on the matter earlier this month, the ERT dismissed Wallace’s appeal on Monday (Dec. 22). The ERT meeting scheduled to be heard in Shelburne on Jan. 5 was cancelled as well.

“DWPI does not see the dismissal of Ms. Wallace’s appeal as a victory; rather it was the only outcome that could be expected,” Dufferin Wind said in a statement released to the media. “That being said, it is important to stress to the community that DWPI is acting in everyone’s best interests in terms of the pole capping mitigation measures that were voluntarily put in place to protect the aquifers.” Read article

Posted in Environmental, Environmental Review Tribunal | 2 Comments

Grand Bend wind development green-lighted – another 40 turbines

Approved-Rubber-Stamp-724817[Note to LFPress Editor: Please please please discontinue using the word “farm” when speaking of wind turbine developments. Anyone who lives in a rural area knows there is zero “farming” going on when these machines are installed. The land had to be rezoned “industrial” to allow them in – if that doesn’t say it all.]

London Free Press
Ontario’s Environmental Review Panel has given the go-ahead for the Grand Bend Wind Farm, a 40-turbine, $380-million project hugging the Lake Huron Shoreline. Major construction can now go ahead on the wind farm.

Developer Northland Power had applied the brakes to its plans, putting off major construction until appeals were settled. The original plans for the facility called for 48 turbines, but that was scaled back to 40. It will be located in the Huron County municipalities of South Huron and Bluewater over about 2,400 hectares. It will have a total capacity of 100 megawatts.

“Our company policy is not to do much during an appeal process,” Gord Potts, director of business development for the company, had told The Free Press this summer. Potts had said at that time that Northland anticipated the Grand Bend Wind Farm would start commercial operation in 2016. The farm is a joint project of Toronto-based Northland Power and the Aamjiwnaang First Nation at Sarnia and Bkejwanong First Nation at Walpole. Read article

Posted in Environmental Review Tribunal | 7 Comments

Ontario families lose court bid to stop wind turbines

court injusticeGlobe and Mail, Diana Mehta
An Ontario court has dismissed a set of appeals from four families that sought to have provincial legislation related to the approvals of large-scale wind farms declared unconstitutional. In a decision released on Monday, a panel of three Divisional Court judges ruled against the claims of the families who were concerned about the potential health effects of living as close as 500 metres to the turbines.

The families had argued that provincial legislation makes it impossible to scuttle a project on the basis of potential health impacts. The case was considered the first constitutional challenge to the Green Energy Act to reach the appellate court level.

At issue was the proposed $850-million K2 Wind project, which would see 140 turbines put up near Goderich, Ont., the 92-turbine Armow wind farm near Kincardine, Ont., as well as the smaller 15-turbine St. Columban project near Seaforth, Ont. Read article

Posted in Legal | 87 Comments

Thanks for nothing, Ontario Liberals

WYNNE NEGLECTSun News
So the Ontario Liberal Party is going to pay back the $11,017.50 ($10,000 plus HST) taxpayers were on the hook for, allegedly to wipe computer hard drives clean in former premier Dalton McGuinty’s office during the gas plants scandal.

However, as for the up to $1.1 billion of our money the Liberals blew cancelling two gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville, in order to save five Liberal seats in the 2011 provincial election, we’re on or own.

After all, as Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli maintains, that amounts to an annual cost of $2.01 for two decades on the average Ontario household’s hydro bill, or “less than a cup of Tim Hortons coffee a year.”

So what is everyone getting so upset about? Never mind that Chiarelli’s cavalier attitude towards public money rivals that of former federal Liberal cabinet minister C.D. “What’s a million?” Howe, who in a 1945 parliamentary debate infamously said saving $1 million from a war appropriations bill “would not be a very important matter.” Read article

Posted in Ethics, Ontario government | 23 Comments

Do three things

Peace, peace of mind, peace and quiet. That’s what I wish you all, forever, not just on Christmas. The wind companies, consultants, and their lawyers will never know ‘peace of mind’, but you will for fighting the good fight.

mary oliver - in blackwater woods

Posted in OWR | 6 Comments

Feeling the noise

amplitude modulationSun and Wind Energy, Torsten Thomas
By using longer blades and fine-tuning them into more aerodynamic shapes, manufacturers are squeezing more and more performance out of their wind turbines. But the background noise caused by stalling continues to grate on some people’s nerves. The phenomenon requires more than just a psychologist.

The wind power industry has grown accustomed to conflicts with environmentalists and groups of local residents. Noise pollution in particular has long been a hot issue. Whenever this topic arises, the debate quickly moves into the broad field of ­psychology. Noise pollution always seems to have a subjective component, and there are very few really empirical studies regarding the possible health ­effects on local residents.

The ongoing debates about airborne noise or the possible effects of low-frequency noise have continually led to calls for the distance between wind farms and buildings to be increased. Finland is a case in point: Jari Keinänen, Director of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, has just declared noise to be the single biggest danger to people residing near wind farms. In June, he called for the current minimum distance of 500 m to be increased to 2,000 m. “It may be possible to go closer, but only when there are reliable figures for an impact assessment”, he said. Read article

Posted in Noise | 4 Comments

Ministry of the Environment says Amaranth wind turbine transformer is safe, won’t put it in writing

stray-voltageOrangeville Banner, By Chris Halliday
All Amaranth resident Ted Whitworth wants for Christmas is written confirmation that the transformer station located near his home isn’t hazardous to his health. Unfortunately for Whitworth, he won’t find that memo he covets from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) underneath his tree this year.

“The best thing would be to fix the whole thing,” Whitworth exclaimed, noting in absence of that he needs the letter from the MOE so he can move on and perhaps consider selling his rural property. “Let them assume the liability, if there is any. If they’re right, then why won’t they provide it?” he asked. “Why do we have to assume the liability of selling it … when the ministry says there is no problem?”

Whitworth has submitted complaints to the MOE ever since the transformer station associated with what is now TransAlta’s Melancthon wind facility was brought online in 2006. While he lives about two kilometres away from the nearest turbine, the transformer is located about 490 metres from his home and 150 metres away from his beef and dairy farm’s pasture field.

As MOE spokesperson Kate Jordan explained, the province has taken action. She said the MOE did require TransAlta replace the original transformer with two quieter ones several years ago, as well as construct noise walls and berms surrounding them. Read article

Posted in Electrical Pollution, Municipalities of Ontario, Safety, Transmission | 3 Comments

Health Canada wind turbine raw data ‘1/2 price’ for Suncor

M'Chigeeng Protest June15,2012(5)Petrolia Independent, Heather Wright
A Plympton-Wyoming family trying to stop Suncor Energy from building industrial turbines will have to shell out $10,000 to look at data they think will help prove turbines hurt human health.

Lawyers for the Bryce family have asked the Environmental Review Tribunal to adjourn the hearing into the appeal of the project for six months so they can study data collected by Health Canada.

The federal agency recently released the preliminary report and the family’s lawyer believes there is evidence that can link some of the noise caused by industrial wind turbines to problems such as headaches and sleeplessness.

But Asha James told the ERT Stats Canada will only allow a researcher 22 days to analyse the data for $10,000. Lawyers for Suncor also told the ERT adjudicators they had applied to see the raw data as well but had been told it would cost $4,500. Read article

Posted in Canadian Government, Environmental Review Tribunal, Ethics, Health | 4 Comments