Defunct Wind Turbines to be dismantled on Sable Island

Sable Island – such a ridiculous place to even think of putting wind turbines, but the Feds went ahead and did it. Canadian Press describes how the turbines never really did anything… they were dead from the get go.

“The harsh conditions and extreme isolation of Sable Island have forced Ottawa to abandon a wind project on the iconic crescent-shaped sandbar — more than 15 years after it launched the initiative. Parks Canada said wind turbines don’t meet the needs of the wind-swept Nova Scotia island, famous for the wild horses that have roamed there since the 18th century.”

“When asked for the total cost of the project to date, Environment Canada said just under $1 million had been spent on the project as of 2006. It will cost another $150,000 to decommission the turbines, it said. The original budget for the wind project was $669,000.”

“Parks Canada said it hopes to develop “a reduced facility footprint, more efficient operations, reduced electricity demand, and renewable power generation” on Sable. The decommissioning will happen in two phases: The battery and switch gear were removed in 2015, and the towers and turbines are scheduled to be dismantled and removed this fall, Parks Canada said.”


It’s news that they are taking the turbines down, but it isn’t news that the damn things never worked. Here’s a CBC story from 2011. Remember – components started arriving at the island to be assembled way back in 2002. By 2011 they still weren’t producing power for the island!

“Officials estimate it will cost another $660,000 to refurbish or replace what is now aging or obsolete equipment. It took years to assemble, secure and properly connect the five towers that now hold the wind turbines. In the summer of 2005, just after the turbines were hooked up and generating power, a piece of equipment called the inverter malfunctioned.”

“Environment Canada said in an email to CBC News that “during commissioning, it was discovered that a manufacturing defect —improper software — resulted in improper currents, and some transistors were damaged.” Even though the damaged equipment was replaced and the proper software installed not long after the test, the system remains offline.

“Although the wind turbines are generating electricity … other improvements are needed to create a system that effectively uses the electrical power generated by the turbines,” said Environment Canada spokesperson Mark Johnson. Environment Canada said it has completed an assessment of the entire system to determine whether any of it needs replacement.”
———

It was broken. They tried to fix it and it still didn’t work. So they just let it all rot away, because – thank God! – they had diesel generators going the whole time!

Wind turbine leaseholder: “They’re louder than I expected”

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
The company that brought a four-turbine wind farm to Port Ryerse last year got an earful about noise levels at a community meeting this week. Boralex officials were on the hot seat Wednesday as 40 people from the Port Ryerse area had at them in a committee room at the Simcoe Recreation Centre. The occasion was a bi-annual meeting Boralex has agreed to have with its neighbours. Also attending were members of the Port Ryerse Community Liaison Committee.

“It’s very loud and it’s very upsetting,” Port Ryerse resident Shana Greatrex told the gathering. “Our whole village has been affected. This is something we warned about a long time ago and no one did anything about it.”

Village residents were surprised when one of the property owners who agreed to host a turbine said his neighbours aren’t imagining things. “I’m surprised I can hear them as loud as I do, and I wear an earpiece,” said Wally Faulkner. “They’re louder than I expected.”

Comments at this week’s meeting are consistent with complaints across the province that wind turbines are noisy, disruptive and interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of property. In telling her story, Gail Lyons started off calm enough. However, the bitterness she feels came through loud and clear in her words. Lyons told the gathering she lives across the road from “one of these pieces of crap that I hate” and that she is often awakened in the middle of the night because her bed is shaking. Read article

What’s 64 stories tall? 4.2MW wind turbines planned for Wallaceburg!!

David Gough, Chatham Daily News
The 12 wind turbines that are proposed for the Otter Creek Wind Farm, will be significantly taller than wind turbines already erected in Chatham-Kent. The wind farm, which is scheduled to be built north of Wallaceburg, will have Enercon E-141 turbines.

From the ground to the top of the wind blades, the proposed wind turbines at the Otter Creek Wind Farm will measure 195 metres (642 feet). By comparison, the world’s tallest wind turbine in Germany is just under 230 metres (754 feet). Initially 17-20 wind turbines were proposed for the wind farm project. It was scaled back to 12, which Otter Creek officials said was due to public concerns. Most wind turbines in Chatham-Kent are approximately 155 metres (510 feet) from ground to the top of a blade’s tip.

“The reason why these turbines are a little bit higher and a little bit wider in diameter, is to effectively reduce the use of the number of turbines,” said Adam Rosso, who is Otter Creek Wind Farm’s director of development. Rosso said by using fewer turbines it will reduce the visual impact, as well as other impacts. Read article

Dear NextEra, Destroy the eagle nest, just do it by Sunday. ~ Love, Ministry of Natural Resources

I’m still going through the NextEra eagle nest destruction FOI documents and will post them all as soon as I can. But so far I’d say this e-mail from the MNR to NextEra, on New Years Day (when we know everyone is at work, right?), delivering the permit to destroy the nest, says it all.

Oh, and how long do you think it took them to get this permit? Well, NextEra submitted a request on December 28th (Saturday afternoon…), and four days later they had it in their hot little hands. Now that’s service!!

Application to rezone Amherst Island park “a necessary step” to keep the wind turbine project going

Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
A popular lakeside park in Loyalist Township will need to be converted to industrial land for a wind energy project to go ahead, according to a rezoning application to the provincial government. Invista’s property along Bath Road is to be used by Algonquin Power subsidiary Windlectric Inc. as a marshalling yard for its Amherst Island wind energy project.

The Invista property on the south side of Bath Road, however, is zoned for parkland, but the company applied to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to have the Certificate of Property Use (CPU) changed to temporarily allow industrial use of the park. The public has until March 2 to provide comment.

The land is to be used for the laying of underground cable to transmit electricity to a switch station and the use of an existing access road to transport materials to and from a temporary mainland dock. According to a notice published Tuesday on the Ontario government’s Environmental Registry website, the rezoning is “a necessary step” to keep the wind energy project going.

“Put another way, the project cannot proceed without the proposed amendment to the CPU,” the notice stated.

“If they don’t have this, they can’t build the project? Now they are basing the whole project on the mainland dock?” asked Michele Le Lay, president of the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI), the group opposing the project. “It seems that they started too early, they don’t have a good plan, they don’t have good measures, they still are lacking permits,” Le Lay said. “Right now this land is used by people in Loyalist Township, to walk their dogs, it’s a park and there is a boat launch. We’ve been saying all along that they don’t have the permits.” Le Lay said she is concerned that excavation on the land may disturb contaminents in the soil left over from previous industrial use. Read article

 

Four Bald Eagles Killed by Wind Turbines in Ontario

Bald eagles (yes that’s plural) have been killed in Ontario by wind turbines, and more will continue to meet this fate for the 20 year lifespan of these projects.  We knew of only one up until a few days ago. Not that we didn’t suspect there were others, but when the proof is in the hands of the government and the wind developers, you can be sure the public will be the last to find out.

Wind companies have quietly admitted in their reports to killing four bald eagles in Ontario. That’s just the bodies found (tripped over), not factoring in carcasses that have been scavenged and the months upon months that turbine bases just don’t get checked anymore.

X 2009, Norfolk Wind Project – Bald Eagle

X 2012, Talbot Wind Project – Bald Eagle

X 2013, Talbot Wind Project – Bald Eagle

X 2014, Port Dover Wind Project – Bald Eagle

Did the government fine the wind companies for any of these deaths? Of course not. Wind companies get “permission” to kill bald eagles. And bobolinks. And little brown bats. Anything you can imagine they can kill with impunity.

Last week we received these bird and bat mortality reports through an FOI. Something that we noticed going through them is that rules change – where to collect, when to collect, how long to collect. None of this is consistent. Wind companies go bankrupt, sell out, change names. So it’s no wonder that the Ministry of Natural Resources loses track of the ‘big picture’. Jim told me that he was absolutely certain there were NO cumulative impact studies on the bird and bat kills by wind turbines. He also hadn’t heard of many of the wind developments I had on the list… and he was the MNRF’s Renewable Energy coordinator. Continue reading

Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Reports, with Summary – Ontario, Canada

Below is a summary Maureen kindly assembled from all of the reports retrieved through the FOI. Have a good hard look at the numbers per project. Individually, these projects have got off scot free – they have never been challenged, never been questioned, never been charged, or even slapped on the wrist for these astounding kills. Dan tallied the actual raptor deaths on the right hand side, as many raptor deaths were ignored as “incidental” – not killed at the right time/place…more on that later. There is much more to glean from these reports – please share what you gather. This is a draft that will be added to and amended as we go.

Click here to download and view in full screen

Bird-and-Bat-Mortality-v012417-Sheet2

 

Full list of Bird and Bat Mortality Reports

Say NO to Double Standard on Species at Risk Penalties!

In the last few days these three stories came out. Please read them, and then respond to those who are failing to protect these Species at Risk below. 

1. Penalty for Canaport songbird deaths

…The deaths of thousands of songbirds at the Canaport LNG terminal more than three years ago resulted in a $750,000 penalty against the company… In September 2013, thousands of birds were drawn to a 10-to-15-metre gas flare during a period of fog and low cloud. Twenty-six species of migratory birds died, including four Canada warblers, a threatened species…

2. Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed/turbine/yr

…This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since. Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason. Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report. How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you? Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?…

3. Minister says thanks but no thanks, to wind energy review pleas

…McKenna wrote that current research shows wind turbines kill relatively few birds when compared to cats, windows on buildings, vehicles and transmission lines.”Monitoring studies of existing wind farms in Ontario have shown that while some birds are incidentally killed, mortality rates as well as cumulative mortality of species that have been found incidentally killed to date are not likely to have a biologically significant impact on provincial population levels of those species,” McKenna wrote. “However, it is possible that turbine sites in areas with important populations of some species at risk could have impacts on those populations.”…


***Send a message to the key decision makers by filling out the form below with your own comments or copy and paste the following message into the comment section below:

The other day I read that LNG was fined $750,000 for killing 4 Species at Risk (SAR) in New Brunswick. Fair enough.

But I also read the 2011 Bird and Bat Mortality Report for the Mohawk Point Wind project in Haldimand County. It appears that this wind company killed around 270 SAR, in just one season. To be more specific – it was the Endangered Little Brown Bat that was all but wiped out by this project’s 6 wind turbines.

And I’m left wondering why this wind company wasn’t fined. In fact, I’m wondering why they were allowed to continue to operate year after year ever since. Even with mitigation measures, they were only able to bring the kill rate of the bats down to 24.27 bats/turbine/year by 2013 – over double the allowed limit in Ontario. Several years later now, it appears no government agency is even counting the deaths there anymore – they are just happening, and those who know, turn a blind eye.

This project continues to operate, and kill SAR, with impunity. Please explain to me the reason for the double standard. Or if it isn’t a double standard, and somehow the government just missed this violation, I might as will give you this link (below) to all the other wind turbine Bird/Bat mortality reports in Ontario, because there are hundreds of SAR that have been killed in these reports, and none of the operators have ever been penalized at all. So of course they continue their operations as usual.

Canadian Wind Turbine Bird and Bat Mortality Reports https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B24A4SH_cewXV0VhTENxTGp3LVk

I’m frankly sick and tired of watching wind developers get off scot free for this kind of slaughter that’s happening before our very eyes. If it’s wrong for LNG to kill endangered species, it’s wrong for all the wind companies in Canada to kill them as well. Apply the law consistently!

Awaiting your reply,

Subject: No Double Standard on Species at Risk Penalties! 


Form will be sent to:

  • Fed. Min. of Environment: Catherine McKenna
  • Fed. Min. of Natural Resources: Jim Carr
  • Fed. Conservative Environment critic: Ed Fast
  • Fed. Conservative Natural Resources critic: Candice Bergen
  • Ontario Min. Natural Resources: Kathryn McGarry
  • Ontario Min. of Environment: Glenn Murray
  • Ontario PC Natural Resources critic: Todd Smith
  • Ontario PC Environment critic: Lisa Thompson
  • Ontario PC Leader: Patrick Brown
  • Ontario PC Energy critic: John Yakabuski, Energy Critic,
  • Ontario NDP Natural Resources critic: Gilles Bisson

Here they are: Wind Turbine Bird/Bat Mortality Reports in Ontario to date

We did it! It’s hard to believe that most of these documents were kept from public view until now.  I think there are reports for 57 different wind project listed here in Canada.

170+ documents arrived two days ago. I’ve posted the bird and bat mortality reports up on the public google drive anyone can see and download them.

The Freedom of Information office was helpful and diligent and even reversed an earlier decision that had redacted Species at Risk Information.

In the coming days I’ll also post documents and correspondence that I have yet to assemble on how and why the active bald eagle nest in Haldimand County was destroyed by NextEra. I can only take so much government crap at once, and that was one big manure load…

Thank you all so much for helping make this happen.

Think about it – the last report like this that was voluntarily released by a wind company was 3 years ago! Then the wind developers and government must have decided that wasn’t good PR, or good for the tribunal hearings against them, so they kept the rest of them hidden.

YOU helped make these public so that journalists, researches and the residents that lives amongst these monster machines can see what it going on and, most importantly, hold them accountable! These are no longer “trade secrets” for the industry.

Read them over, get on then phone and read the whole damn thing to your MPP, or the Minister of Natural Resources, or good ‘ol Glenn Murray (if he hasn’t blocked you yet), or how about Dianne Saxe (LOL! I know, but she is the supposed Environment Commissioner). Use them in appeals, in letters to the editor, in educating your neighbours and the nature societies (hm, could Suzuki ever be interested?), and don’t forget to slap them on the table in front of your municipal representatives and ask them if THIS is what the township is accepting blood money in exchange for.

~Esther

Summary of Reports so far (click here to download and view in full screen)

(This list scrolls down – go all the way until you reach Wolfe Island)

 

Construction starts on wind energy project on Amherst Island despite incomplete approvals, residents say

National Post, Elliot Ferguson
The opening stages of construction of the Amherst Island wind energy project are underway, much to the dismay of the residents who opposed the development. Workers are building footings for a new dock and a marshalling area on the island west of Kingston, Ontario.

Michele Le Lay, president of the Association to Protect Amherst Island, said the start of construction has come before all of the required permits have been secured and before efforts to stop the project have finished. “It’s worrisome because they don’t have all their permits and they are starting,” Le Lay said. “You have to have all your permits before you start.”

The initial work on Algonquin Power-owned Windlectric’s 26-turbine, 75-megawatt project was to include construction of the mainland dock and access road, island dock and access road, island staging area access road, transmission line work and a portion of the island staging area for aggregate storage and positioning of the batch cement factory.

The start of work is made even worse, Le Lay said, because there is little information coming from the company about its plans. “If this company is going to be a neighbour for 20 years, the way they are acting in the first part of construction, if it’s an indication of the relationship with the community, it’s sort of scary,” she said. “We don’t know what is happening.” Read article

Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed /turbine/yr

Yesterday the CD arrived with loads of Bird and Bat Mortality Reports that I had filed an FOI from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for last year, and you good people had funded. I’m slowly organizing and will get them all posted shortly.

But for starters I came across five reports for Mohawk Point Wind Project, a 6 turbine project in Haldimand County. I didn’t know much about this one – it was never in the news… sort of flew under the radar. It came on around the time of the Clear Creek turbines in Norfolk County.

This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since.

Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason.

Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report.

How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you?

Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?

Perhaps I’m too soft, but my thinking is 25 bats per turbine is atrocious (I mean, 10 is the MNRF’s limit). And as for Little Browns, they usually only make up a percent or two – not HALF of the kill! It’s an endangered species for crying out loud!

Okay, based on these insane numbers, why didn’t they SHUT DOWN the project? Oh they mitigated instead, and they believe they brought it down to a more reasonably atrocious number of 24.27 bats killed per wind turbine/year by 2013. That puts you all at ease, doesn’t it? I mean shouldn’t we be happy for the success of this ‘mitigation’ even though it is still double the legal limit?

Not so fast. Think about this – female Little Browns have just one offspring a year. After 5 years of 6 turbines decimating 85 bats each (give or take), how many do you really think are left in those local colonies? Pretty damn sure that number is dropping rapidly by the oh-so-natural process of “wind turbine selection”.

And as for you, dear Crawely, at least you have the current claim of creating the biggest bat killing “farm” in the country. Now that should make the green Liberals proud.

Esther Wrightman

[With only an initial look at some reports I hope this is as bad as it gets for bat kills in this country. As the bird and bat mortality reports are slowly uncovered, the numbers just seem to get worse and worse. I never imagined it could get this low, but then again nobody was releasing this info to the public, so how were we to know? Maybe some company will outdo Crawley on this one yet…heck, maybe even some of Crawley’s other projects could claim this title too…]

Kathleen Wynne: How do you sleep at night?

Wind Developer Veresen buys Municipality of Huron East for $2 million

Seaforth Expositor Usually when a motion is passed or rejected, the municipality of Huron East simply moves forward according to the number of hands put up, but not this time as the topic at hand involved one of the most controversial topics to date-wind turbines. Three years ago council was offered a Vibrancy Fund Agreement from the St. Columban Wind Farm, which operates 15 wind turbines.

In the contract, it specified that they were prepared to give Huron East $115,000 annually for 20 years, but this significant contribution of funds would come with a catch, council must agree that they are a “willing host.” Council turned down the offer.

However, these past qualms would never be thrown under the rug permanently. CAO of Huron East, Brad Knight admitted that numerous councillors have asked if the option could possibly be brought back to the table, since that initial decision.

During the traditional bi-weekly December 6 meeting, the Mayor of Huron East, Bernie MacLellan presented council with a motion concerning the previously declined proposal. Two weeks later he requested it to be reviewed in the council chambers during their last meeting before the holidays. Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT) was on hand in anticipation and hoped that the political assemblage would once again turn down the more than $2 million agreement.

Knight propelled the recorded vote. Tuckersmith Councillor Larry McGrath voted no, Seaforth Coun. Nathan Marshall said yes, the Mayor voted in favour, both Brussels Councillors John Lowe and David Blaney were in favour of being a willing host, Seaforth’s ward rep, Bob Fisher voted no, Dianne Diehl and Alvin McLellan from Grey Ward approved the motion, McKillop’s Brenda Dalton voted no and her fellow ward rep Kevin Wilbee voted yes and Deputy Mayor Joe Steffler also voted yes. Read article

Drennans bring Notice of Constitutional Question before Superior Court tomorrow

shawn triciaSupport Shawn and Tricia Drennan Tomorrow!

On Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Shawn and Tricia Drennan will bring a Notice of Constitutional Question before the Superior Court at 1 Courthouse Square, Goderich Ontario. Start time is 10:00 a.m. This motion is in regards to the current commercial operation of the K2 Wind Ontario Inc. project and the harm it is inflicting.

Shawn and Tricia will be utilizing the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, along with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The Covenants, described above are expressed in Canada under Section 26 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which states:

26. ” The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms
shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other
rights or freedoms that exist in Canada. “

We are requesting your attendance at the hearing as a show of support. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,
Shawn & Trish Drennan

Fatal collision: van strikes wind turbine’s galvanized hydro pole on Kerwood Rd.

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The provincial government, Middlesex County and the wind developers NextEra and Suncor knew the likelihood of a tragic accident would increase because of this massive infrastructure placed too close to the roads. This is the second fatality from these new poles the wind developers installed in Middlesex County. That would be severe and irreversible harm.  We give our sincere condolences to the family for their loss.

Strathroy Today
Fatal collision Tuesday. Just before noon Tuesday, OPP, North Middlesex Fire Services, and the Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services (EMS), responded to a fatal single motor vehicle crash on Kerwood Road, north of Elm Tree Drive. A van was travelling north on Kerwood Road when it left the road, struck a galvanized hydro pole on the east side of the road, and caught on fire. The driver was transported by ambulance to hospital with life threatening injuries. The passenger in the vehicle died at the scene. The identity of the deceased is being with-held pending notification of next-of-kin. As a result, Kerwood Road between Elm Tree Drive and Bornish Drive is closed. An update will be released when more information is available.

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Wind turbine appeal leaves wpd spinning

Gisele Winton Sarvis, The Enterprise Bulletin
The plan for wind turbines in Clearview has been suspended. In the David and Goliath battle between the small municipality of Clearview and the Government of Ontario and wpd Canada, subsidiary of an international wind energy company, the little guy won – for now.

The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision that the appeals were allowed was delivered by Dirk Vanderbent and Hugh Wilkins just after 6 p.m. Friday when the hearing was adjourned. The ERT ruled that the plans for turbines in proximity of Collingwood Regional Airport and the surrounding areas was proven to be a detriment both to human safety to planes using the airport and well and an environmental challenge to certain species, specifically the little brown bat.batspeciesmortalityontario

“It’s a great win for the Clearview,” said Mayor Chris Vanderkruys. “It’s a great win for the County of Simcoe. It’s a great win for the Clearview Aviation Business Park around the Collingwood Airport,” Vanderkruys said. “I think this has strengthened our vision of the industrial project and it will be a boom for the economy of Simcoe County,” he added.

The County of Simcoe, the Town of Collingwood and the Township of Clearview appealed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) approval of the wpd Canada Fairview Wind Project based on the threat to human safety with the turbines being placed in close proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport.

Kevin and Gail Elwood and Preserve Clearview Inc. fought on the basis of threat to human safety with the turbines being place in close to their privately owned Stayner Aerodrome. Elwood, a commercial pilot and Clearview councillor has spend a large sum of money fighting this project. “I’m so proud to represent the community both as an appellant and as a councillor. I’ve received strong support from the community,” he said. Read article

wind-stayner-006

Water well appellant abandons wind turbine ERT appeal; mediation agreement

well waterChatham Voice
Kevin Jakubec, the appellant in the cancelled Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into the North Kent One wind project, said he believed he had no choice but to abandon his appeal once the ERT refused to grant him an extension. The hearing was cancelled last Wednesday followed by the appeal dismissal the following day.

Jakubec said he requested a 14-day extension to introduce expert evidence. “There was no stepping back so I took a side step so we could move forward and take what we gained in mediation,” he said.

Under the terms of the mediation, property owners will be given baseline testing before the construction of any turbines and will receive groundwater and ground vibration monitoring in each of the first three years of operation. Also part of the agreement is that the ground water community liaison committee will see the company’s contingency plan. All costs for the above conditions is to be borne by Samsung and Pattern Development.

Jakubec was a key organizer of the grass-roots group Water Wells First but stepped aside when he became the sole appellant in the case. The group had contended that vibration from turbine construction and operation endangers water well quality.

The ERT dismissed Jakubec request, saying it would put the length of the hearing past its six-month deadline. As well, the tribunal accepted the “uncontested expert evidence” of the North Kent Wind witness, Storer Boone of Golder Assoc. Ltd. that turbines wouldn’t affect water quality. Read article

Grits’ failed wind energy to face tough test in 2018

Wynne2Jim Merriam, London Free Press
You have to wonder how bad the Ontario Liberal party’s internal polls are to force the government to fold on its signature green energy policies.

Published polls show both Premier Kathleen Wynne and party have found a basement under rock bottom and it’s likely private polls show the same or worse.

The fact wind factories were destroying communities and tearing families apart in rural Ontario meant nothing at Queen’s Park.

Likewise, the Grits ignored endless pleas and protests from municipal leaders and wind opponents. They dismissed as meaningless complaints about wind turbines driving families from their homes.

Even the mounting evidence giant turbines are contaminating nearby wells didn’t move Wynne and company.

Plus, the Liberals were experts at ignoring the media, who repeatedly pointed out green energy problems that were leading Ontario into power poverty, particularly in rural areas.

As the old joke about always being ignored until you pass gas in an elevator goes, it only took one Scarborough byelection loss to change the landscape. Read article

MOECC pulls support for two turbine locations in Clearview Township wind project

C-K airportWasaga Sun, Ian Adams
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is pulling its support for two turbine locations at the Fairview Wind project because of safety concerns at the Clearview Aerodrome.

In the MOECC’s closing argument to the environmental review tribunal reviewing the order approving the renewable energy application, it was determined the location of two turbines conflicted with the privately-owned Clearview Aerodrome.

Dr. Raymond Cox, a risk assessment expert in public safety, energy, and transport, as well as fluid dynamics and turbulence, testified during the hearing in June the two locations were without a five-rotor-diameter distance from the Clearview Aerodrome approach centreline.

“As it was the opinion of all expert witnesses, who opined on turbine wake … that there was an unacceptable safety risk where turbines are located within five rotor diameters from the centreline approach, the director can no longer support the locations of turbines 3 and 7 as currently approved,” wrote MOECC counsel Sylvia Davis and Andrea Huckins in their closing submission to the tribunal in August.

Clearview Aerodrome owner Kevin Elwood, who is one of the appellants to the MOECC’s  decision to approve WPD Canada’s renewable energy application, said it calls to question all eight turbines. Read article

Help Fund FOI Request: Release Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Data!

UPDATE: Wow! Rural Ontario pitched in the whole $625 and more in less than a day!! Thank you so much! ~  Esther


The bill came in. I haven’t decided if this is good or bad news yet, but at least it is ‘progress.’ The Freedom of Information office sent an ‘estimate’ for the retrieval of all the wind turbine bird and bat mortality reports in Ontario to date. I had forwarded the MNRF a list of over 110 wind projects in Ontario ’cause the government doesn’t have a list of all these energy plants (do they have a list of all the nuclear plants, I wonder?). There is certainly no guarantee they have mortality reports for some of them, but whatever they have, we want to see.

The bill is roughed in at $625. Yeah, really it should be $0 and the government should just be posting these reports on their website, but we can’t wait for pigs to fly when raptors, and endangered bat and birds are being knocked to the ground daily by these machines.foi-estimate

I’ve asked for this in specific:

“All final, annual post-construction mortality monitoring reports for birds and bats (or last available draft, if there is no final) for the wind power projects in Ontario.”

 

“Records related to the MNRF permit granted to destroy a bald eagle’s nest within the NextEra Summerhaven Wind Project.”

They say it will come roughly to 28,000 pages released, if they can find them.

gofundmeCould you please help by sending what you can to cover these costs, and share the page with those who would like to see these reports made public? When the documents eventually arrive (it will take a few months) I will parse them and post them on the Google Drive here so everyone can easily access, review and use them. Have a look through the reports we have listed there already – they are eye opening, and rage inducing.

Visit the GoFundMe page to read more about the issue of hidden bird and bat mortality data in this province. We can’t let this go on any longer – if we don’t get the numbers out there, nobody will.

Oh yeah, and I’ve asked the MPP’s to pitch in too, since they are all about “open government”… see below.

————

Dear Ontario MPP’s,

We have to talk.

It is no longer a matter of guessing what wind turbines ‘might do’ to Ontario’s birds and bats – you know what’s happening. Or, you should know. Wind developers have been filing bird and bat mortality reports with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for many years now. So, what do those numbers look like? Oh. Right… nobody really knows because they get filed away – far far away – from public scrutiny.

trade secretsI left Ontario two years ago when wind turbines destroyed our land, and the habitat for all animals, including us. But I did not forget about the destruction that was taking place in my absence. I suppose I was hoping (as I usually do, hope is healthy, but rarely rewarded in Ontario politics) that the MNRF, or the media, or the researchers, or the nature organizations – somebody! – would keep a close eye on the bird and bat kill rates from these machines. I expected this, because I know that when LNG killed 7500 birds in New Brunswick in 2013, the world knew, as they should, and the company was fined $750,000 under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. Other industries have been held accountable for bird kills too – especially if Species at Risk are involved.

Not so for the wind industry in Ontario. Nope, wind developers obliterate an area’s raptor population in several months. If it relates to wind turbines – those deaths don’t even “happen,” it’s all in your imagination.

adelaide-raptor-2015-kill

Frankly I’ve had enough of this. I’ve filed a Freedom of Information request for all the bird and bat mortality reports in Ontario wind projects. Hey, quick question: Do you know how many wind projects are in Ontario? I’ll give you a second to Google it, or look it up in your government files, but I don’t think you’ll find the answer because there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list of them anywhere. I tallied over 110 wind projects in Ontario. What are the chances someone is actually overseeing all the dead birds and bats found around the bases at all these wind projects. The MNRF didn’t even know of many of the wind projects I listed for them.  Continue reading

Liberal wind disaster shafted rural Ontario

stop screwing rural ontarioToronto Sun
It’s too bad Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government didn’t have its epiphany on the pointlessness of subsidizing any more expensive, unreliable and unneeded wind turbines before it tore apart rural Ontario.

The Liberals’ treatment of rural Ontarians has been a disgrace. They overrode local planning rights by passing the Green Energy Act of 2009 under Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, then rammed industrial wind factories down their throats.

Sometimes, it was hard for people in these communities to believe they were living in a democracy. Rural communities were torn apart — neighbours cashing in by leasing land to wind developers for turbine construction, against neighbours forced to live in the shadow of the mega-structures.

The province received hundreds of complaints about health problems which people believed were being caused by the turbines and suppressed them. During the 2011 election, the CBC reported government documents released under Freedom of Information legislation showed environment ministry staff had issued internal warnings the province needed stricter rural noise limits on turbines, that it had no reliable way to monitor or enforce them and that computer models for determining setbacks were flawed. Read article

New Study: 70,000 bats killed in Canada by wind turbines per year

“Ontario’s 1,270 turbines each killed an average of 24.5 bats per year”

CNSPhoto-Munro-BatsThe Wildlife Society, Nala Rogers
Each wind turbine in Canada kills an average of 15.5 bats per year, adding up to a death toll that could someday threaten populations, according to new research. In Canada’s first comprehensive analysis of wind farm casualties, researchers found that turbines were killing about 47,000 bats per year in 2013. That number will only rise as Canada’s investment in wind energy increases.

“We have about 50 percent more turbines now, so, as of 2016, somewhere around 70,000 bats are being killed in Canada per year,” said Ryan Zimmerling, a wildlife biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service and first author of a recent study in the Journal of Wildlife Management. “It is possible that those levels of mortality, if they’re not already causing impacts to some species now, could be causing impacts into the future.”An Eastern red bat lies dead beneath a wind turbine in southern Ontario.

Wind energy companies in Canada are required to monitor bat mortality at newly built wind farms, regularly searching the area under turbines for carcasses. The companies report these data as part of post-construction monitoring, but until now, no one had combined them into a single nation-wide analysis. To see the big picture, Zimmerling and his colleagues analyzed carcass counts from 64 wind farms in nine provinces, using statistical corrections to estimate how many carcasses the surveyors missed.

The results varied widely by region. Hardly any bats died in New Brunswick and Manitoba, both because those provinces don’t have many wind farms and because each turbine there killed fewer than one bat per year. In contrast, Ontario’s 1,270 turbines each killed an average of 24.5 bats per year, accounting for two thirds of the whole country’s death count. It’s not clear why turbines are more dangerous in certain places, though the answer could have something to do with bat migration routes, says Zimmerling. Read articlebatspeciesmortalityontario

Hiding evidence of the massacre

Save the Eagles International
News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it’s not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.

The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media): Wind farm sues to block bird death data

Yes, you read correctly: “releasing (the wind farm’s) bird and bat kill reports would provide “trade secrets” to its competitors”. Surrealist, isn’t it? But that’s only one of the many lies we must deal with when investigating that hugely subsidized industry. Below, we present the “trade secrets” they are trying to hide:trade secrets

Indeed, in present day United States, mortality data legally belong to wind farm owners, and the public has no right to see the numbers without their permission. This is the “solution” that has been found for covering up the butchery of eagles, cranes, pelicans, condors, swans, swallows, bats, owls, falcons, hawks, geese, gamebirds, songbirds etc.

Throughout the world, ever since shocking mortality statistics at wind farms made the news 15-20 years ago, efforts have been made by the wind industry and complicit governments to hide the numbers. In the UK for instance, wind farms have long stopped being monitored for mortality; in Spain, the monitoring has been done, but the reports were filed away without publishing; elsewhere, whenever a wind farm had to be checked for mortality, its owner would select ornithology consultants based on their reputation for “cooperation” – i.e. whose reports always showed “manageable” numbers. This is still the preferred method for covering up in some countries, e.g. Canada or Australia.

To make it even safer for European wind developers, and regardless of the proclaimed right of the public to be informed on environmental matters (Aarhus Convention), reports concerning wind farms’ impact on birds and bats were soon stamped “property of the developer”, meaning that he may edit them before publication. “The wind companies rewrite all ecological work themselves“, said to me a UK ornithologist who had worked for wind developers. But a non-disclosure clause in the contract kept him from revealing publicly what he knew and what he saw. This is now standard practice in wind farm monitoring contracts. Read article

Study shows animal populations affected by wind turbines might not be just local

dead golden eaglePhys.org, Brian Wallheimer
Wind turbines are known to kill large birds, such as golden eagles, that live nearby. Now there is evidence that birds from up to hundreds of miles away make up a significant portion of the raptors that are killed at these wind energy fields.

Using DNA from tissue and stable isotopes from the feathers of golden eagle carcasses, researchers from Purdue University and the U.S. Geological Survey found that  killed at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in northern California can come from hundreds of miles away. Golden eagles are a species of conservation concern, so understanding population-level differences and how individuals interact with turbines is key to meeting a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service target of no net loss to their populations.

The APWRA is one of the oldest wind farms in the country and one of the largest in the world originally with around 5,000 turbines. Worldwide, such facilities have been responsible for the deaths of 140,000 to 328,000 birds and 500,000 to 1.6 million bats, raising questions about their effects on population sustainability.

“Eagles tend to use that habitat around the turbines. It’s windy there, so they can save energy and soar, and their preferred prey, California ground squirrels, is abundant there,” said J. Andrew DeWoody, a Purdue professor of genetics in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. “As they soar, these eagles are often looking straight down, and they fail to see the rapidly moving turbine blades. They get hit by the blades, and carcasses are found on the ground under the turbines.”

Collaborator David Nelson, a stable isotope ecologist with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, tested the birds’ feathers for stable hydrogen isotopes, which can be used to determine where the birds likely grew their feathers. The research team determined that about 75 percent of the 62 birds were from the local population. The remaining 25 percent likely migrated into the area before they were killed. Read article

Another Statewide Blackout: South Australia’s Wind Power Disaster Continues

sa-28-sep-16Stop These Things
Thanks to its ludicrous attempt to run on sunshine and breezes, South Australia has just experienced yet another Statewide blackout. SA’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill and what passes for media in this Country ran straight to the periphery, blaming everything except the bleeding obvious (see this piece of infantile doodling from wind cult central – the ABC).

STT’s SA operatives tell us the blackout occurred during a blustery spring storm (heavy rain, lightning and surging, gusty wind). The power supply went down across the entire State at precisely the same time (a little after 3:30pm). It took more than 5 hours to restore power to a few parts of the State, and many regions remained powerless for much longer than that.

True it was that lines were damaged in the mid-North around Port Augusta, but that doesn’t explain why the whole State’s supply went down. Grids are designed with with a level of redundancy, and to avoid complete collapses by isolating damaged sections, in order to keep the balance up and running.

For those truly interested in the cause, what appears in the graph above – care of Aneroid Energy – gives a clue as to the culprit.

SA’s 18 wind farms have a combined (notional) capacity of 1,580MW.

On 28 September (aka ‘Black Wednesday’), as the wind picked up, output surges by around 900MW, from a trifling 300MW (or 19% of installed capacity) to around 1,200MW.

As we explain below, electricity grids were never designed to tolerate that kind of chaos, but it’s what occurs in the hour before the collapse that matters. Read article

Green energy cancellation new focus in wind fight

M'Chigeeng Protest June15,2012(9)Nicole Kleinsteuber, Quinte News
[excerpt]  Environmental lawyer Eric Gillespie who is representing all three parties told Quinte News that he plans to put Tuesday’s announcement front and centre through the rest of the hearing.

“We don’t need any more of these projects,” said Gillespie. “They (the ERT) have already said green energy doesn’t trump the environmental protection act. Now it doesn’t even compete at all. It should have zero weight. The environmental protection act should trump everything.”

Gillespie said he plans to tell the ERT that ‘the hearings are unnecessary because the project is unnecessary.’

“Wind companies have been oblivious to the realities as has the government,” he said. “It’s been known for years we have ample amounts of energy and have been dumping it in the United States at a reduced rate. This confirmed the sad reality that this course of action has had no merit for what Ontarians have been put through by these policies and the actions of these wind companies.” Read article

‘Ontarians have never been this angry’: Poll respondents feel unprotected from power price increases

We will NOT be sientNational Post, Ashley Csanady
Half of Ontario voters feel unprotected from price increases in the electricity system, a new poll shows.

“Ontarians have never been this angry,” declares a presentation of the Innovative Research Group poll, to be revealed Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario Energy Association conference in Toronto. A draft of the presentation was shared with the National Post and the results of the 600-person poll show a growing distrust in the Ontario government’s handling of the energy file, in particular electricity prices.

The poll about provincial politics and energy rates was commissioned by the Ontario Energy Association — an industry group representing everything from gas to electricity companies — for its annual conference.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-34-30-amWhen asked if they feel “consumers are well-protected with respect to prices and the reliability and quality of electricity service in Ontario,” 50 per cent of respondents “strongly disagreed” — the highest rate of disatisfaction since the firm started asking the question in 2002. Another 20 per cent “somewhat disagreed” while just 19 per cent said they “somewhat” agreed and six per cent “strongly agreed.” Three per cent had no opinion and another two per cent didn’t know. Read article

Ontario’s new electricity policy: History repeats as farce

wynneThe Globe and Mail

Karl Marx said that history repeats: first as tragedy, then as farce. In Ontario, the history of failed energy policy repeats – first as farce, and then as more farce.

Premier Kathleen Wynne faces an election in a little over a year and a half, and one of the main issues dogging the Liberal government is the price of electricity. Thanks to policy choices that the government itself seems incapable of unwinding, electricity bills have been on an upward tear for a decade. Many voters are furious. And so the Wynne government devoted the heart of its Throne Speech this week to a plan to lower the price of electricity. Not the cost of electricity, however. Just the sticker price.

Taxpayers of Ontario, you will now be paying for more of your electricity through your taxes, or through future taxes funded by deficit financing, and less through your electricity bill. Yes, that’s the new plan. It looks a lot like the old plan.

Nearly six years ago, Ms. Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, was facing an election. He was, like the current premier, spooked by rapidly rising electricity prices. These spiking prices, note well, had been engineered by the Liberal government’s mishandled Green Energy policy. To win back voters, Mr. McGuinty decided to give consumers a break. The tool: the so-called Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which ran from the start of 2011 to the end of 2015.

The Clean Energy Benefit did not have anything to do with clean energy, and its benefits were illusory. All consumer hydro bills were awarded a government rebate worth 10 per cent – so the more electricity a customer used, the more they saved. This “benefit” for Ontario consumers was paid for by Ontario taxpayers. Yes, they’re the same people. Read article

Enough is enough with wind company false allegations.

No doubt this happens pretty regularly. You are writing a response on a public forum and out pops a pro-wind advocate who says you are nothing but a ‘denier’, or a ‘coal-burner’, or whatever. It’s a poke to engage you, so you don’t because that’s not why you are there – stick to your message to the intended recipient.

But what about when they start saying flat out lies, that are serious, without any facts to back them up? I get it, thoroughly, when one makes a statement you need to substantiate. In the case of NextEra’s lawsuit against me, calling them NexTerror and NextError, I easily had over sixty links to recent news article of “errors” and “terrors” they had committed in our neighbourhoods, and I’m sure many more could be added today.

tide6Two days ago I had a discussion with Tide… yes “Tide”, as in laundry detergent. There was an annoying ad that kept popping up on Facebook with twirling white turbines around their new scent-free laundry detergent, and they told us “the formula is made with 100% renewable wind power electricity.”  I replied, as it is pretty much one’s duty to explain the negative environmental effects of wind turbines to such companies when this happens.

Then an employee of Brookfield Renewables, Jeremey Davidson, popped in with the usual, “Ester [sic] wants her detergent made with nuclear or stinky coal power.” Whatever. Ignore. To Tide I sent links to American Bird Conservancy articles, the Bird Studies Canada recent report, and the picture of NextEra cutting down the eagle nest.  tide2-copy

Then I get this. →
Apparently “we” lit a nacelle on fire. I’m very open about what I have done in the line of protesting, so those that know me know that  vandalism has never been part of it. What I do, I always make sure I can stand by morally and ethically with no regrets. To be accused of lighting a wind turbine component on fire (when I’m not great with fires and have a fear of heights) serves only one purpose for Mr. Davidson – to discredit me, and other protesters. We were now collectively labelled criminals because of his statement.

tide3-copyI thought he might retract this blatant lie if we pointed it out to him, but he just became more adamant. Continue reading

Ontario cancels future green energy plans

GO AWAY1Shawn Jeffords, Toronto Sun
So, where are you going to spend your $2.45?

Ontario’s Liberal government announced Tuesday that they’ll be giving hydro ratepayers the whopper of a rebate on their bills every month by halting the purchase of $3.8 billion in large renewable-energy projects.

Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said a new Independent Electricity System Operator report shows the province will have a steady supply for the next decade, so the change of course makes sense. Tossing the toonie and change back to consumers adds up when you combine it with the government’s recent move to slash HST from hydro bills.

“This is a $3.8-billion savings,” he said. “When you look at that for every consumer in the province, that’s $2.45. When you start adding together all of the savings that we’re bringing forward for consumers, it’s starting to become more and more significant. So, if it’s 50 cents or $50, I’ll continue to try to find ways to help put downward pressure on rates.”

The purchases would have seen Ontario buy 980 megawatts in renewable energy projects and 75 megawatts of energy from waste projects.

Question period was dominated by the topic of hydro, as nearly every Progressive Conservative speaker raised the issue. Tory Leader Patrick Brown, who has been calling on the government to stop paying for new green energy projects since he took the party helm last year, called the move “too little too late.”

“It’s bad policy,” he said. “We’ve given away $3 billion in hydro in the last three years. As I said today in the legislature, this premier has become the minister of economic development for Pennsylvania and New York.” Read article