West Perth farmers hit with $32 million liens by wind turbine construction contractors

Veresen, St. Columban Wind. Money troubles. Maybe this explains why they went after my dad for ‘costs’ in the Environmental Review Tribunal, being short on cash. They were denied costs in a decision by the ERT, and thankfully future Appellants haven’t had to face this threat when trying to voice their concerns in the only way that is provided to them.

But $32 million in liens? Did they EVER have the money to build this wind project? 

spiderplow lien wind

Parcel Register for Property Identifier

Huron Perth Landowners Association (HPLA) Press Release — October 8, 2015

Over $32 million in construction liens have been placed against St. Columban area farms. In many cases, it seems, they were applied without the farmers’ knowledge.

Six liens, valued at over $32 million, have been applied to local properties by wind turbine construction contractors, according to the Service Canada registry.  From documents obtained four of the six liens have been applied since June 2015.

In addition, three Superior Court Certificates indicate that legal action has been initiated and, according to court records obtained Oct. 5, 2015, this continues to be an ongoing issue.

Information from one local farmer (leaseholder), who has construction liens placed against his property, shows that the liens are more than double the income he hopes to receive over the twenty-year life of his leases. He was told by contacts associated with the wind turbine company that the liens would be removed, and yet no such action has been taken. He was unaware of the more recent construction liens, which also impact his farm. Continue reading

The secret life of wind-farm turtles

WoodTurtlePublicDomainSootoday, David Helwig
Wood turtles are known for their sculpted shells, colourful legs and equally colourful personalities. They are highly valued as pets. Formally known as Glyptemys insculpta, the wood turtle is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. 

It’s similarly listed as endangered under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. Ontario’s wood turtles are at risk from international pet poachers, habitat loss and degradation, skunks, foxes and household pets, to say nothing of the threat of being rendered into road kill by motor vehicles. Add to this the wood turtle’s late maturity, slow growth and its poor reproductive success, and you have a serious situation.

There are, apparently, wood turtles in the vicinity of the Bow Lake Wind Farm. So far as your provincial government is concerned, these are secret turtles. So much so, that SooToday is designating them as Bow Lake Windfarm Ninja Turtles (BLWNTs). The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry doesn’t want you to see them, know how many there are, where they are, where they aren’t, what they eat for breakfast or even anything about the methods used to look for them. When someone tried recently to learn more about the BLWNTs, ministry officials fought beak and claw to prevent release of the information. Read article

EnviroCan wins tilt at radar-hexing windmills

exeter radarJohn Miner, London Free Press
Environment Canada can’t block wind farms from being built close enough to throw off its weather radar readings, but it’s won the right to order turbines curtailed during severe weather in Southwestern Ontario, documents obtained by The London Free Press show. Under a 32-page agreement negotiated with NextEra Canada, Environment Canada can order the Florida-based wind energy giant to reduce wind farm operations in extreme weather that could jeopardize public safety.

Following a call from Environment Canada to its operation centre in Juno Beach, Fla., Next­Era has 20 minutes to “feather,” or adjust, turbine blades back in Ontario so they won’t contaminate radar readings, according to the agreement provided to The Free Press under the federal Access to Information Act. The curtailment can last up to an hour, but can be extended by Environment Canada if dangerous weather conditions — Southwestern Ontario is located in a tornado alley and heavy snow belt — persist.

Ground Zero for industrial turbines in Ontario, with the biggest and largest number of wind farms in the province, Southwestern Ontario has been a hotbed of rural opposition to the highrise-sized installations, which took off after the Liberal government began signing sweetheart deals with energy companies — paying them far more for their electricity than consumers pay — under its Green Energy Act in 2009. But while much of the opposition to wind farms has come from activists concerned about health, land values and control over where the towers can be built, which the province took away from municipalities, the contamination of weather radar readings by spinning turbine blades — known as “clutter” — is an international concern.

Scientists in United States and Europe have shown that a weather radar signal bounced off a spinning turbine blade can appear to be a rotating cloud or tornado. The wind farm operations can also distort precipitation estimates. Read article

Wind energy claim that it’s clean not true in Ontario context

protest-london-not-clean-not-green.jpgSanto Giorno, Sarnia Observer
The wind energy lobby, the provincial government and the mainstream environmental groups continue to claim that wind-generated electricity is “clean” and therefore “good for the environment” (Sarnia Observer, Sept. 23, Turbines rising in Lambton).

This claim is simply not true in the context of Ontario’s electricity sector.

With every megawatt-hour of wind-produced electricity accepted into the Ontario grid, the province is in fact substituting electricity that produces an average of 40 kg CO2 per megawatt-hour (from gas turbines operating ONLY during peak demand) with electricity that produces an average of 200 kg CO2 per megawatt-hour (from gas turbines that MUST operate whenever the wind stops blowing).

If the provincial government continues to promote wind energy, as outlined in their 2013 Long Term Energy Plan, the increasing amounts of wind-generated electricity will cause CO2 emissions from Ontario’s electricity sector to double between 2016 and 2032.

These are the findings in an annual report titled “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma” by the two Ontario engineering societies – the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) and the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO).

The latest edition, published in April 2015, can be found here. The CO2 emission numbers were calculated using published data from the grid’s system operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Read article.

What I needed to say to the Anti-SLAPP Bill committee

Bill 52 was finally sent to committee last week and today was the first day of the hearing. I called in my appeal to reinstate the retroactive clause that the Liberals removed last December. The Liberals seem to be the only ones saying ‘no’ to this. Here’s what I said, (or what I wanted to say, I had to quickly cut a paragraph or two out to make it 5 minutes on the mark – I hate those hammers that tell you to stop speaking!)

As well, here’s a new video by another group that explains anti-SLAPP in Ontario quite well.

If you’d like to comment on the Bill you can still file a written statement – deadline  6 p.m. on October 1, 2015.

Fixing a bad law: Green Energy Act

Law-Students-223x1024Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
The Green Energy Act (GEA) is the target of a proposed judicial review to be launched this fall. CCSAGE Naturally Green, a not-for-profit public interest corporation led by its directors Anne Dumbrille, Alison Walker and Garth Manning, believe the GEA is a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation. They argue the GEA tramples rights and freedoms, punishes rural Ontarians, contravenes statutes and conventions the province is bound to uphold, and, at its core, is fundamentally unjust.

One example: Currently, wind developer wpd Canada is appealing a decision, made under the provisions of the GEA, permitting it to build 27 of 29 industrial wind turbines it proposes in South Marysburgh. In making this appeal, the developer is allowed to make a wide range of arguments and present evidence in its favour. It will certainly argue that the decision will impair its ability to make money from the project. It may argue that the heritage value of the nearby properties has been overstated. It is likely to argue many things. Because it can.

Meanwhile, opponents of the project are permitted only to object on the basis that the project will cause serious harm to humans or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.

The developer is granted unlimited scope to argue in favour of its profit, while residents are restricted to just two near-impossible tests. The province designed the GEA this way.

Alan Whiteley, a lawyer acting for CCSAGE, considers the GEA a fundamental assault on the rights, freedoms and statutes that have been constructed to protect citizens and the environment from this kind of overreach by government. It is something, he argues, we must all resist. Read article

Niagara region wind turbine tower plan shuts down

Chinese wind tower manufacturer TSP Canada Towers has closed its doors in Ontario. TSP invested C$25m in a 450,000-square-foot facility in Thorold in the Niagara Region, which opened in June 2012. The plant employed about 120 people, Thorold chief administrative officer Frank Fabiano told reNEWS. “It’s a tremendous loss for the community,” he said.

The company was a joint venture between Shanghai Taisheng Wind Power Equipment and British Columbia-based Top Renergy however the partnership dissolved about six months ago, said Fabiano. The most recent production run ended at the turn of the year and the staff have now been let go.

TSP has established its own team to look at options for restructuring the business. It is not known if the factory will reopen. Read article

Harm, harrass or kill

Ostrander-PointWellington Times, Rick Conroy
Bill Mauro stood before a hastily assembled group of reporters and nature groups in May 2009. The MPP representing Thunder Bay–Atikokan was back home with money from Queen’s Park— $107,000 for the protection of species at risk in the area.

“People in our communities are concerned about the protection of species at risk and the development of best practices to ensure that we experience the economic benefits acquired through our natural resources while minimizing harm to natural habitats,” the MPP said.

The local press scribbled notes and filed stories about the caring and environmentally sensitive provincial government.

But Mauro had other worries that day. An industrial wind energy developer was planning to erect as many as 16 wind turbines on the escarpment forming the edge of his home town of Thunder Bay. Mauro strongly opposed the project, but the ambitious Liberal MPP was a member of Dalton McGuinty’s government, which at that moment was putting the finishing touches to the Green Energy Act (GEA)—the sweeping bit of egregious legislation that would obliterate many of the provincial safeguards standing in the way of the rapid escalation of industrial wind power in the province.

Mauro’s own government was pushing ahead with the industrialization of the rugged hillside near Thunder Bay that many in his community opposed because of environmental concerns. Now, the GEA had made that much easier. Read article

More wind and solar projects on the way in Southwestern Ontario

2014_06010073London Free Press, John Miner
The competition for the next round of green energy contracts in Ontario turned out to be as fierce as forecast.

Although there was a relatively moderate amount of power to be contracted under a new bidding system, a total of 103 projects have been submitted to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. “Our target is to notify successful applicants and offer contracts by the end of the year,” a spokesperson for IESO said Friday.

Though Southwestern Ontario has been heavily targeted for wind and solar farm development in the past with large stretches along Lake Huron and Erie now developed, most of the proposals this time are for eastern and northern Ontario. Part of two of the wind farm projects would be located in Middlesex County.

Up for grabs in this round of contracts is a total of 300 megawatts of wind energy, 140 megawatts of solar, 50 megawatts of bioenergy and 75 megawatts of water power. The companies submitting the bids were required to consult with local communities about their plans before the Sept. 1 deadline.

Projects proposed for Southwestern Ontario


  • Erie Shores Wind Farm 2, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation, 70-megawatt project in the Township of Malahide and Municipality of Bayham
  • Strong Breeze Wind Project, Invenergy LLC, 60-megawatt project in Dutton-Dunwich
  • Elgin Wind Project, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc,, 26-megawatt project in West Elgin and Chatham-Kent
  • Hardy Creek Wind Energy Centre, NextEra Canada, 100 megawatts in the townships of Adelaide Metcalfe, Warwick and the Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston
  • Romney Wind Energy Centre, EDF EN Canada Development Inc., 100-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent, Town of Lakeshore, and Leamington
  • Blue Sky, GDF Suez Canada Inc., 60-megawatt project in the towns of Essex and Tecumseh
  • Optima Wind Project, Kruger Energy Inc., 38.4 megawatts in Chatham-Kent
  • Otter Creek Wind Farm, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc., 50-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • North Kent Wind 2, Samsung C&T Corporation, 100-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • Nauvoo Wind Power Project, Suncor Energy Products Inc., 75-megawatt project in the townships of Adelaide-Metcalfe, Warwick and Brooke-Alvinston
  • Clachan Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 14-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • Duart Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 9-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • Meadowvale Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 15-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent

Read more

New Environmental Commissioner: Wind Turbine Lover Dianne Saxe

saxeToronto Star: “MPPs did agree on Dianne Saxe, a veteran environmental lawyer, as Ontario’s new environment commissioner, replacing Gord Miller, who retired last spring after three terms.

I suppose this is just one more pig for Orwell’s barnyard. Most of you are too familiar with Dianne – she loves turbines and trashes anyone who dares to object to them on her blog. So much for an unbiased Commissioner.

I was listening to the legislature today (okay, don’t fault me for that, I won’t make a habit of it) and when they announced her for Commissioner I choked, then they asked if there were any objections. Oh you better believe I was yelling at the computer, “YES!!! Dammit, I OBJECT!!”. To no avail because apparently we don’t get to vote these people in, or shoe them out.

Oh yeah, and have a look at what she presents to the American Bar Association: A Short History of Wind Litigation in Ontario. Amazing, she’s an expert on this litigation and I highly doubt she ever attended a single ERT hearing.

I went to one of her pro wind meetings in Clinton (I think) a few years back. My dad and I sat down with our notepads near the front. Soon our friends the police found us and said “Hi”, probably a tad embarrassed that they had been asked to attend when it was only us. Turns out the group was worried they (or she) would be mobbed by us bad anti wind people. I guess she was ramping security in practice for her future fame…

When turtles trump turbines

blandings_turtleCanadian Lawyer Mag, Shannon Kari
A few kilometres west of the eastern Ontario village of Consecon in Prince Edward County, on a narrow but busy stretch of road known as the Loyalist Parkway, there is a yellow road sign. It warns of turtles crossing the main automobile route to the popular Sandbanks Provincial Park — the Blanding’s turtle, to be precise.

The medium-sized turtle, with bright yellow throat and chin and domed shell, is classified as a threatened species in Ontario. It also has another distinction. So far, it is the only species, including humans, to derail at least temporarily a proposed wind energy project in the province.

There have been nearly 30 hearings before the Environmental Review Tribunal, seeking to stop so-called wind farms, since the enactment of the Green Energy Act in Ontario in 2009. Each time, local residents, usually in rural areas, have been unsuccessful in meeting the legal test to revoke or change the terms of a permit issued by the province for a wind energy project.

The one exception is the Ostrander Point plan to construct nine wind turbines in an area on the south shore of the county. The Ontario Court of Appeal earlier this year overturned a Divisional Court decision that would have approved the project. The appeal court sent the matter back to the tribunal for a second hearing because of concerns about threats to the safety of the Blanding’s turtle. Read article

Ontario government denies ‘intentionally’ destroying wind-farm lawsuit documents

6883422-corruption-in-the-government-in-a-corrupt-systemRichard Blackwell, The Globe and Mail
The Ontario government has denied that it intentionally destroyed documents related to a legal dispute with a company that wanted to build offshore wind turbines in Lake Ontario. In court documents filed in May, Trillium Power Wind Corp. accused the Liberal government of “spoliation” – the legal term for the deliberate destruction or elimination of evidence.

The government has now replied in an amended statement of defence, saying those accusations are false and there is no basis for the claim that documents “have been intentionally destroyed.” The dispute is part of a lawsuit filed by Trillium after its planned wind farm project in Lake Ontario near Kingston was nipped in the bud by a sudden change in government policy.

Trillium spent years and millions of dollars developing plans for the project, 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 – although 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

Accidental whistleblower

Whistleblower-e1441814182602Rick Conroy, Wellington Times
Ministry expert warned that Ostrander Point wind project posed a high risk to Blanding’s turtles before it issued permit to developer to “harm, harass and kill” the endangered species

It was three days into eye-wateringly dull expert testimony, technical language and lawyer-speak. Three days in a hot, humid room with three ineffectual fans lazily turning above a wilting crowd, with barristers in their shirtsleeves as jackets hung over chairs. Then, without warning, the room was seized by high drama. Suddenly, the very credibility of Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approvals process was thrust into the spotlight.

Last Wednesday morning, as far as the eye could see, Demorestville was lined with parked cars. The town hall of the tiny hamlet was hosting the second Environmental Review Tribunal for the proposed wind turbine project at Ostrander Point.

Although the original Tribunal ruled against the turbines, Gilead Power Corporation and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) had appealed the ruling, arguing that the Tribunal did not have the chance to see their updated plan, one that would mitigate damage to the endangered Blanding’s turtle, which makes its home at the point.

More than 100 people crammed into the hall to hear the Tribunal, scheduled over three days and set to end on Friday. Each day brought new expert testimony. On day one, Dr. Fred Beaudry, an expert on Blanding’s turtles, testified that he did not believe Gilead’s mitigation plan of building artificial turtle habitat would be effective. On day two, researcher Kari Gunson, an expert on road migration, cast a doubt on the company’s plan to prevent damage to turtles by gating the project site.

On day three, the MOECC introduced their witness, but the heat, the flies, tedious expert testimony and other commitments caused folks to slowly drift away, leaving a half-empty gallery, some jotting notes, others knitting or shuffling papers to pass the time. Read article

Ministry expert admits he advised not to allow initial ‘kill, harm and harass’ permit for Ostrander Point Wind Project

sign blanding turtleCounty Live
Admission by an MNR senior manager that his initial advice was not to allow a permit to “kill, harm and harass” the Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s turtle at Ostrander Point halted the third day of Environmental Review Tribunal proceedings Friday in Demorestville.

Witness Joe Crowley, a species at risk expert herpetologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, was on the stand Friday to provide a statement and answer questions about the effectiveness of various mitigation measures proposed by industrial wind turbine developer Gilead Power to protect the endangered species Blanding’s turtle.

Cheryl Anderson, of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, said this unexpected turn came at the end of the day when Crowley was asked about his role in the granting of the Endangered Species Act permit for the project on the south shore of Prince Edward County.

“Mr. Crowley stated his advice at the time was not to allow the permit because the project roads would prove a risk to the site’s indigenous Blanding’s Turtles,” said Anderson. Read article

And read more: Save Ostrander Point

Another Cedar Point wind project worker injured in Lambton County

2014_06010035Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Another worker has been injured during construction of the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project being built in Lambton County for Suncor and NextEra. Suncor spokesperson Nicole Fisher said in an e-mail that a contract worker was taken to hospital following an incident Friday, that happened at approximately 3 p.m.

Fisher said contractor Amec Foster Wheeler notified authorities of the incident and suspended non-critical construction work at the site while an investigation is conducted. Tony McInally, a spokesperson for Amec Foster Wheeler, said Saturday the worker had been released from hospital and was recovering at home. McInally would not provided information about the nature of the incident, or the worker’s injuries.

“There is not a lot I can share with you, other than the Ministry of Labour was called, and they are investigating,” he said. McInally said Amec Foster Wheeler is also investigating. “Our primary concern, obviously, is the health of the injured worker,” McInally said. “We’re very happy that he has been released from hospital.”

It is the second time this summer a worker on the construction project has been injured and taken to hospital. On July 21, a Sentry Electrical worker fell from an elevated height inside a wind turbine shaft on Ravenswood Line. He was later released from hospital. Read article

Amherst Island wind project approved

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

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

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

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

Simon Chapman apologizes for defaming Dr. Sarah Laurie

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 21 – Union Gas Rep talks:

Resident:  What about stray voltage?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Environmental Registry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tensions form over Falconbridge wind turbines

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

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

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

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

Blue Sky wind project not welcome in Essex

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

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

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

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

AUGUST 12, 2015
Tecumseh Public Meeting
Tecumseh Arena, 12021 McNorton Street, Tecumseh

AUGUST 13, 2015
Essex Public Meeting
McGregor Community Centre, 9571 Walker Road, Essex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Roads to Wind Turbine Hell

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

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

NextEra wind turbine blade near Grand Bend snaps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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