Toronto Sun, Antonella Artuso
TORONTO — Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians’ wallets, a new report says. What Goes Up, a Fraser Institute report by Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams to be released Thursday, makes a number of controversial recommendations to ease the upward pressure on electricity bills.
The Ontario government should announce an immediate moratorium on new wind and solar power facilities, and revisit existing contracts that commit Ontarians to paying well above market rates for renewable electricity, the authors conclude.
“Wind and solar power systems provide less than 4% of Ontario’s power but account for 20% of the cost paid by Ontarians, yet the government wants to triple the number of wind and solar generators,” energy analyst Adams said in a statement. “That’s a good deal for wind and solar producers but a raw deal for consumers.” Read article
I’m sure everyone reading this has had the experience of phoning some corporate entity (Hydro, Bell, Visa, etc.) and heard the pre-recorded message, “This call is being recorded for quality assurances purposes…”. Yeah right. Well, a similar act is played out in the ERT hearings. Often the wind company will engage a court reporter to provide a transcript of the testimony. Other parties will be offered copies IF they pony up a portion of the costs. Often the MOE will do so. They will use this record further down the line when final submissions are made. What they likely will not do is get the transcript certified. Why, you ask? Because certified transcripts must be submitted to the ERT and then it becomes a public document that anyone can a have access to.
There’s lots of stuff that happens in an ERT that a wind company and their helpers (MOE) wouldn’t want the public to hear. I wish we could have afforded the cost of a court reporter for Nextera’s Adelaide ERT appeal. That’s the way the game is played.
So when an actual certified transcript becomes available, it’s a rare thing indeed. Such is the case with the St.Columban and K-2 appeals and excerpts appeared in the factum submitted for the court case in London in mid-November. Of particular note is the testimony of the post-turbine witnesses for those appeals. The first installment is Barb Ashbee’s testimony for both appeals.
Evidence of post-turbine witnesses heard on all three appeals
The Dixon-Ryan Appellants called the evidence of two post-turbine witnesses, Barb Ashbee and Sandy MacLeod, both of whom were forced to leave their home because of the effects that the wind turbines were having on their health. Their evidence was subsequently entered before the Tribunal by way of transcript on the Drennan and Kroeplin appeals. Continue reading
Exploring the conflict over the controversial development of industrial wind turbines that threaten to irreversibly transform the landscape of Ontario.
Orangeville Banner, By Chris Halliday
Mayor John Oosterhof isn’t surprised that the province has given Grand Valley Wind Farms Inc.’s latest project the green light, but he doesn’t have to like it. Whether his municipality accepts or rejects the Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) decision doesn’t matter much though, according to the mayor.
When it relates to wind turbines, Oosterhof argued the province is going to do whatever it wants. “We have declared ourselves as an unwilling host,” he said. “But that is just the way it is. The province rules in all this. Basically we can say, ‘Yes, amen, thank you very much and go home’.”
On Wednesday (Oct. 15), the MOE approved the third phase of the Grand Valley Wind Farms project, which will see a 40 MW wind farm operating in the area when construction is complete. As per that Renewable Energy Approval (REA), Grand Valley Wind Farms has gained permission to construct and operate up to 16 wind turbines and a 45 MVA (million volt-ampere) transformer in Grand Valley and Amaranth. Read article
By Scott Dunn, Sun Times, Owen Sound
LUCKNOW – A massive crane at a wind farm south of Lucknow fell over as Wednesday morning as it was being moved, causing no injuries but possibly damaging the crane, K2 Wind spokesman Michael Sheehan said Thursday. Six workers were on-site, including one driver in the cab and likely five spotters all in radio contact, Sheehan said. No one was injured and the 600-tonne crane, with a 122-metre boom, fell on the privately owned property, he said in a phone interview from Edmonton.
He said the incident happened about 11:40 a.m. when “one of three main turbine erection cranes working at K2 Wind accidentally overturned while crawling from one pad site to the next in wet conditions.” The Ontario Ministry of Labour was notified, he said. “The exact cause of the accident is now under investigation.”
He said work stopped immediately at the site and hadn’t resumed Thursday while a company investigation heard from all workers involved. The company is co-operating with the Ministry of Labour, Sheehan said in a follow-up e-mail. Read article
It wasn’t that Lambton Shore’s mayor doesn’t support the challenge of the Huron County farm families, he does, but after five candidates meeting where fiscal responsibility was the theme, he voted against the local support. A high-profile Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge over the Ontario government’s wind farm approval process has received some significant local support.
Lambton County council has authorized staff to apply for intervenor status on behalf of the county in the Charter challenge spearheaded by three Huron County farm families. This Charter challenge, to be heard in divisional court in London, is believed to be the first of its kind to be argued at this high of a level in the justice system, county solicitor David Cribbs told council Wednesday. County staff have up to $60,000 to apply on behalf of the county to become an intervenor, and if successful, raise local landowners’ concerns over the provincial approval process as part of the Charter challenge.
“I believe this money is going to be well-invested for Lambton County taxpayers,” Deputy Warden Bev MacDougall told fellow councillors Wednesday. Lambton Shores mayor Bill Weber disagreed. He told the Lakeshore Advance when the original support of $20,000 came to the county council table he agreed. But, when it rose to $60,000 he just could not warrant spending Lambton Shores dollars, especially when he had heard loud and clear for the past few weeks at candidate meetings, “This council must be wiser with their spending practices.” Deputy mayor Elizabeth Davis-Dagg was absent from the county council meeting. Read article
My Huron Info
Huron East Council decided to get the opinion of its lawyer before deciding whether or not to get involved with ongoing legal action against the Province of Ontario pertaining to wind turbines.
Gerry Ryan, co-founder of Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT), made the official request of council at its Oct. 7 meeting. Ryan said he was appearing on behalf of HEAT, which was appearing on behalf of the appellants: a handful of families taking the province to court over the issue of wind turbines. He told council that it’s not HEAT that’s taking the province to court, but the group is supporting the families that are, over three specific wind projects: the K2 project in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, the St. Columban project in Huron East and a project in Kincardine.
The case is widely known as the Shawn Drennan case, an ACW man fighting the Kingsbridge II project going up near his home farm, however, a number of other families have since joined the suit. A request for a stay for the project was recently denied, however, but the appeal is set to go ahead next month. The judge did say, however, that the turbine companies were now proceeding at their own risk, should they continue construction while the court case plays out. Read article
Orangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
More wind turbines are going to be built in Grand Valley and Amaranth. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has approved the third phase of the Grand Valley Wind Farms project, which will see a 40 MW wind farm operating in the area when construction is complete.
According to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA), Grand Valley Wind Farms Inc. has been gained permission to construct and operate up to 16 wind turbines and a 45 MVA (million volt-ampere) transformer in Grand Valley and Amaranth. Veresen Inc., the developing partner of the Grand Valley Wind Farms, has been given a period of three years to connect the entire 40 MW facility to the grid.
Grand Valley Wind Farms Inc. applied for REA approval earlier this year and received it on Wednesday (Oct. 15). Any residents of Ontario wishing to appeal the decision to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) must submit written notice within 15 days of the REA approval. Read article
By David Judd, Port Dover Maple Leaf
The sighting of a barn owl may seriously delay construction of the Port Ryerse Wind Farm. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has confirmed that at least one of the endangered birds was spotted in the Port Ryerse area this summer. Wind farm developer Boralex last week agreed to delay construction of the four-turbine project for one month while the ministry investigates further.
If the barn owl merely stopped over in Port Ryerse on a flight to its home elsewhere, the wind farm project won’t be affected. But if the owl took up residence with a mate, the province might order a one-year moratorium on construction within one kilometre of the owls’ home. Further owl sightings could lead to a five-year moratorium.
Barn owls are an endangered species in Ontario. The province had only four pairs in the early 1980s. This summer’s sighting in Port Ryerse was the first in Ontario in about five years. Residents took photos and retrieved feathers to document the owl. Some villagers say they saw two owls and heard the owls talking at night. Many Port Ryerse people have fought the proposed wind farm since its announcement in 2011. Read article
[... or should I have titled it "More stuff happens" after yesterday?]
Scott Miller CTV News
Crane collapses at site of K2 wind farm near Lucknow. No injuries reported as crane toppled over as it moved from one turbine site to another. Work stopped on all 140 turbines as crews dismantle multi-million dollar crane. Ministry of Labour investigating. See more pictures here.
The Brown County Board of Health voted tonight to declare the Shirley Wind Turbine Development a Human Health Hazard. The decision was based on a report of a year-long study conducted by the Enz family with assistance from Mr Rick James to document acoustic emissions from the wind turbines including infrasound and low frequency noise, inside homes within a radius of 6 miles of the Shirley Wind turbines.
The wording of the motion was as follows:
“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County. WI. a Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”
The context is in reference to Brown County Code 38.01 in the Brown County Ordinances, in Chapter 38, relating to Public Health Nuisance (section (b) Human Health Hazard). “Human Health Hazard” means a substance, activity or condition that is known to have the potential to cause acute or chronic illness or death if exposure to the substance, activity or condition is not abated.
The vote to declare it a Human Health Hazard now puts Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind Development on the defensive to prove to the Board they are not the cause of the health complaints documented in the study, and could result in a shut down order.
Read the Brown County Ordinances
Read more at Waubra Foundation
… again and again for this corporation of incompetents.
You won’t be surprised to hear of another ‘accident’ in NextEra’s Jericho project located in Lambton Shores . This time it was an excavator in the ditch on Thomson Line, west of Arkona Road. It is becoming a common occurrence while driving home from work to come across NextEra’s mishaps, which is why I never leave home without with my ipad!
The roll-over must have just occurred as only the operator and another worker were present. When I approached the overturned vehicle to take pictures, the operator said to me, “Stuff happens.” Unfortunately for our community this type of occurrence seems to be happening all too often. It looked like the wheels of the machine got too close to the soft edge of the ditch which gave way causing the excavator to roll. I asked the workers if they were okay and both said yes. When I was departing I passed several construction vehicles speeding towards the accident to quickly cover-up, er, clean up the mess. Continue reading
I’m not sure if this is really funny or outrageous, but either way you look at this it seems like a misleading scam. Where exactly is this money … going? It certainly won’t actually pay for this student’s power bill. But hey, you get a sticker, mug and t-shirt for $178.50! More cheap promotional crap, made in China, that will help fill up the garbage dumps (ha!) that just so happen to be in rural Ontario too!
Bullfrog Power for Student Life
Each Student Life Package includes a Green Electricity Certificate representing a quantity of green electricity injected onto the Canadian Electricity system on your behalf. Plus, the 2-Year and 1-Year packages include awesome gear for spreading the word about how green power can help fight climate change and make the world a better place.
Petrolia Lambton Independent
Plympton-Wyoming’s proposed wind turbine noise bylaw is going where no regulation has gone before. Council has given first and second reading to a bylaw which regulates the amount of noise coming from industrial wind projects. Council asked staff and the municipality’s lawyers to come up with the bylaw since much of the concern about the project has to do with the potential health effects of the noise coming from the turbine.
Clerk Brianna Coughlin says much of the regulation set out in the bylaw meets standards already set by the provincial government. “We can’t go beyond that,” she says. But Plympton-Wyoming is going to hold the wind energy companies to a new standard. “The only difference (from the provincial standards) is the bylaw has mention of infra-sound which not regulated by the province right now,” says Couglin.
Infrasound is inaudible for most people but can be perceived by other senses and it is measurable according to some experts says Couglin. Under the bylaw, if a resident complains about infra sound, the municipality would hire an engineer qualified to take the measurements before laying a charge. Read article
98 the Beach, by John Divinski
Some Kincardine councillors are not ready to accept a legal opinion they have received on four industrial wind turbines going up at three different locations near Tiverton. A recorded 5-4 vote has put the solicitor’s recommendations on hold.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert says her motion did not direct council to legally challenge the siting of the four turbines but gave direction for more information on the process to make such a move and the associated costs. Faubert says she doesn’t want to accept the opinion of lawyer Peter Pickfield from Garrod Pickfield LLP until they can step back and review. Read article
Grimsby Lincoln News, By Amanda Moore
In September local residents undertook the mammoth task of proving to a tribunal that wind turbines are impacting their health and the environment.
Further toughening the task was the fact they were only able to argue on the amended application to the HAF Wind Energy Project — which was filed in February after residents discovered four of the five industrial wind turbines were built closer to property lines than regulations stipulate without the required reports or agreements. Anne Fairfield and partner Ed Engel, who live on Sixteen Road and in her words are “surrounded by the project”, filed an appeal to the original renewable energy approval shortly after it was granted in June 2013. That appeal was filed on the grounds the project will impact residents’ health, its impediment on rights granted to Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its impact on air traffic and water wells. Read article
By Jane Sims, The London Free Press
Construction of a giant wind turbine project in Huron County will go on after a judge denied a work stoppage proposed by concerned local residents. Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch, in a written decision, sided with the K2 and St. Columban projects, saying any harm caused by what’s said to be one of the largest wind projects in Ontario would be remedied if local residents are successful in their constitutional arguments set for November.
Should the residents win in the divisional court, the companies would have to decommission the projects immediately. Until then, Leitch said, she’s satisfied they weren’t causing “irreparable harm” while being constructed. The application to stop construction was made in London last month. The two projects — one near Goderich and one near St. Columban — involve erecting 140 turbines. Read article
Three weeks ago OWR blew the whistle on how wind giant NextEra Energy was trying to weasel out of paying for the damage it had caused to roads in Adelaide-Metcalfe township (pop. 3000). On the Sept 15th Agenda there was an item in the Clerk/Administrator’s report detailing how NextEra was stonewalling and not answering calls for compensation for damages on Adelaide-Metcalfe roads caused by the NextEra construction traffic for 38 wind turbines this past year.
This is a council that refused to pass the “unwilling host” resolution, twice. That should win them points with the windies, right? – uh, uh – NextEra is more like an abusive partner; and, the Township, acting like the abused partner, decided to “out” NextEra’s callous behaviour resulting in the OWR post. Purely by coincidence (?), NextEra just happened to send an urgent letter to the Township the very same day (Sept. 15) as the OWR article was posted. In the letter, NextEra offers to pay $895,000 for for the damage to the roads.
Two days later on Sept. 17, the council met in a closed session to discuss the matter with its solicitor. Faced with repairs that probably well exceed NextEra’s guesstimate, and with municipal elections in the offing, the council made 2 resolutions:
Resolved that Council rejects the letter from NextEra Energy Canada dated September 15, 2014 and request that NextEra Energy Canada sign the Road Use Agreement, previously submitted for their approval and execution. CARRIED.
Resolved that, should NextEra Energy Canada not agree to the signing of the Road Use Agreement, a special meeting be set with Council and NextEra Energy Canada to discuss this matter. CARRIED.”
By Don Crosby, The Sun Times
NextEra is taking West Grey back to court in its long-standing dispute with the municipality. It’s the latest effort by the company to secure entrance permits for properties in the East Durham Wind energy project and permits allowing oversize and overweight vehicles needed to transport components for the 14 turbines on municipal roads. The project near Priceville was approved under Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approval process on Jan. 20. NextEra’s latest notice of motion, filed Sept. 24, asks the Divisional Court to enforce its own ruling of Aug. 14.
A three-member panel of judges ruled then that West Grey’s bylaws governing entrance permits and oversize/overweight haulage permits were inoperative to the extent they frustrate the East project. The Divisional Court ordered the municipality to expeditiously reconsider East Durham’s Jan. 23 applications for entrance permits and Jan. 31 application for oversize/overweight haulage permits or alternately, consider any fresh applications that NextEra may submit. West Grey was also ordered to pay court costs of $15,000.
West Grey Mayor Kevin Eccles said the municipality made a new offer within 10 days of the Aug. 14 court ruling but it was returned with more conditions. “It came to us with about six more pages than what we sent. Council appointed a working committee on it and they spent about 24 hours going over it again. We sent it back to them and got this reply that they were not satisfied and were going back to court,” Eccles said Friday. Read article
By John Weese, Blackburn News
BlackburnNews.com’s John Weese shares his take on wind turbines in southwestern Ontario and how they’re affecting our hydro bills. Listen here
By Steffanie Petroni, Northern Hoot
Northern Ontario- so unique from the rest of the province that it doesn’t even feel connected to their lower counterparts. Haunting lakes, dramatic cliffs and an untamed wilderness where tens upon tens of thousands of creatures great and small endure- they see us though we may not see them.
There is change on the horizon for tourism in Northern Ontario, and specific to this report- the Algoma District. And all change brings new opportunities as well as new challenges. New destination attractions such as the Heritage Discovery Center and Destination North compliment the more historical features of the community such as the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and the Art Gallery of Algoma. Read article
NY Times, Brent McDonald and KC McGinnis
Crop-duster pilots working around wind farms are encountering a new and proliferating hazard camouflaged among the fields, one that has already led to several deaths.
also… Pictures from crop dusting in the Adelaide NextEra wind project this August, before the turbines were spinning. Next year will more of a challenge/risk for everyone.
Ag Plane Crash Leads to $6.7 Million Wrongful Death Verdict
FlyingMag, Stephen Pope
When Steve Allen, a highly respected Northern California ag pilot with 26,000 accident free hours, crashed his Rockwell S-2R into a whisper-thin, barely visible galvanized steel wind observation tower on January 11, 2011, a dark and sickening secret about personal greed and avarice was exposed for all the world to see.
The $6.7 million wrongful death settlement the aviator’s family was awarded this month will hopefully help ensure other similar tragedies won’t happen in the future.
The tower, measuring just inches under 200 feet, was hastily erected in 2009 by wind energy interests “prospecting” for the perfect site for a new wind farm in Contra Costa County east of San Francisco. The odd height of the tower is central to the case — any tower under 200 feet doesn’t need to be lighted or reported to the FAA. But because these towers can pop up almost anywhere and are nearly impossible to see in flight, they pose a special danger to aerial application aircraft. Read article
The last couple of days have been very windy in Chatham-Kent. Here is a sample of what people are reporting from four different wind projects in Chatham-Kent:
By Janice MacKay, Blackburn News
Retiring Perth Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger says he will continue to fight for what is right when it comes to the way wind turbines are approved. Schellenberger spoke in the House of Commons Tuesday about the lack of consideration given to wind mill construction and the lack of proper consultation for rural Ontarians.
Health Canada began a study in 2012 to research the impact of wind turbines on health, but Schellenberger says when the results are released later this year, it will be too late for some. He says the turbines are going up in many rural areas despite countless objections and when the windmills go up, so does the price of electricity. At the same time, he says neighbouring residents are seeing their quality of life and property values decline. Read article
There’s a two week ‘planned power outage’ at NextEra’s Bornish and Adelaide Wind projects. Flashing red navigation lights won’t be working during that time, so you might want to keep your planes grounded…
Word has it that the splicing in the underground cables were welded too close together. The underground cables need to be replaced. When they put the hydro through the cables, it caused the cables to melt; now no hydro can get through. All cables have to be replaced.
Wonder how safe all the projects cables are? Is anyone doing any stray voltage tests?
Thank you for sending your concern.
After receiving your inquiry (below) I contacted the Nextera Site Manager and Technician Leader by telephone.
They provided an explanation both verbally and followed up with an email confirming that the Navigation lights were out last night as part of a planned power outage to the wind turbines. Continue reading
By Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
A high-profile Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge over the Ontario government’s wind farm approval process has received some significant local support. Lambton County council has authorized staff to apply for intervenor status on behalf of the county in the Charter challenge spearheaded by three Huron County farm families.
This Charter challenge, to be heard in divisional court in London, is believed to be the first of its kind to be argued at this high of a level in the justice system, county solicitor David Cribbs told council Wednesday. County staff have up to $60,000 to apply on behalf of the county to become an intervenor, and if successful, raise local landowners’ concerns over the provincial approval process as part of the Charter challenge.
“I believe this money is going to be well-invested for Lambton County taxpayers,” Deputy Warden Bev MacDougall told fellow councillors Wednesday. Read article
Living close to wind farms may lead to severe hearing damage or even deafness, according to new research which warns of the possible danger posed by low frequency noise. The physical composition of inner ear was “drastically” altered following exposure to low frequency noise, like that emitted by wind turbines, a study has found. The research will delight critics of wind farms, who have long complained of their detrimental effects on the health of those who live nearby.
Published today by the Royal Society in their new journal Open Science, the research was carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Munich. It relies on a study of 21 healthy men and women aged between 18 and 28 years. After being exposed to low frequency sound, scientists detected changes in the type of sound being emitted from the inner ear of 17 out of the 21 participants. The changes were detected in a part of the ear called the cochlear, a spiral shaped cavity which essential for hearing and balance.
“We explored a very curious phenomenon of the human ear: the faint sounds which a healthy human ear constantly emits,” said Dr Marcus Drexl, one of the authors of the report. “These are like a very faint constant whistling that comes out of your ear as a by-product of the hearing process. We used these as an indication of how processes in the inner ear change.” Dr Drexl and his team measured these naturally emitted sounds before and after exposure to 90 seconds of low frequency sound.
“Usually the sound emitted from the ear stays at the same frequency,” he said. “But the interesting thing was that after exposure, these sounds changed very drastically. “They started to oscillate slowly over a couple of minutes. This can be interpreted as a change of the mechanisms in the inner ear, produced by the low frequency sounds. “This could be a first indication that damage might be done to the inner ear.
“We don’t know what happens if you are exposed for longer periods of time, [for example] if you live next to a wind turbine and listen to these sounds for months of years.” Read article
Hydro One has threatened Clarington councilors with costly legal action if they interfere with construction of a $296 million transformer station
John Spears Toronto Star
CLARINGTON — Hydro One has threatened Clarington councillors with costly legal action if they pass a bylaw that could interfere with construction of a $296-million transformer station.
The bylaw, proposed by Councillor Joe Neal, would impose stiffer requirements on big projects to protect groundwater in Clarington.
It would require the developer of any large project to submit an extensive hydro-geologic assessment – a groundwater study – to the municipality for approval.
Local residents and a University of Guelph hydro-geologist have questioned whether the project could contaminate groundwater aquifers on the Oak Ridge Moraine, or underground and surface water flows. But the proposed bylaw hit a bump Thursday in the form of a stern letter from Hydro One’s law firm, Fasken Martineau. Read article
By Bob Montgomery, Blackburn News
An Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh resident says he’s hoping to hear within the next couple of weeks whether his legal request to stop Phase 2 of the wind energy project in the Kingsbridge area has been successful. Shawn Drennan had a hearing in London earlier this week but says realistically he doubts this will be the last one.
Drennan wants the K-2 project, which will place an additional 140 turbines in the Kingsbridge area north of Goderich and around his house, stopped until several studies into health impact have been completed. He argues the province is asking for extensive research on the impact on marine life before proceeding with off-shore turbines, so the same concerns should be addressed regarding the impact of turbines on residents of A-C-W. Read article