Turbine Fire – New Brunswick

Egin, Salisbury & Riverview Fire respond to a Wind Mill on fire at the Wind Mill Farm in Parkingdale/ Caledonia Mountain at 8:48am.   There was nothing the Fire dept could do but watch it burn as they have nothing that goes up that high. This is about 30 kms outside of Riverview New Brunswick. Damage will be in the millions of dollars.

Note:  Each turbine contains ~ 600 litres of chemically-sophisticated motor oil to lubricate its complex gearbox and bearings.

38 thoughts on “Turbine Fire – New Brunswick

  1. I find the numbers in this article very disturbing. http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2009/08/11/kent-hills-wind-farms-output-cut-by-turbine-fire/
    Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    It states that each turbine can generate 8.6 million kilowatts (8600 megawatts) per year, enough to power 540 homes.
    There are 32 turbines.
    Altogether should be good for 275,200 megawatts or 17,280 homes.

    Further down in the article Energy TransAlta claims that 248 megawatts of the total 1200 megawatts in TransAlta’s generation portfolio came from wind energy.

    Enough for 15.5 homes.

    It looks as if 2 industrial wind turbines are required to generate enough power for each home.

    Obviously the wind industry’s sales pitch has been extremely misleading. Actual production would seem to be over a 1000 times less than what they forecast.

    Why are we letting this happen???

    Kay Armstrong

  2. As someone who watched the New Brunswick turbine burning on Kent Hills last week-end it seems to me that it is is not simply the toxins from the oil in the turbines themselves that we should worry about but also those from the burning blades.

    With short distances from homes the potential of the spread of such pollutants gives one pause. Too bad that this doesn’t hit home to the politicians and wind companies when they are considering the guidelines for and the placement of the turbines.

    There are plenty of videos of burning turbines on the web so the incidence of a fire can’t be too unusual.

  3. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/letters/general/wind-turbines-are-inefficient-and-potential-fire-risks/1584850.aspx?storypage=2

    As a turbine increases with size so does its’ requirement for oil. Technical literature indicates hydraulic oil volumes to be up to 600 l (approx. 150 gallons) for most industrial wind turbines in construction today. This volume will increase as larger turbines of 2, 3 or 5 MW come on line. One question that should be answered is: Who is trained to deal with industrial wind turbine fires or the additional fire risk to surrounding properties? Who covers the cost of fire protection? It is not a matter if they will leak oil but when they will leak as these structures age.

  4. I work for the company that manufactures and maintains these turbines. I was one of the last people in this turbine before it burned and was also involved in the subsequent investigation. I must point out several errors with the posts I have read regarding this incident.

    These turbines each put out 3MW, not 8600 and can easily power 540 homes with each turbine. In fact, if you were very conservative with your power use, you could actually power closer to 1000 homes from each turbine. Multiply this by 32 and you could potentially power 32,000 homes. Now more than one person usually lives in each house, so assuming an average family size of 4, this could power a populated area of over 100,000 people. Incidentally, they are building 18 more this summer, which will bring the total up to 50 X 3MW.

    The “short distance” from homes is a very subjective statement. What is a short distance? 100m? 1km? 5km? Although there is more than 600L of oil in these turbines, the majority of it was actually recovered. The only loss was what was in the lines outside of the tank and was very negligible. Most vehicles burn more petroleum in a week than was lost in this incident.

    There actually are considerations of proximity to inhabited areas that are taken into account before building these wind farms and there was no pollution that came anywhere near any homes. There were several workers picking up garbage (blade material) in the surrounding forest for almost two months and I can assure you that 99% was recovered (along with beer cans, shotgun shells, chip bags and other items in no way related to the fire). If anything, the area was cleaner after the fire than before.

    As for all the burning turbines on the internet, I would be willing to bet that most of those are the same ones from different angles and I wonder how many are from North America. In 3rd World countries, there are not the same safety requirements as there are in Canada. I have seen internet videos of all kinds of things, but I am pretty confident they are not all happening in my neighbourhood.

    We do not train our workers to fight fires in turbines; we train them to get themselves to safety. Sure these cost a few million dollars each, but you can’t put a price on a person’s life and although this fire was regrettable, nobody was hurt or killed, end of story.

    I can’t understand all the protests surrounding wind power. This is the future! BP is dumping billions of gallons of oil into the ocean, but people want to protest wind power?!?!?! I have 3 suggestions for anyone who wants to protest wind power:

    1. Educate yourself. Learn the facts before you shoot your mouth off.

    2. Would you rather have a wind turbine in your back yard or a coal-fired generator; maybe a nuclear reactor might be safer for kids to play around.

    3. Stop using electricity or generate your own.

    I also find it interesting that there is an ad for Siemens home wind turbines on the page that is denouncing wind turbines. Siemens also very much involved in large scale production as well and this fact only solidifies my belief that this entire protest movement is based on a serious lack of facts and knowledge.

  5. I wonder if anyone can get their facts and units straight.

    Assuming a 3MW turbine running at the national average (guessed to be) of about 30%…

    3.0MW X 24 Hours = 72MW Hours (MWH) per day which can be written as 72MWH/Day.

    In one year you could produce –>

    365 days X 72MWH/Day–> 26,280 MWH/year

    Now turbines don’t run all the time and usually have a “capacity factor” — of about 30% — here they are claiming 8600/26280 –> about 32.76% — high but not impossible. I am sure that’s what they meant because it is a “reasonable” number.

    Let’s assume that a home might draw about 1,200 KWH per month (1.2MWH/Month) — a bit high — but not impossible. 🙂 — and I have some Ontario Power bills in front of me to support this number.

    Now my fictional house would then require about 14.4 MWH per year. (12 X 1.2)

    So how many houses? well

    26,280 MWH/year / 14.4 MWH/Year/house gives a value of 1,825 houses — per turbine

    But let’s downscale this to the claimed 32% number of 8,600 MWH/year.

    This gives about 597 houses.

    Using 30% we get about 547 houses.

    Now 32 Turbines will get you:
    32 Turbines X 547 Houses / Turbine –> 17,504 Houses.

    Assuming a family of four that is
    4 People/house X 17,504 houses = 70,016 people.

    All living at the whim of the wind and the turbine companies.

    So that number actually looks like the reasonable number. Could you double that number of houses? Maybe if you restricted your life to “existing” — no hobbies, don’t cook that many meals etc. Use a clothesline, not a dryer, wash your dishes in cold water, wash your clothes by hand, don’t watch TV etc… In other words a completely new and downgraded lifestyle.

    But Wait! There’s more!

    That 30% “efficiency” is not constant. There are many hours when the turbines do not spin — cause there ain’t no wind, and many hours when they deliver power that nobody draws — or even wants. So the power is “as offered” — it is not “on demand” like our current system.

    As well the power they deliver is at least four to five times the going rate — at least here in Ontario.

    So a completely downgraded lifestyle reminiscent of the 1900’s is not desired by me. I am not pulling my whale oil lamps and my kerosene storm lanterns out of storage.

    If you want that 1900’s lifestyle while paying the same price for less than 1/4 the electricity — be my guest — but start your own country.

    Wind Power is not a step back to the stone ages — but it’s a stone’s throw away.

  6. Chris Martin, as someone who works in the wind industry, how do you feel about birds and bats being slaughtered?

    And how do you feel about people having to leave their homes, children who can’t sleep and people and animals becoming ill?

    Note I am not asking what you think, but how you feel.

    And have you seen the film “No Safe Place” featuring Dr. Robert McMurtry?

    Plenty of opportunities for education.

  7. Dear Chris,

    1. I have been studying the facts for over a year. I feel I am educated.

    2. I will volunteer my farm to put a nuclear reactor in as it will save all of Ontario from the blight of Industrial wind turbines, it will save thousands of birds in Ontario. It will not force people to move away or abandon their home. It will be cheap power.

    3.I do save electricity at every chance. So are most people in Ontario doing their bit to be green. I would like a small windmill to run my dryer, sump pump and appliances.

    You appear to be bias and a tad greenwashed. I am glad you love your job. I am proud you cleaned up the forest. I am glad the crop did not catch on fire. I hope you will try and keep an open mind and listen to what many scientist, doctors and farmers are saying about IWT’s.

  8. Claire, my feelings are that I am completely against the slaughter of birds and bats. I think the world “slaughter” is quite an exaggeration though. Before these sites are chosen, there are years of research that are done and environmental impacts are taken into account before construction begins.

    As with the “slaughter” of birds and bats, I am completely against people having to move, children who can’t sleep and animals becoming ill. Having said that, I don’t see how these are all caused by wind turbines. I know several people who are happy to live very close to them, their children sleep just fine and I have seen countless animals grazing right at the base of the towers.

    I have not seen the film you referred to, but I am completely open to hearing opinions based on facts.

    Melodie, if you want a nuclear reactor in your back yard, that is your business. Nuclear power is relatively safe and would be preferable to many other options, but it would not be my first choice; different opinions I guess. Would you still make the same offer if you had to store your share of the nuclear waste generated as well? Remember, this is where your kids are playing. As David had pointed out in his post, the wind turbines operate at 30% efficiency, so I will gladly live with the remaining 70% of the wind that blows through while you continuously store more and more spent uranium.

    I’m glad you save energy at every chance because the only solution to this problem is responsible use of electricity. More and more power plants are being built (all types of generation) to meet the increasing demand for power. Why is this demand rising so sharply? The true culprit here is not wind turbines or nuke plants; it is our wasteful attitudes (myself included).

    I don’t think I have been “greenwashed”, as you put it, but after spending over 10 years in the oil & gas industry, I am very proud to be a part of an industry that is helping the world (while still making a profit) instead of destroying it as fast as possible. This is getting a bit off-topic, but I have seen plenty of things while working in oil & gas, both in Iraq and right here in Canada too that are downright awful and this makes me very proud to work in wind and to have my son grow up with the knowledge that I am doing my part to help the world.

    David, you are correct; when the wind doesn’t blow, the wind turbines do not generate electricity. When they are producing though, it reduces the demand on other forms of generation, which in turn reduces pollution. I am confused by your assertion that power from wind turbines costs more than from other sources. My power bill only lists how much I used; it doesn’t break down where it came from and charge me more for one kind and less for another. How do you know where it came from when it all comes from the same grid?

    Wind power is not a stone’s throw from the stone ages, but it is not the answer to our problems either. I honestly believe it is a giant step in the right direction, but short of not using electricity, I don’t see how any system is without drawbacks.

    A few random thoughts:

    -if a bird hits your house and dies, are you going to burn down your house and go live in a tree?

    -killing all cats might save some birds too

    -there are no “crops” at the Kent Hills site where the fire was

    -anybody remember Chernobyl?

    I don’t expect to convince anybody that my opinion is the only one that is right; I just want to correct some myths and possibly offer a different perspective on things.

  9. Chris:

    Read up on Turbine Feed in Tariff rates.

    Wind producers get paid 14.5 cents per KWH. Regardless of current Wholesale rate.

    Solar has a Feed in Tariff (FIT) rate of 80ents per KWH. That’s $800 per MWH (FIT)

    That’s $145 per MWH (FIT rate) when other people get up to 5 times less.

    Better educate yourself on other aspects of “Green Energy”.

    This site is all about ONTARIO Wind and Solar!

    Start here — knock yourself out learning.


    …and in Ontario plants are kept idling so they can fill in when wind stops. That produces GHG and uses fuel. Might as well skip being green.

    Now I have to get back to my work.

  10. Chris: “Before these sites are chosen, there are years of research that are done and environmental impacts are taken into account before construction begins.”

    Very sad that someone could be so incredibly misinformed to even make that statement.

    Every single site chose in Ontario has been rubberstamped with no independent “research” whatsoever. There was no full environmental assessment done for any of them.

    Every single IBA in Ontario is now slated for industrial wind turbines. Rather than avoiding sensitive or migratory areas, the wind industry is scooping up those areas ….and the government is encouraging them.

    Do a little reading on the Wolfe Island project and then come back and talk.

  11. Thanks for your response, Chris.

    I wonder why you are objecting to the word “slaughter” of bats and birds. Have you seen the recent figures from Wolfe Island? Have you seen their broken bodies? How about thousands of raptors in California (youtube)? In what way is “slaughter” an exaggeration? What word would you deem appropriate?

    Have you seen the documentary series “Life of Birds” narrated by David Attenborough? Birds are magnificent, complex, diverse and totally amazing. They are highly intelligent and relational. They have groups and families and mates. Many are are devoted parents. Have you told your son that crows hold funerals?

    I have lived with a number of birds. One in particular, a rescued ring-neck dove, used to nuzzle my head with his beak and call to me if I was in a different room. He took nothing and gave so much.

    I do not need so-called “science” to tell me that what I felt from this remarkable being was something other than affection, respect, gratitude and love.

    You have stated that before industrial turbine sites are chosen, there are years of research, and environmental impacts are taken into account. I suggest you are really missing what a lot of folks on this site and elsewhere are saying and reporting – and not just Nimbys.

    There are proposals to place gigantic wind turbines, in large numbers, offshore in the flight path of migrating birds. The Scarborough Bluffs is one example while Wolfe Island is another. How insane to go ahead with this!! WHO IS DOING THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS? Not the Ontario government, to be sure. The Green Energy Act allows for exceptions and the bypassing of environmental assessments. I am reading that it is the wind companies who are doing the so-called studies into environmental impact – blatant, unacceptable conflict of interest.

    As you know by now, I name the slaughter of bats and birds as something other than “environmental impacts.”

    Bats and birds are wonders of the world. They have as much right as humans to live and to thrive. – some would claim they have a greater right, for they do not use up the earth.

    There was a recent link posted on this site to an article by David Orton. I hope you will try to find it, and then teach your son about deep ecology.

    And please find some empathy for people and animals who are suffering from the effects of tubine noise, electrical interference, vibration, and the same air pressure turbulence that is killing bats. The point is that SOME people and animals are getting sick – really, really sick – so there needs to a be moratorium on building turbines. This is about DO NO HARM. There is no “acceptable number” of people getting sick, as there is no “acceptable number” of flying sentients being slaughtered in their own element.

    How would you feel/what would you do if your son was getting sick from turbines? Do you live near turbines now? Would you live happily and healthfully surrounded by turbines that have been put there without your being consulted?

    Regarding your “random thoughts”:

    If a bird hits my window and dies, I hold the body in my hands, close to my heart. Sometimes I cry. I thank the bird and Creator for its life. And I tenderly place its body somehere in nature. If it doesn’t die, I do my best to help it to live, then release it.

    Do you know how wind companies honour the bats and birds who have been killed by turbines?
    And what is the wind company protocol for helping birds who are injured but not killed?

    Your death-dealing comment about cats reminds me of that cruel, dark logic I have heard before: more birds are killed in other ways, so building many, many turbines which will kill thousands upon thousands more is somehow OK. Please reassure me that you are not teaching this kind of thinking to your child.

    As for your desire to “correct a few myths”, as you put it, you haven’t. It is evident that you do not have sufficient knowledge about this subject to “correct” anything. What you have done is reveal yourself as someone who cares, wants to help, and who loves his son.( You have this in common with devoted avian parents.)

    And, you sound greenwashed to me. This is not an accusation, but a second opinion. I, too, am someone who cares and wants to help.

    It is my hope that you will continue to look more deeply and to recognize that the problems and harms generated by Big Wind far outnumber the benefits – in fact, I do not know of any real benefits.

    Your son will thank you for the truth. And truth is, Big Wind is not green.

    PS I do not own property and I am completely in support of genuine, do no harm renewable energy – from a deep ecology perspective.

  12. http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2010/05/new-report-from-ontarios-chief-medical-officer-of-health-says-there-is-no-direct-causal-link-between.html

    This report came out in May of this year; it is from Ontario and comes from an expert.

    When I hear the word “slaughter”, I think of needless and willful murder (ie: seal hunt). We do not hold funeral ceremonies for dead animals found at our sites, but we honestly don’t find that many. I am not saying it does not happen or that it is of no consequence, but we are not building these turbines with the intention of killing as many birds as possible. We are building them to suit our population’s insatiable appetite for more and more power. Wind turbines are not the enemy; over-indulgence and wastefulness are.

    I know of several sites that have made changes to their construction plans specifically because of migration patterns, endangered species, rare native grasses and cultural artifacts. I assure you that this does happen and to hear that these practices would be ignored is truly distressing and should not happen.

    I have limited knowledge of the financial end of things, so I can’t really comment with any accuracy as to price fluctuations, but I know my residential power bill does not reflect what type of generation was used to produce the power I used; it just tells me how much I used and the rate. I would also suspect that the difficulty in generagting 1MW from solar vs. 1MW from wind might be similarly proportional to the 14.5 and 80 cent quotes that I saw earlier.

    I still do not believe I am “greenwashed”, but I know that relatively speaking, there are far greater culprits out there than the wind industry. Wind may not be the grand solution to all the world’s problems, but it causes far fewer than many other energy producing counterparts.

  13. Chris:

    A note on the price of power.

    Wind Power producers get paid the FIT rate regardless of the cost of production, or the sales price.


    Hope that link makes it clear — Of course if your company name is Samsug you get $0.145 per KWH — not $0.135 per KWH.

    And that’s right — the subsidy is buried in your power bill and in your tax bill.

    Welcome to 1984 — it just came a little late — that’s all.

  14. As a special favor to Chris:

    Here is a link to 1984. It’s FREE!

    So anyone who sees this has no reason to not read one of the Classic Novels about BIG BROTHER government — sometimes refer to as The Nanny State.

    As a reward, your your chocolate ration will be increased to 4oz. per week.

    Please turn in your old 8oz. coupons for chocolate at the food dispensary, along with a signed note from your neighborhood watcher that verifies that you did indeed read the book!

  15. You wrote: When I hear the word “slaughter”, I think of needless and willful murder (ie: seal hunt).

    Call it what you will. Thousands of birds are being killed for the profit of the industry. Same reason seals are slaughtered – to make money. It’s just that simple.

    I know of a few cases where one or two turbines were moved because people and naturalists were screaming about it. I know of no wind company that did it “voluntarily”.

    No project has ever been scrapped because it was on a migration route or near a sensitive area. That’s where the best wind is, the industry claims.

    It’s all about the money, honey.

    Are you saying the wind industry should never be scrutinized?

  16. Good day, Chris. As Dave Robinson says, Arleen King’s findings have been discussed in depth on this site, as well as refuted by actual “experts” who do not work for the Ontario “government”. Her’s is not an independent report.

    Dr. King has misrepresented what is happening. She, after all, would likely be looking for a job if she did not report as she has. I would have appreciated her acknowledgement that, as an employee of The “Government” of Ontario, she is in a conflict of interest and must at least appear to put the “government” in a good – or at least a neutral light. And she did not gather any subjective data from those who are sick – a gigantic oversight.

    I thank Dr. King for presenting us with a challenge to look beyond her report, and for further eroding the reputation of the corrupt wind industry and the “government” of Ontario.

    Regarding the word “slaughter”, I say to you that it is DELIBERATE. The wind companies know that the flying sentients will die, and horribly. And they go ahead anyhow. I ask you again, what word(s) would you use? How about “criminal slaughter”?

    You have said you don’t find that many dead birds near turbines. Is it specifically your job to gather up their exquisite bodies, or is this hearsay? I asked, also, what the wind company protocol is for treating injured birds – if you are in the loop, please let me know.

    Evidently, you do not have a DO NO HARM approach to Green Energy. Perhaps you are a Big Wind shareholder. I do not know what could possibly convince you there should be anything but a moratorium on wind development as it is being perpetrated now.

    Two more of my important questions which you did not yet address:

    How would you feel/what would you do if your child became sick while being in close proximity to turbines?

    Do you now live near turbines? Would you choose to live near turbines? I mean really near.

  17. PS Chris, I was glad to read of your distress that turbines are being deliberately sited without regard for the creatures who call the lands, waters and skies their homes.

    As for wind being less harmful than other methods of energy production and generation, do you get to decide this all on your own? Maybe you could accompany Dr. King and you both could sit in a room and gather the all-important subjective component.

    As my shaman friend suggests, “Tenderly, respectfully gather up the dismembered body of the eagle. Thank it and Creator for its life. Ask the dead eagle’s mate to rate the harm.”

  18. PPS Chris, you have used the phrase “needless and willful murder” as an equivalent to the word “slaughter”. Thanks for this, because I can’t think of a more accurate phrase than “needless and willful slaughter” to describe what is happening to bats and birds killed by wind turbines.

    Oh yes, and lest we forget the raping of what is euphemistically referred to as their “habitat”, the wind companies are taking their lands, waters and skies greenback-grabbing hand over greenback-grabbing fist.

  19. How many homes powered by industrial wind turbines is a theoretical argument because in reality no homes can be shown to be powered by industrial wind turbines. Appliances need a reliable steady source of power of which industrial wind is not. There is most likely no industrial wind power at a home’s electrical plug-ins. Without reliable power sources no homes would have power. The sporadic and variable power from industrial wind turbines goes onto the grid and is treated like a user, not a power producer. An amazing amount of power on the grid is “lost” as power produced is not equal to power consumed. The sporadic and variable power change of industrial wind is what increases the amount of power “lost” so industrial wind turbines most likely provide a lot less than anyone has theoretically calculated. Industrial wind turbines have not been shown to save any resources but can be shown to waste resources. The few jobs created by industrial wind industry are costing our taxpayers more than if we paid the salary directly. Chris most likely would have a higher salary if we did.

  20. Chris,

    Hi again, Iv’e been busy lately but I would like to answer your response to me.

    For starters, a nuclear plant would not be allowed on this farm. That is unfortunate. because to me it would be worth giving up this farm to save all the families in Ontario that are losing their health, very serious and also losing their hard earned equity that they had faith in for 40 years as in my case. ( a 50% reduction) Also and probably the biggest loss, thanks to the Green Energy Act, we have lost democratic process, trust in our government and in many councils in Ontario that did not seems to care about us.

    From what I have been able to learn about Nuclear facilities, it seems that the new ones are smaller, safer, more efficient. Apparently France has learned to reuse the waste. You would think that if that is true the whole world would know about it. They apparently re burn it. So that means less to store. It can’t be worse than all the chemicals in fertilizers that were dumped on this farm over the years. Even now there are no rules as there is for residential. That bothers me a lot.

    Also I read that France has turned off some of their industrial wind factories at night to allow people to sleep. Have you heard about the Countries in Europe stopping the subsidies for wind power? Too expensive for what you get I suppose. I was just trying to make a point that one nuclear reactor if allowed on our farm would power so much more cheaply and efficiently and stop all this madness and heart ache. Just like people had to get educated on wind power, people need to get educated on other sources of power. I think that the government and wind corporations have just capitalized on outdated fear of nuclear in the general public to push through the money making exploitation of rural lands. They were not expecting so much opposition. They went for the popular vote in big cities and thought they would be hero’s. Now much truth is coming out from all over the world and only time will tell if any heed is taken. You sound sincere and your heart was in the right place but there are too many facts to the contrary of your position. All the best with your son. BYW, you said that you have seen wildlife grazing under a IWT. If it was a fenced in cow that doesn’t count. Could you please send us a picture of a deer? Turbines turned on of course. Because I have read stories of people becoming depressed that the country life they chose has not seen wildlife for years since the IWT’s came to their area. I do agree with most people that the bird deaths reported on Wolfe Island are devastating. Ontario used o protect wildlife at all cost, especially hawks , falcons, vultures, eagles and all raptors and endangered birds. Very sad.

  21. A quote from the Wind Turbine Noise study just published here seems appropriate. It, itself is a quote:

    The following quotationby Upton Sinclair seems relevant here: “It is difficultto get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” (Sinclair, 1935,
    reprinted 1994, p. 109).

    …and that is that…

  22. My initial post was to correct a few errors; each turbine can power more than 0.5 homes, there are no houses close enough to this particular site to be threatened by the fire and the majority of the oil in the turbine that burned was recovered.

    I realize that posting pro-wind comments on an anti-wind site is probably going to generate a bit of a stir and am pleasantly surprised by the responses I have read. I believe I share the same passion as most of you about the future of our planet, protection of our wildlife and unihabited areas as well as being an advocate for responsible and sustainable devlopment of resources.

    My opinions are based on my experiences; I have worked in several different industries and I know that relative to other industries, wind is miles ahead. That still doesn’t mean it is the greatest thing ever and I am not saying that it is, but relatively speaking, we are not that bad.

    Questions answered:

    Should the wind industry be exempt from scrutiny?
    Absolutely not. We should be just as accountable as any other intustry or private citizen. To suggest that we are above the law is not accurate and I am involved on a daily basis in making sure that we are actually complying with regulations.

    What word to use other than slaughter?
    Unfortunate and unintentional. These turbines are built to generate power, not to kill birds; there is no money in killing birds. (see comments on finances later)

    What do we do with injured animals?
    All animal related incidents are reported to the owners of the wind farms. They maintain records of quantity and frequency of these incidents. I honestly have not yet heard of anyone finding and inured, but not dead bird. I am not saying it does not happen, but it is not something we have dealt with yet. The standard answer would be to leave them there and “let nature take it’s course”, but if the injury actually was due to the turbie, it wouldn’t really be “natural”, would it? I know of several people near where I live that take in injured animals and if I personally found such a situation, I would take the animal to one of them. I have rescued a few myself in the past with birds I have found on the road, etc. (not near wind turbines).

    How would I feel if my son became sick around the turbines?
    I would feel the same as if he got sick anywhere else; the location would not matter. How is it possible that we have workers in and around these every day, yet none of them have come down with these mysterious ailments that I keep hearing about? We are not hiring marvels of modern science to work for us; they are regular folks like you or I, but none of them seem to suffer any ill effects of being around them on a daily basis.

    Do I personally live near the turbines?
    I live about 20 minutes away from the Kent Hills site. For the past 5 years or so, I have been very intrested in obtaining wind power for my home. The size of the ones we build would be far too big to install for residential applications (plus I don’t have $4M), but at some point I fully intend to supplement my household power with a small turbine. I would have no problem living in close proximity to one (or several) and would be happy if the municipal government where I live would have the forethought to invest in such a project.

    Do I decide what energy is harmful?
    No. I have an opinion based on my experiences. I also believe that the world is round, not flat and that when I close the door on my fridge, I’m pretty sure the light inside goes out.

    Shutting down turbines in Europe?
    I have not heard of this, but I know that many European farms are built in much closer proximity to houses than in North America. There have been complaints over this for years and many projects are now being developed offshore (nowhere near any houses or populated areas).

    Pictures of wildlife?
    I have photos of wildlife “near” turbines, but no pictures that show the animal and the turbine in the same shot. I have contacted some people from various sites and will hopefully have something in the next few days. As I am typing this, I am looking out the window at several herds of cows (yes, they are fenced in though) amidst a project in southern Alberta. Last week, in PEI I saw the same thing. You would probably beat the odds if you were able to go to the Kent Hills site without seeing either a moose, a deer, a coyote or a bear on any day of the week. I was there a few weeks ago and saw 2 moose and a deer within the span of a couple of days. In Bathurst and Gaspe, the moose are so plentiful, we need to constantly remind our workers of the danger they present on the roads.

    Zen2then’s comments are really confusing me. Would you have us believe that building these sites is pointless because the power never goes anywhere? Why would a company spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build them if there was no money in it? Why would power companies purchase this electricity if they can’t sell it to anybody? Why would the government subsidize this? Is this all just a diabolical plot to kill a few birds?

    Is wind power responsible for all the families in Ontario losing their health, a 50% reduction in housing prices and the loss of the democratic process? Are you serious? This, and the Orwellian propoganda depicting the wind industry as this all-powerful evil entity are not based in fact. The world has just gone through a recession; could it be that wind is being used as a scapegoat for other woes when they are seen to be growing while other industries falter? Did wind power companies get together and conspire to create the mortgage crisis in the US, cause car manufacturers and banks to go under so that they could put up some more wind farms (and kill off those pesky birds)? I hope you find that question as ridiculous as I do, because that just can’t be true. CanWEA is not the OPEC of wind. Are politicians corupt? Some of them certainly are. Are businesses interested in making money? Absolutely. “Big Wind” is nowhere near as powerful as you are giving us credit for. Absolutely, it is a growing industry; rapidly growing, but we are not “Big Oil”, the NRA, tobacco producers or SPECTRE from James Bond movies. There is no plot to take over the world and kill all the birds. This is fiction.

    As for my salary, I used to make 3 times what I am making now when I worked in the oil & gas industry. The money was great, but money is not everything and I grew tired of being a part of an industry that thrived off of destruction (deliberate, needless and willful). There was an overwhelming sense of guilt that was only occasionally overshadowed by the ability to make a difference or save a life. I took a significant reduction in pay in order to join an industry that I see as being far better for the world and I sleep very well at night because of this. I am proud of what I do and am very pleased to be a part of this industry. To suggest I am a yes-man for the wind industry because of financial considerations is completely preposterous. I will not compromise my personal integrity or the safety of our workers to make a few more bucks for the shareholders and to infer I would is insulting.

    I don’t think I have ever attacked nuclear power; in fact I have stated that it is very safe and efficient. The problem I do see is that if something does go wrong, it goes wrong on a very large scale (ie: Chernobyl).

    I don’t see a problem with guaranteed rates for power sales. The generation companies have invested a great deal of money into a long-term investment; this probably would not happen unless there was some form of assurance that there would be a profit to be made. I will not argue the fact that “Big Wind” is in the business of making money; electricity is a commodity so if you can produce it for less than you sell it for, you make money. Not to harp on nuclear again, but to keep the conversation based in Ontario, are you suggesting that the Bruce Nuclear Plant near Tiverton is not interested in making money? I doubt the shareholders of Bruce Power would be pleased to here that and I’m sure their main concern is not protecting birds.

  23. Chris:

    The following quotation by Upton Sinclair seems relevant here: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”

    You fail to see the wind industry eco-capitalists are also causing deliberate, needless and willful harm.

    So 1600 ducks land on a tailing pond and the oil industry is criminally charged. 600 birds and and 1000 bats were killed by the turbines on Wolfe Island in a 6 month period …..and it was just an “oopsie”? Gee, we didn’t mean it.

    Have you ever read the environmental reports from these wind companies? They KNOW the risks and they downplay, ignore and minimize all of them.

  24. Chris:

    Shortly, I will be gone for a month (or few) and did not want to reply and drag this out, but you have been polite and thoughtful and we appreciate that.

    In the paragraph beginning:

    “Is wind power responsible for all the families in Ontario losing their health, a 50% reduction in housing prices and the loss of the democratic process?”

    I think the answer to that would have to be yes. Some foolish politicians bought into the idea that “Green Energy” would save the planet, and then made some foolish business and political decisions. To carry out their plan they came up with the Green Energy Act which does indeed seem to suspend Rights and Freedoms guaranteed under the charter.

    Before you go too much further on the size of Big Wind — read the story about Mike Crawley — go to the Home Page and keep working your way back in time and posts till you find it. Then consider the notes on the financing.

    I will leave it to others to educate you further if you wish to be so educated.


  25. First of all, Chris, your initial post, along your subsequent posts, have corrected nothing and no one.

    I find your labelling of this site as “anti-wind” to be erroneous and self-serving. This is a site for promoting sane, safe, wind development in Ontario.

    You have been responded to with care, politeness and thoroughness by several empowered, educated and deeply caring people.

    MA is so right on with the Upton Sinclair quote. You have made it crystal clear that you are deeply invested in Big Wind, and not only financially. Your own words (“overwhelming sense of guilt”) say to me that you see wind development, at any cost, as Saviour and as your personal route to a guilt-free future. And so all your words are about defending Big Wind.

    You, like Arleen King, have no independent voice.

    Virtually every bit of information shared with you on this site has served as fodder for your need to make you and Big Wind look like benevolent humanitarians.

    However, my insights might as well be for myself only, for your ears and heart are closed to the plight of the birds, bats, bees and butterflies who are losing their homes, their companions, their lives – and whom we are losing to our inestimable detriment. Or, perhaps you consider them a necessary sacrifice for the continuation of the feeding of human greed.

    Obviously, you have not watched Dr. McMurtry’s film, “No Safe Place”. I doubt that you have read David Orton’s piece on deep ecology. Perhaps you have seen the broken bodies on youtube, yet remain unmoved. I thought maybe the technical data showing wind to be an untenable source of energy might get through to you – it seems not.

    I must now accept that you and the industry you represent, are one.

    You are a living example of the success of greenwashing.

    You ask,”Is this all just a diabolical plot just to kill a few birds?” It is not a few, Chris Martin, but many, many, many, many.

    It may not be a “plot”, according to your definition of “plot”. It is, however, the very manifestation of diabolical.

    I wish you wholeness, Chris.

  26. PS I am glad you caught yourself with the “let nature take its couse” remark. I say I am glad because you could have edited it out, but you had the courage to let it stay. Migrating birds and flight-genius bats take nature’s course everywhere there is air. To place gigantic turbines across the Atlantic flyway – well, that’s a diabolical desecration of nature’s course.

    You have said that you would not compromise your integrity or the safety of workers for the sake of money. Two thoughts: first, if someone on this site suggested that you would compromise your integrity and the safety of workers, please remind me of exactly what was said. Second, evidently you would and do compromise the safety and very lives of flying sentients – what is that compromise for, Chris?

  27. PPS You say you would like to have a small turbise at home – most of us would. It is the scale we are objecting to.

    So I would be grateful if you would answer my question again, but know that I am referring to very, very big (400-500 feet) turbines. Would you be OK with several being built around your home, 550 meter distance from your windows?

  28. Claire:

    I think the only point we differ on is this one.

    …promoting sane, safe, wind development in Ontario.

    To me that means ZERO wind turbines and removing the ones foisted upon the people of Ontario.

    If someone wants a personal turbine and can justify the expense and it is small enough that it will not annoy neighbors then I say goodonyer — knock yourself out — put it up by hand if you like.

    And Chris, one of the projects likely to occur in my future is designing the power systems for the remote camps around turbines and solar. But, no monster turbines — just monster Cats.

  29. Chris, my friends lived for 4 years with a small wind turbine and a natural gas back up generator,in the country. Had to check if there was enough power to shower,do laundry, no outside lights,no freezer,no air conditioner[at 10:30 tonight it was still 29C here] Their gas bills were the same as my gas and hydro bills with major inconveniences, could not go away for a few days because the system had to be watched. Now they are hooked to the grid and use less than 300kw a month and are happy

  30. I side with David on his comment on ZERO industrial wind turbines and removing existing.

    At 0.1% wind power production most of today how many homes can be expected to use wind power if a minimum of 7 to 9% line loss of power produced can be expected? Variable wind production creates situations that increase occurrences of power line losses. In addition there are other sources of power loss when trying to accommodate wind power onto the grid. The poor quality of power produced by industrial wind cannot provide power to homes and most likely does not even provide a small portion of power to homes. Why are we building industrial wind turbines? A question most of us are asking.

  31. Mark:

    Wish you well — look forward to the article I know you will publish here.

    Look forward to some real discussions with you — not just drive-by comments.


  32. Where to begin? I guess I could start by correcting some errors again.

    How have I invested financially in Big Wind? Other than the fact that I am employed by them and get a salary, I don’t see any other connection. I am not a shareholder of any wind-related companies.

    To say that I have corrected nothing and no one is not true. I have given first-hand knowledge of facts that have been misrepresented; whether you believe these facts or not is up to you; I really don’t care either way. To state that my ears and heart are closed I don’t think would be a fair statement, but when you use the same breath to discount everything I have said, it becomes hypocritical.

    I have not been “greenwashed”. I do not buy into propoganda and I am, by nature, very skeptical.

    I believe my integrity has been attacked repeatedly by lumping me in with a bunch of corrupt politicians. What I have stated is that even though I work for “Big Wind”, I am not a yes-man and I make decisions based on what I believe to be best, rather than what the stockholders tell me to say.

    Could you give me more details on the 400-500 foot turbines? That sounds awfully tall; are you sure you aren’t exaggerating? The majority of the turbines we build today have a hub height of 85 meters. That is just shy of 300 feet (a far cry from 500). If we can agree on a height of 300 feet, I will agree with you that 550m setbacks are nowhere near enough. To answer your question about would I want to live that close to them, the answer is: “NO”.

    Now that the facts have been explained, here are some more opinions (actually the same ones, just worded differently).

    550m is too close in my opinion. This does not mean that the turbines are evil; it is a problem with how they are being used. Seatbelts are designed to save lives, but consider the exaggeration of wrapping one around your neck. This safety device has suddenly become very dangerous; is the seatbelt to blame or is it a problem with the way it is used?

    Trying to live off-grid and using an air conditioner does not make sense. These devices are incredibly wasteful and basically defeats the purpose of trying to be “green” in the first place.

    I think we are making very similar arguments, but have different opinions and at least one person (David) can understand that and can agree to disagree and even have a little fun with this too.

    Let’s try this one (way outside the box). I love bacon. I don’t raise pigs and I would prefer not to have them in my yard. If it meant giving up bacon, I would probably change my mind and keep a pig. I would not need 50 of them, but my neighbours might like bacon too, so they will probably also get pigs. Now we could all have mini-farms and have 1 pig each or we could pick one person to keep all the pigs and pay that person for our share of the bacon. Whoever this person is might think that the next town over would also like bacon, so he would keep a few more pigs to supply their needs as well and make a bit of profit also. Eventually his operation gets so big that it is encroaching on his neighbours privacy and the neighbours start to complain. They still like bacon, but they don’t want to have to deal with where it comes from. Sure, they could go without or go back to raising their own, but that requires a daily time commitment that just might not be available when they have taken on a full-time job. And so we are back in the same catch-22; you want the bacon, but don’t want to have a pig or live near a pig farm.

    What is “wholeness”? I am pretty happy with what I have accomplished in my life so far and I don’t need to be “saved”.

  33. Ah….but therein lies the rub (I luv bacon too – Chris A. so you picked a great analogy from my p.o.v.)

    The problems, however with the picture of the pork panacea you paint are directly related to the move to a larger pen of pigs. The odour of a large herd of pigs in one place is enough to strip paint whilst from the neighbours barns but only one or two pigs per participant puts practically no pressure on the perfume preferences of people in proximity.

    Besides the growing odoriferous connundrum it creates, other problems such as increased disease concerns, ground and water pollution, growing noise and waste disposal all become much greater concerns as the size of the operation grows.

    In the end – it is not the pork that is to blame (thanks God for that!) it is the scale of the operation that renders the project (im)prudent!

    I would never stand in the way (or really even discourage) any fair minded person from instituting their own electricity usage mitigation measures – to reduce their draw from the grid – assuming that their actions do not harm anyone.

    This is a case where one pig per household might just make a lot of sense – the ultimate expression of distributed power generation without the need for further transmission … we can all learn a lot about becoming more aware of our environment … we can all learn a lot about becoming more and more a part of the solution.

    However, it has become abundantly clear to me that Industrial Wind Turbines serve no practical purpose.

  34. Chris, you do seem to wish we were exaggerating.

    Wolfe Island Residents for Responsible Energy (WIRE) website shows dimensions as follows:

    diameter of rotating blades=300 feet
    mast height=262 feet
    mast height plus blade=415 feet

    I am searching for confirmation from another source.

    More to follow re: 500-600 feet

    If you feel you need to ask someone you have just discredited what “wholeness” is, better find out on your own.

  35. The GE2.5XL does have a maximum tower height of 100M, The rotor has a diameter of 100M — a radius of 50M so there for… 150 Meters — which is a little more than 480 feet I believe.

    The 75M tower would give it a height of 125M or 406 feet.

    It is a 2.5MH turbine as the name suggests.

    I believe that there are some units installed here in Ontario.

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