Wind Proposal Gets Cool Reception

The Owen Sound Sun Times

Georgian Bluffs Forest
Georgian Bluffs Forest

I’m concerned about the Green Energy (Act) taking away the rights of local municipalities. It seems to me that democracy lives and breathes in the local communities, and people there should have a say in what goes on in their local communities, including these wind farms and energy projects,” said Mann.
A proposal to build wind turbines in Arran-Elderslie, Georgian Bluffs and Chatsworth drew criticism from the public and members of Arran-Elderslie council.
“I think these things are a joke . . . I don’t want them. I think Arran-Elderslie can remain special by not having them. I think they are going to (visually) pollute the countryside” Coun. Mark Davis said after a presentation by representatives of NextEra Energy to council yesterday.

“It’s old, worn out technology. There’s a lot of things we don’t have in Arran-Elderslie but one of the things we do have are some real nice sunsets and I’m not willing to give that up to have a bunch of red lights flashing in the dark all the time.”

NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Florida Power and Light, an American energy consortium.

The company plans to build six 1.5 megawatt turbines west of Paisley and another half dozen turbines east of Tara that could include parts of Georgian Bluffs and Chatsworth. The company hasn’t made a final decision about the site of the wind farms.

Davis questioned whether a council vote about the proposal would mean much now that the province’s Green Energy Act has been passed.

“Dalton McGuinty, as he did with nutrient management, has taken this over with the worst plan and is well on track to doing the same thing with the Green Energy Act,” Davis said

“Mr. McGuinty has truly lost the concept of true democracy representing our local people,” he added.

Those views were echoed by Port Elgin-area resident John Mann, who attended yesterday’s meeting.

“I’m concerned about the Green Energy (Act) taking away the rights of local municipalities. It seems to me that democracy lives and breathes in the local communities, and people there should have a say in what goes on in their local communities, including these wind farms and energy projects,” said Mann.

“The Green Energy Act is taking that away from municipalities and that leads me to think that something is wrong. Our young men and women are over in Afghanistan trying to protect democracy while the Green Energy Act seems to be taking it away.”

Keith Stelling, a member of Friends of Arran Lake, said he and others are concerned about plans by NextEra to locate one of its wind farms in a wetland surrounding Arran Lake.

“Arran Lake is a very fragile, sensitive habitat; a staging area for migratory birds,” he said.

Stelling said wind technology has proven unreliable in parts of Europe.

“The German regulator has indicated that it is necessary to back up wind turbines 90% of the time and that’s a lot of gas plants and you have to pay for the gas to keep them running to shadow wind turbines when they are not operating,” said Stelling.

Project manager Nicole Geneau told councillors no final decisions have been made about the location of the proposed wind farms. In the meantime the environmental assessment process has begun with studies on bat and bird populations.

Mann wanted to know why studies weren’t being done on the effects of wind turbines on humans. He suggested with so much space available why aren’t wind farms being located away from residences.

“Ontario is larger than many countries in the world. Just put them in places which don’t affect people,” Mann said.

By Don Crosby

5 thoughts on “Wind Proposal Gets Cool Reception

  1. Ha – Florida Power and Light. That sounds legit. At least make it a Canadian bid.
    What’s in it for Dalton ? I suspect some prime ocean front views in the sunshine state.

  2. What’s in it for Dalton? In may opinion, there can only be one thing. Money in form of kick backs.

    There is nothing good or positive about wind turbines.
    So,what else is there?

    How can our own govenment sell us out? Unbeleivable!

  3. You said it………the Wind Industry is the failed politicians rest home. By the time MCguinty is thrown out on his bum Rural Ontario will be a wasteland.
    I’ve got a better suggestion for a home for these Weasels and it’s called the Big House!

  4. Following the presentation in Chesley I approached Mr. Charles Ebby asking him a couple of questions regarding his position on wind turbines and the fact that in Europe they are being decommissioned and subsidies are being withdrawn. He called me a NIMBY but I told him I was a NIABY “Not In ANYONE’S Back Yard” These concrete monsters should not be allowed anywhere.

  5. After being presented with the 2004 research results that showed significant bat deaths at one of their industrial wind developments Florida Power and Light withdrew the company’s participation in the initiative, denying the scientific team at the time access to turbine sites to complete the research. Even though further studies have been done there is a question as to the credibility of scientific work when the industry such as Florida Power and Light has proprietary ownership of the information that is produced. These are the companies our government is expecting us to trust in our Province?

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