This is in regard to the ‘Green Energy Bandwagon’ and the media’s comments that go something like, “It’s not as if wind power is controversial.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. More than 4,000 (some say as high as 7,000) of these massive, noisy, 400-foot high industrial behemoths are being erected in the backyards of people living in developed communities throughout south central Ontario, for no practical reason whatsoever.
A cost-recovery-benefit calculation of Dalton’s Green Energy brain cramp shows his part-time industrial wind power plan is only beneficial to, and lucrative for wind turbine promoters and builders. They receive 14 to 19 cents for every kilowatt per hour they deliver to the grid – five times the current Ontario Power Generation purchase cost. Solar promoters receive 80 cents per kw/h, over 20 times OPG’s current purchase cost. They also receive “incentive subsidies” covering new construction.
Industrial wind turbines and their infrastructure costs are extremely high while at the same time, totally inefficient. Each turbine costs over $5 million. Their huge concrete bases, new access roadways, new transmission lines, cabling etc., and equipment costs to clean the dirty electricity they produce are another $2 million each. All this, yet they will only generate power, on average, two part days a week, due to a lack of wind.
Why jack our electricity bills by billions of dollars for a measly 15 to 20 per cent power yield? Why destroy miles of beautiful Ontario countryside, and depreciate thousands of private properties for something that is not reliable, not cost-effective, or needed? It is reported that OPG is purposely bypassing low-cost hydro dam generators in order to create a false “need”.
Dalton’s government is being taken to court by citizens groups over his inadequate set-back rule of only 550 metres, the shortest set-back distance in the western world. Elsewhere the minimum set-back is 1,500 to 2,000 metres from a dwelling. Dalton’s projected wind turbine build costs to periodically produce just 6,000 megawatts of unreliable, intermittent power is almost double the cost of one small nuclear power plant, which is capable of delivering clean electricity all day, every day of the year, something wind turbines can never do.
Citizens groups also oppose Dalton’s Dynamos because, for some unknown reason, his plan targets smaller communities, not cities where electricity demand and waste is the highest. To add to this abuse, industrial turbine noise equates to living near Hwy. 401, causing property values to sink. As well, conservation efforts, habitat protection efforts, the Oak Ridges Moraine protection policies and a host of other issues have all been tossed under the bus.
We need to urge Premier McGuinty to re-visit his flawed wind plan, and prioritize building at least 800 of his industrial turbines (20 per cent) along the GTA’s lakeshore, in Toronto/Hamilton parks, public spaces and malls, on the islands, along hydro transmission lines, rail corridors, and at the Pickering Nuclear and Lakeview Generation sites.
We need to generate power where the demand originates, and minimize the destruction of south central Ontario’s unique, world-class countryside.
Al Matthews is a Grafton resident.