Thunder Bay Wind farm makes move

by BRANDON WALKER
Chronical Journal

A Horizon Wind proposal to move the Big Thunder wind project 1.1 kilometres from the nearest home isn‘t good enough, says a representative of a group opposed to the development.

At twice the provincial standard of 550 metres, the company says its distance should alleviate some of the concerns expressed by Nor‘wester Mountain escarpment-area residents.

“It‘s equal to 11 football fields,” Nhung Nguyen, project co-ordinator, said Thursday in an interview with The Chronicle-Journal.

Nguyen said 98 per cent of homes will actually be two km away, “almost four times the provincial standard.”

Moving the turbines means a loss of wind, resulting in financial losses, she said, without providing details.

“Part of the reason we‘re doing this is Horizon is an environmental company,‘‘ Nguyen said. “We have to think about the financial, social and environmental bottom line.

“We see this as a compromise (after) taking all those factors in mind.”

One of the concerns expressed by residents was a steady flashing light, known as flicker, as the sun shines through the spinning turbines.

Nguyen said the province‘s minimum turbine setback of 550 metres is a way of preventing the flicker factor.

Horizon‘s original proposal put the turbines 600 metres away from homes, and the company estimated residents would experience six hours of flicker per year.

Nguyen said sun flicker shouldn‘t be an issue now.

“I don‘t think there will be any flicker experienced at those houses. It‘s usually within 300 metres of turbines when it‘s a concern.”

Margot Freitag of the Nor‘wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee she said Horizon is still planning to set up too close to houses, including hers.

Freitag said research has shown noise in mountainous terrain is “more pronounced,” so turbines should be 3.5 km away from homes, even more on mountains.

“Dr. Michael Nissenbaum did a controlled study very much like this situation where the turbines were on a mountainous area in Mars Hill, Maine. He had to go six km to get a control group. People up to five km away were suffering adverse health because of the noise,” Freitag said.

She said she believes there would still be sun flicker with the closest turbine 1.1 km away.

“Even if there isn‘t, there would be the strobing effect from sunlight reflecting off the blades.”

Freitag said the sound of turbines can be detrimental to health.

Horizon is to present its revised proposal to Thunder Bay city council on Tuesday.

Nguyen said the company will release its environmental assessment a few days later.

Anyone wishing to provide feedback to Horizon can go to www.bigthunderwindpower.ca.

The website says if the project is approved, it will prevent 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere in Ontario each year, and provide power for 9,000 homes in Thunder Bay.

One thought on “Thunder Bay Wind farm makes move

  1. That is a bold face lie! Wind turbines NEVER put out to name plate capacity! So saying that they will remove 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere is a gross exaggerated misleading lie of MISINFORMATION! And because they require the gas, or coal to remain on standby for when the wind stops or blows to hard they actually cause MORE Carbon Dioxide to enter the atmosphere! Wind Turbines are NOT GREEN!! They have been used as a political cash cow to exploit the uneducated and uninformed masses!
    About the set backs!!! The company Horizon is trying to look like they are compromising, but ask your self this: Why do the Swiss people yodel in the mountains? Because sound travels and echos and amplifies in the mountains! Our farm is in the hills of Creemore, we get echo and bounce effects. We hear Cyote from miles away. They sound like they are at our door but in fact they are miles away. This is the most irresponsible mismanaged boondoggle any government has ever come up with but by the time the truth is obvious it will be too late as all that concrete and power lines will have destroyed our beautiful rural lands and killed endangered birds and run off our wildlife. Worst of all this travesty has made people walk away from their homes of decades and generations so that they can stop suffering from LFN and vibration! Shame on McGuinty and his rival in BC!!! Please join the fight to stop the corporate take over of our rural lands. SAVE ONTARIO , make signs, protest, March on Queens Park, Hell run for Mayor of your town, we need new thinking blood not wimps that are seduced with pay offs that have turned their backs on the very people that voted for them!! ACT NOW!

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