Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc. securing rights to 19,200 hectares of lake bed

Posted By Paul Schliesmann, The Kingston Whig Standard

The ex-Kingstonians planning to erect 60 to 90 wind turbines west of Wolfe Island in the waters of Lake Ontario have pegged the price of the project at $1.5 billion.

Ian and Nancy Baines were in town this week to meet with Kingston Economic Development Corporation officials to begin preparing for what they describe as the largest energy renewable project in Canada.

“I’m here … to look at what the possibilities are to get materials, labour, expertise, as much as possible from Kingston,” Ian Baines said in an interview with the Whig-Standard.

“We’re getting a list from KEDCO of all the suppliers to the Wolfe Island project so we know who’s done it before.”

The Baines’s plan is to erect 60 to 90 wind turbines, spaced about a kilometre apart and anchored to shoals jutting into Lake Ontario.

The project is feasible, said Baines, because Kingston is “the Saudi Arabia of wind.”

Their company, Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc., has been licensed to generate up to 300 megawatts of electricity. The 86 Wolfe Island turbines have a capacity for just under 200 megawatts.

The project will be financed through a parent company, Windstream Energy LLC, established by Baines in New York City to attract investment capital.

He described his backers as having “very deep pockets.”

Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc. is also in the process of securing the rights to 19,200 hectares of lake bed beneath the waters of Lake Ontario.

Even though the area would include part of Kingston Harbour and Big Sandy Bay off Wolfe Island, Baines said they will not put turbines that close to land.

“The intention is that we would hold the land, which would prevent anyone else from going (there),” he said.

“We just think they’re too high impact for the people on shore.”

There are no provincial regulations to determine where offshore wind turbine installations can or can’t be placed.

“We expect other companies may try to come in later and pick up the pieces,” Baines said.

“This is doing the right thing for Kingston. It doesn’t make sense to have turbines that close to shore.”

He described the project as having Pigeon Island as its geographic centre.

If approvals from various provincial and federal departments go according to schedule, the company will order the turbines two years from now and install the foundations a year later.

“We’re coming home, continuing something that’s been going on for a long time. We’ve put it into high gear because of the timelines,” said Baines.

In their agreement with the Ontario Power Authority, the Baines have four years to complete the work and begin supplying power to the provincial electricity grid.

“A project of this size will require an international team,” he said. “We have to find the expertise, probably in Europe because they have built a dozen or so wind projects offshore.”

The turbines will also be purchased in Europe. The turbines on Wolfe Island were made by Siemens of Germany though the Baines’ agreement with the Ontario Power Authority stipulates that 50% of the money on the project must be spent with Ontario- based companies.

“We want to encourage our partners and suppliers to find as much expertise as possible here in eastern Ontario but Kingston is the obvious place,” said Baines.

The project was awarded earlier this month through the provincial government’s Feed-in Tariff program, which grants app rova l to renewable energy products utilizing wind, solar and hydro as sources of power.

Baines, a Queen’s University engineering graduate, was the founder of the 86-turbine farm on Wolfe Island.

After securing the rights from private landowners on the island, Baines said his investors encouraged him to sell the project to Canadian Hydro Developers, who built the facility.

Just as the wind farm was beginning production it was sold to TransAlta of Alberta.

This time, Baines says, he won’t relinquish control.

Baines also took a swipe at the people opposing wind turbine projects, calling them “pseudo-environmentalists.”

“I’m a business person,” he said. “I’m proud of a long-term commitment to improve the environment.

“I’m not proud of the term environmentalist because it’s used as a cloak. They use that word to stop renewable energy projects.”

He also corrected critics who say wind power is unreliable because it’s only generated on windy days. The long-term goal, he said, is to raise provincial wind capacity from its current 1% to about 10%.

“Wind will probably never be mainstream. It’s another source of energy,” he said. “We have a province that’s in transition to eliminate coal and the flexible source of energy will come from water and wind.”

36 thoughts on “Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc. securing rights to 19,200 hectares of lake bed

  1. The drive from Prince Edward County to Kingston is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas in the province IMO.
    Its where we (hubby and I) fell in love with this area..

    Soon it will be gone..

  2. one and a half billion. wouldnt that be nice if mginty would put that into badly needed hospital funding. we could hire more doctors and nurses and i woundnt have had to wait 7 hours last week in our local hospital ermerg room with my son. then there were no beds for him. funding cuts.

  3. “The long-term goal, he said, is to raise provincial wind capacity from its current 1% to about 10%.”?????

    That’s the best the wind developers can offer?

    We are forever altering the landscape with these massive concrete structures, placing the health of humans and wildlife at risk, lowering our neighbours property values….

    And for what? Because maybe, just maybe we will get 10% of our energy from wind turbines. Geez!

  4. ian baines has disrupted many lives and communities with his greed. stand up for our rights ..queens park 11 a.m.

  5. Wow…The FAKE Green Energy Act will be big revenue producer for the municpalities, eh ?

    Too bad that MPAC will be able to offset this by reducing property values for all those impacted by reductions in their property values….

    Thanx to the Ontario Liberal Government for destroying our communities and escalating our energy costs with FAKE Green Energy….

    What a total waste of resources and tax dollars….

    Another Ontario Liberal Government BOONDOGGLE…

  6. “We’re coming home, continuing something that’s been going on for a long time.”

    I wonder why he doesn’t want to stay and live there anymore? Rape, pillage… walk away.

  7. If you own a cottage on a body of water regardless if it’s a stream, river or lake you can’t even pull a weed out of the waterbed without approval from the MNR so how can this company claim ownership of thousands of acres of Lake Bed and be allowed to virtually destroy this environment forever in the race to rape Ontario taxpayers?

    McGuinty and all these developers should leave Ontario Now!

  8. The Saudi Arabia of wind?………funded by Americans? Nice? THANKS FOR NOTHING! mr baines……THE WIND SHIEK!

  9. My son and I sail a racing dinghy around Pigeon. This delightful spot is the “epicenter” of my cottage view. My environment is worth more to my family than a questionable few megawatts of so called green power.

  10. *********************************I can understand there being many concerns about this project, but people have to learn that there are many positive aspects as well.
    People are concerned about how this will look, but incase you haven’t been keeping up to date the Ministry of Environment has released a new discussion paper stating that the wind turbines must be at least 5 km offshore. This would mean that they would be barely visible, and really how many people will casually boat that far out.
    As for the human health aspect the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario has written a report on all the different health concerns. The real shocker is that there aren’t any. Which isn’t technically the case when is comes to burning coal for power. An increase in wind power means a decrease in power sources that are harmful to everyone and everything. If you are concerned about the safety of the wildlife then shouldn’t you be focusing on the big power plants that kill thousands everyday? Wind turbines are a source of energy that don’t contribute to the fossil feuls that are destroying our planet.

    Even though 300 MW doesn’t seem like a whole lot, 1 MW of wind energy can generate from 2.4 to more than 3 million kWh annually. That is as much electricity as 225 to 300 households use. In Kingston and Kingston Census Metropolitan Area there are approximatly 70,000 to 75,000 households. With this new project, there can be more than 90,000 households powered, which is clearly a great achievement.
    The American Wind Energy Association states
    “Development of just 10% of the wind potential in the 10 windiest U.S. states would provide more than enough energy to displace emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants and eliminate the nation’s major source of acid rain; reduce total U.S. emissions of CO2 by almost a third; and help contain the spread of asthma and other respiratory diseases aggravated or caused by air pollution in this country.”
    True, we aren’t the United States, but we have very similar lifestyles. So that 10% looks really good now doesn’t it?

    You wonder why there is so much of a push for this “FAKE Green Energy Act”, well that’s because your generation has destroyed most of our plant. You have left it to the newer generations to clean up your mistakes.

    I am 19 and go to Queen’s University, where this project will affect me as well, but I bet you ast any student of my age and they will tell you the same thing. We want to get rid of this mess you created for us. We are devoted to changing this country and planet for the better, and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t approve of our decisions, because you won’t be around to see the true damage you have caused if we don’t try to stop it while we can.

  11. The IESO relies on a 10% capacity factor for Industrial Wind Turbines in planning system capacity to meet demand.
    That means to replace one 440MW coal unit, 4400MW of wind would be required – to replace the 5000 MW of coal capacity 50000MW of wind would be needed (average Ontario consumption is about 16000MW).

    Good luck in university.

  12. Nicole:

    Can your generation do math?

    Look in the Viability section and read some of the papers there. Feel free to look at my paper “Watts with the Wind”. If you can find errors of fact, logic or omission feel free to bring them to my attention. However, if Green Rhetoric is all you can bring to the table I feel sorry for you. It does not cut it when numerical skill and logic are needed.

    And Scott may be correct as to what IESO does — but the reality is that you need gas, coal or hydro power to back up Solar and wind 100%. IOW watt for Watt you must have backup power. There are many days when the wind power falls to zero (when viewed on an hourly basis). Check the IESO numbers — there is a link at the right — investigate the numbers and report back if I am wrong.

    So if that is an example of what Queens does to provide an education, and this is the best research a student can do, have your dean call me — I can make some recommendations for improving the system. (My email is on the paper.)

    Now you are creating a mess with your foolish presumptuous Green ways. Move aside and let the adults clean up your Green Mess.

    Oh yes that 1MW of Wind energy? It produces about 2,628 MWH per year. (8760 *.3 MWH hours per year) but that is using the optimal 30% factor. It doesn’t work that way. Even Scott is using optimistic factors.

    Now another issue is that the wind power across Ontario is highly correlated. Have a look at that idea — if you can figure it out — just refer to Tom Adams energy site for additional details on why that is an issue.

    Now if the University officials figure that you are a good student and should be cut some slack — just have them put up an IWT outside your dorm window — at 250Meters offset maybe — just like the green math says … The you can do first hand “ears on” research on the noise issues.

    Now as for luck with your studies — you will need it — but stick to non-technical subjects if this is the best research that can be offered. Engineering and physics are killer subjects for people who have difficulty with research.

  13. David, I’m starting to think you are afraid of the dark!
    Of course I agree with you – wind goes down to 0 and does require full back-up.
    I also have no doubt the GEA will result in huge growth in natural gas and maybe even coal once the nukes start being mothballed because it is windy at 3 am.

    Regardless, I did get a chuckle out of the generational comment.
    Nicole, I always heartily recommend the song Burn On by Randy Newman from 1972 (maybe 73). It’s about the Cayuhoga river igniting, back in the day Lake Erie was essentially dead, thousands of smaller lakes were also near death from acid rain, Sudbury could be used as a moon landing set, and pictures of Wasaga Beach showed cars lined up right to the water.
    There’s been a great deal of improvement over the past 4 decades.

  14. Mr Baines says “I’m a business person,” he said. “I’m proud of a long-term commitment to improve the environment.”
    What a crock. If you are a businessman then build your turbines with NO govt subsidies and see how long you last. You are no businessman, you are the henchman for a misguided Liberal govt. Everybody would and should be a businessman with the Liberal govt given that they are handing out 20 year contracts”with zero risk” to quick thinking “businessmen” with calculators. As for the environmental darling you claim you are, please tell us where you tied up your horse to attend the meeting. Mr McGuinty and his band were not elected to save the world nor do we need environmental businessmen like you with your hands in every Ontario residents pockets to come along as some “high and mighty savior” Now untie your horse and ride away or was it an SUV.

  15. Poor Nicole, so Greenwashed and all bevcause she won’t investigate the facts. No research, just propaganda fed. What a shame our youth is so gullible and believe everything fed to them by lobbyists.

  16. Afraid of the dark no!

    Afraid of what Green Confusion does to the unformed minds of the young children of Nicoles’ generation and even younger? Yes!

    I hope that Nicole has read the works of George Orwell — I hope that she is aware of the function of the Ministry of Truth, but I suspect not!

    Four legs good — two legs bad! The motto of the lost generations.

  17. ****************************************Isn’t it funny I am in engineering and oh wait with honours too. Just because I don’t dedicate my life to this research doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about it. I have better things to do with my time like concern myself with my grades. You can’t deny all the proof of the increase in global warming though, that is scientific fact. We might be brainwashed, but so was every since generation before us. We all have our different beliefs because thats what was appropriate at the time. Everything has changed especially technology, which is why we are using that to our advatage. This is just a small improvement that needs to be done and we can’t wait any longer to do it.
    I also don’t concern myself with politics as one might think. So they don’t “branwash” me at all. They are my own personal beliefs, and I’m trying to show them. The government is trying to make everything more eco friendly, and the reason it isn’t making an impact is because people don’t like the change. We are young and can deal with change. So I will still ask you to go to any university or college and take a poll, do students even use a green bin, turn off all lights, don’t waste water etc. The truth is we all do, and wind farms are the same sort of change but on a larger scale.
    That’s also kind of rude saying step aside and let the adults clean up your green mess. Legally I am an adult, even if I may be young. Give us 15 years and we will be the ones running this country and controlling what happens. This planet can’t afford to wait 15 years just because people are afraid of change.

  18. **************************************It also doesn’t really matter how much you argue against it, because the contract was officially signed a few days ago. The research will start shortly and after 2 years the construction will start too.

  19. Nicole:

    Did you read my paper?

    I gave you a link. No excuse now.

    Maybe I know something about engineering as well — may not. You decide.

    Maybe some of us changed the world for the better. But how would you know? You are resistant to new ideas that much is clear.

    Your government is busy trying to line the pockets of friends. Read about Mike Crawley — Ex-President of the Liberal Party of Ontario.

    But, let’s start with the technical issues.

    Let us assume Global Warming and see if Industrial Wind Turbines help or hurt the effort to save the planet.

    Your first mission is to dispute my paper showing that wind turbines do not produce and hence by inference must be backed up 100% — usually by fossil fuel.

    Do remember that my numbers are the official numbers provided by the Government of Ontario — through IESO — so there is little value in disputing the numbers.

    The you can show me if improved technology can make a wind turbine produce power if there is no wind.

    The you can show me that expanding the grid is a valuable exercise when it is to provide unreliable power.

    Let’s see that numerical skill for which engineers are famous!

    The older you get the more you are willing to question and change. Young people are too rigid in their thinking. But we will debate that last.

    And one last piece of advice I may. Never ask a question or raise an issue to which you do not already know the answer (and can offer proof).

    And Nicole — if you cannot dispute the numbers I presented I will assume that you are all talk and proaganda.

  20. Hey I don’t go to university but I thought they weren’t signing any contracts until the regulations were passed?

  21. Nicole:

    I will be waiting to see if you can raise a rational response — but it looks like you cut and ran.

    I have see far too many engineering students that could not present a sound case for their ideas. Chalk up another one.

  22. Nicole has been Al Gored to death. Poor Nicole. Just young and naive.

  23. Can anyone dispute Nicole regarding the contract? That sounds like insider information and should identify her uniquely — it would not be fair game to post that here. It would be fair game to use that information to determine if some in the government was being duplicitous — not that that would be a surprise.

    Considering the indication that all contracts would not go forward until reviews were completed it might be illegal or bordering on such.

    There is cause for investigation here! Does anyone have a source that can confirm or deny the statement that a contract was signed to advance the project?

  24. David, I was kidding but I do like the “4 legs good, 2 legs bad” saying.
    I’ve always said the most likely reason for opposing anthropogenic anything is being a misanthrope.

    Mr. Baines controls the only company that was awarded a FIT contract for off shore wind when the last 2500MW were announced – that company also has the VP who posts on sites to promote gas peaking plants on farmland.
    And Mr. Baines also appears as COO at – he’s the guy people go to in order to work the government for freebies.

    They to were on the list of lottery winners in April (

    I think the 5 km buffer from MNR is likely to kill Mr. Baines’ project (let’s face it, 13.5 cents/kWh on the shore and 19 just off of it, in under 5 meters of water, was distressingly stupid to begin with). I assume that’s why the great show claiming they would never build close to Kingston’s shore is being made.

  25. Ha ha ha…
    “…You can’t deny all the proof of the increase in global warming though, that is scientific fact. We might be brainwashed, but so was every since generation before us.”

    Holy crap David, you’re not kidding….lol…
    Another page from Orwell.

  26. Oh dear…’Nichole’, how sad…frankly, many people my age (under 30, for real…) don’t really like the idea of chopped birds and rural residents forced from their home by industrialization that has ruined their health. No doubt you believe your lies but do you have to manufacture supporters these days? Is it getting that bad for your industry? pathetic pathetic….

  27. “…So, Nichole, are you really 19? Is your name really Nichole?”

    Or, could be a 19 year “adult” co-op student who was foolish enough to leak inside information.

  28. Nicole is just another glaring example of misrepresentation by the wind industry

  29. Now I feel really old.

    Back in the day we used a hotmail, or gmail, address when we did something evil like posting inflammatory nonsense.

  30. David, I’m going to hold on to the image of Mark Bell dressing up as sophomore Nicole – his input into the peaking plant on the Holland Marsh was sophomoric at best.

    I did some googling yesterday. That entity at Queen’s is run by a very successful long-term mandarin – Dr. Bryne Purchase.

    He should know better, and perhaps there will be some fallout for Mr. Carpenter. I have not located any evidence you didn’t promote Mr. Carpenter to professor. He was in the article as, if I recall correctly, a research associate, and is on the QIEEP website as the contact with a title of Senior Manager, Program Development and Communications

    As I write this, I remember why I know the name Brynne Purchase – I’ve read some interesting writing from him on both AECL and biomass.

    Perhaps QIEEP is stooping to the wind mirage to acquire some funding from a provincial government that lacks interest in Dr. Purchases more serious interests.

    Regardless, I don’t know of a product introduction where as the product increases in cost and decreases in efficiency it is considered proof this is a technology that is going to make it big.
    Quite the opposite.


  31. “This time, Baines says, he won’t relinquish control”: Baines is looking for investors who will dictate, as before, to sell if it means instant profit. He is a business man first and money is money. Any land acquired would be fair game for wind turbines if approved by law, which is pretty flexible and changes daily with this government. How will Kingston deal with the increased electricity costs these types of projects are guaranteeing? How will the loss of consumer spending impact Kingston with the resulting higher consumer goods associated with higher electricity costs? Baines has no more interest in Kingston than Wolf Island.

  32. If Nicole is still reading these posts and really a young engineer she should understand that a MW produced by wind is a lower value than a MW produced by an on-demand supply. If wind produces when no power is needed it is not used. We pay for it regardless but it provides no benefits to the power supply. This happens more often than most would think. The unreliable ups and downs create more of a mess so developing industrial wind sites is getting us in a deeper mess. It is not hard to figure this out, if you really care, regardless of who you may work for.

  33. This is strictly “posturing” on the part of Windstream and Mr. Baines, I suspect to secure a buyer just like he did with the Wolfe Island project. The fact is the planned facility would have a lifetime output of about 11 billion kilowatt-hours, at $0.19 per kWh. That is simply not worth a $1.5 billion investment. Worse, the actual total lifetime profit in this project – about $750 million, will actually cost Ontario taxpayers about $5 billion in increased energy costs. We might as well just give Baines his $750 mil and tell him to go away.

  34. It would cost us less and our power supply would be more reliable by taking wind out of the mix. If we are giving money away there are better investments that would make a difference.

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