Massive wind project – Bluewater, South Huron & Lambton Shores

by  Ben Forrest and Scott Nixon, Exeter Times-Advocate

HURON — A massive wind energy project has been proposed for Bluewater, South Huron and Lambton Shores.

NextEra, the largest generator of both wind and solar power in North America, is the company behind the project, which proposes three wind farms in Huron and Lambton counties, which could amount to 300 wind turbines and 490 megawatts of electricity, powering 144,000 homes. The projects will take place on mostly agricultural, private land.

NextEra held open houses in Zurich, Dashwood and Forest last week to explain the project to local residents and receive feedback. NextEra media relations specialist Josie Hernandez told the Times-Advocate the projects are in the beginning stages.
The three wind farms include:

o The Bluewater Wind Energy Centre between Highway 4 and an area east of Highway 21, which stretches from Bayfield Road to an area north of Zurich. The Bluewater wind farm would have a capacity of a maximum of 90 megawatts and would consist of 60 General Electric turbines or 39 Siemens turbines, enough power for 22,500 homes. NextEra, along with partner company Canadian Green Power, is also studying an area east of Highway 4 as an interconnection route.

o The Goshen Wind Energy Centre would have up to 106 GE turbines or 69 Siemens turbines, with a total generating capacity of up to 160 megawatts, powering 48,000 homes. It includes an area from the Zurich-Hensall Road south to Mount Carmel Drive/Greenway Road, from about four kilometres east of Zurich to Highway 21. A map supplied by NextEra does not show the study area extending west of Highway 21.

o The Jericho Wind Energy Centre is the largest of the three proposals and would have a capacity of 230 megawatts, including 153 GE turbines or 100 Siemens turbines. That proposal is situated in Lambton Shores roughly between Bog Line to the north and Forest and Arkona to the south, running between Forest and an area just east of Arkona.

Hernandez told the T-A there are pockets within the study area that could host turbines, with each turbine taking up about one acre of space.

She said Canadian Green Power, NextEra’s partner company, will work with landowners willing to lease a portion of their land to host a turbine, though it is still to be determined where the turbines will go.

NextEra is still in the study phases for the wind farms, and will perform bird, bat, watercourse, archeological and heritage studies. Local aboriginal groups will also be consulted.

Most of the studies will likely be completed in the fall and will be posted at www.canadianwindproposals.com for 60 days to allow for a public comment period.

Hernandez said each project will create four to six full-time jobs and 200 – 300 construction jobs. She said wind energy projects are an economic boost to the host communities and NextEra likes to hire locally as much as it can.

She added the company monitors its turbines around the clock to ensure they are working as well as possible.

A second open house will be held in the fall or winter and after the layout is finalized NextEra will make its application to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), which could take six months to review the application.

“It could be 2012 that we actually start construction at the earliest,” she said. “That’s if everything goes according to plan.”

Though some municipalities have balked at provincial regulations that could take certain decisions out of their hands when it comes to renewable energy projects, Hernandez said her company still plans to work with municipalities.

“We’re still planning on coming out and meeting with the local councillors, talking about what our plans are and keeping them informed.”

Hernandez also rebutted concerns about the health effects of wind turbines, which have been raised in some Ontario communities.

“If you’re a responsible developer and if you’re adhering to your setbacks and if you’re doing the right studies, you’re going to be fine,” she said.

“We have 9,000 turbines throughout North America, so if anybody would know if there are any health effects or any ill effects from these turbines, it would be us.”

She added the company has done many studies itself and has contracted out studies, finding nothing that has linked a wind turbine to any health issue.

Regarding the sound of the turbines, she compared it to the hum of a refrigerator and said the sound is “less than 40 decibels (from) a home.”

Hernandez said some people raise the issue of “vibro-acoustical, or . . . infra-sound that you can’t hear but you can feel.”

She said there are turbines that create infra-sound because of the way they’re shaped, but NextEra doesn’t have any of those.

“The ones that we have basically have blades that go in the front, and the ones that make the infra-sound have blades that go in the back that creates more of a vibration on the pole,” she said.

“Some people have said there are issues with that, and . . . I can understand why that would be, but none of our turbines have that sort of technology.”

NextEra is based in Juno, Fla., with Canadian operations in Burlington. It has wind centres in Quebec and Nova Scotia and hopes to start construction on projects in Wellington County and Haldimand County next year.

20 thoughts on “Massive wind project – Bluewater, South Huron & Lambton Shores

  1. Hernandez said some people raise the issue of “vibro-acoustical, or . . . infra-sound that you can’t hear but you can feel.”

    She said there are turbines that create infra-sound because of the way they’re shaped, but NextEra doesn’t have any of those.

    “The ones that we have basically have blades that go in the front, and the ones that make the infra-sound have blades that go in the back that creates more of a vibration on the pole,” she said.

    “Some people have said there are issues with that, and . . . I can understand why that would be, but none of our turbines have that sort of technology.”

    WHAT IS SHE TALKING ABOUT? IS THIS ANOTHER BALD-FACED LIE?

    • Spin Masters –
      Get Rid of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA)
      Everything on schedule – as planned

      • Says it all:
        “If you’re a responsible developer and if you’re adhering to your setbacks and if you’re doing the right studies, you’re going to be fine,” she said.

        Hogwash!

  2. It has been suggested that ‘downwind’ turbines (blades rotating downwind of the tower) may produce infrasound – certainly upwind models don’t.

  3. It is oft said…BS BAFFLES BRAINS RAZZLE DAZZLE, CONFUSE CONFUSE…. same old same old.

    “contracting out health studies is the same thing as hiring a study” IT IS BIAS BY NATURE AND A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

    BALD FACED LIES ? HELL YEA!

    “WILD WEST FREE FOR ALL IN ONTARIO”

    “LEMMINGS EXPENDABLE”

    The devil is in the details and guess what folks…He seems to be winning! It will take years to educate the public to this turbine and that turbine, this hill and that valley, this echo and that water. To generalize a statement on decibels noise and compare to a fridge is ludicrous.

    We are not doomed by climate change… we are doomed by this kind of representation of the Corporations raping rural Ontario.

  4. “We have 9,000 turbines throughout North America, so if anybody would know if there are any health effects or any ill effects from these turbines, it would be us.”

    Oh, they know alright: check out http://lifewithdekalbturbines.blogspot.com/

    And they choose to ignore.

  5. See evidence at end.

    Everyone seems to be missing the point…

    Here is the major claim:

    Based on the statements that “The Goshen Wind Energy Centre would have up to 106 GE turbines or 69 Siemens turbines,; The Jericho Wind Energy Centre is the largest of the three proposals and would have a capacity of 230 megawatts, including 153 GE turbines or 100 Siemens turbines. ..and … The Bluewater wind farm would have a capacity of a maximum of 90 megawatts and would consist of 60 General Electric turbines or 39 Siemens turbines, ” …will be supplied.

    So all will be GE or Siemens turbines… (my statement based on their statement)

    “The ones that we have basically have blades that go in the front, and the ones that make the infra-sound have blades that go in the back that creates more of a vibration on the pole,” she said.

    What’s the issue? The next paragraph quoted:

    NextEra held open houses in Zurich, Dashwood and Forest last week to explain the project to local residents and receive feedback. NextEra media relations specialist Josie Hernandez told the Times-Advocate the projects are in the beginning stages.

    Here’s why (hypothetically of course):

    First: A verifiable (falsifiable) claim was made. That makes it easy to do a couple of things. It makes it easy to prove or disprove the claim — as long as there is a set of standards that can be made convincing to a court as being based in science and logic.

    Second: Mr. Hernandez could well be perceived to be an officer of the company as he is “selling the proposition”. If he is an officer, or indeed another person who is an officer has made these claims then, if you can find one instance where their turbines that they propose to use have produced low frequency noise that the court accepts is infra sound then you could have a very interesting situation.

    If an installation proceeds and infra sound is produced it should be relatively easy to have the turbines shut down on a “lack of performance claim”. Now you might get into “part performance” issues — but let your lawyers deal with that.

    The foregoing is based on an interpretation of contract law… (as in you should get what was promised — not what somebody wishes to deliver.)

    Again all hypothetical – right? And… it’s not like I made the claim.

    ***************************

    From Page 34/49 of this document:
    http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/pdfs/workshops/mwwg_turbine_noise.pdf

    Sound Emissions from Upwind Wind Turbine Rotors

    •ALL modern utility-scale wind turbines have upwind rotors

    •Upwind rotors emit broad band noise emissions, including low frequency sound and infrasound

    •Swish-swish sound is amplitude modulation at blade passing frequencies of higher frequency blade tip turbulence and does NOT contain low frequencies

    –Diminishes with distance
    –Blurs with multiple turbines

    ******************************

    Here’s the details of the paper. Argue with this guy == not with me…

    Wind Turbine Noise, Infrasound and Noise Perception

    Anthony L. Rogers, Ph.D.
    Renewable Energy Research Laboratory
    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    January 18, 2006

    Any questions?
    ***************

    I laughed so hard when I read the claim I could not answer immediately.

    However, we should be thankful as there is now a firm position, firmly anchored against which to work. This should be treated as a serious claim.

    In my opinion: At the very least, if their claim proves false they should be eliminated by the courts as a condition of settlement of any claim or judgment from doing business in Canada — should this be pursued.

    This opinion is worth all the money that Mark Bell has paid me to support him. …and the till is empty.

  6. The Wind Turbine companies are tar and feathering each other. Such a rosy future dealing with desperate people.
    I heard mention of abandon gas wells in Alberta, 50 year leases that expired and no one tending the abandoned wells. What will this place look like in 20 years? No government policy has left a Province in such poor direction.
    McGuinty’s rotting Wind Turbines will be a reminder of how poor judgment by the Liberal party can have a lasting effect. Liberal votes are dead in rural areas.

  7. Some PR reps hired by IWT proponents are spewing out years-old propoganda fed to them by their employers.

    One only has to refer to the issues discussed at the 14th International Conference on Low Frequency Noise and Vibration and its Control held in Aalborg, Denmark held June 9th to 11, 2010.

    http://www.lowfrequency2010.org/FinalProgrammeLF2010.pdf

    Make specific reference to ..
    June 9 13:40 Family with wind turbines in close proximity …
    June 11 11:20 Low Frequency Noise Monitoring of a Wind Turbine …
    June 11 11:40 An analysis of low frequency noise from large wind turbines …

    To infer that low frequencies aren’t an issue with modern industrial wind turbines is to ignore the very concerns that obviously do exist at industry levels.

    • cap and trade encourages pollution welfare to offset emissions by global corporations.
      So rather than buy carbon credits or to keep their carbon certificates , oil , gas companies invest in acceptable investments such as planting trees somewhere or investing in alternate energy.
      In Ontario they stand to make enormous profits by investing in wind or solar in addition to offsetting the pollution they create.
      As you know 3 times the rate for wind
      12 to 15 times the rate for solar.
      So in effect McGuinty is aiding in not lowering emissions in industry that are huge polluters by giving them this golden goose.
      They can continue polluting while they invest in Ontario making huge profits with no worries.
      So since wind and solar combined with has have no lowering of emissions the problem is even worse……………..not to mention our energy poverty and destruction of our rural areas.
      It’s lose , lose for us…win , win for them
      It’s a huge corporate welfare cash cow with no reason to lower pollution
      In fact it rewards it.
      It may not have been intentional but nonetheless it is nonsense

  8. I do hope that the protesters will put the videos linked by windaction above on a dvd and play it outside the wind meeting for members of the community.

  9. There is no case of wind power projects being stopped due to envionrmental or health concerns. Google “Florida’s Broken Windmills”. There are pictures of fluid leakage and fallen blades which is a huge safety hazard. It means that the landowners who lease the property to Nextera, with rent dependent on the amount of energy produced get no money , but empty towers on the land and the lease agreement in full force. Years later this is still an open case before the City of Palm Springs, California as Nextera is unwilling to obey local ordinances or clean up the mess and the City does not have the financial resources to go after them. Copy the pics and show at every meeting where there is a Nextera representative. Demand your government quiz Nextera on this. Good Luck but big energy companies are hard to stop.

  10. Well lets wait another 15 years and studies will conclude that turbines do indeed affect human health, studies are still being conducted and will be ongoing for some time. The large corporations just pay off Drs or they get Drs who do not have the background to make statements. Look at other Countries like Australia which now have implemented a distance restriction of 2.5km from any residential home because they know there are health concerns. I do agree more studies need to be done before anymore turbines are put up – and that could take upto 20yrs. Studies dont take a year to conduct – our bodies are complex and things can take awhile – prime example smoking and lung cancer – we dont get lung cancer right away it can take decades.

    • They don’t need more studies to prove they harm people..they are out there by the hundreds globally.
      It is just a way to misdirect , confuse , spin. It is used as distraction.
      It is hard to prove in a court…in day to day life that is another matter.
      But court legal language and scope is far different than real life.
      We can say a colour we see is red..you could have years of discussion on whether it is yellow red or orange red…..and a billion dollars goes down the drain. When in fact the colour was indeed red as far as the average person is concerned.
      We know it cause health issues. So do they.
      But they want to wear you down financially which is the goal.

  11. They want concrete evidence, I understand – there could be other influences, could be paranoia. I am a researcher myself but not in this field, biotechnology. I am not disagreeing that their isn’t a health concern present. I was just putting forth my two cents that it will be 15-20 years before something is done because that is when they will find out it affects us- and it will be something big and it will be too late. There is just so much to look at and it takes a long time, trust me. That is why I wish they wouldn’t put wind turbines near residential homes and I think a greater distance restriction should be implemented.

      • I have a question – I am actually in this area of South Huron and some of my neighbours have signed the lease papers. Is there anyway I can oppose the location?

    • As another researcher of no renown whatsoever this is what I think… I think you will find out that:

      a) There is some hard evidence of hearing and other biological effects.
      b) That the measurement standards are less than stellar.
      c) That they did no uncertainty (error) analysis. and that because of c):
      d) That the effects are likely significantly greater than they realize as the error analysis shows that even if they could measure the noise (with HP Spectrum analyzers say…) that the error would be between 25% to 100% depending on the number of turbines within 2KM of the receptor (dwelling).
      e) Further — that they are ignoring the beat frequencies created by the slight variations in frequency of rotation and ignoring the low frequency noise generated by the modulation effects.

      And so on…

      But don’t get me going on this…

      Because I could address the reliability and economic issues which point to the fact that the wind turbines are worse than useless.

      But all that aside — you have my sympathy if they are planning to put turbines near you — they will. They simply don’t care and until the government changes protests really are pointless as it is a matter of religious belief with the current gang (cabal).

      Maybe you could pound a post into the field and chain yourself to the earth — but I suspect they would just bulldoze and plant you.

      …and that is the bright side of things…

      ANd that is the bright side of things…

  12. We will read about someone who has a solution sooner or later.
    This cannot continue as it is.

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