Northumberland Group exhorts residents to attend wind turbine meeting

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

ALNWICK/HALDIMAND — The Alliance for the Protection of Northumberland Hills is circulating a community news bulletin urging people to attend Friday’s wind turbine open house at the Alnwick Civic Centre in Roseneath. The meeting will be hosted by Energy Farming Ontario Inc., operating Clean Breeze Wind Park.

“Share your thoughts on the proposed wind park with your neighbours. Reinforce concerns about noise, shadow flicker, health concerns and property values,” the November newsletter states.

Pictures and captions in the full-colour bulletin warn that the turbines’ “massive blades create noise that can disturb residents over two kilometres away” and the structure will be as high as a 40-storey building with a concrete base of two million to six million pounds.

Efforts by the Alliance have been successful, in some cases, in changing the minds of property owners in the area who were considering hosting wind turbines, member Gwyer Moore says. But the acreage of a least two property owners west of Centreton, Ken and Morley Nelson, are still part of an active study area. This information is also contained in the newsletter.

“I didn’t go in blindly,” Morley Nelson told Northumberland Today during an interview this week.

He said he visited Wolf Island and the Bruce Peninsula where wind farms already exist.

“People shouldn’t be concerned at all,” Nelson said.

Standing right underneath a turbine, the sound was like a small air conditioner or small fan, he said. He said he also spoke to neighbours and area farmers in those regions and the only remaining considerations by some, is how the turbines look on the landscape.

Nelson said everyone, whether they are for or against wind turbines, should do their own research and get firsthand information.

He also said he lives on the proposed wind farm property which is located west of Centreton and east of County Road 45, and that there would be fewer than five turbines on his land, if the project does proceed.

In addition to its newsletter, the Alliance has sent a registered letter to the wind turbine proponent and its consultant asking that it answer a series of questions it has posed. It is asking that this be done at 6:30 p.m. during the open house this Friday, Moore said. The open house has been advertised to begin at 5 and end at 8 p.m.

The Nov. 16 letter addressed to Energy Farming Ontario Inc. director, Kelly Campbell, references previous neighbouring county meetings where some members of the public complained they couldn’t get enough information. The letter suggests that the company will have time to get responses to these questions raised by the Alliance by having the questions before hand.

Among the questions listed by the Alliance are:

* when will Energy Farming Ontario (EFO) notify neighbours of the location of the turbines;

* how will EFO address the negative property value effects on the nearby residents;

* what happens to the equipment after the 20-year contract with the property owners expires; and

* what route and what type of transmission lines will be used to transform the power to the electrical grid.

Telephone messages to Energy Farming Ontario and Clean Breeze Wind Park, as well as to their consultant, Andrea McDowell of M.K. Ince and Associates Ltd., were not returned by press time.

5 thoughts on “Northumberland Group exhorts residents to attend wind turbine meeting

  1. “Standing right underneath a turbine, the sound was like a small air conditioner or small fan, he said.”

    Hey Morley, did you notice anything a little farther afield of the industrial wind turbine you stood “right underneath”?

    How did things sound a bit farther out?

    Did you notice many bird or bat carcasses–or were the birds and bats so chopped up that you couldn’t readily identify them?

    Did it ever occur to you that–just like yourself–the “neighbours and area farmers” you spoke to had agreed to “confidentiality” or “good-neighbour” clauses when they signed the lease agreement–and cannot be completely truthful about the impact of the industrial wind turbines?

    I’m sure that Brian Crosby–the “land guy”–for Energy Farming Ontario Inc. spent hours and hours “brainwashing” the Nelson’s.

    I will be at the Alnwick Civic Centre on Friday evening, and I will voice my opposition to the proposed “Clean Breeze Wind Farm” to Kelly Campbell and other Energy Farming Ontario Inc. representatives, and to Andrea McDowell and other M. K. Ince & Associates Ltd. representatives.

    I would encourage everyone to try to attend the “Public Open House” if you can.

    Take the “Evaluation Form” home after the “Public Open House”. You can thoroughly note your concerns and mail the “Evaluation Form” back to the proponent(s) later.

  2. I wonder why there was no reply from M.K. INCE? Are they still trying to sort out the result of the court case versus Professional Engineers of Ontario.

  3. Wonder how Morley Nelson will feel when he walks into town and is surrounded by his neighbours and fellow Citizens who are now homeless and sick from “His” air conditioner sounding” Wind Monsters?

    Better move to the city Morley!

  4. You can’t be “farming” the wind when Mr.Nelson has no control over the equipment he operates. How will he address his neighbours concerns? Blame the company he leased to, the government for it’s lax guidelines, or will he face his neighbour and accept that their pain was part his problem?

  5. I was at the “Public Open House” at the Alnwick Civic Centre last night along with fellow supporters from Millbrook, Manvers/Bethany/Pontypool and residents of Alnwick-Haldimand Township.

    Same old, same old. Lots of undercover police and private security guards with one new twist. There was one “private, personal security guard” present.

    Larissa Murray, VP Natenco LLC the proponent of the “Clean Breeze Wind Farm” was in attendance along with “Mike” her “private, personal security guard”.

    When I approached Larissa to speak with her, my new best buddy “Mike” got right in my face–I looked up quite quickly–but I couldn’t spot the mistletoe hanging from the ceiling–so it must have been something else.

    The Draft Project Description Report did not include information regarding the proponent being “Natenco LLC”, however, Larissa did confirm that that is the case.

    Andrea McDowell, of M. K. Ince & Associates Ltd., was caught in a couple of “mis-speaks”. (I would not want to accuse her of telling a fib or two!)

    I was walking by as Andrea was speaking with two newly elected members of the Alnwick-Haldimand Council. One of them had asked Andrea if it was true that absolutley everything (i.e., the IWT and the complete foundation) would be removed as part of a future decommissioning process. Andrea was assuring the councillors that that was the case, just as I happened by.

    I quickly interjected and mentioned to Andrea that according to the “Clean Breeze Wind Park” Draft Project Description Report, they were planning on only removing the foundation to a depth of one metre. Andrea “glared” at me and told the councillors that I was mistaken, and that the plan was to remove “everything–IWT, foundation, etc.

    I later spotted a hard copy of the Draft PDR, and I shared it with both of the councillors and then with the two of them and Andrea. She was not amused to have to admit that she had been caught in a “mis-speak”.

    We have got to keep on top of things at all of the meetings we attend and make a point of talking with any members of council we run into, and other residents who may not be as educated on the issues as others.

    Kudos to the members of the Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills who were actively talking with attendees and the members of the press who were there.

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