Turbines on the lake: Another example of out-of-touch plan

Sarnia Observer

I am responding to a letter in The Observer earlier this month praising the benefits of building wind turbines out in the lake.

How anyone from the boating community would think this is a good idea is beyond me.

Mayor Bill Webber, Mayor Bradley and hopefully the rest of the boating and fishing communities have every cause to be concerned, very concerned. We are not talking about one or two turbines, as the writer would seem to indicate, but dozens or maybe hundreds.

This will put a large area virtually out of bounds for numerous sailing regattas.

Anyone viewing the sunset around Bright’s Grove and further east will have a mind-altering experience from the strobe-light effect of hundreds of turbine blades.

This is just another “totally out of touch with reality” example of McGuinty’s flawed energy policy. The benefits of wind power are way overblown. The costs, plus environmental and health issue are dismissed by the proponents. The advertised (propaganda) amount of electricity from these turbines is the peak power number. However, the average annual intermittent production is approx. 30 per cent of rated capacity. The proponents lead one to believe the benefit is three times greater than it is. In fact I just checked this hour’s (5pm 19 Jan) wind generation. It is 118MW from 1,258 installed capacity, i. e 9 per cent. Does this sound like a good bang for our buck?

The 19 cents/kwhr, that the writer finds no problem with, is only one of the costs associated with wind energy. For every kilowatt of wind there has to be a kilowatt of standby capacity for when the wind doesn’t blow. When electricity demand is low, wind takes precedence over other less expensive electricity production that has to be cut back (even hydro electric power). Since nuclear power cannot be easily adjusted to meet the vagaries of wind, sometimes nuclear power has to be sold at a loss to maintain stability of the electricity grid. Connection and transmission costs have to be added. The above costs are significant but are not allocated directly to the cost of wind power. This is reflected in our electricity bills by the fact that we are currently paying twice the market price for electricity, and it is only going to get worse.

Since McGuinty came to power residential electricity costs have gone up 60 per cent and the government has finally acknowledged we will see at least another 46 per cent over the next few years. The letter writer may think this is no big deal but for a huge number of people this will mean the difference between using electricity and putting bread on the table.

Because of its variable and intermittent generation, wind energy will never provide more than a relatively small portion of Ontario’s electricity needs. So why upset the natural beauty and environment of our lake for a miniscule amount of incremental generation? There are better ways to Green Up the environment. We need to vigorously protect the lake.

Tom Hughes, Corunna

5 thoughts on “Turbines on the lake: Another example of out-of-touch plan

  1. This, amongst all the other McGuinty Nanny State decisions is clearly based on vote pandering of the minority special interest groups rather than a decision based on actual facts. McGuinty’s wind and solar energy plans are clearly NOT an advantage to any Canadian on any level and should be completely scrapped. IMHO.

  2. Perhaps people attending wind turbine meetings could present to others seeking information the true facts.

    Wind turbines are very tall steel poles anchored in cement with a propeller and generator at the top of the pole. Since the propeller blades are made of light weight material mostly fiberglass the generator also has to be made of light weight material or the turbine will collapse. The weights of the propeller and the generator have to counter balance.

    Llight weight materials with magnetic properties are needed in a generator to generate electricity like steel/iron does but steel/iron is too heavy to use in wind turbine generators as this won’t counter balance the light weight of turbine blades

    So light weight materials like rare earth metals that have magnetic properties, the same as iron does, have to be used in the wind turbine generators.

    The problems is that China has ~ 85% of the known world supplies of these magnetic rare earth elements.

    Canada does have a small supply of these rare earth magnetic elements but they are found in association with RADIO ACTIVE elements in Canada. The needed rare earth magnetic elements can be separated out but the problem is what to to with the un-needed radio active waste elements.

    Thus Canada becomes dependent on China for the rare earth magnetic elements which are found in china but NOT in association with radio active elements as they are here.

    So making wind turbine generators here requires producing radio active waste with disposal problems. Rare earth elements/materials must come from China and lead to national security issues if Canada becomes dependent on a foreign country to supply the needed rare earth elements/materials.

    Is this the direction Ontarians want to go in? Remind people of these facts when discussing wind turbine issues with them at meetings across Ontario.

    Perhaps simple wind turbine diagrams will make these negative aspects of turbines more easily understood.

    Wind turbines are a bad idea no matter where they are installed.

  3. Italian Scientists Claim To Have Discovered Nickel-Hydrogen Cold Fusion”


    Further, the scientists say that the reactor is well beyond the research phase; they plan to start shipping commercial devices within the next three months and start mass production by the end of 2011.”

    I sure am glad Dalton signed up those 20 year contracts for wind turbines. I wonder how many fusion reactors we could buy for the $27 billion dollars alloted for renewables?

  4. Where were the Majors from this area when they were needed for the farming area in Lambton county. Oh ya maybe because the farmers that live near these things are not important enough only for the rich that have yachts and rich owners of beach-front homes are worth helping out and voicing there concerns. Dam! you have to become part of that club in order to be worthy. These Majors sure do step up to the plate then. No more faith in our majors or the municipalities they are for the rich they are a corporation with money on there their minds.

  5. By comparison to the situation with the rare earth magnetic elements used in wind turbine generators there was,a few years back, the situation with chromium/chrome which Russia had most of the known supplies. Russia kept uping the price for chromium and as a result our domestic auto companies quit using chrome for vehicle trim.

    This same situation could arise with supplies of the rare earth magnetic elements. Should Canada place itself in the same situation as with the chromium supply?

    Chrome was easily replaced by other materials but is it wise to have electricity supply dependent on rare earth magnetic elements that come from a foreign country source?

    By the way it should be 75% of world’s known supply of magnetic non-ferrous elements is in China.

    This information by way of comparison is useful in explaining the situation to people at meetings.

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