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