Statement from the Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition

Impacts of wind turbines on the Oak Ridges Moraine

Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) is focused on protecting the ecological and hydrological health and integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine and as such only supports those land and resource uses that will maintain, enhance or restore the ecological functioning of the moraine.

At the same time that STORM supports the production of environmentally sustainable energy that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, it also recognizes that all forms of power generation entail environmental trade-offs, and that there are drawbacks to alternatives including wind turbine developments. Therefore any project must be assessed on the basis of ensuring not only that no ecological harm is done but where possible there are net benefits to the local and larger social-ecological communities. At a minimum, the following factors must be included in an assessment of a project:

– Definition of project to include all aspects (i.e., current and future phases, construction, operation and maintenance of turbine, feeder lines between turbines, electric cable connections and access roads)

– Potential impact to hydrologic functioning on a subwatershed and watershed basis

– Potential impacts to key natural heritage features, significant hydrologic features, significant wildlife habitat including species at risk

– Potential implications to local land use and local and regional road networks (including unopened road allowances)

– Potential cumulative impacts of the project (as defined above) within the context of existing land uses on a watershed basis

– Effectiveness of the public consultative process to understand and address concerns about the uncertainties of specific projects

STORM recommends that:

• The Province of Ontario must address emerging issues and concerns by ensuring that all projects are subjected to a full and comprehensive assessment including considerations of location and scale and further;

• The Province of Ontario must enhance the transparency of the regulatory and approvals process including the development of an improved method of engaging the public in consultations and being more responsive to the comments expressed.

It is STORM’s position that it is vitally important for Ontario to develop an equitable and sustainable renewable resource sector in Ontario that provides net social and ecological benefits to the local and larger community.

16 thoughts on “Statement from the Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition

  1. Read this a couple of times and I still
    don’t get it. You want to save the Oak
    Ridges Moraine – no turbines period.

  2. Industrial wind turbines cause harm wherever they are, especially to birds and bats. We must stop harming earthlings of all species. What harms them harms us.

    IWTs are untenable in every way.

  3. “It is STORM’s position that it is vitally important for Ontario to develop an equitable and sustainable renewable resource sector in Ontario that provides net social and ecological benefits to the local and larger community.”

    Really?

    How so? What exactly will be the source of power for this “renewable resource sector”. I have yet to see something.

    Why do people put in that sort of a wishy washy statement? If you are aware of renewable power sources that actually work — state what they are! Otherwise I just think you”re from dome far-away planet. Shrekville maybe…

  4. Exactly Dave……….to remain “politically correct” these days is to “cow tow” to Political interests and to attempt to remain”above the fray” when your fighting for your very livelihood makes no sense whatsoever.

    Have to get down and dirty and meet these losers in the trenches where they exist, not on a “high and mighty horse” above it all!!!!!!!

  5. My concern is this: if people are freaked out at the possibility of industrial wind development on Crown Land, including provincial parks and the Oak Ridges Moraine, might they/we acquiesce and settle for industrial wind turbines in the Great Lakes and on land near people in order to avoid having them in our parks and other protected areas?

    Kidnap two children, offer one back – Sophie’s Choice.

  6. Thank you David!

    I thought I was losing my mind!

    First words out of many politician’s mouths these days is “they support green energy” and not a single one has a clue as to what that may or may not be!

    Yet I have been chided repeatedly on this very blog for pointing that out times innumerable!

    At some point humanity will in true fact be able to number itself amongst the planet’s “most intelligent
    species”.

    I assert we have some way to go before that point is reached!

    B.B.W.

  7. For me renewable energy is small scale wind power, solar hot water, solar panels on roof, geo thermal,….It is the size and number of the projects that concerns me. Having been very involved with the peaker power plant in the Holland Marsh I came to the conclusion a lot of the profit from proposed energy solutions in Ontario will soon be leaving us.Our municipalities should be doing small projects and reaping the profits.

  8. Debbie, you are absolutely correct.

    Green energy technologies regardless of what they are cease to be green as soon as they are industrialized. As I have posted before, millions of residential sized systems are as equally useless as thousands of the commercial variety. The net negative effects on the environment are the same for the same reasons.

    There are better ways to generate electricity about which I have already ranted at length and in some detail.

    B.B.W.

  9. Bravo – right on Debbie…. The Moraine will be despoiled completely if wind farms checkerboard it, or worse still, piggyback one another. And – what looks like perhaps a small scale farm – 5 turbines – can quickly grow – looked what happened to Wolfe Island.
    No one will argue that we need to redirect our future energy sources away from fossil fuel… but there’s no reason why the 20% expected renewable energy production by the Ontario government couldn’t come from 20% of the population involved in small scale projects. Better still, energy projects that allow them to become self-sufficient energy-wise.

  10. Yes we do need to argue about redirecting our energy sources away from fossil fuels.

    Alternatives like wind will never be able to replace fossil fuels as they cannot produce ennough energy to supply the energy needs in North America. This is because of the very low energy density of wind. You cannot extract much energy from wind and convert it to electricity because wind does not have much energy in it to begin with. You can’t get something from nothing no matter how hard you try.

    If people wish to install small scale wind and solar at their own expense then go ahead.But remember these devices require a backup energy system like batteries for energy storage. Not many people want to have a basement full of batteries to store wind and solar energy in when the wind dosen’t blow and the sun dosen’t shine

    This is Canada so batteries can’t be left outside. Batteries don’t work when they get cold or frozen.

    Besides battery production can be very harmful to the environment with the kinds of materials used to make them. Then you have the disposal problem as batteries have a lot of toxic material in them.

    Wind and solar devices produce DC/direct current which is stored in batteries. Then a converter is used to convert the DC battery current into AC/alternating current which runs the motors in appliances like washers.

  11. Hi Barb: We looked into poweing out house with a wind turbine years ago, and besides the exhorbitant cost, we would had to have had 8 huge marine batteries stored in our basement which we were warned could emit toxic gas. Didn’t go there:)

    I have now a 20 foot old fashioned windmill that powers my pond.

    I think if the will is there, we could come up with some great alternatives such as: http://bigthink.com/ideas/26597

    The problem is that the big players have embraced the huge industrial wind turbine industry and the lure of all of that quick cash.. and they are not going to admit that the technology is lacking or obsolete.

  12. Yes, you are right Millbrook Jane. Glad you brought this up and pointed these issues out.

    Wind turbines are “horse & buggy” wind machines that are 20-50 stories high. The purpose of which is to extract energy from the wind and convert it into electricity but wind has very little energy in to begin with so not much energy can be extracted.

    Then the electricity produced by the turbines is sent over electric lines and some of is lost in transmission to the grid. Hence the reason they want to have the turbines close to where the electricity is used. The longer the transmission line the greater ther loss of electricity.

    The problem is that electric lines are like a water hose full of pinholes that lets the water leak out. So the electricity leaks out of the line just like leaking water from a hose and the longer the line the more loss of electricity.

    Electricity produced by wind turbines/wind machines is intermittent,unreliable and non-dispatchable electricity.

    Then people wonder why the damn wind turbines don’t work very well. Wind turbines at best have about maximun 30% efficiency.

    You are so right about them not admitting the technology is obsolete. This is nothing more than a money making scam to be paid for by Hydro consumers. It is also not green energy as fossil fuel backup is required.

  13. Barbara and Millbrook Jane,

    Visit http://tgap.wordpress.com/ to see an alternative that speaks to this issue.

    Small scale – house by house reduction of what is taken from the grid. No Feed in Tarifs – simply a reduction (5%, 10% or 20%) of what each house takes from the grid which eventually would lead to an overall 5%, 10% or 20% reduction in use. In other words, CONSERVATION – by reducing each home’s overall requirements.

    No transmission – therefore no loss (or huge investment in new transmission lines). Distributed generation at it’s best.

    Natural reduction in waste as well – just as those who draw water from a well tend to be more careful about waste than those on municipal water. It is the same with electricity – producers make careful consumers!

    What a much better solution than IWTs and a much better “investment” for our Government.

  14. PECV,

    Many Ontarians have already done about all they can with regards to energy conservation in their homes yet their energy bills keep increasing. People were told that if they made their homes more energy efficient their energy costs would come down.

    This is not about energy conservation but about imposing obsolete technology on the people accompanied by skyrocketing energy prices to pay for all of this folly.

    Next step for Ontarians is energy poverty.

  15. Actually you can have a individual wind towers that does not require batteries, my neighbour has one and he feeds right into the grid. It is compensating for about 45% of their family of 4 household electricity bill. He sells for much higher than he buys back.

  16. Yes Windy…

    THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!!!!

    Why should WE pay for friends wind turbine?

    Especially when 55% of the time he needs the grid to power his house?

    B.B.W.

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