Whittington turbine project draws public ire during open house

By Richard Vivian, Orangeville Banner

It’s a sentiment repeated throughout the evening: “I’m only here to figure out how to get this stopped.”

There was no shortage of public criticism and skepticism during an open house last Tuesday (Jan. 25) regarding plans for a three-turbine wind power project in Amaranth.

“It’s an industrial park, essentially, going up in the middle of our beautiful community,” Jason Wiesner, who lives about 1.5 km from one of the proposed turbines, said, referring to the existing turbines, operated by a different company, as “visual pollution.”

“I look out from the second floor, my daughter’s bedroom, and what used to be fireflies at night is now a huge sea of flashing red lights.”

Proposed by Mississauga-based wpd Canada, the Whittington Wind Project would see three 100-metre tall turbines installed on lands bordered by 20th Sideroad to the north, 15th Sideroad to the south, 2nd Line of Amaranth to the west and Mono-Amaranth Townline to the east.

“We’ve got a number of individuals from the community that still have questions, and that’s what we’re here for,” Kevin Surette, wpd’s manager of communications, said of the meeting. “A lot of the concerns are from what people are hearing from elsewhere, from other projects, and that’s concerning property values and health. It’s a common theme that we’ve heard.”

Some residents living near existing turbines have reported health issues including high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, nausea, severe headaches and more.

Government officials and the wind power industry, however, maintain there’s no conclusive link between the turbines and reported health problems.

“I’m just a concerned citizen,” said Shirley Bennett. “We’re not close to this in any way, but we’re still neighbours of these people. I’m just concerned about their health safety.”

“We also have an air strip that may be affected by that, because it is very close to us,” Carol-Anne Fisher added of the wpd project, noting the airstrip is designated as an emergency landing spot for passing aircraft.

“It’s far enough out of the flight path, but say in bad weather if the air traffic has to go lower for some reason further out, that could be a problem.”

Several of those in attendance were also critical of the Green Energy Act, which removed planning authority from municipal councils on renewable energy projects, and set a standard minimum setback distance of 550 metres for turbines.

“I think it’s an arbitrary number that seemed reasonable to a politician,” said Wiesner, who would like to see the issue of health effects studied thoroughly before more turbines are erected. “There’s a lot of extremism one way or the other here and I think somewhere in the middle there’s going to be some truths, but they didn’t look one side or the other.”

Earlier that day, Mono council approved a motion in the same vein. The motion states it would be “premature” for the town to comment on wind power projects until “independent, third-party clinical research” is conducted of the effects of low frequency noise.

“I’m in favour of alternative energy. I’m not necessarily in favour of the Green Energy Act,” commented Coun. Fred Nix, who put the motion forward. “There’s no research one way or the other that says whether there’s an issue with the low frequency noises that these turbines generate.”

7 thoughts on “Whittington turbine project draws public ire during open house

  1. There is NO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY as yet that has been developed that will supply steady, dependable, efficient, clean, and financially responsible energy!

    Geez!……………this isn’t the year 2100!…………….these idiots who are stating publicly that this “Green Revolution” is the do all and end all for the future are about 100 years ahead of themselves!

    It’s all about stealing Land and making money off what used to be called “Public Lands and Private Homes!

    Communism, Fascism, or any other “ism” that meant harm and despair tried the same thing many times over history and look where they are now…………

  2. Re 550 m setbacks and Mr. Weisner’s comment: “I think it’s an arbitrary number that seemed reasonable to a politician,”
    The government settled on 550 m after CanWEA’s pleading that the setback couldn’t be any greater than 550 or southwestern Ontario would be ‘sterilized’ from wind development (letter from CanWEA’s president Robert Hornung during comment period on the Green Energy Act). Due to lot sizes and location of homes, the only way the wind industry can jam turbines into southwestern Ontario is to put them this close to homes. The Ontario government caved to the request of the wind industry and the resultant setback has nothing to do with health or safety. It has everything to do with facilitation of the wind industry.

  3. “I’m in favour of alternative energy. I’m not necessarily in favour of the Green Energy Act,” commented Coun. Fred Nix, who put the motion forward. “There’s no research one way or the other that says whether there’s an issue with the low frequency noises that these turbines generate.”

    Just what we need! Another brain-dead politician “in favour” of something he has absolutely no clue about and oblivious of the mountain of research on LF interference!

    That’s how we ended up in this “manufactured” energy mess in the first place and I’m not talking only about the “alternative” variety either!

    No wonder the Green Energy Act Alliance had such an easy time snow jobbing these morons!

    B.B.W.

  4. “There is NO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY as yet that has been developed that will supply steady, dependable, efficient, clean, and financially responsible energy!”

    Quixote, There is at least one alternative. Most people know very little or have not even heard of it. I will save myself a great deal of writing with the link below. This is not the Iceland type geothermal. And the fracturing is not the same as natural gas type fracturing. The world should be putting it’s resources into this, not the politically driven wind and solar.

    http://www.potterdrilling.com/

  5. So what does ya-all say wezzz all pull all our pollut’n mak’n home furnaces out and replace with electric furnaces, or baseboard heaters. No more gas fire places, no more wood burn’n stoves or furnaces, Oil furnaces coal bio-mass etc, etc.
    Every household with ample room in their backyard, front yard, side yard have a turbine erected. Hell, why not pull that family swimm’n pool out to make room. Should be lots of those in the big cities where hydro is needed for big screen TV’s,computers,washer, dryers,central vac, etc, etc.
    Give us a break, put the damned things in the cities where most needed !! If there’s room for a CNE tower, Toronto Dome, SkyScrappers, etc,etc, surely there’s room for Turbine Towers ?????

  6. Might I suggest to Mr Curry, that the town of Mapleton get together with all the other municipalities in Ontario, with the lawyers involved in the legal proceedings underway(best educated lawyers regarding the green energy act) and hold a meeting behind closed doors.(just like Dalton and his flunkies did)Id like to suggest that at this meeting all in attendence examine their property standards act, and have the lawyers find the language that would add no property shall emit more than so many HZ of dirty electricity or electrical pollution!! Dont ask Hydro One to do any testing, do that yourself so you have real data!! I beleive that the property standards act will allow the municipality to enter any property in violation and fix any issues, and pass the bill on to the landowner!! If I was going to make 20 000 a year in rent but got billed 100 000 to bring my property up to the standards, I would certianly think twice about renting my land to the corporate giants!!! Lets make our green energy act truely green!!!!Elecrtrical pollution(dirty electricity) can be cleaned up lets make sure its at the expence of those profitting, and not those within the 550m set backs they re paying enough already!!!!

  7. “Id like to suggest that at this meeting all in attendence examine their property standards act, and have the lawyers find the language that would add no property shall emit more than so many HZ of dirty electricity or electrical pollution!! Dont ask Hydro One to do any testing, do that yourself so you have real data!!”

    Electro-Magnetic Power (Radio Wave Power) is measured in Watts (Usually micro Watts) or micro volts — on a specific antenna. HZ (hertz or cycles per second) is just the frequency of the radiation…

    Measuring the radiated power is not a trivial exercise — especially the low frequency (60Hz and the harmonics thereof…)

    The Federal Government regulates Radio Transmission / EMF in all bands…

    However, if the noise emitted is above a certain power, then yes, it is considered an “illegal” transmitter and a noise source which must be repaired, or they must apply for a broadcast license — but that would not make sense.

    But then that would open the argument that all the HVT lines should be examined…

    So there is the germ of an idea there — but not an easy one to work with and frame…

    See wikipedia for measuring the EM field.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMF_meter

    Or the EMI or Electro Magnetic Interference (noise Secion…)
    in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_interference
    This techniques is used for Geo-Magnetic surveys. This technique measures field strength in magnetic units — not electrical units — a different fish.

    Apologies for “those who know better” for trying to simplify this and butchering it…

Comments are closed.