Small Ontario town about to be inundated with giant windmills and underground gas storage

By Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun

ZURICH — It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie.

The plot? A small town, of less than 1,000 people is surrounded by hundreds of giant 150-metre-tall wind turbines that will dwarf every structure in the area.

Add to that plans for a massive underground gas storage facility, that would store natural gas under pressure beneath a residential area, including a school — and really, what could go wrong?

Just no one light a match.  Local residents fear it’s a recipe for disaster.

They’re worried vibrations from the giant turbine 49-storey wind turbines could destabilize the underground gas storage “pool.”

Located close to Lake Huron, even in the dead of winter this small town is set in stunningly beautiful countryside.

“We will be completely surrounded by the turbines,” said local resident Heather Redick.

Turbines can be placed as close as 550 metres to her home, a figure she says the provincial government has plucked from the air.

Three giant projects totalling 260 turbines will affect the village. The planned turbines will have blades as wide as a Boeing 747 wingspan.

They point out that so close to a lake, ice will build up on the blades, which could fly off and hit people or livestock.

Residents feel their way of life is being sacrificed on the altar of green political correctness.

“Why is our provincial government, through the Green Energy Act, exploiting rural Ontario with questionable benefits to global climate change?” asks Doug Oesch.

“Why are they willing to sacrifice our quality of life?”

What’s more, each turbine consumes about four acres (1.6 hectares) so residents estimate between all the planned projects, about 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of prime farmland will be taken out of production.

Meanwhile, Tribute Resources in London has been offering homeowners in the area $500 for the mineral rights to their land.

That would allow them to pump natural gas underground at pressure for storage.

The unique geological formation of the rock — it’s old lake bed — provides an underground “pool” where natural gas once occurred naturally. That gas was depleted in the 1940s and the proposal now is to pump in gas from outside the area and store it — under three times the pressure of the naturally occurring gas.

Residents fear their water supply will be affected. They use well water and the project will drill through their acquifer in order to access the gas.

The “pool” is about three miles (4.8 km) in diameter and sits directly under the Catholic school. The project is the first of its kind in Huron County.

Redick says the village just doesn’t want it and they’re angry they’ve been forced to fight it.

“There is no financial benefit to the village.

“There is no tax benefit to the village.

“There won’t be any jobs created,” she said.

They’re angry that they may be forced to spend money on costly legal representation in order to fight the project at the Ontario Energy Board.

Tribute did not respond to requests for comment.

The government recently slapped a moratorium on off-shore wind turbines, saying there wasn’t enough science to say they’re safe.

What about onshore projects? Can we be sure these giant structures really won’t rob rural residents of their way of life?

This isn’t a horror flic. It’s not Children of the Corn. It’s a lovely part our province that deserves better.

27 thoughts on “Small Ontario town about to be inundated with giant windmills and underground gas storage

  1. Thank you Christina. This government has allowed reckless industrialization all over Ontario. They have their sights set on Crown Lands now. This government has no respect for its residents and is the most resource hungry leadership ever.

  2. Keep hammerin ’em Chistina!

    The bigger the hammer and the faster it is swung, the better!


  3. OOPS!

    I’m sorry Christina! Apparently my “copy and paste” button failed (or more likely my brain!).


  4. Hope someone sends Christina that picture of Marie Antonette with the caption “Let them wear earmuffs!” That arrogance needs to made public. If anything depicts how out of touch and insulting our government has been towards us, that takes the cake. Rewind: Our money pays for MOE to hire lawyer to fight against our concerns for the damage caused by LFS and noise to people in there homes and this lawyer says. ” Can’t these people wear ear plugs or earmuffs? ” Perhaps I can find her email at the star and paste & copy the picture and story. I’ll try.

  5. The damage that is being done to both the Enviroment, to this Community and all rural Communities across Ontario is Criminal.

    The END,
    justifies the MEANS with this Ontario Government.

    Go to the McGuinty Blows article on this site Feb 16.
    There is a podcast of a radio interview with Hudak posted by Robin in comments.

    Hudak says he would eliminate the massivie subsidies.

    The Green Bubble is going to Burst.

  6. Wind turrbines are merely giant wasteful symbols of the left. They spin and say ‘we are here!’ that’s all. You will note that there are no wind turbines to be erected in urban areas, areas which traditionally support the left. They generally are located only in rural areas where the right has strength. The say ‘We are here!’, in your face Righty!

  7. Just put up a sign that Says “No Pyromaniacs” — “Your Tax Dollars paid for this Sign” “Designed by The Province of Ontario and Its Chief Musician”

    That should take care of it! 🙁

    A box of matches anyone? I have such a deal…

  8. If Hudak wants to be next top dog in this province and wants our votes he needs to step up to the plate NOW.

  9. Last night we were walking our dogs in the town of Harrow and could hear the turbines in town. I’m sure they were out of compliance, it was so loud. We tried to tell the previous council this would happen, but they were not listening. I sent an email to my council and to Crawley and Timm, under our totally inadequate noise protocol agreement they have to file it with the MOE

  10. Welcome to the new Ontario “green” economy with skyrocketing Hydro bills and new minimum wage manufacturing jobs.

    The pain Ontarians are feeling is due to the transitoning into the new “green” economic order of energy poverty and all its accompanying miseries.

    More than just the FIT has to go!!! Like the whole wind turbine scam.

  11. RURAL ONTARIO has been McGuinty’s LAB RATS!
    He has jammed this failed Green Energy Act down our throats thinking all along that Rural Ontario is nothing more than a very small group of people who will take anything just to “please” Big Government and make $$$$ off grants and bribery offered up by “his Wind Henchmen”!

    Notice that his Green Energy Nightmare stopped dead in it’s tracks as soon as he tried to force Wind Turbines onto the City Folks?

    That was his logical “next step” when he planned on siting these monstrosities into Lake Ontario and expecting city dwellers to accept these turbines because Rural Ontario had “accepted” them!

    So who are the “losers” in this “failed Lab Experiment”?

    All of Ontario!.every single Hydro Customer who uses electricity!

    Good Plan McGuinty…………how does one spell “Political Suicide?”…….


  12. Hudak says he will eliminate these massive subsidies, but what does that mean for projects under contract that are already commissioned or under construction? His office cannot answer this question, as they do not know yet, or is it a case of how do we make both sides happy?

    Answer… you don’t. You do the RIGHT thing.

  13. It’s getting quite apparent “World Wide” that the common people CANNOT TRUST any POLITICIAN of any stripe anymore!

    The best thing that can happen is for a damn good beating for “despots” World Wide and scare the hell out of any “politician” who does not listen to the wishes of the people!

    Just because our country is a peaceful one and people are not militant doesn’t mean our politicians should sleep well at night when they screw the public over!

  14. Would be a good idea if some of these comments could be re-directed to the ‘Toronto Sun’ web page. Not sure if there is a better chance for city folk to read there, but perhaps. The comments by al “Reality check..” — I could not agree more. It seems impossible to me that a Province in the country of Canada in 2011 could be screwing with its (rural) population, without regard for their welfare and their futures, and smile as they do it! And, yes, no matter now who is elected, we are still in trouble. SO “really” what are we going to do about this? I’m serious. We talk here…talk on the street…write articles…write to the government…but nothing. I’m too old to start over someplace else and too young to give up! What are ‘we’ going to do?

  15. I agree.I am starting to think ( know ),all politicians are only out for themselves.Not,for the ones who elected them.

  16. BD,

    How far away are turbines from you that you hear them in town?

  17. It’s not likely that Ontarians will stand for:

    1.Skyrocketing Hydro bills
    2.Minimum wage “green” manufacturing jobs as replacements for the good paying jobs already lost.
    3.The~ $20 million installed cost needed to create ONE permanent service job for wind turbine projects.

  18. Barbara, I don’t live in town, we were walking our dogs in town, the turbines are at least 1KM from the edge of town, the centre of town is closer to 2KM and I can tell you I was shocked at how loud they were there, but not really surprised. We always knew AIM was not telling the truth to our council

  19. Heather I tried to post comments on the Sun site but I don’t have a facebook account

  20. Who who Hudak may well be the saviour we are looking for … but don’t expect any help from Randy (I can do anything I want in my own backyard, “back off government”) Hillier. He’s just the type to want to have IWTs on his own property, without annoying government regulations, because it’s his right … and to hell with the neighbours.

    BTW, if the Conservatives win a minority government, it will be interesting to see which way the NDP wind blows, or not. They’re giving us a lot of mixed messages at the moment.

  21. I am still beside myself the writing is on the wall the province will become a third world country with all the money we tax payers in the whole of Ontario, are paying and going to pay. We will be working at our jobs to pay the farmers to have turbines on there property. It is sad that the people in the large cities don’t see this and make some noise, just because they are not getting sick, hear or see them , if everyone would just wake up and take a stand. So we are paying the government lawyers to fight us, makes no sense. We as tax paying citizens have no rights what so ever we vote them in and they do what ever the hell they want, and they are making sure the power company’s from over seas get our money for something we do not want.

  22. BD thanks,

    At the time your group was fighting the IWTs you didn’t have much information to counter their propaganda. It’s a different story now!

  23. Maren,
    The issues of skyrocketing Hydro bills,TOU meters,minimum wage “green” manufacturing jobs and taking $20 million dollars to create ONE permanent wind turbine service job are all issues that URBAN voters care very much about.

    These issues deeply affect their wallets.

  24. Heather
    Rabble Rouser
    and all concerned..

    WHEN are we marching and WHERE are we blogging?

    Lets get this show on the road!!

  25. Melodie

    Sounds like a great plan.

    I’m in.

    Will bring the Boomer Grampa with me,

    and my Grandchildren.

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