Amherst Island Project gets pact for power

By Tori Stafford, Kingston Whig-Standard

A group that has been fighting for four years against a proposed wind farm on Amherst Island got bad news yesterday.

“I’m very, very disappointed,” John Harrison, director of the Association to Protect Amherst Island said of yesterday’s announcement that the Ontario Power Authority awarded a Feed-in Tariff Program contract.

“I think such a project is inappropriate for Amherst Island.”

The project mirrors one that has been an ongoing battle on Amherst Island between developers, council and public opponents, including the Association to Protect Amherst Island, a group made up of over 140 local residents lobbying against the development of wind farms on the island.

Professor (Emeritus) Ph.D. (Leeds)

Harrison’s group has been fighting the arrival of wind turbines since a project was broached in 2007.

Harrison claims the concept doesn’t make economical sense, as there is not enough wind in the area to run the turbines to full capacity. He also cited noise and safety issues as major reasons for opposing a wind farm on the island.

He believes the regulations by the Ministry of the Environment are too lax.

“With the noise issues, the current regulation is a maximum of 40 decibels of sound,” Harrison said. That regulation may be fine for traffic noise, he said, but the situation is different with wind turbines, as the sound is periodic, and therefore more effective to the human ear.

He also said the current regulation of turbines being set back at least 550 metres from residences is too small, as the noise produced travels much further.

The power authority said the Amherst Island wind farm is projected to have capacity of 75 megawatts. The contract has been offered to Windlectric, a joint venture between Algonquin Power of Oakville and Gaia Power of Kingston.

Neither company could be reached for comment.

“At this stage, it’s all so new,” said Ulrike Kucera, media relations officer for the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

“Until business contracts are discussed and formally finalized … specific information on the project size, timeline or prospective business contracts cannot be provided.”

Murray Beckel, director of planning and development for Loyalist Township, said the project is so young that the township has yet to see any paperwork on the wind farm.

“We’re basically at Step 1 of a 10-step process,” Beckel said. “We’re at least a year away from any groundbreaking or building. It will probably take longer.”

A number of steps must be taken by the developer, Beckel said.

First, the company must hold a public meeting to introduce the project and take in public response. The company must then perform a series of tests in the area with respect to noise, effects on wildlife and environmental effects, and logistical testing regarding how to transport and build the turbines, including archeological tests.

Beckel said he had not seen any information indicating that these tests had begun, though he said it is possible that some of the tests are already underway.

The results of these tests and studies are then sent to the municipality, which has 90 days to review the information. These reports must also be sent to any aboriginal groups in the area.

After that, a second public meeting must be held before approval is given by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. This process, Beckel said, can take several months.

Meanwhile, Harrison said his group will continue to work against the proposed project.

“We’ve been active for four years,” he said, “and we have absolutely no inclination to stop any time soon.”

36 thoughts on “Amherst Island Project gets pact for power

  1. It is sad news to think that such a beautiful area will be scarred by a wind project.

    There is a new book out that might be worth a look. It is entitled ‘The False Promise of Green Energy’:

    ““This new work [289 pages] offers an outstanding, nearly unprecedented evaluation of claims by green energy and green jobs proponents that we can improve the economy and the environment, almost risk free, by spending billions of dollars on what are ultimately false promises.”

    http://www.masterresource.org/2011/02/false-promise-green-energy-cato/

  2. “At this stage, it’s all so new,” said Ulrike Kucera, media relations officer for the Canadian Wind Energy Association”

    So CanWEA the umbrella group for snake oil -er wind operators in Canada is apparently not familiar with industrail wind turbines…

    Anyone surprised?

    4Rs

  3. Alright
    McGuinty’s gone too far.
    We should look to Egypt and what the citizens there have accomplished.
    March on the legislature, occupy Queen’s park until we’re listened to.
    Should we wait for the October election our home-grown tyrant will have signed away thousands of tax dollars while destroying rural Ontario forever. Why does the image of the Ontario leader superimposed on the face of the soon-to-be ex-leader of Libya keep coming into view?
    Read a book too if that will help.

  4. Maybe someone can help me with this.
    I’m not familiar with the Amherst island situation, but reading the article I’m confused.
    How can they have gotten a contract offer without having had their studies already done and presented it to local council for 90 days and public for 60? Supposedly the minimun of two public meetings would have had to have been on both sides of that process.
    Based on what the Director of Planning is quoted as saying they have done nothing yet. What am I missing here?

  5. I pick a march on Queen’s Park! A major peaceful sit in. We need to disrupt life at Queen’s Park. Block the front steps??? Make all comers and goers have to squeeze past us.

  6. How can they have gotten a contract offer without having had their studies already done and presented it to local council for 90 days and public for 60?

    Ask “Amanda” or here daddy. 😉

    Yes, somebody knows… and it’s not good.

    The studies are templates — often not filled in. As the meetings… “They don’t have to answer questions”.

    Demonocracy at work.

  7. When a private concern pays for the gathering of or production of information this becomes proprietary/property of the private concern. They do not have to share this information with outsiders unless the business concern wants to share it. It is private property.

    What is the source of the financing of Algonquin and Gaia Power? Are there foreign sources of financing involved in the Amherst Island project? Who are the principals involved in this project?

  8. By the time McGuinty gets booted out of office in October he will have installed all the Wind Turbines that he has promised investors and ENGO’s since this Wind Scam started…………….

    That’s what we are faced with. Hudak doesn’t have to promise anything and he will get his “ticket to ride”.

    Sadly, this is the scenario we are faced with and the politicians know it.

    Hudak can then cruise into power and regulate the hell out of the energy portfolio but we will still be stuck with massive subsidization of Wind installations and Solar Installations that can be blamed on McGuinty.

    The only way this can be stopped is for a Public Inquiry into our Provincial Governments actions!…….how can we make that happen?

  9. Melodie…

    “Demand a public inquiry at Queen’s Park??? Just a thought.”

    OK you want the people who brought us “Green Energy” and the subsidy swill trough to investigate themselves…

    Before you post another thing today!… March right back into your Kitchen and see if you set out the wrong meds this morning. Well, did you mix up your meds? 😉

  10. I’m sure others have noticed, but all of the latest round of FIT contract awards for wind turbines are in PC ridings, including Hudak’s. Contrast that with the offshore moratoriums, which most notably affected Scarborough and Kingston – both Liberal ridings. And before that, the cancellation of Oakville, another Liberal riding.

    The pattern is so consistent it seems unlikely it was just random, regardless of what Duguid etc say. I hope everyone reading this has some appreciation for the implications. This isn’t just politics – it goes into punishment, hurting the people and their families because they didn’t support you. I hate thinking Ontario politicians could stoop to this, but I’m having trouble coming to any other conclusion.

  11. I agree Wayne. And if I hear or read one more comment on how the Liberals or anyone else supporting this are just “stupid” or “idiots”, I’m going to vomit. In my opinion, these characters know exactly what they’re doing to us.

  12. This whole downward spiral of financial ruin of Ontario WILL come to an end!………….it won’t come to an end with protests, civil disobedience or any other public action.

    It will be completed when McGuinty’s actions directly affect the “closing of Industry”(already happening) which of course relates to massive job losses, “energy poverty” (which is already happening) which of course relates to afford-ability of either heat or food for citizens, “loss of farmland” (which is already happening) which translates into higher food prices and lower quality of imported foods, “loss of lands and homes” ( which is already happening) which translates into the de-population of Rural Ontario into high density urban environment’s re-location, and “financial collapse of Ontario” (which is already happening) which translates into massive austerity measures which will forever punish honest and hard working citizens who have paid huge taxes to create social programs that will be discontinued because McGuinty has spent all the $$$$ in them.

    Not a pretty sight eh?

    If everyone feels they can’t stop this tragedy then “go with the flow” or should I say “flush”, down the toilet!

  13. “There will be no REAL DEMOCRACY until we demand that party politics is put to a stop”

    DUDE!

    Hear! Hear!

    Well said!

    I concur 110%

    RIGHT ON BABY! 🙂

    R.R.

  14. “There will be no REAL DEMOCRACY until we demand that party politics is put to a stop”

    Wasn’t that tried?….

    CCCP comes to mind 😉

    Don’t make me quote Churchill…

  15. Start following the paper trail, find the $$$ and numbered companies back to the individuals that own them, there is a construction scandle in the works, along the lines of the Quebec construction scandle, funny how Chariest is still side stepping a full blown investigation, dig deep you ll findin this industry as well, too bad the RCMP are blind. Dalton getting his last shots in,

  16. Ah David, No I did not mix up meds this morning smart ass… and I freely admit I don’t understand the complexities of how provincial governments run. However, I do know I have heard that neutral COMMISSIONERS can be appointed to do a Public Inquiry. That is what I was thinking. Obviously any country girl knows that you can not have a fox guard the hen house…. Now David, did you take an ugly pill this morning? You are usually such a charmer. Take a Midol darlin, it will make you feel better and less sarcastic and cranky.

  17. Talk about taking bad Meds!………….I just watched that YouTube video and YIKES!….when Donogood appeared I thought someone had replaced him with an over blown Muppet!…what the hell happened to him?……………….please warn us from now on if there is something frightening in these videos!……….even my cat let out a shriek!

  18. Melodie a peaceful sit in at Queens park is a great Idea, I’d love to see all the people Daltons liberals have wronged come together peacefully and let the Liberals do a head count and out their leader once they realize the damage hes done to their party, NDP Cheri Dinovo has a following of 144 000 plus and growing, the bike couriers of Toronto, all those groups against IWTs, someone needs to spend some time on the phone pick a day, get the word out, and make it happen.

  19. I agree with you Roy. However, last March only about 700 people showed up to our rally on a work day. I think there are some country folk that won’t drive or try to park in Toronto..Our group rented a bus. Now that the majority of Ontarians are beginning to see the light and are furious about increased hydro bills we might get a larger showing. Perhaps if we promoted with a call to “OUST McGUINTY NOW””before he bankrupts our future grandchildren” campaign. We might see a tremendous ground swell of protesters. As much as I hate to see disruptive action which could turn the public against us, I think that there are lots of truckers that listen to Goldhawk etc and would volunteer to block all 400 hwy north. I mean people could always use Airport Rd in the west to go north or the 407 in the east to go north. Imagine if all the teamsters joined us! Yee Haw! Lots to think about Roy. Spring will be here soon and those turbines are a coming to a community near YOU folks.

  20. I’m a Teamster and was a long haul trucker for many years………….we shut down the 401 going into Quebec for a whole day back in the 80’s when the Quebec Gov. outlawed truckers coming through Quebec without buying fuel while in the Province…………this boycott only took 1 hour on all the CB’s to organize and every truck going into and out of Quebec just stopped on the road!

    It’s all about timing and the “right moment “when all the “stars align” at once……I know truckers today are just “runnin’ for the cost of fuel” and take home almost zero dollars……………much of that is thanks to McGuinty and his HST on fuel……….gotta pick and choose your spots to make something like this work…….even the “threat of a province-wide boycott would make McGuinty very very nervous, specially when trying to win votes!……………we all know there is a rising tide of protest coming……just when it happens is the question!…………worthy discussion for the near future!!!!

  21. Roy:

    I took the meds Melodie recommended now I see the stars too — all in a line. No, no, some are forming words… they say “Shut down Ontario Now!”

    Are those the ones you see?

  22. Good Stuff David…..could we start a “slogan” thread that could be used to unite Ontario?

    I.E. “McGuinty: Do The Right Thing..Leave Now!”
    “Save Ontario…Leave Now McGuinty”
    “McGuinty: Make it Right…..Book a Flight!”

    You get the idea…………

  23. Quixote, Small world. I was the first lady teamster in Ontario (19nevermind!) I drove for Smith Transport on Commissioners St. Toronto. I shunted 2 years then city deliveries for 4 then a stint on the Highway. Kingston switches, A trains B trains. Montreal and the Soo . CB name was crackerjack.. after shunting for so long I could spot a trailer blindfolded. Oh to be young and adventuresome again!

    You know we might be on to something here amigo’s . Know anyone at local 938?

    Maybe they remember me because I was the only one. You must know many truckers. .

    “Make it right …book a flight” sounds good.

    Randy can make it clear that NO feckless idiots allowed in Ont Gov’t ever again! OR else!

    Glad you are feeling better David.

  24. To the tune of Johnny Horton’s “Sink the Bismark”

    Hit those roads a runnin boys and turn those trucks around, gotta sink the Liberals, got to put em down.

    We’ve got to oust McGuinty folks, he’s makin such a fuss,
    We’ve gotta stop those turbines boys , our land depends on us.

    So hit those roads a runnin boys and spin those trucks around,
    those blades that do the hummin boys, are mak’n too much sound.
    etc. etc.

    I know , keep my day job. Nighty night.

  25. BUT! Remember … the propaganda machine is already working on behalf of the Liberals…

    You dollars at work.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/945273–working-families-to-launch-election-blitz-on-oscar-telecast?bn=1

    The powerful union coalition that helped topple the Progressive Conservative government in 2003 is launching a multi-million dollar advertising blitz during Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast.

    Working Families — an alliance of teachers’ unions, nursing associations and building and construction trades’ councils — is using Hollywood’s biggest night to premiere the 30-second pre-election spot.

    If the past two provincial votes are any guide, the group could end up playing a best supporting role should Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals be re-elected on Oct. 6.

  26. Ask the teachers why they would endorse rare earth being mined in China leaving toxic waste on acres and acres of farmland??? All for the assembly line production of non green inefficient wind turbines that are making people abandon homes all over the world.

  27. A peaceful sit in, I dont know about a shut down the city thing,(mind you there have been other organization that have, a couple of occurrances come to mind) but I do think joining with other protesters would greatly improve the numbers of attendence. another scandle brewing stay tuned its gonna come out real soon, Its amazing what you can find with the right lawyer poking around.

  28. David didnt you catch McNatiff or however you spell his name, standing in front of a union flag last nite crying fowl over the conservitives budget at the last federal election, not hard to figure who s sleeping with who, just gotta dig for the info

  29. I watch FOX News more than Canadian stations. FOX rarely spouts lies and misdirection (despite liberal opinions contrary to that). I have never found them to spout one lie even — they make mistakes — but then they correct publicly. I never see that on the CBC.

    I find that If I watch Canadian news I often end up with information opposite to what is happening or being thought,

    As for Ignatief(?) Mike who?

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