Is destruction of Ostrander Point worth it?

Gilead Power Corporation is inviting PE County residents to send letters of support for their wind project at Ostrander Point to MPP Leona Dombrowsky. Their letter and “10 reasons to support the project” say that Ostrander Point is a favourable site for their development because it “is in a relatively isolated part” of the County.

This isolation from human use has created its value as wildlife habitat. Birds that have evolved to migrate between Canada’s north and South America have depended on our South Shore for millennia. If it is industrialized, as so much of North America has been, many will fail in their passage around Lake Ontario. As Environment Canada has said “This is one of the most important landfall sites in Ontario.”

Gilead claims that the project has been “designed to be sensitive to the wildlife of the area”.

But they have applied for permits to kill, harm and destroy the habitat of 2 endangered species: Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will. Gilead’s “most aggressive mitigation measures in North America to protect local and migrating species” consist of:

  • Blanding’s Turtle – buying part of its significant wetland while destroying part;
  • Whip-poor-will – hiring a graduate student to study its declining use of the habitat;
  • Counting mortality numbers of migrating birds and bats for 3 years.

If the Province gives permission to build this industrial project, the following spring the turtles and other amphibians will emerge from hibernation to find most of their habitat destroyed and the migrating species will find their expected feeding grounds gone.

Gilead also promises economic benefits. They promise to pay municipal taxes of $40,000 annually over 25 years or $20,000 annually over 50 years, depending on how the “life of the power purchase agreement” is interpreted. Will these funds cover the increased road maintenance required? Even during the few months of construction they offer only “up to 50%”of the work and business to “local or neighbouring communities”.

Trucking of the components will be done by the manufacturer, GE. The operation of the project will be done remotely by a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system. County people may receive few benefits but higher costs from this project.

Is this destruction worth it for 9 turbines that could easily be built elsewhere?

Myrna Wood, Picton

7 thoughts on “Is destruction of Ostrander Point worth it?

  1. So – we are to believe –
    Gilead Power Corp will be ‘careful’ while they – kill, harm harass, damage
    and destroy!
    Then, they further insult the citizens by asking –
    for letters of support.
    Who the ‘hell’ is going to support this sham?

    Gilead Power Corp applies for permit to kill, harm, harass, damage and destroy
    Environmental Registry:
    Permit under section 17 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) to allow Gilead Power Corporation to kill, harm and harass Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will as well as damage and destroy the habitat of Whip-poor-will for the purpose of the development and operation of Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park in the Township of South Marysburgh, Prince Edward County

    No MNR permits or authorizations will be issued until the Renewable Energy Approval has been issued by MOE. (What a joke!)

  2. Hey, I found the “Top Ten Reasons to Support Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park” on the Gilead website…Some of it is hard to fathom, so I’ve done my best to clarify some of their points …their points are numbered 1. through 10…my helpful comments are in the paragraph below each point. Warning to readers…heavy sarcasm is used throughout.

    1. The Municipality of Prince Edward County will directly benefit from taxes paid by Gilead of approximately $1,000,000 over the life of the power purchase agreement.

    TRANSLATION – we are offering a financial inducement to the County for letting us destroy their lovely park.

    2. From the construction period alone, local residents and businesses can expect to benefit from approximately $2.3 million in new revenue generation to the local area.

    TRANSLATION – we are offering a financial inducement to local businesses for letting us destroy their pristine countryside and their tourism business, but only during construction. After that, they’re on their own.

    3. Our Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park will contribute significantly to the local workforce by ensuring that up to 50% of project employees are hired locally or in neighbouring communities.

    TRANSLATION – we are offering a financial inducement in the form of a few low wage temporary constructions jobs (note there’s no dollar figure mentioned). By the way, what’s an “Energy Park?” Is it like a “Nature Park” except the animals are “harmed and harassed?”

    4. Once operational, the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park will produce 22.5MW of clean energy- enough to power 5,600 homes each year.

    SUPPLEMENTAL – for which you will pay us about FOUR TIMES the current market rate for electricity – from a source that works only 30% of the time (also see point 5 below).

    5. Wind is the ultimate low-cost, effective alternative to fossil fuels with an infinite supply of clean energy into the future. Furthermore, fuel cost for wind is free and therefore, not subject to market price escalation as is the case with coal and nuclear.

    EXCEPT WHEN it’s not blowing, which is about 70% of the time, which is when you will have to rely on back-up power from other sources, which makes wind even more expensive because you have to double your capital costs for every unit of wind power built AND you have to factor in the cost of fuel for the back-up plant. Wait a minute…if wind is “free” then remind me again why are we paying you FOUR TIMES the market rate for the electricity generated by your project?

    6. The ease and speed of construction for the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park relative to other forms of energy generation means that you will not be inconvenienced by lengthy construction periods.

    TRANSLATION – we’ll be “in and out” like a dirty shirt . You won’t even know what hit you. One day you’ll wake up and those 300 foot towers and 150 foot blades will be looming over you. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE !

    7. Because the generation of electricity from the wind does not result in any air emissions or waste, the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park will be offsetting high- polluting forms of energy generation.

    WHICH “high-polluting” forms of energy would you be offsetting? The 50% to 60% we get from nuclear, or the 20% to 25% from hydro ? (both of which are virtually emission-free). Oh, you must mean those pesky coal fired plants – except aren’t they being replaced with natural gas plants ? (remind me again why we need wind power?) And there’s certainly no waste or emissions from that horrific process they use in China to refine the light weight rare earth metals they use in the turbines that sit atop your towers!

    8. The Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park was designed to be sensitive to the wildlife of the area. That means that we will construct at times least disruptive to existing wildlife. Once operational, the Ostrander Point Facility will employ some of the most aggressive mitigation measures in North America to protect local and migratory species.

    JUST LIKE WOLFE ISLAND where those wind company employees tour the island in pickup trucks picking up record numbers of bird and bat carcasses = two of McGuinty’s much vaunted “green jobs!”

    9. The Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park will provide a safer environment for wildlife and recreational users by ensuring that explosive material remaining from the site’s former World War II use are safely removed from the site.

    THAT’s A GOOD ONE (extra points awarded) …or THE MILITARY (which is really good at locating and disposing of old bombs and explosives, or so I’m told) could do it for FREE !!!

    10. The Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park is a step in the right direction to ensuring that our environment can support our society, economy and way of life now and in the future.

    If needlessly DESTROYING (HARMING AND HARASSING) A PRISTINE AREA is “a step in the right direction” I’d be interested to see in which direction you are taking us…Why not just pave the whole thing over and install solar panels? It makes me wonder what you people would stop at to make a buck. Seriously. How can you live with yourselves?

  3. BOB:

    Excellent. May I suggest a few minor refinements?

    1) That is about $50,000 per year — what wonderful programs can a municipality put in place of $50K a year? — Oh — and don’t forget to discount it due to inflation… $50K in twenty years won’t buy you much. Heck! It doesn’t buy that much these days…

    4) Actually if you counted on those IWT’s to power those home — there would be no power most of the time… and those would be the most irritated homeowners on the face of the planet.

    5) Infinite source of fuel? The wind? The IWT’s are designed to restrict power generation — so they won’t fall apart in a decent gale… Nothing infinite about them. Over half the time they will be producing at less than 17% of output — and even most of that close to Zero…

    8) People with party favors will be employed to scare off the wild life. It will become known as Liberal employment.

    10) That may be what they intend, but, sadly it typically has the opposite effect — that of destroying a thriving economy. Soon, we too will dine on Tapas made from pigs ears! Ole!

  4. When the company talks about giving money to the community or hiring anyone it is not with their money, but ours. IWT companies are in business to make money not give it away. Our money would be better used elsewhere.

  5. “Their letter and “10 reasons to support the project” say that Ostrander Point is a favourable site for their development because it “is in a relatively isolated part” of the County.”

    Relatively isolated….that’s like Shelley Carroll (Toronto city councillor) calling Georgina Island “remote” and good for turbines.
    These people are dunces. They don’t understand that there is life outside their tiny little urban boxes. Real life, human, animal, bird and plant. Remember when we cared more about our neighbours than some suited money-sucking creep wanting to take our rights away and causing irresversible destruction to OUR HOMES and OUR COMMUNITIES.
    You can be sure if people were being made ill and being forced from their homes in the city the screaming and apologies would have been long over and the government would have admitted their fault.
    “…relatively isolated” …..the ignorance pains me to the core…..

  6. There are MANY versions of Ostrander Point being destroyed by IWTs – many of them are the homes of people whose life’s work is being harmed, harrassed and destroyed.

  7. What a coincidence! 7/29/2011 3:00 AM
    I just spoke to a client last night, for whom I am supposed to build a new home, or five eventually.
    He`s been working on severing 5 lots,for a few years now and had everything complete & was told it`s a go, on a friday, and he could come in to the county office the following monday, to pick up the final documents.
    When he went in to do so on the Monday,he was told a problem had arisen & he may not be able to do the severances after all!
    Apparently,his propertys are part of a valuable limestone deposit & the MNR wants it preserved!
    Also, they claim there is a Whip-poor-will, an endangered species, within 1 km. of the property.This in itseft disallows the building of a new home they claimed! Imagine that!
    After leading him on for the last several years, taking his money for all the different permits/stages.
    But it`s ok to build useless IWTs & basically devastate the populations of 2 endangered species!
    One being the lowly Whip poor will, the other the Blandings Turtle!
    For nine turbines? Are they totally out of their minds?
    Where the hell is the Sierra Club? Where is David Suzuki? He has the nerve to state that our duly elected and much respected prime minister, should be locked up for his environmental policies?!?!
    Suzuki et al, are the ones who should be locked up! Stephen Harper deserves praise.
    They don`t care about the environment one iota!! Only money! Our money! Greedy ba>>>rds!
    Ostranders Point is not suitable for IWTs! Period! Queens Park or Suzukis` front yard might be!

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