Offshore wind farm still on books, despite ban

by Richard Blackwell, Globe and Mail
The one company that holds a signed contract to build a wind farm in the Great Lakes is going ahead with plans for the project, despite the ban on offshore wind development put in place by the Ontario government earlier this year. Windstream Energy Inc. says it could begin construction at a proposed wind farm in Lake Ontario near Kingston as early as 2014, if the province lifts its ban soon. The 300-megawatt wind farm would have as many as 100 turbines, anchored in the lakebed five kilometres off shore.  Read article

43 thoughts on “Offshore wind farm still on books, despite ban

  1. Ok Mark Bell. We will see how far this gets with a liberal minority. You are a liar and a cad. Your foolish and weak offshore plans do not benefit the province. Scarbourgh should of voted Duguid out when they had the chance. Flip flop on offshore moratorium…….scum.

    • There never was a ban on IWTs in the lakes. Only a moratorium until more studies were done.

  2. Why is offshore wind such a problem? It’s five kilometres out. It would have been wiser to have a moratorium on onshore and an expansion offshore.

  3. Oh, great…the bane of Wolfe Island, already registering lobbyists to challenge MOE’s proposed shoreline exclusion zone, now plans, if moratorium is lifted, to build still larger turbines offshore. Closer + bigger + sound transmitted over water–could only mean more noise and infrasound for downwind residents and those who would enjoy Big Sandy Bay. Sure hope the offshore moratorium holds!!

  4. We need to focus on supporting a certain direction with some form of alternate energy.
    It is important to understand that you can’t be against every form of alternate energy or you risk losing credibility.

    • Still is a blasphemy to support nuclear or clean coal. What a weird age when we all have to bow to the “Green” movement. I don’t want my house off the grid. I choose hydro production that is affordable and reliable.

    • I agree that it is poor strategy to oppose ALL green initiatives. I think conservation initiatives + geothermal + rooftop solar thermal/voltaic + properly sited wind turbines–are least likely to harm interests of people or natural resources.

      If turbines are ever permitted in the Great Lakes, they should be sited as far as possible offshore from featureless shorelines (but not on deepwater reefs, nor in areas that block migrating birds). For example, a policy exercise in Michigan mapped windy areas in their waters where turbines could co-exist fairly peacefully with other uses of the Great Lakes.

      Developers, however, insist on concentrating their machines along coastlines or in other ecologically sensitive sites. Just look what US and Cdn developers (including Ian Baines’ Windstream) together plan for the eastern basin of Lake Ontario, a garden of islands and bays and shoals and lake/river upwellings and bird/fish migration: . And there may be more planned for the area, according to Ontario Renewable Energy Atlas. >grr<

      • I have been advocating grants and subsidies to homeowners , business and farms to aid in adopting certain forms of alternate energy.
        You can clear a room of Industry interest when this proposal is put on the table.
        McGuinty just wants to use your money to privatize and complete what Harris began.
        He was elected to stop privatization by the way……one of his many honest moments lost in transit

  5. So I am driving back to the city this afternoon along Highway 10 through turbine wasteland and the wind is howling. I can barely keep my truck on the road and of the visible turbines (of which there are many) probably 3/4 of them are NOT spinning. None on the east side and none on the southwest quadrant.

    • Which wind farm location is that? The wind has been surprisingly strong and steady the last few days. Is it so strong that they had to park the blades?

      • Hey Derek

        Tax payer should have a party when the blades are parked! Its called cutting our losses.

      • shelburne area..many more to come if plans not stopped

      • The huge one between Shelburne and Dundalk on either side of Highway 10. Hundreds of turbines, and yes getting bigger. It seems like I see new ones all the time. Once I almost got caught behind a blade being transported up 10. As big as they look from a distance until I saw it on the back of that truck (as I was passing it, thanking my turbo), I could not have imagined how huge these things actually are. I think those bigger turbines referred to in that article are closer to 600 feet tall. Sooooo much better to have fewer of them. Really?

      • The turbines on the island were idle for about an hour at 9am on Sun morn.

  6. THIS

    ■Ontario Wind Energy Production (IESO)
    Total demand: 16087 MW (1:00 PM EDT – Oct. 17, 2011) ** Total generation: 17612 MW (Oct. 17 – 13:00-14:00) ** Excess generation: 1525 MW ** WIND: 1279 MW: 8% of demand, 7.3% of generation, 83.9% of excess generation (this amount time 13.5 cents per Kwh times 1000)

    SUBTRACT THIS (if a negative add number)


    Capish Comprende, understand? Not to mention people in rural Ontario getting angry because the countryside is getting torn up and Toronto NIMBY’s get WTF they want!!!

    • Rob, during that same hour, hydro was running at 3.5GW and gas at 3.1GW – why weren’t those backed off to compensate?

      • DerekM, the hydro has to run sometime, or get spilled. Much of it is public, so the cost is the same if it is used or not.
        The gas is about 1000MW of non-utility generator (NUGs), which exist for a couple of reasons (one being the efficiency of using off-gases from pipelines to generate, instead of just flaring off), and their contracts are held be a different gov’t entity, the OEFC, so when they get curtailed its planned in advance and done for an entire weekend (or long weekend – it’s only done in very low demand circumstances).
        Which leaves 2.1 GWh of gas. The recent 4GW of CCGT capacity is paid a fee whether it runs or not (known as a net revenue requirement – or NRR) … what we pay when they actually run is likely just the cost of the fuel. The CCGT units have to run at about 60-70% of capacity, meaning if you suspect the wind will need 100MW of balancing, you need to fire up a 400MW CCGT plant to about 280MW to be prepared for the wind drop – which doesn’t seem to have been the rational yesterday. The units run cleaner full-out, so if we can export above the cost of the gas, it makes sense to replace Michigan of other US coal production with the cleaner gas output.
        It still leaves us paying an unnecessary 13.5 cents for an unreliable source that cannot replace any capacity in the system.
        Onshore of off.
        -the hyperlink on your name does not work.

  7. Not THAT unreliable, especially not at this time of the year – and you don’t have to back off your gas and hydro all the way. Besides, while i see quite a bit of talk about the hidden variability of wind, isn’t it a fact that the variability in demand – and the slew rate – from a place as large and populous as Ontario is considerably less than nameplate wind capacity?

    • Yes, it is condiderably less than nameplate capacity in Ontario just as it is in the UK. The numbers don’t lie. Also same situation in Texas.

      • 24 billion later in Texas and no benefit. Wind proponents keep saying wait until the system is expanded, there is always wind somewhere. Treating the wind grid as some text book fourier analysis. In the real world it is a bust. Everything is on the chopping block in Texas….no money for decommisioning

    • Why Bonniville? We have hydro suppliers here. I note that Beck 2 seems capable of ramping up / down by several hundred MW from one hour to the next and Saunders cuts its output in half in the late evening.
      But even if hydro is troublesome, that still leave several GW of gas that can be adjusted.
      And, since when is hydro not considered dispatchable?

    • The Bonniville situation is only looked at to learn what the problems are mixing wind & hydro power. Ramping up & down gas generators causes more wear and tear on them than to let them run at a determined/constant speed all the time.

    • Derek, hydro power is cheaper, why spill water? why not just shut the turbines off when we don’t need the power? that would save a lot of our money. The reason why, because the wind industry convinced the liberal party to fill their pockets

      • Lets drop using cheaper power to use more expensive power .
        It gets better and better doesn’t it ?

      • And some crook or fool has the clause that wind power must be purchased at any time. Its almost as if they would rather sell for a loss than deal with the unpredictability

      • Ramping the Falls generators up and down causes addition wear and tear on them. The same situation as the gas generators. Spilling the water at the Falls is wasting Hydro customers money.

      • Well at least there is a tourist spinoff with spilling the water over the falls.

    • Two issues there.
      One, private wind suppliers have effectively stolen Ontario’s Hydroelectric legacy from the public, by claiming it should service them.
      Our 3.7 cent/kWh hydro facilities should not exist solely to serve the IWT overlords.
      Here’s what happens when you count on wind:

      People are predictable – the variability in demand is predictable. The sudden loss of supply is not. That isn’t just a wind issue, although some of the highest spot prices are from the jerk in wind generation. The years highest price looks, to me, most likely to have occurred due to a couple of Beck turbines suddenly ceasing to produce.

      The differentiation is that other than with IWT’s, we try to avoid jerks.

      • Well done, Wind Jerks….must be avoided, also the executive wind jerk

  8. If it didn’t affect me too I would be laughing at TO right now.
    Cap and Trade is slated for January 2012….and the costs will begin rising.
    And they voted to be taxed into poverty.

    • And FaGuinty is pretty slick at tv talk about why we need to tax. Remember, health tax will stop hospital waits. This time cap and trade is so structurally messed up. Maybe GTA will realize the poison pill they have swallowed for the whole province.

  9. You would have to have a scandal emerge to have him removed and an election
    Any come to mind worth working on ?

  10. North shore of Lake erie this past weekend – very strong winds at the Erie Shores and Clear Creek/cultus/Frogmore IWT ZONES, so strong, > 50 km/h that turbines are SHUT DOWN to prevent damage. these IWTs only operate when winds are between 14.4 km/h and 50 km/h.

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