Port Colborne cautious about offshore wind

by Luke Edwards, Niagara This Week
Coun. Dave Elliott doesn’t want council to blindly support an offshore wind energy project in Lake Ontario.  “Before we support this, let’s see both sides,” he told council on Monday.  Elliott was referring to an item in the agenda that would throw support behind a consortium called Lake Ontario Offshore Network (LOON), which plans to build around 100 turbines 5 km off the cost of Lake Ontario.  The consortium approached the city to “encourage the Ontario government to remove the roadblocks to allow the development of offshore wind power in Ontario,” the motion said.

“On hold is not a bad idea,” said Coun. Ron Bodner, agreeing with Elliott.

Elliott suggested that council revise the motion to encourage the provincial government to expedite studies on the effects of offshore turbines on health and the environment.

“I’d rather say, ‘come on Government of Ontario, get your act together.’ Let’s see the studies,” Elliott said.

The province issued a moratorium on offshore wind power in February 2011 to conduct further studies. There has been no indication when those studies will be released or what the current state of the studies is, said Mayor Vance Badawey.
Elliott noted that with the neighbouring Township of Wainfleet currently undergoing its own wind power fight, albeit a land turbine issue, it wouldn’t be wise for the city to throw its support behind the consortium without proper research.

Offshore wind energy is on the radar for the city, said Stephen Thompson, general manager and director of economic development, tourism and marketing.

“We do see it as a growth sector,” he said.

Council amended the motion to push the government to complete its studies and support LOON if the studies come back positive.

13 thoughts on “Port Colborne cautious about offshore wind

  1. 100 turbines will be just the begining for installing IWTs on the Ontario side of the Great Lakes. If and when this happens large areas of the lakes will have to be closed to public access due to the dangers caused by IWTs
    Maybe the present government thinks this is a way to get rid of the $2.2 billion lawsuit it is now faced with.

  2. A statement from the Trump Organisation said: “To put it simply and on an even larger scale, it will totally destroy tourism in Scotland and, even more importantly, the great beauty of the Scottish coastline. There is a need for the Scottish Government to establish a national policy regulating the acceptable distance of such turbines from the shoreline.”
    …..has called for the Scottish Government to hold a public inquiry
    into the wind farm application.

    Meanwhile:
    ‘[excerpt] Offshore wind energy is on the radar for the city, said Stephen Thompson, general manager and director of economic development, tourism and marketing.

    “We do see it as a growth sector,” he said.’

    ‘[excerpt] Council amended the motion to push the government to complete its studies and support LOON if the studies come back positive.’

    p.s. Ontario: Elected ‘hot shot’ officials on display – as the world watches

      • Hey – creeping in……….
        The ‘Green Cabal’ morphogenesis –
        Trillium Energy Alliance Inc. – Stinks!

        They need a Guzzillion smackers –
        to take the heat off of McGuinty Liberals.

        The good part is – Ugh!
        they’re looking for Mr. and Mrs. Plain Folk –
        to sit on these boards – to keep things honest
        oh yeah – and engaged.

        Just another Liberal Lovefest:

        Mr. Jeff Mole:…..This is truly for the public benefit, so we need to finance these projects using debt. That’s the only way that we can do it, and as long as we have access to that capital—and by providing us with these loan guarantee programs, we will now be able to go to outside sources and get the financing that we need to get these projects out of the ground and producing clean energy for Ontario. I hope that answered your question.

        Mr. Peter Tabuns: What has the response been?

        Mr. Jeff Mole: I’ve heard the word “brilliant” numerous times. It’s quite easy to recruit board members. We need to recruit 300 to 500 board members to sit on these boards across the province. These are members of the public from the communities who are interested in supporting community power, who want to do the right thing. They’re there to provide oversight for the corporation so that it acts responsibly, and to make sure that the public is engaged in the process. But quite clearly, there is a great deal of support for this initiative.
        http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/committee-proceedings/committee_transcripts_details.do?locale=en&BillID=2475&ParlCommID=8858&Date=2011-04-21&Business=&DocumentID=25696#P120_22956

        p.s. The Liberal warriors! When they want to win – they suddenly understand the problem.

    • Placing IWT’s offshore in fresh water is an untested idea, current installations are in the sea. In addition to potential adverse effects on migratory birds, bats, fisheries, recreational use and tourism, the greatest risk is likely to the drinking water supply. The Great Lakes has experienced the effects of roughtly two centuries of industrial pollution. Many contaminants are tied up in sediments in deep basins of the lakes. Construction and operation of IWT’s has the real potential to resuspend these contaminants in the water column with catastrophic effects to the drinking water supply.

      • Of course you are correct but the idea now is to provide the USW with jobs making steel for the wind towers and make wind developers rich with a few IWT permanent operating jobs. Also need to get the blade manufacturing plant going which was promised to startup in early 2012.
        This is about political promises and not common sense.
        IWT developers believe that they are entitled to a share of Hydo customers money no matter what the cost is to consumers.They couldn’t sue their way into Hydro money so they got the laws changed to get at the Hydro money. The Green Energy Act allowed renewable energy developers to get the money.

  3. The Public Trust Doctrine

    The public trust doctrine is a legal principle derived from English common law.
    The essence of the doctrine is that the waters of the state or province are a public resource owned by and available to all citizens equally for navigation, commerce, fishing, recreation, and similar uses. The public retains its rights under the public trust doctrine even when the land at issue is privately owned.

    All Great Lakes bottomlands (meaning the lakes) are held in public trust.

    In Michigan and other states the wind companies simply stated they thought they should be exempt from this law. The projects never got to the point where this could be tested in court.

  4. A question for someone in the know!!!
    Capital cost of an offshore project would be
    at a minimum 3 to 4 times the expense of an
    onshore project. Conceding that revenue
    would be marginally greater, it still doesn’t
    make sense that these projects are economically
    feasible. Are our FIT contracts that lucrative?

    • Michigan was offering 24.5 cents / kwh. Watch the new FIT rates when they come out to see if ONT is trying to push. If the rates go down they are still just testing, messing around. If they go up trouble. Jan. wholesale price 2.5 cents.

  5. It’s obscene that the Baines of Wolfe Island and their cronies should choose the acronym “LOON”–a symbol of wild Ontario lakes–for their campaign to despoil the least touched, most productive and beautiful basin of Lake Ontario.

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