Goderich Signal Star
There is a petition circulating in the township of Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh. Anyone who is eighteen years of age or older, is a resident and/or landowner in ACW and is opposed to the K2 Wind Power Project is free to sign.
By way of history, Epcor was the first wind company to come to ACW and the first 22 industrial wind turbines were built. There was a corporate change and Capital Power became the new wind entity in ACW. At some point along the way Epcor or Capital Power made an agreement with our municipal council to not lease land on the west side of Highway 21. Capital Power proceeded with the next wind project for ACW. The Kingsbridge II Project proposed 150 turbines – all in the Ashfield Ward but one. In 2011 they announced that they had partnered with Samsung and Pattern Energy to move forward with the K2 Wind Power Project. The Kingsbridge II Project became the K2 Wind Power Project. With this came a change from 150 1.8 mw Vestas V90 turbines to a mix of 142 Siemens turbines, ranging from 1.8 mw to 2.3 mw, but with the same overall result of 270 megawatts. The final site plan will be published closer to the final Open House. Only then will we know exactly how many turbines we could be looking at.
There is another wind company leasing land in ACW, operating under the name, “EDP Renewables Canada”. They are leasing land on BOTH sides of Highway 21. There is no information on EDP’s website. However, according to the Ontario Power Authority’s July 2011 priority list for connection to the new Bruce-Milton corridor, the K2 project is 24th on the list and there are three EDP projects in positions 49, 50 and 51 – one in Huron-Kinloss, two in ACW. There is a total of one hundred 3 megawatt turbines in the three EDP projects.
For anyone who follows this industry, what you will find is that these companies change hands with remarkable regularity. They also partner in ways which are advantageous to them. If the K2 project goes ahead, there will be a huge investment made in infrastructure – substation, transformer station, transmission lines etc. Will the K2 project be the last one proposed for ACW? Will Capital Power/Samsung/Pattern Energy strike a deal with EDP? Will there be a K3 project? A K4?
Many people are struggling with what is happening in rural Ontario in the name of “green energy”. Industrial wind is being increasingly challenged on many fronts – impacts on human health, animal health, property values, tourism, wildlife habitats and migratory routes; loss of municipal control and local democracy; loss of prime agricultural land for food production; restrictions to future development (sterilization of communities) and decommissioning uncertainties. Industrial wind’s economic and environmental viability is being seriously called into question. How can industrial wind be called “green” when it requires a backup energy source (typically gas fired generation) to compensate for its intermittent nature? Ontario’s poorly planned and badly implemented renewable energy plan is dividing families and communities right across our province.
Governments make mistakes. Asbestos, lead water pipes, DDT, UFFI insulation and thalidomide are just a few examples. Given the lack of consensus (even and especially among the experts) around many things wind related, why would we push ahead at this time?
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is calling for a suspension of contracts for industrial wind turbine development projects pending resolution of key concerns. The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) has been asking the province (since June of 2009) to stop the development of any more wind power projects in Ontario until an independent human and animal health impact study has been completed. The National Farmers Union’s position statement sets out that, “renewable energy projects must be under the control and ownership of farmers and rural communities, not in the hands of multinational energy corporations”.
We will be giving the ACW Council a copy of all signed petitions. We will be forwarding the originals to the Ministry of the Environment, Renewable Energy Approvals Branch, as part of our submission against this project.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) published a letter in many local newspapers a year ago this month. It was a call for open communication between their members (wind energy project developers) and the residents of the communities in which they operate. The president of CANWEA, Robert Hornung, states in the letter, “We recognize and value the right of citizens to have a meaningful role in discussions about any developments in their community, and we are encouraging members to do more than just meet, but to strive to exceed public consultation.” With that in mind, we have every expectation that our petition will be taken very seriously – not just by Capital Power/Samsung/Pattern Energy, but by the Ministry of the Environment, Renewable Energy Approvals Branch as well.
If you would like to sign the petition please contact one of the undersigned.
Marianne & Paul Bollinger 529-7807
Jim & Ev Manktelow 440-0712
Anita & Paul Frayne 529-7711
Ed & Lisa Courtney 529-3511
Anne Marie Howard & Mike Leitch 524-5898
Shawn & Trish Drennan