Score the impacts of wind projects on your community

[written by Gary Mooney, a member of the Steering Committee of CCSAGE.]
Here’s an opportunity for you to evaluate for yourself the impacts of large-scale wind energy development on the long-term sustainability of your community, comparing the positives with the negatives. I have developed a one-page scoring system, presented here. Click on the image and then print it. After completing the scoring, please add a comment to this post, indicating your total positive and negative scores and your thoughts.

The scoring system reflects the criteria and controls imposed by Ontario’s Green Energy Act. While it has been developed for use in Prince Edward County, it is equally applicable for use in other Ontario communities.

Sustainability, as applied here, requires consideration of four major areas of impact: economic, social, environmental and cultural. Within each area, I have listed possible factors — both positive and negative – affecting community sustainability over the longer term.

I have attempted to be objective with respect to the factors included. While there are more negative factors than positive, these are the factors that I was able to identify and validate for inclusion. I have not included factors that apply outside the local community – e.g. new jobs elsewhere – because this scoring system is intended to focus on a particular community’s sustainability.

The idea is for you to assign a score to each positive and each negative factor, with possible scores being 0 = invalid / not relevant / not applicable, 1 = low significance, 3 = medium significance and 5 = high significance to you. It is preferable that you be knowledgeable about each factor, but if not, at least your impression is reflected.

Your participation will be most useful if you make an honest effort to score each factor relative to all factors and to give careful consideration to both positive and negative factors, regardless of your prior position on wind turbines.

In general, there should be more scores at lower values than at higher values, because an objective person will likely regard many factors as being less significant, and only a few factors as being highly significant. For this reason, the scoring system specifies maximums for the number of medium and high scores, respectively.

I would be pleased to consider the addition of other factors not previously identified that fit the criteria described above. Please email me at if you have suggestions.

Don’t forget to submit a comment (below) indicating your total positive score and negative score, and any thoughts.

Note: I have shown copyright for this scoring system. Anyone may use it for their own purposes, but must present the content of the document exactly as is.

9 thoughts on “Score the impacts of wind projects on your community

  1. Good worksheet! Nice going!
    I thought McG had made it so the municipalities could not increase the taxes on the land of the leaseholders because of the turbines. Is this not true? That would mean no “increase in tax revenue on turbines’ assessed value” for the municipality. Am I wrong in this thought?

  2. Green energy projects are capped at a $40,000 per MW assessment rate…even if the turbine is worth millions.

    The municipalities are not allowed to demand more municipal property taxes from them. That’s why we’re seeing more “Bribe-ancy Funds” being negotiated.

  3. I am having a huge problem with “SUSTAINABLE”. Every time I see this word used I envision all of the UN dictums from global warming, carbon tax, community planning, etc. that have led to this green energy fiasco. This word should be relegated to some netherworld never again to reappear.

    I commend Mr. Mooney’s efforts.

  4. Brilliant! Embrace it!

    You can toss a stone across your town council meeting – with an advantage
    the same language of Sustainability – and the 4 Pillars of values

    I always find it amazing when councils like to make us think we are stupid –
    and they know the way to Social – Economic Development,
    and what is ‘sustainable’ –
    using the ‘Environmental’ excuse – pillar.

    Realistically – some of our council members are just plain lazy, and, are being
    led by a green cabal of sustainability nonsense –
    and, had the ‘environmental pillar’ not been added – the entire exercise of ‘sustainability
    would have been – Dead on Arrival (DOA).

    Tell your council – to shape up – grow up!

  5. Much of the tax benefits of hosting the turbines in rural communities are negated by the reduced property taxes. In Frontenac Islands, multiple waterfront properties have received reductions to property tax assessments since the operation of the wind plant. MPAC has settled more than 50 requests for reduction since 2008 — the documentation is public information. Some property owners have settled for reductions, provided they agree to no mention of turbines in the justification for reassessment. So the local tax level on property values declines and the tax assessment per turbine is capped.

    Add to this reduced tourism (the “bearded lady” effect was a hoax — just ask Wolfe Island, which has seen a decline in tourism numbers and has multiple tourism businesses up for sale with no buyers in sight). Recently the Wolfe Island business association website featured a news article from a cub reporter and “wind booster” that described the business area of the village as a ghost town: “you could roll a bowling ball down main street and not hit anything.” So much for economic development. Why do you think Prince Edward County is rallying against them. They have assessed the real effect on Wolfe Island and are eager to protect their local economy from decline.

    The reality is that wind does not pave the streets with gold. If you’re lucky, the benefit might pay for a km or paved road per year. And that doesn’t count the cost of social discord, lawyers costs fighting ARB hearings and other lawsuits.

    • Hmmm, I get your point. I sent this letter about three weeks ago … of course there was no response from the Marketing Director in charge of “bearded ladies”.

      To the Marketing Director,

      I was just checking out your promotional brochure, 5,000 Lakes 5,000 Adventures. I always believed that the beautiful Land ‘O’ Lakes region had a lot to offer the travelling public.

      However, for somebody to think that the industrial wind turbines on Wolfe Island are a tourist attraction smacks of sheer desperation.
      Useless, expensive and totally un-green IWTs are becoming the new black plague in Ontario. The general public is quickly becoming educated to the damage these machines inflict on birds, bats and humans, as well as property values. Many people are hoping that Prince Edward County and the Federal Government will be able to come together to create a National Park in the Ostrander Point area, instead of the proposed industrialized turbine zone. PEC has done their homework. Kingston and Wolfe Island, meanwhile, will be left holding the Gerretsen bag, as it were. Well informed vacationers will be giving your area a pass. As for us, we’ll miss our annual dinner at Chez Piggy.

  6. Anything positive would be at the expense of others, neighbours, people who have the right to enjoy their rural homes and live in peace. As well, the electricity costs to every Ontarian negates a greedy landowners and parasitic wind developers positive outcomes. (Cash) I can’t even stand to look at the people who have sold out Haldimand. They make me feel angry and stepped on. I have never had any faith in the MOE. They are the people who thought it was just fine to bury toxic waste in South Cayuga some 30 years ago. We fought them. The only thing that saved us then was when the creek really did flood. Something we had already warned them about. There is nothing good about this plan. I get more fed up every day with greed in the name of green. Green energy is a scam. Unfortunatly the word green has become something we would all be wary of.

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