By Lori Griffin London Free Press
With all of the debate raging about wind turbines, I have a simple suggestion that I think would solve the entire issue. It appears the vast majority of residents of the Greater Toronto Area, Burlington, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and all the way out to Oshawa support Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Green Energy Act. The shorelines of Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie have already taken on their fair share of turbines. Why are there not an equal number dotting the shoreline of Lake Ontario, specifically in the Toronto area? You could easily fit 2,000, 2.5-MW turbines from Hamilton to Oshawa, thus attaining McGuinty’s goal of 10,000 MW in one fell swoop. Plus, it would solve many other problems.The power would be produced closest to where it is most used and needed. It would help reduce that area’s dependency on fossil fuel and its carbon footprint and improve air quality.
You wouldn’t have the transmission problems and costs because you could tap directly into the grid right where it’s needed most.
McGuinty wants to be known as a world leader in the green energy movement. What greater feather to put in his cap than to be able to state that one of the largest cities in Canada, is powered by its own turbines?
I’m not talking about a dozen or so turbines. I mean one every 150 metres (500 feet) – from Hamilton to Oshawa, just like they’re doing all over rural southern Ontario. And if you zigzag them, you could put in twice as many.
And not little 90-metre (300-foot) turbines like the one at Exhibition Place. They should be the same size as in rural Ontario – 180 metres (600 feet) tall. Or even better the newest size – 300 metres (1,000 feet) tall. Imagine the power you could generate with those.
There would no longer be the need for the FIT program, which pays farmers billions of dollars over 20 years for the use of their land. Since the Green Energy Act can decide where to put these industrial structures, why can’t the Liberal government expropriate all of the Lake Ontario shoreline and build to its heart’s content?
It would satisfy environmentalists in the GTA who accuse rural Ontario of NIMBYism. They could lead by example.
And finally, it would preserve the much-needed fertile farmland for food production and eliminate the need to encroach on fragile ecosystems and nature areas. Rural residents can once again turn their attention to the farming and urban residents can do their part by producing their own energy.
With all of these positives, why has it not yet been done? When are the residents of Toronto and the GTA going to petition the McGuinty government for full turbine construction all along the GTA shoreline (as well as off-shore)? Why does the responsibility, for providing the GTA with its vast demand for power rest in the lap of rural Ontario? Can anyone answer these questions? I’ll wait.