Hey, let’s be nice and share wind turbines with GTA

Toronto - Center of the Universe

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.

Lori Griffin
Port Elgin

77 thoughts on “Hey, let’s be nice and share wind turbines with GTA

  1. I support this plan. Lets start a petition demanding the government follow through with this. We can save Ontarians billions of dollars that would have gone to foreign corporations and some large landowners.
    Good thinking Lori and I feel pretty darn good that this truly is a valid answer to the issues.
    Maybe the government should have been consulting with the citizens all along instead of going with people who have monetary interests in our energy quandry.
    Brilliant!

    • How about pooling our resources and forming an incorporated wind energy company and applying for a huge off-shore project in Toronto?

      • LOL….HEY! I like THAT idea. We just have to bypass the moratorium on offshore wind development. This is where we can use Bill 55 to our advantage, since environmental concerns were the reason for the moratorium in the first place, wasn’t it?

    • BRILLIANT
      Who has drawn up this powerful petition?
      I’d like to be the first to sign the copy from the Clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore IWT ZONE

  2. Stage 2 of the plan is to gather all the wind groups in Ontario, blanket Toronto with petitions and gather thousands of signatures to erect wind turbines along the shoreline. We’ll get a bunch of people to film Torontonians reactions. If they don’t sign the petitions, we use that against them. If we do, then there won’t be any more construction in rural Ontario. Win/win for us.

    This was sent to all MPP’s as well as the Star, the Sun, the Globe and Mail, radio talk shows and various small town newspapers in the most affected areas of the countryside.

    If you want to read the full letter, it’s here….
    http://quixoteslaststand.com/2012/04/26/solution-to-the-great-wind-debate/

    Donna (aka Lori Griffin)

  3. Remember Rick Mercer’s “Talking to Americans”? Imagine “Talking to Torontians” about the lala land and false promises of green energy.

  4. I completely agree! This would be a fantastic solution to the debate.
    ~A Beatutiful Bruce Peninsula Resident

  5. And at least one at Ontario Place, a casino below and a legal brothel next door. Toronto is pretty messed up right now. McGuinty has sure changed his tune from 5 yrs. ago. He didn’t promote gambling, didn’t support the ultimate fighting…. Now he’s into building landfills, large quarries, and messing up our electrical grid. Ruinging rural Ontario and letting the cities and this Province sink into debt.

    • A Liberals wet dream would have a safe injection site along with a turbine, casino, brothels and all day kindergarden all together. Of course you ‘d have LRT’s to get you there.

  6. One question… I haven’t seen posted here. or anyone has mentioned…. How do you get around the 550 meter setback from a residence. as is now law??????? Just a question…..

    • The offshore IWTs can be 550 M and there are lots of commercial and industrial sites in the GTA that can be used. Besides the owners of the non-reisedntial property can make some extra money. Afterall IWTs are safe accodring to the government so no problem anyway. Put solar panels on all the useable roofs in the GTA and there should be plenty of power when the sun shines and the wind blows.

      • Storage problem can be solved by requiring individuals, apartments,condos and business to provide their own electricity storage systems or generators when the sun dosen’t shine and the wind dosen’t blow. Really no need to carpet rural Ontario with IWTs and solar panels.

      • Exactly. The Torontoites should be more than willing to sacrifice their beaches for their cause.
        And we know that the turbines don’t intrude on the view. At least that’s what they keep telling us.

      • The south sides of homes and large buildings can be fitted with varying size solar panels. The GTA may already have enough natural gas supples to be able to use small gas fired backup generators for individual use or larger buildings.

        All the present plan to use rural Ontario to generate electricy does is to provide riches for well connected fatcat good-old-boys. Generate this so called “green” clean electricy in urban areas where it’s needed and where those who are so concerned about their carbon footprints live.

    • Sparky,,,,, If you don’t have enough space on your OWN property for an IWT, you can sign a “Good Neighbour Agreement” (Samsung’s words not mine) and then they can erect one on your neighbour’s property (if your neighbour signs to lease land to an IWT company) within 350m of the “center of YOUR dwelling” (according to their 30+ page document). This takes care of the 550m restriction! That’s what happened to US here in Haldimand! And NO! We DID NOT sign! If 550m is a “safe” distance (which is being disputed) what about 350m?? (Also…. you’re signing a “gag order” that you will NOT complain about health issues, shadow flicker, noise, communications interference etc. etc. after the IWT is operational). There are other restrictions on what you can and cannot do on your OWN property after signing such a lease. These being too many to mention in a post here! Get one of their lease agreements and read it!
      You won’t like what you see!

  7. I think there’s probably room on the Leslie Street Spit for half a dozen turbines.

    According to the Friends of the Spit website ( http://www.friendsofthespit.ca/spit_about.htm ), the spit is home to “an incredible variety of wildlife species”. This would be similar to Point Pelee in Essex County and Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.They tell us that the wind turbines won’t harm the migratory birds in those two areas (both of which are Important Bird Areas), so the spit should certainly be a contender as well.

    Maybe someone should call WPD Canada and let them know.

    • The GTA should have enough space/area to provide all of their electricity needs using a combination of wind and solar. They can also provide their own storage and backup power requirements. All of this of course paid for by GTA residents and businesses.
      The same for all Ontario urban areas.

  8. There was an article in the Hamilton Spectator this week. Burlington wanted to put just ONE on its peer to show its suupport of Green Energy. Guess what, the folks in Burlington say NO!!! Het if it is good for us rural bumpkins, Burlington should enjoy one too!

    • Can you post the link to this story? Provides a good reference to show the attitude of Burlington residents.

    • I think this is something we need to unite and run with. Seriously. We have to take the offensive with this war, instead of the defense. People in the GTA don’t give a crap about our health or property values. Let’s start pushing back in a big way.

      • Yes, let’s roll !!! Time to let the present government know that rural Ontarians know who the well connected fat cat good-old-boys are who are involved in the wind and solar business in rural Ontario.

      • Donna,
        your say,
        ‘People in the GTA don’t give a crap about our health or property values. Let’s start pushing back in a big way.’

        Citizens – in parts of the GTA
        have paid a heavy price because of McGuinty’s ‘green dream’ –

        Do you have your facts – in line?

      • Organize to Win!
        Who’s the target?

        “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’… “…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’ “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” (pps.127-134) Alinsky Method

        Nothing new – used by Alinsky fans – like – ‘occupy’ this that and whatever.

  9. Only for rural Ontario – anything else Dalton listens to the people – He will not put a Casino in Toronto if Toronto does not want one!!!! He will not put a gas plant in Mississauga if Mississauga doesn’t want one!!! He will not put turbines in the lake anywhere near Toronto if Toronto doesn’t want them.!!!

  10. I still say a well placed “insinuation” about the former gas generation site in Mississauga being looked at for wind turbines as a concession to the lawsuit would get some GTA’ers mouthing off about why IWTs would be so inappropriate near people’s homes.

  11. Dalton could make a REAL statement in favour of the GEA! Put a few around the CN Tower! It’s a little over 1800′ tall. Little 600′ turbines wouldn’t even be noticed! Even the 1,000′ monstrosities Lori talks about would be dwarfed in comparison! Let the IWT companies pay rent on THAT land for a change!! Rob Ford could use the extra cash I’m sure! Can’t you see that idea REALLY buying some votes for McGuinty & Horwath next time ’round?

  12. The scummy wind developer salesmen who get leases signed wouldn’t be able to get enough land for even ONE turbine set up in Toronto because of the amount of Real Estate the ugly things require!.
    Off shore of course would be the only route but then you would have the Boulevard Club complaining they would ruin their sailing regattas……and the Beach…….don’t even think about the Beach…………..they wouldn’t be able to hear the waves lashing on the shore for the thump thump of the turbines………….

    • Business and industrial sites might be willing as people don’t live on these sites and only work there. Offshore is easy because this is crown land. People with vaccant property might want to host IWTs. There are all kinds of options availabe here.
      Solar panels can carpet the GTA.
      How the government and people in the GTA handle this problem is their headache. But they must be made responsible for all of their carbon footprints. Like it or not renewable energy is their wave of the future and they can pay for this clean “green” energy as well.

      • There are about 19,000 rooftop acres available in the GTA. Perfect for solar of they want to go “green”. The only place for solar is rooftop. Canada has very little arable land as it is. Every year thousands of acres get gobbled up by development such as homes, roads, etc. We can now add IWT developments – roughly 2 acres/turbine = around 18,000 acres. PLUS solar developments – the largest being Samsung at about 800 acres.

        McTurbine forced the greenbelt on landowners to ensure green space – now he allows agriculture lands to be used for industrial purposes such as IWT’s. What a hypocrite.

    • Green space is sold off for wind turbines as well. Nothing is sacred to McGuinty besides building this poorly planned green scheme.

      • Eco-nuts and developers know that rural land should be reserved for growing corn to make E-85 fuel and not used for solar farms. Solar is best used in urban areas but the present government dosen’t understand this very basic concept.

  13. The real perfect place for turbines is urban Ottawa, Liberal to the core. There is a strech of greenbelt with 2.5 km spacing to any houses, perfect for an IWT site.
    Three years ago a proposal for a private mini turbine in the city area caused neighbours to go all the way to OMB with a legal challenge, sucessfully. The idea of turbines on the greenbelt would drive citizens to apolexy. Yet it is fine for 600 ‘ towers to be proposed for rural Ottawa, with complete civic approval.

      • Correct, rural wards are vastly outnumbered on the council and the mayor is a former Mcguinty cabinet minister. Council eveb failed to pass a mild resolution similar to 70 other municipalities calling for an IWT moratorium.

  14. Green Train Associates Wind Inc are now receiving inquiries and signing contracts for interested partners for a 20 year Government Guaranteed Green initiative.

    For more information for this exciting true Toronto Green Plan..phone text email twitter Mr Slitherman..he can make it happen!

  15. I think this is an excellent strategy… launching a positive campaign that will enable the wishes of urbanites to power their cities with industrial wind and solar installations. There are 1600 parks in Toronto. There are 84 sq km or 20,500 acres of parkland and natural spaces in the city. 13 per cent of the city is occupied by parks. Info source:
    http://www.parkpeople.ca/sites/default/files/resource/PathwayForParks.pdf
    Ideal locations for a minimum of one turbine in each park.

    • Solar panels can be ground mounted wherever there is enough space for even one panel. Yards, parks, public spaces around buildings, school grounds,etc. Wind probably won’t meet all of the GTA’s power needs anyway.
      And solar panels don’t require setbacks. This should have been done to begin with to satisfy all those who feel so guilty about their carbon footprints. Now there are plenty of cheap solar panels available on the world market. Time to get the job done now in the GTA.

  16. $261 million underfunded parks in decay etc…….well, a few thousand turbines just might sort that down town…

    • The GTA can become the city of the future starting next week powered by wind and solar.

      Does Mr. McGuinty have roof solar panels and/or ground mounted yard solar panels? if not then he should lead by example.

      • Forgot. He needs a solar hot water tank on his roof and solar panels on the south side of his house.

  17. Who remembers what the strategy for urban waste management was originally supposed to be as idealized by the city planners of the 60s and 70s? Though shalt look after your own garbage! You do not ship it elsewhere. You deal with it within your own municipal borders….. Etc etc etc. Ok… how about a similar plan for dealing with electrical energy? Draw a border around the GTA ….. all power consumed within that boundary must be generated within that boundary. Seems fair to me……

  18. In all seriousness; McGuinty could introduce a new tax for Torotonians to pay for their own industrial wind turbines. Toronto could pay the wind companies their subsidies as well as pay the Americans to take their excess energy.
    Ureka! This would also be an excellent opportunity to promote the Arts. Colour! Design! Big, beautiful swirls of color created by the turning of the blades!
    Toronto people could rig up heated shelters for the homeless! The opportunities are endless.
    Toronto people love green energy. They have absolutely no problems with industrial wind turbines.
    What a wonderful new conception of the “FIT” program. “A perfect fit”, indeed.

  19. We have a Mayor here in Haldimand who would be glad to help out with a commercial for Tv to show the people of Toronto how good of an idea it really is and he could also make a deal with the energy companies for a Vibrancy Fund, a win win for The People of Toronto.

    • Oh, I LOVE it! I have family who are members of the Environmental Defense group (they’re pro-wind) and they promised to get at least 100 signatures for this. They also think that the GTA is shirking their responsibilities in this regard.

      If McGuinty’s going to build these damned turbines no matter what we say, he can darn well build the rest of them where the gluttony for energy is the greatest.

      • The GTA a world class urban area powered by only THEIR OWN wind and solar. No power is supplied from outside their own borders except for their own private individual natural gas fired backup generators or from batteries.

  20. We need greater media attention. During the next demonstration we need to build a model wind turbine in some part of Toronto-perhaps a few hundred of them placed in strategic parts of the GTA. On the blades should be the following names: Crawley, Smitherman, McGuinty. On the shaft should be:Totalitarian Green Energy Act. And on the base, should be: It’s Never Too Late to Do the Right Thing. The mock towers could be made from paper tubing but not made in such a way that it could fall over and hurt someone.

  21. I love your enthusiasm guys and hate to rain on your parade, but the Green Energy Act accepts 550mtrs! Difficult to put anywhere in Toronto where they all claim they want them!
    And Barbara – Ontario’s set back distance offshore is 5kms, not 550mtrs. Denmark and the UK recently increased their minimum setback for offshore to 10 & 12kms so McGuinty still stays on track as the liar he is where ‘Ontario’s strict standards’ are concerned.
    And quite frankly, as a long time marine environmentalist and diver I’m not sure I can support any insane plans for offshore wind energy projects which will inevitably cause long term harm to the marine environment any more than the onshore ones we are trying to halt!
    We, as members of our communities, did have a choice and yet have allowed this situation to come about. Last I heard, the marine life haven’t even been consulted……….. 🙂
    I think the only ones with any legislative authority to prevent any more of these abominations being built are our own elected Councils. They have a legal obligation to protect the best interests of their communities with specific regard to both public health and property.
    We need to encourage every local Council who have had the courage to approve any Bylaws, in their attempts to prevent IWT projects to go ahead, to enforce those Bylaws and inform those wind energy companies threatening their communities of the fact. On the basis of public health and property value concerns they have that authority, regardless of the GEA.
    It’s time to stop allowing the wind energy companies to do no more than hide behind the GEA and get our locally elected politicians to actively go after them! Past experience shows that no one else will! Once these things are built we are screwed and there can be no turning back.
    Those suffering them already can only look forward to perhaps some redress from the provincial government, but until one community can successfully stop one IWT project then that is also unlikely. We have to stop them and stop them now!

    • Again I say, look at the example of the CAW turbine here in Port Elgin. It’s placed in a parking lot, just 10 metres from soccer fields, 210 metres to the nearest residence, and 60 homes within the 550 setback. If it can be done here, it potentially can be done anywhere, Including Toronto

    • Now 5kms offshore but this government can do anything it wants to do. 550 meters won’t require as much underwater cable.

  22. There is absolutely no reason that Wind Turbiness cannot be installed in High Park and along the freeway corridors. Also there is lots of room along the waterfront and the turbines can be installed as close to the shoreline as one might wish. There are no technical reasons not to install Wind Turbines throughout Toronto. The parks would be expecially useful as homes for these wind turbines that are so urgently needed.

    In general the people in Toronto are friends of Green Energy and may sign waivers to allow the turbines as close to their houses as conbstruction techniques will allow.

    Many areas of High Park and other parks throughout Toronto could be infilled with Solar Cell installations as well to assist Toronto in fighting the wnergy starvation that is gripping Ontario.

    Write the Mayor and counsellors of Toronto to encourage them to participate in this vital and necessry program.

    We should also encourage the city of Ottawa to adopt a more forward looking approach. They need wind turbines as well to server their energy starved homes.

    Cheers!

    • >>>>There is absolutely no reason that Wind Turbiness cannot be installed in High Park and along the freeway corridors.<<<<

      As a matter of fact, if they used the Darius vertical shaft design they could plop a nice tight row of them right in the middle between the north and south lanes of the Don Valley (or any other freeway). That way, the breeze created by both the northbound and southbound traffic could be used to spin the rotors and drive generators. The guilty conscience of the drivers could be assuaged as they could start to feel good about all the greenhouse gases their cars are producing since at least they are recapturing the energy in the breeze they creates. Come on Toronto, it’s time you start to do YOUR part!! Stop being a bunch of NIMBYS!

    • Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford – is a ‘Conservative Mayor’ –
      fighting the boot of the Green Lobby in Toronto.

      The ‘green lobby’ cabal attack him constantly – hopefully you have noticed.
      I would be more inclined to congratulate him on his efforts.
      What’s your point?

      • And yes, there is a wind corporation eying – High Park – for wind turbines.
        Of course, if that happens – we all – contribute to the lavish – Fit tariff –
        Again – what’s your point?

  23. Everyone stay tuned. We’re going to try to organize this and we’ll need help. Even if you can just get people you know who are prowind or greenies from T.O. to sign them. That’s a start.

  24. They will never go for it!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/supreme-irony-wind-farms-can-cause-atmosphereic-warming-finds-a-new-study/#more-62319

    Supreme irony: wind farms can cause atmospheric warming, finds a new study:
    While ironic that something designed to reduce CO2 emissions (and presumably warming)is actually producing warming around it, this isn’t really any big surprise. Orchardists and vineyard operators in California have been using motor driven wind turbines to elevate local temperatures to save crops from frost for over half a century. What is different here is the scale of nighttime warming, large enough to be visible on MODIS satellite imagery thanks to large scale wind farms.

    WIND TURBINES CAUSE WARMING OF THE CLIMATE!

    There is a link to the original paper at the Roger Pielke Jr. Site!

    • Well there you go. I think that a basis for the marketing message theme is there…..it just needs to be developed and fine tuned for the greenies of the GTA.

      BAN WIND TURBINES TO REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING. DO YOUR PART TO SAVE THE PLANET!!!! WE WANT COAL!! WE WANT COAL!! DO IT FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHILLUN!!

  25. Pingback: 22 Turbines for Toronto « Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group

  26. Pingback: Wind Turbines for Toronto!!!!! « The Big Green Lie

  27. You just can’t do all of this without “MUSIC”……how ’bout “THE TURBINE SHUFFLE”?
    It could contain lyrics like….”one for me two for you, come on big city don’t be blue
    cause we’ll help you get your quota too”
    Send this to Goldhawk to challenge the songwriters out there

  28. I’m not sure if this is still an active post, but since the Liberals are now proposing reducing the 550 meter setbacks for wind turbines, perhaps the idea of building wind turbines in Toronto is not such a far-fetched idea after all.

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