Bluewater Wind may interfere with Exeter Radar

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Bluewater’s C-A-O told councillors at last night’s special council meeting that tests on the proposed Grand Bend Wind Energy Project indicated some problems with the Exeter Radar station.Steve McCauley explained that tests looked for any kind of interference with telecommunications near the turbines and the consultant found that there would be interference with the Exeter Radar. McAuley added Environment Canada confirmed those findings and said the two would not be able to co-exist without some form of mitigation.

McAuley says suggestions for mitigation included the use of stealth turbine blades or turning the turbines off on days when Environment Canada needed to use the radar to issue weather warnings.McAuley added no agreement on mitigation has been reached at this time. McAuley also suggested the same problem would likely exist with the Goshen Energy Project.

46 thoughts on “Bluewater Wind may interfere with Exeter Radar

  1. “stealth turbine blades”???? is he kidding????
    and how the heck do you know what day a tornado is going to come along so that you could tell the turbines to shut down so the weather station doesn’t miss the storm??
    Am I the only one who finds this all laughable??

    • Oh, I was just thinking the same thing.

      EC person looks out the window and notices funnel clouds in the distance. Tries to get the technicians for Grand Bend Wind Energy (most likely down in Texas) on the phone to stop the turbines so they can check the radar to issue an alert.

      GBWE finally picks up the phone: “What?”

      EC person (laying in a tree 200 feet from where office used to be): “Never mind.”

    • Well— they do S/D the turbines in Altomont pass when there are Condors approaching because they know they are coming because they have radar detection devices which don’t work very well due to the turbines. But the Condors know that already. At least the ones that are left. It’s the same with inclement weather/ tornadoes/ eagles. They will just know. I think the CAO is in the wrong business.

  2. Aw shucks, and here they thought they had a good story.
    Stealth blades. Sounds genuine. Sounds impressive. You don’t buy it?
    Sigh. Back to the drawing board.
    What about super duper blades? The matrix blades?
    Sigh. Gonna have to work overtime on this.

    • Maybe they could put up those new “invisible turbines” that produce “magic green power”….won’t that be just as effective, and much cheaper?

  3. more and more farmers are using GPS guidance on their tractors and I have heard of some farmers complaining about the loss of signal and GPS receivers not working properly where turbines are. Wouldn’t that be something, farmers spent big dollars on GPS units and also have a wind turbine contract that just screwed up their GPS.

  4. CAO McAuley – bright moments
    ‘[excerpt] McAuley says suggestions for mitigation included the use of stealth turbine blades or turning the turbines off on days when Environment Canada needed to use the radar to issue weather warnings.

    The 20 year plan!

  5. Steve McAuley is tap dancing in ballerina slippers … mitigate this Steve!

    He just can’t come right out and say it:
    IWTs cannot be built within a specific distance to the radar dome, period.
    The radar is required to accurately show all types of precipitation be it rain or snowsqualls, not just severe weather.
    Maybe Goderich, that nearby IWT-loving town, would like a little input on the radar’s ability to pick up thunderstorms, downdrafts and particularly, tornadoes.

    • And if it was in fact Environment Canada making those mitigation suggestions … well that’s so crazy it’s right off the radar …

    • The 50km radius zone makes perfect sense but, as we know, the cocky wind turbine pushers know they have complete Carte Blanche in our countryside, whether the obstacle is an airport or eagles’ nest, makes no never-mind to them!

      ‘McAuley … suggests … turning the turbines off on days when Environment Canada needed to use the radar to issue weather warnings.” By George, that sounds SOOO simple! Yes, that should take care of it!

    • The 50km radius zone makes perfect sense but, as the arrogant wind turbine pushers know, they have complete Carte Blanche with our countryside. So it makes no never-mind to them whether the obstacle is an airport or eagles’ nest!

  6. For Goderich you can just use the internet and get U.S. doppler radar. Canada does not have doppler radar which detects tornados anyway. Problem solved for the IWT developers.

    • The equipment at this location is out of date anyway as far as weather detection is concerned and Environment Canada knows this.
      But a real issue would be a small undetected plane could reach the not far away nuclear power plant?

      • Say what?

        There’s nothing to stop a plane, big or small, detected or undetected, radar or no radar, doppler or otherwise, from flying into the Bruce nuclear plant whenever the pilot wishes to do so. What are they going to do, get a farmer with a 30.30 to shoot it down?

        The radar at Exeter, doppler or otherwise, tornado detecting type or not, will eventually be replaced with an upgraded unit , so why put IWTs around that location.

        Why are we even having this ridiculous conversation?

    • Bing/Google: “National Weather Service Doppler Radar Images
      Click on any of the blue dots for enhanced doppler radar images.
      Covers most of southern Ontario and all the way to Thunder Bay. Very easy to use if there is sever weather forecasted. Just follow the blue dots along the Great Lakes.

      • That’s because nothing is going on right now. No storms. Used it last week to track the big snow that went through Ontario last week. It does cover the areas of Ontario where most of the IWTs are being installed.
        Also use it the rest of the year to track severe thunderstorms. Tornados show up as “hook” formations in thunderstorm activity areas on doppler radar.

      • The issue here is that a weather radar station can be lost and people will need to depend on other sources for weather information due to IWT interference.

  7. There’s plenty of snow falling over Georgian Bay and the Ottawa Valley as of 11:00 PM.
    Look at the two links I provided.

    Also, tornado rotation can be picked up by the Canadian radar, I’ve seen it demonstrated.

    • Again the main issue is that IWT developers can take away a radar station which was installed to potect people from severe weather by means of making the station useless. Just come in and take what they want! IWTs take out doppler radar too.
      In summer severe weather can develop very quickly and there willl be no time to shut the turbines down and turn on the radar. At best radar can only provide 30 minutes warning for tornados. Dosen’t leave a whole lot of time to work with!

  8. Wait a second for a minute there it sounded like they all cared about our rural towns being hit by severe weather…..hahahahaha

    Whew we all really know they hope our towns blow away! That way they can sell our province off bit by bit to foriegn lands, think of the money theyll make!

    Getting rid of us is of zero concern. Just another plus side to wind turbines for us to get shafted with.

    Just come up with a cool name and the urbanites will love it! How trendy summerhaven will be now stealth viper hollow!!

    Good lord you wait, something stupid this way comes!!!

  9. Come on folk! Meteorologists still do not have the technology to forecast a single 100% accurate forecast even 24 hours in advance? I went to sea over 50 years ago and nothing has changed!
    Why do we continue to support the wind energy lobby by going along with with their increasingly bizarre and totally unsubstantiated claims?
    ‘Stealth’ wind machine blades? You have to be kidding!
    Every time we go down these infantile paths we give the wind energy industry credibility!
    Forget it! There are no provable or credible reasons to support wind(or solar) as an alternative energy supply. This is already proven.
    We need ways to oppose the Ontario wind energy industry for no other reason than what they are doing is wrong and is directly harming Ontario communities.
    Why on earth would we ever even attempt to debate the Ontario wind energy industry expecting any rational response?
    It’s only about enormous profits for a few private corporations, nothing else. The provincial government will only add to its already unsupportable deficit and already know this.
    Why do these pages still give credibility to what is being done to rural Ontario by engaging in any debate with any wind energy proponent?
    All we should be engaged in is a totally ‘down and dirty’ fight against any wind energy project still not finally approved. Nothing else should matter at all,
    Why attempt to engage with a wind energy industry based on lies that still cannot offer a single provable benefit to any community in Ontario?
    Fight guys, as best we can. Debating with the wind crooks only wastes our valuable time and will never get us anywhere.
    They are crooks, nothing less.
    Andrew Watts


    • FWIW:

      Why not?

      Last week, Vestas announced that it had been working on a way to fix this, using radar-absorbing materials developed by Qinetiq that can be inserted into the blades during manufacture. [Peachy eh? — wr]

      He adds: “Vestas gave us a number of criteria when we embarked on this project,” says Qinetiq’s Roberts. “Minimal cost increase, it had to be incorporated as part of their existing manufacturing process, and it had to be of minimal weight impact.”

      Bringing the stealth turbine to market will still require much development work and, mindful of that, the rest of the industry is not sitting in wait. At last week’s BWEA annual meeting, the Department for Energy and Climate Change announced that, along with the wind industry and the Crown Estate, it had awarded £5m to the defence company Raytheon for a project that will examine how to improve radar software. “We’d like to make the radar more intelligent so it can differentiate between a radar return from a turbine and one from an aircraft,” says Vaughan.

      It is in the Graundian even… When have they ever been wrong?

      • Just in case people miss my point…

        This is a future maybe product that is being touted to solve a problem in the here and now…

        Will officials be stupid enough to misunderstand, miss the point and install the IWT’s not realizing that there is currently no such thing as a “stealth blade” or a “stealth tower” — and that they are creating a clear and present danger?

        You betcha!

      • Further to this…

        Plans to make wind turbines invisible to air traffic control radar systems have taken a major step forward after Vestas revealed today that it has successfully tested stealth technology materials on a full-scale wind turbine.

        Around 20GW of planned wind farms globally face objections from air traffic controllers because turbines interfere with radars near military bases or airports.

        Turbines can reflect radar waves, appearing on radar screens as ‘clutter’ in an unpredictable and confusing way.

        But Vestas hopes to open up new potential wind farm sites by coating blades with a similar material to that used to make stealth bombers invisible to radar.

        However, it has not been tested in “real” applications. In a large wind farm in a busy corridor.

        Planes (other than military) no longer use Radar — but rather transponders — which report ID an location information to “so called RADAR” installations that plot them. Without transponders these systems would now be invisible to military aircraft that do have radar.

        It will be interesting when the first military craft meets a stealth turbine.

        Most small civilian aircraft have neither radar nor transponder equipment to locate nearby aircraft or hazards.

        Dig around if you are interested in the subject.

  10. Right, too much time has been wasted on arguments about the information the wind industry puts out for the public to consume.
    Wind developers come into an area tell people they can mitigate/fix things that their turbines will destroy and everyting will be ok.
    However it has taken a great deal of time to gather the needed information to refute what they say and to identify who will get the money from this scam.

  11. Mitigation Plan 101 by NRWC
    At a Council Meeting in Wainfleet last night a guy called Leggat, speaking as a Stantec consultant on behalf of NRWC clearly stated that they would be monitoring ground wells before during and after construction and if any damage was done to wells they would take action to mitigate any such damage. This all said with a straight face as if it actually made sense.
    There was a recent story in these posts and when NRWC(Randi ‘whatsername’)and (Stantec)Leggat were asked if among their mitigation measures would they consider providing bottled water as acceptable ‘mitigation’ they refused to answer.
    If you’re living in the path of a storm all the radars or transponders in the world won’t stop it hitting you! Whilst being forewarned is nice most intelligent folk should be capable of dealing with bad weather as it happens and survive then worry about any clear up after the storm.
    If these crooks harm the aquifer and our wells they are likely never coming back.
    Andrew Watts

    • Everyone knows that radar can’t stop a storm from moving in but it sure can and has saved countless lives. Even a 15-30 minute warning allows some time to seek shelter. Besides storm fronts can be located before they ever reach an area.
      The issue here is that interfering with radar can result in loss of life. Why do these people think they have the right to do do these things? And who gave them this right?
      Same thing with the water supply!
      Then rural Ontarians are labled as NIMBYS because thay are trying to protect their lives.

      • Have been through several tornados here in southwestern Ontario and you don’t have much time to seek shelter. People learn to listen to what sounds like a train at night in hot sultry weather.

    • Make sure you monitor your own well before any digging begins. That way you have your own benchmark as well in regards to quality.
      If indeed they will be monitoring wells they will need to take samples. They will need to enter peoples’ homes to do so. They will need to make arrangements. So when they show up also be prepared to take a sample at the same time they take their sample. Treat the sample as though it is evidence in a court case. Send it to a certified lab. Keep the results in a safe place. You never know when you might need it.

      • last time I had a water sample tested it was free, I got the sterile bottle at the health unit and dropped the bottle off at the health unit again. Results were in the mail a few days later

      • Was this test just for germs? Wells can be spoiled by other kinds of contamination too.

      • Not being an expert in this area, you should find out WHAT you should be testing for. Typically the Health Unit tests for ecoli and/coliforms that type of issue.
        Those of course are very important.
        With possible disturbances under ground, maybe particulates should be determined. Not sure. Anyone?
        The Health Unit test is very limited.
        Depending on the circumstances and what it is you are testing for you may need to go to a lab. It can get costly. But until I (we) know what it is we are testing for it is hard to estimate the cost.

  12. Northern Life, Feb.12,2013
    “Seven cancellations so far, but safety comes first, consortium says”

    “According to the Sudbury Student Services Consortium, there is a problem with vehicles manufactured after 2010 which makes them hard to run in cold weather.”

    “Changes to the engine design to make them more energy-efficient has had the unfortunate side effect of turning diesel fuel into gel in the extreme cold.”

    Solution: Keep the buses runnning in cold weather and that should make the even more fuel-efficient.

    There are more things happening in Ontario than the general public knows about.

  13. Hi Folks

    I just wanted to clarify, that the suggestion of stealth blades or turning the blades off for Environment Canada was made by the consultant undertaking the impact study for the company proposing the Grand Bend Wind Farm. Unfortunately the interview, didn’t exactly portray that. I brought the issue of the interference to my Council as part of our comments on the Municipal Consultation Form. Myself and Council are extremely concerned about any impacts to the Exeter Radar station, and have asked that the approval for the project be held until such time that Environment Canada is satisfied that the radar can operate with no impacts.
    The consultant’s study can be found here:

    In addition, the following are the Bluewater’s comments contained within the Municipal Consultation Form pertaining to the Exeter Radar:

    Council notes that the study completed by Yves R. Hamel et Associes Inc. (YRH) entitled “Draft Impact Study Identification of Telecommunication Systems” clearly indicates that the Grand Bend Wind Farm will have an adverse impact on the operation of the Exeter Weather Rader operated by Environment Canada. This assertion is confirmed by a representative from Environment Canada through an email contained in the YRH report that states:
    “Our opinion is that the Grand Bend wind farm cannot effectively co-exist with the Exeter weather radar as currently proposed”.
    The Exeter Rader Station is used by Environment Canada to predict not only the weather, but also used to gather data to aid in the issuance of severe weather alerts and watches. Any installation of wind turbines that would impede its operation or worst, result in misleading data, would invariable result in an unacceptable risk to public safety.
    Therefore, based on this information, Council requests that Environment Canada confirm that mitigation plans are in place so that the Exeter Weather Rader station can continue to operate and provide uninterrupted reliable data to Environment Canada prior to issuance of a REA for the Grand Bend Wind Farm.

    I hope this clarifies Bluewater’s position and my comments regarding the impacts the wind farm will have on the Exeter Radar.


    Steve McAuley, C.Tech.
    Chief Administrative Officer
    Municipality of Bluewater

    • Farm equipment dealers have also received complaints from farmers near wind farms that are using GPS guidance (auto steer) on their sprayers and tractors . Some have experienced poor signal quality or complete loss of signal.

    • If IWTs were not allowed to be installed to begin with there wouldn’t be any reason for mitigation. All of these mitigation measures are costing Hydro customers millions of dollars.
      It’s one thing if IWTs were necessary or any good to install them but these horse-and-buggy contraptions do not do what promotes say they will do. They are a waste of money and cause harm!

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