NextEra wind turbine power lines creating problematic ‘induced voltage’ for Union Gas

by Harvey Wrightman
Try as we might to get proper recognition and proper assessment of the dangers of  “stray voltage”, both the MOECC and the wind companies vigorously opposed any degree of scrutiny whether at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings or the project appeals at the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).  The stock response from wind company flunkies was that “stray voltage” was a problem for Hydro One and was not caused by wind turbines or associated equipment.

It all began in early March 2015, from local reports in the NextEra Adelaide wind project:

March 5 – resident calls in power outage. Hydro One rep is not aware of any scheduled outage, but several Hydro trucks are seen in the wind project area and the turbines are off. Hydro rep says, “to ask the guys driving around…” ???

March 18 – resident reports, “So, we had another hydro outage today…Bell phone and internet is out. A Bell recorded message says, it is out in the area til 10:30 PM on Friday !!!!!” –  3 days away. By coincidence (surely), turbines are not operating.

April 21 – Union Gas Rep talks:

Resident:  What about stray voltage?

Union Gas Rep: How’d you know about that?

Resident: I guess that Gas and Bell trucks don’t normally work weekends, do they?

Union Gas Rep: (head hanging down) No, they sure don’t…. It’s been a nightmare with Hydro having stray voltage like crazy.

Apparently Union Gas is confident enough to offer some detail in this application for a work permit submitted  to Adelaide-Metcalfe Township on August 10, 2015.

“To install on existing pipe, Cathodic protection to mitigate induced voltage from Nextera Power Lines. (Kerwood Rd, Cuddy Drive, Langan Dr). Mitigation wires to be installed using directional drilling at 1.5m or as close to fence line (P/L) as possible and 1m below any drains that are to be crossed.”
union gas stray current


One would think that Union Gas would have run this past their legal staff before pointing the finger at NextEra.

The collector lines that gather all the power produced by a wind project are now commonly buried on leaseholder lands and municipal roadways (municipalities can’t stop them). Not only is current leakage possible, it has been happening ever since the projects were built – basically existing in a grey, no-man’s-land area of regulation – the OEB does not oversee them like they do the larger lines. At 34,000kV – they represent a huge amount of electrical power that is also quite dangerous if not properly contained. Minimum depth of earth cover is only one metre and there minimal inspection to ensure that.

Moreover, the cables are grounded to earth periodically. If there are power surges, or interruption of power flow to the grid, the instantaneous response is to dump the excess to the ground. In a conventional power plant, ground rods are driven deep into the earth to ensure that surges are not picked up by local features – i.e. the surface water flows, local power lines. Wind turbines and their collector systems are more shallowly grounded and can enter the local surface features. Union Gas is saying just that in its application. The effect of siting wind turbines over a large area exposes a great many “receptors”, be they buildings, animals or people, to the effects of random power surges. This cannot be good.

This represents a huge regulatory gap that will only get worse as renewable energy projects expand.

31 thoughts on “NextEra wind turbine power lines creating problematic ‘induced voltage’ for Union Gas

    • Can you imagine what it feels like to people who were born and raised here in Ontario and have lived in their rural homes for 3-4 decades, and now have their homes surrounded by turbines and infrastructure and their environment turned into a soundscape that is absolutely unnatural when they were used to deep silence and the sweet sounds of nature? These people have had no recourse whatsoever! All of this was done, against their will and without their consent! All who are responsible for this travesty consistently ignore them…don’t even respond to letters of appeal regarding adverse health impacts and property value losses and all of the serious distress they’re experiencing. Any responses these people get are letters insisting that these turbines and their infrastructure/substations are “in compliance”.
      This is Ontario?

      • Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation calls it “deliberate government sanctioned abuse.”That is precisely what it is.
        The amazing thing to me is that we now know that there is no need to sacrifice rural people to this ineffective attempt to mitigate global warming/climate change/climate disruption. We don’t need to be ruining people’s lives in order to ‘save the planet’ and yet hard core ideologically oriented ‘save the planet’ with faux green zealotry intransigents still judge victims of industrial wind turbines and their infrastructure harshly.
        Where else in Ontario do we tolerate this “abuse” and negligence?

  1. If Cathodic protection has to be installed on gas pipelines, then these costs will show up on customers gas bills.

    But if you don’t use gas, then no cost to you.

    An environmental issue if there is evidence that stray voltage kills plants and animals. Quite a job to prove this in the case of soil organisms.

  2. If you do some digging I think you find sections of steel gas main in parts of Ontario have been cut out and plastic put in to keep stray wind turbine voltage from traveling….. I was treating it as hearsay but looks like what I heard may have legs.

  3. Open any large green box hiding the underground turbine line connections near the Lake Erie shoreline in Haldimand County and you will see these lines lying in water. Can anyone tell us can the stray voltage not carry further through the watershed? We asked but did not receive an answer.
    Careful where you chose to walk fellow Ontario citizens …….
    Union Gas lines dont exist along our shoreline ………………an old private gas line along Lakeshore Road was closed off before the buried Hydro lines were installed …they said this line was leaking natural gas as it had been there way too long.
    Guess the Hydro lines became a danger much quicker than any Natural Gas line!!!
    Why is this information kept a secret?…….Thanks for letting our tribunal members know we were correct all along about the stray voltage problem.
    Another lie by the wind companies, and their witnesses.

    • Just because cables are travelling in water does not constitute stray voltage. You have many areas, particularly in cottage country, where electrical cables are laid right in the water to get ot islands and such. As i said before, stary voltages are no the sole domain of wind companies, and they are not new..
      “Stray voltages” will try and return to the the production source through they shortest, easiest path possible. Thats the way electricty works. If a water path happens to be the shortest easiest path, then so be it.
      i am certainly not a wind or solar supporter, but I am an extremely strong proponent of getting the knowledge of technology right. There seems to be a misunderstanding on this topic which is now all the rage. What gives? Why?

  4. “An environmental issue if there is evidence that stray voltage kills plants and animals. Quite a job to prove this in the case of soil organisms.”

    ….how about the stray voltage entering homes and barns. Jumping from turbine cables onto utility services entering the homes. There is ample evidence of the harm it causes. When you have a government who is supporting industry in haphazard, speedy, reckless installations then you have dire consequences. David Colling brought this issue to the gov’t attention in 2008/09 and they did NOTHING to address it. The harm continues to pile up Ontario. ERT’s are designed to fail no matter how much evidence you produce. The designers of the GEA policy are brutal and heartless sociopaths, moreso the politicians with the power to do something about it and refuse to.—-goderich-submission.html
    The photos of cows bleeding from their noses and burnt hoofs are horrible and not posted. The fact that they had to wear rubber boots when doing the dishes, suffered rashes and other serious health impacts wasn’t enough for authorities to act. No, even though they admitted to the problem hydro one blamed the developer and the developer claimed the lines were hydro ones responsibility. The Brindleys couldn’t handle it and longer and had to abandon.

    • The problem is “evidence” that will stand up in court. There are people who could supply this “evidence” that farm animals are harmed but they choose not to do so.

      Trees can be killed by natural gas leaking into the ground. So if you have both lines in the same location and trees die then prove which killed the trees.

      Soil samples could be taken to determine which organisms live where lines or infrastructures are to be installed and then checked after installation. But who is going to pay for all of this?

      If this renewable energy scheme was ended in Ontario then potential billion dollar deals would be ended such as seen in the $2 B Invenergy saga the last few months which involved some Ontario projects.

      • Ending “green energy” will not stop “stray voltage” though.

      • True John, but if these projects weren’t installed there would be no stray voltage problems from them.

        Have you done much on the cost to build solar farms? Cost/MW?
        Information seems to be difficult to obtain?

    • So what are you doing about it? What do you plan to do?
      What is the point of the complaints without suggestions or plans on how to approach the issue. Tired to death of all the examples of the insanity without also seeing ways to cause change.

      Where is your letter writing campaign to the industries in the “grey area” of this topic. What about the Township or Municipal Insurance companies involved in the Road ways where these are supposedly planted to an uncertain depth? Is the Municipality responsible if someone gets hit with this stray voltage? What would be the likely result of contact with humans, cattle. vehicles etc.? and what would be the likely ‘fallout’ to the township or town or city?

      Look to the liability issues resulting from an incident. Speak to Insurers and the organizations that are accountable. There is always a way in to these advocacy issues BUT NOT if all the energy is used playing the ‘aint it awful’ game.

      Let us know if you find a way in. I would start with the Liability issues and present the findings to all Municipal Councils. Create a proposed Motion and support it with documentation from experts. Start with the Union Energy work order and BRING IT INTO THE LIGHT. Shine a very bright light on it and don’t just preach to the choir here. Collect signatures; provide documents specifically called “Intention to Sue” should anyone be hit. Deliver these documents to the Principal Players.

      Find out which Ministers signed away our safety in relation to this issue and pursue them publicly. Attend their events and ask those questions. Dog them all so they understand how we all feel attacked in our own province with our own representatives.

      Pursue a Class Action Lawsuit based on the Provincial Government’s Oath of Office. We must start holding the signing Ministers and officials accountable by charging them with “BREACH OF THE PUBLIC TRUST” and demand they explain themselves to us all!

      Get right down to the CORE OF ALL OF THIS: BREACH OF THE PUBLIC TRUST.


      there, now I feel better,
      Linda Roberts,
      Chairperson of
      Protect Lorrain Valley Coalition and
      owner of Voice from the Bush
      (off grid living and communications technology company)
      voice from the bush and protect lorrain valley on facebook

      our motto here in the bush: “just do it”.

  5. Barbara:
    I’ve tried to get detailed information on solar costs and capacity factors. Best I can get on capacity factors is in the 10% category. I’ve tried IESO, but they are reticent about giving out information. I tried a solar company advertising on facebok. they sent me a tie in to their company demonstration unit. The computer read out only lasted for a month, then they cut me off. the results were consistent with what i expected.
    So, no, I haven’t been able to find any definitive information on construction versus MW costs. They keep that and the real outputs very close to the vest.
    Re stray voltage. how do you seperate stray voltage as a result of wiind mills verus that as a result of bad ground on an electrical fence wire system?

    • True John, you can’t.

      Renewable energy includes solar farm projects. Some information is available on what projects are sold for but not what they cost. So can’t determine how much money is taken out of solar & wind farm projects.

      Another check of SEDAR & SEC filings could be done but you get projects lumped together in financial records with no individual project costs supplied.

      Financial information on private companies is not available.

      Ballpark figures do help in some degree.

    • Raleigh Wind farm and two Ontario solar farms are now owned by a YieldCo company , TerraForm Power,acquired from Invenergy the former owners.

      Who knows what this will mean in the future?

      • A positive affect;
        Ontario a cash cow for privateers!
        How do you know if it’s robbery?

        20 July 2015
        UNITED STATES: SunEdison will issue $800 million in “green bonds” as it begins the initial public offering (IPO) for its TerraForm Global yieldco subsidiary.

        ‘[excerpt] SunEdison acquired Invenergy’s North American portfolio to be held by its TerraForm yieldco subsidiary

        SunEdison has applied for listing of its yieldco on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Alongside the IPO, TerraForm Global will also issue $800 million in green bonds. The offering is subject to market conditions.

        Green bonds are used to fund projects with a positive affect on the environment. TerraForm will use the proceeds from the bonds to invest in renewable energy projects. In particular, it will be used to finance equipment and systems for producing renewable energy, TerraForm said.

        TerraForm Global is the yieldco set up by renewable energy developer SunEdison. It is used to hold interests in a range of renewable energy portfolios across the globe, outside the US.’

        7 July 2015
        SunEdison acquires 930MW Invenergy portfolio

        NORTH AMERICA: SunEdison and its yieldco subsidiary Terraform Power will buy a 930MW portfolio of seven contracted wind power plants from Invenergy Wind LLC, the latest in a flurry of high-profile acquisitions by SunEdison.

        [excerpt] Under the terms of the $2 billion deal, Terraform will take immediate ownership of 460MW, paying for it through a combination of cash, new bond financing and $450 million in non-recourse project debt.

        The remaining 470MW will be acquired by a new warehouse facility, sponsored by SunEdison and third party equity investors, to hold the assets until they are sold to Terraform in the future.

        The seven wind projects, located in Canada and the US, have a weighted average remaining contract life of 19 years and are expected to generate $141 million of annual cash flow. Invenergy will retain a 9.9% stake in the US assets.

        Invenergy plans to use the proceeds to invest in future projects. “As an independent, privately held company, this transaction is consistent with how we finance growth in our capital-intensive industry,” says CFO Jim Murphy.

        The companies have also agreed to a continuing partnership, providing SunEdison and Terraform with the opportunity for future acquisitions from Invenergy’s 6.6GW operating portfolio and 2.5GW of additional projects under construction or contract.

        Last week, SunEdison signed a memorandum of understanding to form a project development joint venture with Gamesa. The JV would acquire up to 1GW of Gamesa’s pipeline to develop, with a focus on India and Mexico.

        SunEdison recently acquired Indian wind project developer Continuum and its 1.4GW portfolio, and Central American renewables developer Globeleq Mesoamerica and its 569MW porfolio.

        Manufacturer GE also acquired a stake in Terraform and will provide servicing support to the yieldco’s portfolio.’

        Stupid Ontario Liberals!
        Pass it on…………..

      • TerraForm Power has some interesting U.S. VIP connections.

      • Bloomberg News, Oct.5, 2011

        GE Providing Financing for Invenergy Wind Project in Michigan

        Project financing:

        Equity financing: GE
        Debt financing: Provided by other parties named in this press release.

        GE supplying 133 ,1.6 MW turbines for the project in Gratiot County, Michigan.

        Equity financing is investing in a project.
        Debt financing is loaning money for a project.

      • Current events………and just watching
        Goldman Sach – and partnerships!
        Oh yeah!
        [you can read for yourself]

        Personal Finance | Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:33pm EDT
        Related: Money
        SunEdison, Goldman Sachs funds form $1 billion investment vehicle

        U.S. solar company SunEdison Inc said it would form a $1 billion warehouse investment vehicle along with funds managed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc to fund construction and buy operating assets.

        West Street Infrastructure Partners III and its affiliates, managed by Goldman Sachs, will provide $300 million equity for the investment vehicle, WSIP Warehouse, SunEdison said.

        A syndicate of banks including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp and Deutsche Bank AG will provide commitments of $700 million debt. Of this, $500 million will be a five-year term loan and $200 million a four-year revolving credit facility.

        SunEdison will have the option to expand the facility by up to $1 billion.

        “The WSIP Warehouse expands our capacity beyond our existing $1.5 billion First Reserve Warehouse and the $500 million dollar TerraForm Private Warehouse,” SunEdison Chief Financial Officer Brian Wuebbels said on Monday.

        TerraForm Power Inc, a unit of SunEdison, will have an exclusive call right over the warehoused assets, the company said.

        SunEdison agreed in July to buy Vivint Solar Inc, the second-biggest U.S. solar panel installer, in a deal valued at about $2.2 billion to speed up its expansion in the booming residential solar market.

        Up to Monday’s close of $14.68, SunEdison’s shares had fallen about 25 percent this year.

        Positioning – and the sale of Hydro One!
        – who do you think – can’t wait?

      • August 18, 2015
        Wow! Obama drives down coal company stocks, and Soros buys them on the cheap

        I have always believed that global warming is a gigantic scam, driven by greed and lust for power. Now comes the shocking news, via Steve Milloy writing on Breitbart, that following President Obama’s use of CO2 emissions as a weapon to drive major coal companies near bankruptcy, the ultimate politically connected speculator George Soros is buying up stock in major coal producers on the cheap.

        Wynne Liberals shut down coal plants – just for fun!
        The liberal mainstream media – dead.
        Election Year Canada!
        October 19, 2015
        Vote Conservative!

        Good Luck Canada!

      • I love a good position!

        June 15, 2015
        ORDER (Section 80 of the CFA)

        UPON the application (the Application) of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (the Principal Adviser) and Goldman Sachs Asset Management International (the Sub-Adviser) to the Ontario Securities Commission (the Commission) for an order, pursuant to section 80 of the CFA, that the Sub-Adviser (and individuals engaging in or holding themselves out as engaging in the business of advising others when acting on behalf of the Sub-Adviser in respect of the Sub-Advisory Services (as defined below) (the Representatives) be exempt, for a specified period of time, from the adviser registration requirements in paragraph 22(1)(b) of the CFA when acting as a sub-adviser for the Principal Adviser for the benefit of the Clients (as defined below) regarding commodity futures contracts and commodity futures options traded on commodity futures exchanges (the Contracts) and cleared through clearing corporations.

        it’s so honest – you really can’t imagine
        what they are thinking!

      • Check out Tom Adam’s website for OPG and SunEdison to partner in three ground mounted solar projects.

  6. I know – I would love it – if I understood it;
    seriously – I need a car with an executive seat!

    A presentation by Peter Love
    Chief Energy Conservation Officer
    to Growing the Margins Conference
    April 12, 2007

    The Globe and Mail
    Jan. 27, 2007:
    Welcome to the new climate
    First Hand

    OPA to lead, coordinate, facilitate [2014, gangsters take over IESO}

    Fast forward:
    2014 Mandate letter: Energy

    Premier’s instructions to the Minister on priorities for the year 2014

    Election Year Canada!
    October 19, 2015
    Vote Conservative!

    Good Luck Canada!

    • Election Year Canada!
      Vote Conservative!

      Just in case you were wondering………….
      – what a Liberal/NDP leadership @ the – federal level of government
      would look like;
      Agenda 21;
      for example – Ontario!

      Mandate Letters 2014-2015

      Read the mandate letters Premier Wynne wrote to each Cabinet Minister, outlining the key priorities for their ministry.

      Note: farming as you have known it – is dead.
      Election Year Canada
      October 19, 2015
      Vote Conservative!

      p.s. why are the liberals and NDP – so secretive?
      p.p.s ……It’s in plain sight!!!!!!!


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