Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed /turbine/yr

Yesterday the CD arrived with loads of Bird and Bat Mortality Reports that I had filed an FOI from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for last year, and you good people had funded. I’m slowly organizing and will get them all posted shortly.

But for starters I came across five reports for Mohawk Point Wind Project, a 6 turbine project in Haldimand County. I didn’t know much about this one – it was never in the news… sort of flew under the radar. It came on around the time of the Clear Creek turbines in Norfolk County.

This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since.

Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason.

Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report.

How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you?

Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?

Perhaps I’m too soft, but my thinking is 25 bats per turbine is atrocious (I mean, 10 is the MNRF’s limit). And as for Little Browns, they usually only make up a percent or two – not HALF of the kill! It’s an endangered species for crying out loud!

Okay, based on these insane numbers, why didn’t they SHUT DOWN the project? Oh they mitigated instead, and they believe they brought it down to a more reasonably atrocious number of 24.27 bats killed per wind turbine/year by 2013. That puts you all at ease, doesn’t it? I mean shouldn’t we be happy for the success of this ‘mitigation’ even though it is still double the legal limit?

Not so fast. Think about this – female Little Browns have just one offspring a year. After 5 years of 6 turbines decimating 85 bats each (give or take), how many do you really think are left in those local colonies? Pretty damn sure that number is dropping rapidly by the oh-so-natural process of “wind turbine selection”.

And as for you, dear Crawely, at least you have the current claim of creating the biggest bat killing “farm” in the country. Now that should make the green Liberals proud.

Esther Wrightman

[With only an initial look at some reports I hope this is as bad as it gets for bat kills in this country. As the bird and bat mortality reports are slowly uncovered, the numbers just seem to get worse and worse. I never imagined it could get this low, but then again nobody was releasing this info to the public, so how were we to know? Maybe some company will outdo Crawley on this one yet…heck, maybe even some of Crawley’s other projects could claim this title too…]

10 thoughts on “Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed /turbine/yr

  1. Can’t thank you enough for doing this Esther. This is very important. From the time the GEEA details became public it was clear that the MNR was told to make this happen and down play impacts. Later my conversations with biologists working for companies actually doing the studies for wind developers confirmed this. They told me the whole process was flawed and rushed to the point the gov’t really had no clue whether their setbacks to significant habitat and mortality levels were appropriate.
    Not knowing how to design wind development for wildlife (or people) they just decided to treat a turbine as if it was a building. Provided the structure couldn’t fall on a bat maternity roost for example, it was OK in the minds of the GEEA creators.
    What bio-diversity conscious gov’t would institute a broad scale deployment of wind turbines at a time when pretty much all bat species here are struggling to survive? Particularly when it provided so little benefit to Ontario’s already clean electricity system.

    • You are so right Robert. It is obviously “top down” or this wouldn’t have happened. What blows my mind is that hundreds of people enabled this government to continue backing these wind companies dangerous projects, knowing that this would be the end disaster. Think of Bird Studies Canada – they HAVE this data and didn’t say a word about it all these years! Or how about the MNRF – we pay these people to enable corporations to continue to kill endangered species without any penalty? I’ll never forget the real name for them: Ministry of No Refusals.

    • I can’t help but think how these numbers would have helped appellants at dozens of ERT’s in the past. But it begs the question – knowing that the bat kills are out of this world (worse than we could have predicted, or the wind company OR the MNRF predicted), shouldn’t they shut the damn things down now? Every year they continue to operate, thousands more bats are killed, until the population is gone. This is simple math!

      • They killed an 270 endangered species in a single year! Who the hell besides the Liberal Pres gets away with that?!!

  2. Kill enough each year and numbers will decline to a point where they are ‘acceptable’. Seems to be the direction being pursued. Species be damned.

    • I think you are right Walter. Its fairly predictable that mortality levels would eventually drop, but only because populations were reduced by either turbine kills or the abandonment of the habitat. Its doubtful a Bobolink or Redtail learns to avoid a turbine blade, as their first experience is also their last

  3. Notice THE DATES:

    CanWEA news release, 07/18/2008:
    [webpage removed?]

    “AIM PowerGen Commissions Projects Under Ontario’s Renewable Energy Standard Energy Offer Program

    Toronto, Canada (July 18, 2008) – AIM PowerGen Corp. (AIM) announced today the commissioning of the Frogmore and Cultus wind farms. The projects, developed under Ontario’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, each have a total installed capacity of 9.9 megawatts (MW) and will produce enough power to supply 3,000 average households for one year.
    AIM PowerGen CEO Mike Crawley commented that these projects are among the first to be built under the Standard Offer Program. “We are pleased that Frogmore and Cultus wind farms are now on-line and providing clean, renewable energy to the province. …
    The wind farms, located in Norfolk County on the northern shore of Lake Erie, are each comprised of six Vestas V82 1.65 MW turbines. …
    These are the first of four projects that AIM expects to commission in Ontario this summer. The Clear Creek Wind Farm, also in Norfolk County and the Mohawk Point Wind Farm, in Haldimand County, are expected to come on-line later this year. Construction on these wind farms is complete and AIM is finalizing interconnection issues with the local distribution company prior to commercial operation.
    AIM PowerGen Corporation (AIM) is a wind power developer, owner and operator based in Toronto, Ontario. AIM takes wind power projects from initial concept through testing and permitting to construction and operation. Founded in 2001, AIM has quickly grown to become one of Canada’s largest wind power developers. AIM is a subsidiary of REG Ltd. (Renewable Energy Generation) of the United Kingdom.
    For more information, please contact:
    David Timm
    Vice-President, Strategic Affairs
    AIM PowerGen Corporation”
    http://www.canwea.ca/media/release/release_f.php?newsId=28

    • http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/052/details-eng.cfm?pid=46082
      Canadian Environmental Assesment Agency
      Home > Archives > 08-01-46082
      Archived – Mohawk Point Wind Farm
      Dunnville (ON)

      “Archived Content
      Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. …

      Responsible or Regulated Authorities: Natural Resources Canada

      Reasons for a Federal Assessment
      On November 21, 2008, it was determined that an environmental assessment was required in relation to the project because Natural Resources Canada considered providing financial assistance to the proponent.

      Project Description (as posted in the Notice of Commencement)
      AIM SOP Phase 1 GP Inc. on behalf of AIM SOP Phase 1 LP or AIM (the proponent) proposed to develop a small scale wind farm (the Mohawk Point Wind Farm) located 6.1 km east of the mouth of the Grand River and east of the municipality of Dunnville, in eastern Haldimand County, south western Ontario. The project consists of 6 turbines each with a unit generating capacity of 1.65 MW, for a total nominal capacity of 9.9 MW. … of six Vestas V82 wind turbine generators (WTG)…
      For the purposes of this Environmental Assessment, the scope of the project includes the construction, operation, maintenance, modification and subsequent decommissioning of the proposed wind farm.

      Final Decision
      A decision was taken on May 1, 2009 and was that the authority may exercise any power or perform any duty or function with respect to the project because, after taking into consideration the screening report and taking into account the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, the authority is of the opinion that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

      Follow-up Program
      It was determined that a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment and/or determine the effectiveness of any measures taken to mitigate the adverse environmental effects is required for this project. For further information or to obtain a copy of the follow-up program, please contact Natural Resources Canada.

      Date modified: 2012-12-05″

      • We didn’t get reports for Frogmore, Cultus, Clear Creek or Port Burwell. I asked. Do you think they would have submitted them under some other name, or IPC just never did these reports for those projects? That would be odd because they did the one for Mohawk Point at the very same time. OR, were they so damning they’ve “disappeared”? That’s always a possibility.

        If anyone notices any others missing (that aren’t recent projects within the last 2 years), let me know and maybe a second FOI for the missing pieces should be filed.

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