Lawyer urging caution with wind leases

no to wind leasesPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Petrolia lawyer Wallace Lang questioned the amount of money wind energy companies are offering farmers who lease them land to build turbines on. Lang told more than 200 people gathered Thursday evening at Lambton Centennial School near Petrolia that the wind leases he has read typically offer landowners $15,000 a year, per turbine.

He was invited to speak by Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), a citizens group that formed earlier this year to oppose plans by several companies to build wind farms in Enniskillen Township. “You really have to wonder if it’s a good bargain or not,” Lang said about the amount of money wind companies are offering landowners.“It seems to be kind of chump change, really.”

The agreements can run for decades and may include inflation clauses but the lease payments are taxable, he said. Lang told the crowd he believes more realistic compensation for landowners would be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 a year for each turbine. He urged landowners to be cautious, saying wind companies are sophisticated organizations that know how to market the documents they use to sign up landowners. While they’re called option agreements, “it’s a final document,” Lang said. “Make sure you want to do it, before you sign it.” Read article

Rift between farm groups may surface at CORE meeting Thursday

prime-farm-landSarnia Lambton Independent
The rift in the farm community over wind turbines may be front and center Thursday as the anti-wind group in Enniskillen hosts another public forum. Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen – CORE –  was formed after wind energy companies started making the rounds in the countryside around Petrolia hoping to find farmers willing to sign leases to hosts wind turbines. In all, four companies have projects slated for Enniskillen with up to 51 turbines on the books.

CORE spokesman Chad Burke says 1,000 invitations have been sent out for the meeting scheduled for Thursday at 7 pm at Lambton Centennial School. One of the feature speakers will be Tammy VanTroost of the Lambton local of the National Farmers Union – a group which has voiced opposition to wind turbines.

That’s in stark contrast to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture which has laid out a series of recommendations to improve wind energy including allowing municipalities to have more control over the planning process and calling for the province to deal with the noise concerns of neighbours. Read article

Enniskillen will wait to impose a two km zone for wind turbines

enniskillen-windSarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen Township politicians say they’re considering a bylaw to keep wind turbines two kilometers from homes. But Mayor Kevin Marriott says council is waiting to see what happens with two prominent cases in the Ontario courts before acting. There are three wind energy companies going door-to-door in the municipality trying to sign farmers to wind leases. The projects could mean up to 51 turbines in the community.

A new group, CORE – Conservation of Rural Enniskillen – has been formed to encourage residents not to sign on, making it difficult for the wind companies to get the land base they need. So far, the companies have not secured contracts with the provincial government to sell power.

That’s why Marriott and his council told members of CORE at a recent council meeting they’re taking their time on imposing a two kilometer limit – which would be directly opposed to provincial law. Marriott says communities such as Wainfleet and Plympton-Wyoming which imposed the limit are facing legal challenges and are currently in court. A decision on the Wainfleet two kilometer set back is expected in weeks.

“When we hear that decision we thought we’d be in a better position to proceed with setback (requirements) like Plympton-Wyoming’s,” says Marriott adding a larger exclusion zone would be one of the best ways to stop wind projects in the community. “Two kilometers would pretty well eliminate any place in rural Lambton,” says Marriott. Read article

Dear Kathleen, welcome home to Wind Turbine Watford

wynne bootsDear Kathleen,
It just hit me- tonight is the final public meeting for the Suncor Cedar Point Wind Project in Watford. You know where Watford is – it’s where your rural roots are (right?). You always say it’s where your dad spent his summers, so you have inherited those, ah, ‘roots’… I guess. Or maybe just the boots.

In any case I thought I should at least tell you, you have missed almost all the community consultations for many a wind project in your dad’s old stomping grounds – I know, the notification sucks, that’s why most of us don’t know about the projects until they are practically built, so if you are unable to attend, I completely understand. You can always write the wind developer and complain that you weren’t properly notified. It wouldn’t change anything, but at least you can FEEL you’ve been part of the ‘process’, of being ignored.

Since you haven’t been to one of these meetings, and probably won’t get to the one tonight,  I’ll tell you what it’s like. Actually, come to think of it, the meetings aren’t much different than the meetings we have had with you.

On a frosty Saturday morning in January, right before the Liberal leadership convention, you zipped into Strathroy (probably sped quickly through Watford to get there) to meet with your followers, and whoever else registered to speak with you. I registered, with 3 others. We had sat down at the Gardenia Restaurant to have lunch and tea and wait for your arrival. We didn’t introduce or announce ourselves to anyone, and the restaurant was full of regular customers who had no interest in you attendance. Continue reading

Farmers may offer Wynne their own boot

wynne2By Greg Van Moorsel, The London Free Press
Buying a hockey jersey with No. 99 on the back doesn’t make you Wayne Gretzky. Any couch potato will tell you. Wearing a Spider-Man mask and red-and-blue tights doesn’t confer Spidey’s powers on you. Even kids know better.

How, then, does slipping on a pair of bright red Wellington boots and walking around in barnyard muck make one an agriculture minister? The truth is, it doesn’t. It’s about time someone told Ontario’s rookie premier just that.

Two months ago, when she was sworn in as premier, Kathleen Wynne decided she’d do double duty — but only for a year — as the minister in charge of the province’s largest industry. Other premiers before have moonlighted, usually as intergovernmental affairs minister.

Wynne, however, would be different in the farm beat. While clinging to office by her fingernails, learning to be a premier and trying to hold a fragile minority government together, Dalton McGuinty’s successor would — what, on her lunch breaks? — also tend to a complicated industry that employs more than 700,000. Read article

Battle over turbines heating up this week

Keith ElizabethPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Keith Douglas and Elizabeth Bellavance call themselves “very private people” who didn’t expect to become anti-industrial wind turbine activists. They both grew up in rural Lambton, became veterinarians and eventually moved in 1997 to a farm on Plympton-Wyoming’s Aberarder Line. They were attracted by a view that rolls down to a creek and up a tree-covered hill. The farm’s workable acres are share-cropped but Douglas has also planted thousands of trees. Not far behind the house, the fence of a horse pasture stretches out from the barn and down the hill.

Mixed in with papers on a coffee table inside is an architect’s rendition of a new home the couple planned to build to take advantage of the view. “We let go of that plan last summer,” Bellavance said. About seven years before, a fellow came up their lane way looking for farmland to lease for a wind farm project.

Suncor Energy Projects has a Feed-In Tariff contract to sell energy from its up to 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Power project. The company is now in the late stages of working through provincial approval to build the wind farm that will stretch across Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and into Warwick Township. “We didn’t just brush him off,” Bellavance said about the man who came offering a wind lease. “We had a look.” Read article

Mainstream planning projects in Lambton

enniskillen-windBy Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
John Barros says it’s time for a new, and less divisive, approach to building wind farms. The senior project development manager for Mainstream Renewable Power said he wants everyone within the boundaries of its proposed Sydenham wind projects in southeastern Lambton County to be able to benefit from them.

That why, for the last six months, he and Mainstream have been talking about sharing some revenue from its wind projects with all landowners who sign up, and not just those who end up with turbines. He’s also talking about setting up a community energy co-op that residents of the project area can invest in. “It takes a community to develop a wind farm,” Barros said. “The minute you get off that concept, is the first step toward a project failing.”

Barros and Mainstream have been working for five years on its Sydenham proposals to erect turbines in two or three phases that would generate a total of about 167 megawatts of electricity. In that time, opposition to wind farms has taken hold in rural communities. Ontario’s push into renewable energy is at risk of falling, along with the Liberal minority government and a provincial deal with Samsung that ate up transmission capacity west of London. Read article

Activist question why wind companies surveyed Rock Glen

rockglenHeather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent
Muriel Allingham is questioning why the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority would allow wind energy companies to survey sensitive areas such as Rock Glen Conservation Area. Documents released by the authority released to Allingham, a member of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action, show a company called CanAcre, working for NextEra Energy on the Goshen and Jericho projects in Lambton and Middlesex, signed an agreement with the ABCA to have access to conservation land for field studies. Rock Glen Conservation Area in Arkona was among the nine tracts of land surveyed.

Conservation Authority General Manager Tom Proutt says the agreements were signed two-years ago, before there was wide-spread concern for the project. He says the company offered to survey the land and do an inventory of the plants and wildlife. “The agreements that wind energy companies had asked us for were part of their environmental studies they were doing,” says Proutt. “They were looking at our properties in terms of what was there and that was information that we would find useful because we don’t have the time or money to inventory our lands.”

But Allingham says the conservation authority should have known the companies were looking to use the lands – a use she says would not be appropriate. “Conservation lands are just that and it (wind energy projects) displaces wildlife and their mandate is to protect land and wildlife. Read article

MPP asks Premier to put an end wind energy project

Restore Social JusticeCTV News
It’s a green energy proposal that has torn apart Perth County communities. Invenergy Canada has a contract to build up to 27 wind turbines in North Perth and Perth East. Now a Perth-Wellington’s MPP is asking the premier to use her power to intervene.

These wind turbines are meant to be a green energy solution as part of the Conestogo Wind Energy project, but concerned residents say they’ll cause more problems. Doug Hoshel signed a lease with Invenergy, one that he now wishes he never signed. “I could use my neighbours a lot more than the money.” Hoshel won’t say how much money he’s gotten for leasing land to Invenergy to put wind turbines on his property. At the time he thought green energy could only be a good thing, but the original plan for one turbine on his farm – turned into three – within a 25-acre field. Read article

Oil Springs Information meeting draws a crowd

1297386228060_ORIGINALPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Landowners need to get advice before signing on with wind energy companies, says lawyer Wallace Lang. He was speaking to about 250 people gathered Thursday evening at a wind turbine public awareness meeting held at the community centre in Oil Springs.

It was organized by Enniskillen Township resident Chad Burke and his family after representatives of wind companies began approaching landowners in the rural Lambton County community. Mayor Kevin Marriott has said three companies are behind several proposals for wind farms in the township.

Lang was one of several speakers at the meeting Burke organized with help from local anti-wind groups. “Take care,” Lang told the crowd about documents used by wind companies. “Because it’s a binding agreement once you sign it. Lang said the companies have developed documents they have found to be saleable to landowners. “You’re not dealing with a bunch of amateurs here.”

Burke said he discovered the wind companies have become active in Enniskillen when they approached his in-laws. As well as organizing Thursday’s meeting, Burke said he expects to see an Enniskillen citizens’ group form and join forces with other anti-turbine efforts in Lambton. “The whole idea is to spread awareness and not let these into our community,” he said. Read article

New transmission lines spark plans for up to 51 wind turbines near Petrolia

enniskillen-windHeather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen politicians and residents are watching with worry as three companies make the rounds asking landowners south of Petrolia to sign leases for wind turbines. Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott says in the last few months three companies have been speaking with the municipality about projects which could bring as many as 51 turbines to the rural township.

The mayor says there has been major interest since the Ontario Energy Board gave approval for Hydro One’s $40 million upgrade of a major transmission line which goes from the Lambton Generating Station into London. The upgrade allows for up to 500 megawatts of additional renewable power in the area according to documents filed at the time with the OEB. “These transmission lines that are coming from the Courtright coal-fired facility are being upgraded and all of the sudden there is an interest to feed that line,” he says. Read article

OFA Betrays Farm Communities

ofa logoTom Melady, London Free Press
One of the biggest violations against Ontario agriculture and its rural communities has prompted our farm business to ask for a refund of our membership fees from Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Industrial wind turbines are wreaking havoc on Rural Ontario and OFA fiddles as the countryside burns. The social, financial and agronomical impacts of these 500 ft. monstrosities demand great analysis.

In January 2012, I, along with a group of 3 farmers including a 19 year old female farming enthusiast, presented our detailed concerns and impacts of industrial wind turbines to the OFA Board of Directors in Guelph. When OFA heard of the 6000 wind turbines intended for rural Ontario, the dysfunction of the communities in which they are placed, and the sacrifice of 20,000 acres of prime agricultural land, one would think that OFA would seriously investigate these negative repercussions against agriculture. To not research the topic is irresponsible. However, the Board issued some whimsical doublespeak statement and forgot about the issue, the issue that will have the greatest negative impact on agriculture, ever! Continue reading

Windmills, horse-racing: How Kathleen Wynne can woo rural Ontario: Walkom

Carno wind farm, Powys, WalesThomas Walkom, Toronto Star
Kathleen Wynne needs to win back at least some of rural Ontario. The new premier has taken symbolic measures, such as appointing herself minister of agriculture. But that alone won’t cut it. If she really wants to give her Liberals a fighting chance in the next election — an election that could occur this spring — she will have to tackle two formidable forces: windmills and Paul Godfrey.

Windmills are killing the Liberals in rural Ontario. They may be ecologically sound. But they are politically toxic.

Paul Godfrey’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. places a close second in the toxicity sweepstakes. Under Godfrey’s chairmanship, the OLG is putting in place a new privatization strategy designed to favour big (and usually American-run) casinos. But along the way, huge chunks of the horse-racing industry in rural Ontario — from race tracks to horse farms — are being wiped out.

Wind first. On paper, former premier Dalton McGuinty’s green energy act was a masterpiece. The government’s decision to subsidize wind and solar power meshed neatly with its promise to eliminate coal-fired electricity generating plants. Read article

Steps taken to minimize safety concerns over ice and fire, Invenergy Canada says

fire-turbine-smListowel Banner
NORTH PERTH – Representatives from Invenergy Canada have responded to resident concerns over fire and ice safety concerns posed by wind turbines. James Murphy, director of business development for Invenergy Canada, answered questions from The Banner via email after a resident approached North Perth council in January about the potential of fires in wind turbines. Murphy said Invenergy operates and maintains 1,300 turbines at 23 wind farms across North America, and that the Invenergy fleet has never experienced any major turbine fires. According to Murphy, a documented emergency response plan would be in place before any turbine construction would begin in the Conestogo Wind Energy project proposed for North and East Perth.

“Local emergency units will have access to this document along with site maps to allow for easy location of work locations,” Murphy said. “Local fire departments typically do not allow their employees in a turbine; therefore, we train only Invenergy staff in this discipline.” Murphy added that Invenergy employees are trained in the use of fire extinguishers in the case of fires that can’t be suppressed by the turbine nacelle system. “The nacelle systems don’t suppress large fires, but rather they suppress fires in cabinets,” he said. “Technicians carry fire suppression equipment with them in the trucks at all times, and they carry this equipment with them on every climb up the tower.”

In the event that a wind turbine does catch fire and causes damage to neighbouring buildings or crops, Murphy said individual home owner’s insurance would cover this, the same way it would if a barn, car, house or other object caught fire and it spread. Read article

Conservation Authority’s wind energy lease “a messy web” to wind activists

ABCAHeather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority is talking to lawyers about a lease it holds with NextEra Energy on a piece of land in the Municipality of Bluewater. Tom Proutt, general manager of the authority, confirms it was deeded the land from an estate over four years ago, long before wind projects became hugely controversial.

The authority is already under fire from wind groups because its foundation accepted a donation from NextEra Energy for a golf tournament in Exeter.  The conservation authority has to approve NextEra’s massive wind projects in Lambton Shores and in Bluewater and South Huron. Officials say they can only turn down the project for limited reasons including if it could cause flood damage, erosion or was in a dynamic beach area.

Proutt confirmed “the (land lease) contract we inherited had funds attached to it.” He wouldn’t say how much money is generated from the lease.  But the general manager adds “there will not be a tower on the property. “We were asked by some individuals for copies of the agreement and that we not accept funding from wind energy companies; our board is sorting through all that,” he added. Proutt says lawyers are currently looking into the contract and its implications.

Esther Wrightman of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group is not surprised the conservation authority would have been given land with a wind lease on it “considering the number of leases out there” – especially four years ago when there was little concern about the projects. But several sources say the authority not only inherited the lease, but renewed it recently. Proutt would not speak to the allegation, saying lawyers are looking into the lease.

Wrightman says renewing the lease was the wrong thing to do. “If the conservation authority’s mandate is to take care of these natural environments and they are to be model stewards of the land and are signing away or resigning leases on these lands, that does not set a very good example,” says Wrightman. “The better example would be ‘no, we don’t want to resign this.’ Read article

Clarington riding school wants to buck wind farm

featured_g969003_beloved-horsesDurham Region
CLARINGTON — If industrial wind turbines start turning in Clarington, it’s just a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt, predicts Barb King, who runs an equestrian school in Kendal and is concerned that proposed turbines are going to spook the horses and hurt a rider.

“Horses are flight animals. They flee,” said Ms. King. “Would you want to be on a horse when one of these wind turbines start up?”

The Homestead Hills Equestrian Centre, on Jewel Road off Concession 6 in Kendal, specializes in offering lessons for disabled riders and children. Ms. King’s indoor and outdoor rings will overlook turbines planned on either side of Jewel Road. She said horses, with the largest eyes of any land mammal, have incredible sight and they only see out of one eye at a time.

“Anything starting up like that, or light hitting them, they’re going to see everything … They’re going to flee. It’s different to have a rider that’s got a really good base, but to have a kid or a disabled rider on them, it’s not going to go well.” Read article

Two sides of wind turbine debate

Proof Line- Wind Turbines We all LOSEBy Dan Dakin, St. Catharines Standard
Like a giant fan blade slicing through the air, the debate over wind turbines in rural Ontario settings has pitted neighbours against neighbours and torn friendships apart. There’s little room for grey in the argument. In this special report, Standard reporter Dan Dakin looks at the issue through the eyes of each side.

He’s a farmer from West Lincoln who has signed on the dotted line to have an industrial wind turbine built on his property. His name? At his request, we can’t tell you because the man is afraid of the repercussions of going public.

The Niagara Region Wind Corp. wants to build 77 turbines on private land across West Niagara. To do so, it has signed 77 lease deals worth $50,000 annually for each turbine for the next 20 years. The farmer above said he has absolutely no concerns over health issues or decreased land value that the No side maintains is the problem with wind power generation. Read article

Time for Wynne to deal with that rural Ontario “thing”: wind turbines

Wynne_Visit_Jan_2013_2 IMG_0512London Free Press
Dear Ms. Wynne,
Now that we have gotten this “Toronto thing” out of the way; let’s get this rural Ontario “thing” – wind turbines – out of the way. We want a moratorium and answers to our questions as to why so many people are being adversely affected. We will not accept replies that are condescending and dismissive.

Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, one of the authors of “Effects Of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise On Sleep And Health,2012” – the Mars Hill epidemiological study, says it best:   “If someone came into a doctor’s office and said they have chest pain and the physician said ‘It’s all in your head,’ without investigating, that would be the height of malpractice. It’s the same thing if patients are complaining of sleep disturbances and other ill effects, and off the top of your head you claim they’re making it up and it’s about the way the turbines look, especially when there’s a known, plausible mechanism for why people could be affected. There’s nothing magical about the effect that people are sleeping poorly due to the noise. There’s nothing difficult to understand or fantastical. Nothing stretches your belief.

This whole issue has always been about ethics and what the application of the practical limits are of harm – i.e., what you can reasonably accept in the way of harm of the rural population.

I would hope that instead you will want to know why it is, despite the all the excuses of the wind industry and the MOE, that people still are being affected? Why are there increasing reports of vertigo and nausea with the latest projects?

The first step to getting those answers is a moratorium on construction of projects. That would be a real show of understanding and respect for rural Ontario.

And, instead of becoming the Minister of Agriculture, you should create and head a new Ministry, “The Ministry of Ethics” to oversee the other ministries.

We need a Minister to protect us from the Ministers.

Harvey Wrightman

Monica Elmes: Before the turbines – Part 1

by Eric Nixon, Hayter-Walden Publications
This is a story about one woman and her family. Average people, like most of us. It’s about how their happy, rural lives changed dramatically beginning a few short years ago. About how they were transformed from contented farmers into faceless people who feel trapped in their own lives. It’s a story of what happened when wind turbines changed everything. And it’s a story about how people’s lives in our communities are about to change, too, with the proposed installation of up to 400 turbines right in our own backyard.

Monica Elmes lives in Chatham-Kent, about an hour or so south of here. She and her husband Neil have owned a small cash crop farm just south of Ridgetown for the past 17 years. She’s an intelligent person who studied Science and Agriculture and worked as a research technician for the University of Guelph and Ridgetown College. Slightly more than a decade ago, she and Neil decided to have a child and she’s been a stay-at-home mom ever since.

Until a few years ago, she described her life on the farm as ‘fabulous.’ “We bought our property and farm here planning to never leave, have done extensive renovations and everything we can with the view that this was where we were going to live and die forever – and absolutely loved this place,” she says.

As a farmer, she and Neil have always been concerned about the environment. “I’m really an environmentally conscious person. Everything we do on our farm – we have our environmental farm plan. Everything we do in our home – we’ve always thought about those consequences to the environment,” she says.

That’s what got her excited about the idea of wind turbines in the first place. About six years ago, there was a lot of talk in her community through the grapevine about people wanting to lease to wind companies – and the couple were definitely interested. At the time, crop prices were really bad and they were intrigued when a group of local residents approached them: “They thought if, as neighbours, we could get together and form sort of a group to approach the company, it would be beneficial for everyone to have that sort of power position, kind of a cooperative, community thing,” she says. “A lot of people – ourselves, as well – we thought this would be a good thing for the environment – and an opportunity to make money at the same time.” Continue reading

Monica Elmes: Living with Turbines – Part 2

(read Part One)
by Eric Nixon, Hayter-Walden Publications
“Dec 17: Early AM. Neil not sleeping well, me neither.” Monica Elmes wrote those words in her diary back in 2010. It wasn’t until some time later that she realized what had happened the previous day outside her home in Chatham-Kent. After years of preparation and close to nine months of construction, Enbridge Inc. had flicked the switch and started 44 powerful wind turbines turning near the Elmes household. Lack of sleep was just the first symptom for Elmes and her family.

“To me, the visual intrusion is huge but, also, when they started to function, the noise intrusion was way more than I ever thought. When I first saw the map and saw where we were located, I thought, ‘Oh, good, we’re 1.5 km away from the closest one,’” says Elmes. She almost let out a sigh of relief at the time, not expecting the noise would be bothersome. Nothing could be further from the truth. Noise levels today with the turbines operating are often ten times what they were before.

And noise was just the beginning. For the first time in her life, Elmes began experiencing painful earaches. “It was kind of a definitive moment for me when I realized,” she says. At first, she didn’t equate the turbine noise and the ear discomfort. But, one day when the turbines stopped, her ears started popping and crackling – and she realized the increasingly worsening ear pains were being caused by the turning blades.

One of the problems so many people have with turbines is that they’re intermittent and unpredictable. Elmes says, “It’s incredibly variable. There’s times when it’s fine, other than visually. There are other times where it feels like something’s beating you over the head.” Continue reading

The Devil was in West Lincoln

Somewhere west of Brampton . . .

Carno wind farm, Powys, WalesPeter Epp, Chatham Daily News
[excerpt] The fact that Wynne would use the “rural card” shows how desperate she must be. The agriculture ministry was fiscally gutted by former Premier Mike Harris in 1999, and that status was upheld by successor Ernie Eves and then by Premier Dalton McGuinty. It remains a mystery why Wynne would measure her possible success in Southwestern Ontario by promising to head up a ministry whose influence at Cabinet has been greatly diminished. It further suggests that she knows very little about the province as it exists west of Brampton.

It’s this kind of political paternalism that remains so offensive to Ontarians who don’t live in Toronto. Agriculture is a large part of the economy in this region, but so is the automotive, manufacturing and petro-chemical industries. And we also have more wind turbines than any other part of Ontario, a direct product of the Liberal government’s Green Energy Policy.

Wynne said she wants to address the issue of wind turbines, but in typical Toronto-Speak said her role as premier would be to better convince the people of Southwestern Ontario that wind turbines are good for us. She obviously doesn’t question her government’s judgment in introducing legislation that has changed our landscape forever, created divisions in some communities, and raised questions about health and safety.

And Wynne wonders why the Liberals failed in the last election to retain some seats in Southwestern Ontario? Read article

Speaker connects ‘dirty electricity’ to wind power

By Nelson Zandbergen – AgriNewsstray-voltage
SOUTH MOUNTAIN – Dairy farmers are familiar with the negative health effects of wayward electrical energy: Stray voltage can be the bane of keeping milk cows as productive and healthy as possible.

Armed with this understanding, a retired dairy farmer now working as a stray-voltage dairy consultant – who once leased some of his own land to a wind-power developer several years ago – is drawing attention to another kind of unwanted electrical interference he attributes to the “cheap” DC-to-AC power inverters employed by wind- and solar-farm installations.

David Colling maintains that developers’ reliance on such equipment to process their final output of alternating current (AC) feeds a problematic high frequency into the power grid and the internal wiring of nearby homes and buildings.

This “dirty electricity” can sicken people and disturb animals, he suggested in a late-November address to local wind-power opponents gathered at South Mountain’s agricultural hall.

Instead of the smooth-sided “sine wave” expected of a clean AC source, the contaminated current shows a jaggedness when measured on an oscilloscope, according to Colling, who says he turned against the wind industry after a developer in his Ripley, Ontario, area, briefly hired him to measure the phenomenon, then refused to acknowledge a problem when he became an advocate for five affected families.  Read Article

Video: SpeakOut Ontario – Lisa

Lisa and her family have developed many negative health effects since 8 IWTs were built near their home. She has been offered no solutions from the Ministry of Environment, her family doctors, the corporation behind the wind farm, or anyone else.

PoV: No room for eagles in Green Energy Act?

Picture 015By Peter Epp, Chatham Daily News
Premier Dalton McGuinty probably wasn’t thinking of this when his government introduced the Green Energy Act several years ago. Last week, on Jan. 5, workers employed by a subsidiary of an American-based energy company removed a bald eagle nest to make way for a wind turbine. And NextEra Energy had the blessing of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Chainsaw-wielding workers were spotted by horrified residents in Haldimand County, who watched as a tree limb, with a huge eagle’s nest attached to it, was removed by an overhead crane. NextEra Energy is planning to erect 56 turbines at its Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre near Fisherville. But the eagle’s nest was apparently not in NextEra or the government’s plans. The MNR approved the nest’s removal on Dec. 31 without public input, and posted notice of its removal only a day before the deed was done.

The incident didn’t provide the kind of optics usually associated with green energy. There was no ribbon-cutting ceremony, no photo of back-slapping politicians wearing hardhats. And yet photographs snapped by residents have gone viral, eliciting all kinds of opinion from Canadians and others. Most people appear to be horrified, while others are taking note of the hypocrisy of a government that says its Green Energy Act was launched to help save the environment, yet will permit the removal of the nesting home of what’s arguably the environment’s most beloved winged symbol. Read article

What’s good often bad for rural Ontario

The Green Energy Act is allowing for the provision of more and more power from renewable sources and that’s good. No, that’s bad because the province is overproducing power and selling it at a huge loss. In addition, rural Ontario is saddled with those wind turbine behemoths that are destroying communities, families and health.

visit-beautiful-rural-ontario-1Jim Merriam, London Free Press
Christmas 2012 in rural Ontario is a little like one of those “that’s good, no that’s bad” comedy routines.

Limited snowfall in December has made for trouble-free travelling and the endless rains have helped moisture penetrate deep into the soil and that’s good.

No, that’s bad because snow and cold weather provide a cover for winter crops and fallow fields — a rest period if you will.

We don’t want so much mild weather that flowers sprout again and the sap starts rising. We also don’t want to get our lawnmowers back out.

Last winter was a mild one, with a major thaw in March that gave everyone a break without having to spend gobs of money to travel south and that’s good.

No, that’s bad because apple and other fruit-bearing trees were fooled into thinking it was spring.

The buds were frozen off by the ensuing cold snap and long winter that followed the thaw, leaving the apple harvest a non-event throughout much of Ontario.

Dalton McGuinty has resigned as premier and will no longer make a career out of crapping all over rural Ontario and the people who live there and that’s good.

Well, yes that is good, but it’s also bad in that not a single candidate to replace him seems to have any better grasp of rural Ontario. They know all there is to know about Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe, but are clueless about the rest of the province. Read article

SpeakOut Ontario Video – Ted Whitworth, Amaranth Twp

A video of Ted Whitworth. from Amaranth Township, Ontario. Ted’s family has been devastated by a turbine project, specifically the transformer station, that started up years ago. They have followed every protocol and have contacted every authority possible. The problems are punted between various Ontario ministries and agencies but no one has accepted responsibility nor offered any tangible help.

Hey Bentley – do you have a conscience?

Grade 2letter student

NexTerror Wind and Rural Fear

DSCN6594by Harvey Wrightman
The Liberal party, engaged in a collective effort of navel-gazing, is puzzled as to why rural residents have such irrational fear of the great green future planned for them – all the prospective leadership candidates affirm that the wind energy program will proceed as planned.

One of the newest wrinkles to the wind program is now coming to light. The 300 or so wind turbines planned for north east Lambton, north west Middlesex and southern Huron Counties require transmission lines to get to Hydro’s 500kv main line some 40 km away. The wind companies, in their typical corporate arrogance, planned their projects first, leaving transmission details for later, never anticipating that things here would be any different than they are in Kansas or Missouri where you send out your “landmen” (that’s what this particular breed of slime is called) to offer a few dollars for the easements required – and the poles are up before anyone even knows about it. Almost everything on private land so there are no hassles with municipal or State bureaucrats. So, we can do the same thing here, right? – Well, not exactly.

Over the past 50 years farm land in southern Ontario was improved by installing subsurface tile drainage which eliminates wet spots in fields and generally improves the growing ability of soils. Tiles are laid out in a systematic fashion with current practice seeing the patterns set as close as 25’ apart. They don’t do that in Kansas or Missouri. They don’t have to because the weather factors are different. Continue reading

Start of Haldimand County wind turbine destruction in pictures

See more pictures at : Haldimand Wind Concerns

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