Alberta raptor expert warns wind turbine developments may hurt birds of prey

Mia Sosiak, Global News

eagle nestCALGARY – John Campbell has worked with falcons, eagles and hawks in the wild for decades, all over Western Canada. He has monitored nests near Pincher Creek since the 1970s, and banded thousands of baby raptors, long before the area became the birthplace of wind power in Canada.

Campbell has been finding more and more empty nests in the area. “Currently there are 10 sites that could be occupied; only five are producing young right now,” Campbell said. In Alberta, several species of raptors are considered sensitive, or at risk.

The birds aren’t dying from turbine strikes, Campbell said. They are abandoning high-quality nests because of the pressure of turbine development. Wind turbines mess up the birds’ lives, much in the same way drivers would be stressed if a busy freeway suddenly closed. The raptors move to lower quality sites, where fewer chicks survive. Read article

Bird Studies Canada’s (and CanWEA, MNR) July 2014 Bird/Bat Fatality from Wind Turbines Summary

birdcartoonBird Studies Canada  – why bother doing the summary if you know more than half the birds are not being collected? Why is the specific data on each projects ‘kill’ confidential? Do the wind companies own the wildlife here too? Seems like it. 

“In Ontario, 1,187 bird carcasses were found, comprising 118 identified species. Passerines were the most common fatality, representing approximately 69% of all bird fatalities in Ontario. The most prevalent passerine species found were: Golden Crowned Kinglet (9.39% of all bird carcasses found), Red-eyed Vireo (6.91%) and Horned Lark (5.39%). Raptors represented 8% of all bird fatalities, with Turkey Vulture (2.29%) and Red-tailed Hawk (3.99%) found most commonly. Gulls represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities; with Ring-billed Gull (1.59%) the most often reported Gull species. Waterbirds represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities, with Mallard (1.29%) as the most frequently reported waterbird species.

Table 4 lists the top 20 bird species found during post-construction mortality monitoring at wind power projects in Ontario and the proportion of carcasses found of each species, listed from lowest rank (most prevalent across sites) to highest rank (least commonly found). A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.”

Table 4: The top 20 bird species found at wind power projects in Ontario based on fractional ranking and percent species composition. A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.

Rank        Species                     % Composition

  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet     9.39%
  2. Red-eyed Vireo                      6.19%
  3. Horned Lark                          5.39%
  4. Purple Martin                        6.09%
  5. Tree Swallow                         8.79%

“The total number of operating turbines in Ontario as of February 2014 was 1,331 (CanWEA, personal communication) resulting in an estimated mortality of 7,250 bird fatalities (95% confidence interval of 6,236 to 8,265 fatalities) in Ontario between May 1st and October 31st based on February 2014 installed capacity.”

The mortality estimates presented here potentially underestimate true mortality as they are based solely on carcasses that fell within 50 m of the turbine base. It is expected that a certain proportion of birds and bats will fall outside of this radius, and there are several different approaches to quantifying this correction factor as can be inferred based on extrapolation of Figures 11 and 12. Zimmerling et al. (2013) reported that turbine heights were very similar (~80 m) for most turbines installed in Canada as of 2011 and estimated the proportion of carcasses expected to fall outside of 50 m to be up to 51.8% of birds, based on 4 studies that searched a radius up to 85 m. These values were further validated based on a field trial that searched up to 85 m from the turbine base (Zimmerling et al. 2013). Smallwood (2013) found that the proportion of both birds and bats that fell within 50 m of the turbine base varied with turbine height and estimated higher correction factor values for carcasses falling outside of 50 m than Zimmerling et al. 2013. Smallwood (2013) fit a logistic function to carcass distributions, and the proportions of carcasses falling within the search radius were calculated based on a variety of search radius and turbine height combinations. For 80 m turbines, carcasses were expected to fall to a maximum distance of 156 m. These findings indicate that the mortality estimates presented here may underestimate true mortality, but still allow for comparisons amongst sites and regions as long as turbine heights are similar; this is an important consideration for future investigation of landscape level factors and mitigation measures.”

Read more here

CanWea’s member list (count the law firms, no wonder the fight is tough)

court injusticeCanWEA Members 2014*

  • 3M Canada Company
  • ABB Inc.
  • Acciona Wind Energy Canada
  • Activa Environnement Inc
  • Aeolis Wind Power Corp.
  • Aercoustics Engineering Ltd.
  • Aird & Berlis LLP
  • Airway Services Canada
  • Alberta Wind Energy Corporation
  • Algonquin Power
  • ALL Canada Crane Rental Corp.

Continue reading

Questions for CanWEA

Canwea_memberWelland Tribune
Response to Chris Forrest of CanWEA. I am a retiree whose pension income continues to decline in real terms. My home is my only tangible investment and all that prevents me from having to rely on government to support me entirely.

My concerns about industrial wind energy and Ontario’s race to impose such projects across rural Ontario without the benefit of any serious business plan, or indeed without any serious independent or impartial studies at all, were the reason I began researching the alleged promises of ‘green’ energy.

I am not, nor ever have been, financed by anyone and only comment as a genuinely concerned retired citizen, worried about the potential catastrophic effects IWTs could have on my property value and also concerned as one of those most threatened by potential negative health impacts, an ‘elderly.’

To have a letter of mine responded to by the vice-president communications of CanWEA, Chris Forrest, the trade association financed by the Canadian(Ontario) Industrial Wind Energy Industry, was rather surprising. Are they really worried by retirees without influence?

I do have some questions for Mr. Forrest:

i) Living in Ottawa what does he know about Wainfleet and other rural communities who are worried about the IWT projects his organization is financially committed to supporting?

ii) How close to his home is the closest operational IWT project, how many can he see from his home? Continue reading

How shit happens

The Plancontributed by Paula Peel

In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of George Smitherman.
And he spoke among his friends, saying,
“The Ontario Electricity Act is a crock of sh*t, and it stinks.”
And so they went unto Premier McGuinty and said,
“It is a pail of dung, and we can’t live with the smell.
And Premier McGuinty went to Environmentalists, saying,
“It is the container of the excrements, and it is very strong,
such that none may abide by it.”
And the Environmentalists went unto their Boards, saying,
“It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”
And the Directors agreed, saying to one another,
“The Feed In Tariff promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”
And David Suzuki went to the Premier, saying unto him,
“This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the Province
with very powerful effects.”
And the Premier looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.

And the Plan became Policy.

And that is how sh*t happens.

Foul Wind Blows from Chatham-Kent Mayor, Randy Hope

CanWEA Poster Boy begs for “special” moratorium on 7 turbines. 
by:  Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group Inc
Oddly, on March 12, 2012 Mayor Randy Hope of Chatham-Kent sent correspondence to the Minister of Environment asking for a moratorium on 7 of the planned 55 turbines in IPC’s Erieau-Blenheim Wind Project.   Not the whole project, but just on the turbines south of the Bisnett Line.  On March 13 the Mayor– who publicly proclaims his love affair with turbines and their proponents — stated (on Blackburn Radio) that he continues to favour wind and was even interested in off-shore turbines as well.  Continue reading

Silence of the greens: Media, opposition, too embarrassed to admit they blew it

by Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
If Canada’s “green” media covered the Costa Concordia disaster in Europe the same way they are Europe’s green energy disaster, we’d never have heard of it. That’s because they, along with the federal opposition parties, spent so long shilling for green energy without knowing what they were talking about, the reality of what’s happening is just too embarrassing for them to admit. So they stubbornly ignore the story. But the stories keep coming.  Read article

Response to HGC Literature Review by John Harrison

Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbine NoiseGuideline for Acoustic Assessment and Measurement

Response to “Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound Associated with Wind Turbine Generator Systems – A Literature Review”  by John Harrison

The low frequency report, prepared by Howe Gastmeier Chapnik Ltd. was commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), released in draft form in August 2010, released in final form to MOE in December 2010 and to the public in August 2011.  Why MOE is issuing it now as a press release is a mystery.   This response will address the report itself and the news release from the Ministry of the Environment. Continue reading

CanWEA Lies to the Canadian Senate

by D.W.
On November 30th, The Senate of Canada unanimously backed a motion by Senator Bob Runciman calling on the province of Ontario to institute a moratorium on wind-farm development along eastern Lake Ontario until the impact on birds and bats can be studied. 

CANWEA remains strangely silent on this issue.  A Sunday December 11, 2011 visit to the CANWEA website results in no media release, comment or acknowledgement of this important motion.   Perhaps the answer to the silence can be found in a November 23, 2010 deputation to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.   Mr. Whittaker, Vice President Policy, Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA), testified before this Senate Standing Committee.  The following is an excerpt from that deputation: Continue reading

It’s too easy being green

by Rex Murphy, National Post
Earlier this week the National Post published amerciless editorial on Ontario’s energy policies under Premier Dalton McGuinty (McGuinty’s green energy disaster, Dec. 8). The editorial came on the heels of an Auditor-General’sreport described by the editorial board as one of the “most scathing indictments of government mismanagement we have ever witnessed.” Continue reading

‘Some’ was an interesting choice of words for Canwea to use

by G. Hawkridge, MyKawartha
Is it just me, or are people not paying any attention to the news of late? I refer to the very “quiet release of truth” from Canwea (Canadian Wind Energy Association) at the almost close of business a couple of weeks ago. Finally, but very reluctantly, CanWea has come out with the statement that IWTs (Industrial Wind Turbines) do make “some” people sick.  Only CanWea would use the word “some” in that particular context. Is it just me, but wasn’t SARS responsible for making “some” people sick and perhaps it’s just me again, but doesn’t smoking cigarettes cause cancer in “some” people?  Read article

CanWEA attempts to “confuse the public”

Chris Forrest

by Debbie Lynch

The ‘Sussex Strategy Group’ would be proud of Chris Forrest, the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) Vice President of Communications and Marketing, for so closely following their Nov. 2010 ‘game plan’ wherein they laid out “…a plan for a special interest group to publicly defend the McGuinty government’s costly energy agenda by confusing the public and the media on the real cost to families.” Continue reading

Ralph Splettstoesser caught allegedly stealing signs

As the husband of Jutta Splettstoesser who has been primed by Leader Wind from a CANWea handbook before speaking publicly at forums such as the Inter-Municipal Wind Meetings and who was recently featured as a full page centerfold in a CANWea ad; as a father, neighbour and member of our rural community, Ralph Splettstoesser perhaps should have considered choosing another way to express his discontent with his neighbors’ opinions. Continue reading

IESO and Wind Lobbyists Finish Blind Side Hit on Consumers

Tom Adams Energy – At the urging of wind power developers and operators in Ontario, the Independent Electricity System Operator today finalized an ugly rule change that transfers the cost of bidding wind power into the Ontario electricity system from wind producers and instead transfers the cost directly onto consumers.  The market rule change is posted here. Read the entire article on Tom’s blog.

What’s in a “newsletter”?

Shoreline Beacon

Well, with our weekly junk mail came a new way for pro-wind turbine people to spread their word.

There was a piece of paper they call a newsletter that goes on to explain how they are going to keep us updated on a menagerie of items. One of their many items to be updated on is what they claim is misinformation floating around and the many myths about wind power being repeated and appear to be truths. I wonder how their spin doctors will now handle all these new official reports. Continue reading

Concerns of Manitoulin Island wind critics not adequately addressed

Manitoulin Expositor

There has been much public activity from Northland Power (NPI) lately as they scramble to gain approval for the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm. They have been bombarding our local paper with a handful of repeated CanWEA ads (I suppose they could only find a handful of people willing to have their picture attached to these ads) and the laughable “Manitoulin Wind News” column; they are reducing turbine numbers and changing turbine locations; and they are touting the partnership with the Mnidoo Mnising Power Corporation.

They must see the window of opportunity closing as the scandal that is industrial wind farms is being revealed here, across the province, and around the world. Continue reading

Ontario Landowners Association join in fight

By WES KELLER, Orangeville Citizen

Ontario Power Authority (OPA) last Thursday awarded four Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) onshore wind turbine contracts, and the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA) has joined in the intensifying fight against them. Continue reading

Visit Ontario’s beautiful west coast, but don’t look east

The West Coast of Ontario, who wouldn’t want to vacation here with sand, water, cottages, campgrounds and the best sunsets in the province or live here with all the year round opportunities that abound in such a rich area of natural diversity. There are great opportunities to hike through areas of natural and scientific interest (classed as ANSI by the Government) such as the lower Maitland or Bayfield river valleys or the Pinery Provincial Park. Continue reading

Green Breeze Energy Inc. displays utter contempt for the public

12-year old confronts industry rep

by Harvey and Esther Wrightman

Last night we attended the second and final Brooke-Alvinston Wind Project “Public Consultation”.  Incredibly frustrating- so much so that I just stopped asking questions.
There were NO print copies of the project report! Lots of Canwea junk but no project info.  Mr.Cobb, president of Green Breeze Energy, stated, “…they wanted to save trees.” No kidding.

So the public isn’t even obliged to view the report that will erect 4 2.5MW turbines South of Watford, because this company is trying to live up to its phony name, or maybe they’re broke. This is more than frustrating because you couldn’t even discuss the draft (the whole point of the meeting) without it present…something like not bringing the birthday boy to his birthday party. Continue reading

CanWea Advertising

Hanover Post

Right on cue as land owners are being approached by wind developers in the Elmwood area, the industry has taken out Ad space in the local media. I would like to comment on one particular CanWea (Canadian Wind Energy Association) ad appearing in the February 10 edition of the Post.

The ad goes on to quote Angela Morin, owner of The Island Grill on Wolfe Island. “The wind farm project managers came to us and said we want to be part of the community, and they really lived up to that. The extra business allowed us to stay open during the winter, when we’re normally closed. The wind facility has also brought in some tourists who are curious to see what it’s all about.” Continue reading

CanWEA’s best practices guidelines a sick joke

By Debbie Lynch Lindsay Daily Post  

As I read Mr. Hornung’s letter to the editor, I literally broke down in tears I laughed so hard at what he said about guidelines his wind energy lobby group CanWEA, developed.

Mr. Hornung stated “The guidelines are a valuable tool that will encourage our members to involve the local community at an early stage, ensure a clear understanding of their project at all stages and facilitate a factbased dialogue about the project.”

I guess Mr. Hornung has not attended any of the “public open houses” I have attended. At those events, facilitating “a fact-based dialogue about the project” is the last thing on the minds of the wind energy proponents. Continue reading

Ontario wind energy advocates say they’ll try harder to explain their projects to the public

CanWEA must pour on more lies and false promises

John Spears, Toronto Star

Buffeted in some quarters by opponents of wind farms, the Canadian Wind Energy Association says it plans to do a better job of building support for its members.

“One can’t deny there is opposition,” Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, said in interview, though he added: “We have also had a number of projects go through with relatively little.” Continue reading

Follow the Funding! **Must Watch**

Continue reading

Merry Christmas CanWEA, and Happy Holidays to our Premier, Dalton McGuinty

London Free Press

How nice that CanWEA (Canadian Wind Energy Association), a registered lobby group for the wind industry, has the money to spend on large colourful ads to promote the wind industry in Ontario. And where does the Ontario Power Authority get their money to run like ads? I think it could only be from the taxpayers.

Every business deserves the opportunity to succeed and prosper, but never at the expense of human, animal and environmental health. Unfortunately, the very people that industrial wind turbines are hurting do not have the funds for large display ads to warn people about the truth of the harm and the deceit of the provincial government’s renewable energy policy. Continue reading

Wind critic resents being characterized as lacking green ethic

Manitoulin Expositor

Northland Power Inc. (NPI) is an entirely off-Island company looking to build an industrial wind farm in our community, solely for profit. They, along with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) have been promoting the wind industry to Island residents using various means. Much of their propaganda has included very misleading information, and much of their activity in our community has been conducted very secretively. Continue reading

Province sold out on wind energy plan

Property and tax values adversely affected

Goderich Signal Star – I had to laugh when I noticed the large display ad by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) on the back page of our local newspaper last week. In it, Mayor Lynn Acre describes the utopian benefits of the 26 km-long Erie Shores Wind Farm and encourages us all to come down and have a look for ourselves. Continue reading

Knowledge key in turbine debate

Niagara This Week Editorial

Clean, green energy. It’s quite a fad these days. Bioreactors, solar panels, wind turbines, and other forms of green energy are seen as a valuable tool in creating power, but also in promoting environmental stewardship.

While the potential for some of these forms of energy can’t be denied – solar energy for example is being adapted in everything right down to Christmas lights these days – residents of the West Lincoln area are rightly calling on the government, and the community, to review just how safe one particular form is — wind turbines. Continue reading

Confidential document reveals true cost of McGuinty’s energy experiments

Download Document Here

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released a confidential document from Sussex Strategy Group, a Canadian lobbying and public affairs company.   Both Chris Benedetti and President, Paul Pellegrini were Aids to senior Liberal ministers.

It shows Dalton McGuinty’s failed energy experiments are expected to increase Ontario families’ home hydro rates by 36 percent in 2012. Worse still, the same document outlines a plan for a special interest group to publicly defend the McGuinty government’s costly energy agenda by confusing the public and the media on the real cost to families. Continue reading

Understand who the McGuinty Liberals work for….it’s not you.

CanWEA claims don’t stand up to scrutiny

By Nicholas Harfield   Manitoulin Expositor

The wind industry (represented in Canada by the Canadian Wind Energy Association, CanWEA) and our provincial government claim that industrial wind farms are a clean power source, that they provide an environmentally responsible way to stimulate the economy, and that they provide much needed financial aid for Ontario farmers.  While these claims are partly true, there is a lot more we need to consider as an Island community before we accept industrial wind development on Manitoulin.

While some farmers in the province will receive payments for leasing their land to companies that install and operate Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs), it is hardly fair to call this an assistance program for helping Ontario’s struggling farmers. Only a fraction of farmers in Ontario will receive any financial benefits from IWTs, lease agreements are not offered exclusively to farmers (any landowner is eligible), and many farmers are opposed to having IWTs adjacent to their properties. It would be more appropriately stated by CanWEA and our provincial government that eligible farmers may agree to receive lease payments in exchange for the use of their land in IWT installations. Continue reading