NextEra moves boundaries of Jericho wind farm back to Warwick, raising suspicion

WARWICK – When people in Lambton County get their next look at NextEra’s Jericho Wind Energy Center, it’s going to look a little different. And that’s raising the suspicions of wind activist fighting the project.

The company has been working on a 92-turbine wind project in Lambton Shores since 2006. But company spokesperson Josie Hernandez says NextEra has decided to broaden the land base it is studying to include parts of Warwick Township to the Egermont Road and into North Middlesex.

Hernandez says the original draft of the project included the lands, but through the years the company “thought, let’s kind of condense it. But our goal is to ensure we have enough space so we can place those turbines in the right place.” Hernandez says the company won’t be expanding the project since its contract with the Ontario Power Authority is for 150 megawatts which can be powered with the 92 turbines. Read article

CFFO: Using MDS to Mitigate Wind Turbine Conflicts

By John Van Dyk, CFFO Commentary 
Despite protests against them, Wind Projects are slowly being completed. Many townships are tackling a wide variety of issues, such as determining the right amount to charge for a wind development permit, other questions are emerging. One of the biggest and most important question to ask is whether the Minimum Distance Separation , or MDS, is appropriately balancing current development with future potential development on the part of neighbors to ensure fairness in the long-term.

Whenever an application for a permit for a new development like a livestock barn, house, or shed occurs, then the township must assure that all the MDS criteria have been met. In cases where an applicant is within a specified distance to an identified concern, such as a to a creek, wetland or municipal well then additional clearances will be required before constructing the building can proceed.

Since many wind turbine developments have been signed with landowners, often unknown to the adjacent neighboring farms, then getting the MDS right the first time has the potential to prevent many legal battles. It is often suggested that one of the reasons people find wind turbine development a problem is that they have lost out on an economic opportunity, but properly applied MDS regulations can prevent this situation from occurring. Read article

Hello wind turbine – Goodbye insurance

Wind Energy Is Booming, But Where’s The Money?

Big Country, by Gina Benitez

Jerry Beaird has 16 wind turbines on his property. They’ve been producing quite efficiently but Beaird hasn’t seen a single penny since November.

“So December, January, February, March and April we got letters saying there was no revenue generated but the site managers say that January was a record month,” says Beaird. So how could record production leave the landowners completely dry? The letters state various market factors attributed to the lack of revenue. They don’t go into specifics, but Beaird has his own ideas.

Beaird says, “They’re promising more killowatts than they can produce. So they’re selling short on the contracts.” Nextera, formerly known as Florida Power and Light, owns the turbines and electricity. Beaird believes Nextera might be selling contracts to Gexa, a subsidary of theirs. Not just selling, but over selling. Read article

Barrett registers dissatisfaction with Samsung/Ontario/Six Nations land lease deal

Turtle Island News
QUEEN’S PARK — Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett will be back at it again to attempt to get answers to government’s involvement with a land lease deal that will see crown land lease payments in Haldimand County diverted to Six Nations.

Barrett demanded a late show debate following his questions in the Ontario Legislature this morning on the deal announced by Samsung and Six Nations last week. The agreement paves the way for wind and solar projects across Haldimand County with $55 million going to Six Nations allegedly to prevent future wind turbine protests.

“We know, whether it be militant confrontations or imposing wind turbines on unwilling communities, your knee-jerk reaction is to not only write a cheque but to give away the farm” Barrett began. “Think of Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, or handing over 300 acres of the Burtch correctional property to Six Nations, and now laundering land lease money from crown land at South Cayuga to Six Nations, all to buy peace for the Samsung deal in Haldimand county. Read article

Atwood area resident calls police on Invenergy surveyors

NORTH PERTH — An Atwood-area farmer called police last Tuesday in an effort to get Invenergy Canada surveyors off his land.

Koos Wilting said he received correspondence from Invenergy Canada stating the company’s intention to survey Wilting’s three parcels of land. Wilting’s lawyer responded to the company, writing they wouldn’t be permitted to do so. This correspondence went back and forth for about a month to a month and a half.

On Tuesday, May 8, Invenergy Canada representatives arrived at one of Wilting’s properties. “They visited the house after,” said Wilting. “We just talked. We came to the conclusion that we disagreed.”

Wilting said his lawyer had advised him he could contact the authorities should surveyors show up and not wish to leave. So he telephoned the police and gave them the cell phone number of one of the Invenergy representatives. An officer called the representative and they spoke by phone.

Wilting says the group then proceeded to his third property. He called police again, who attended the scene. read article

Wind companies swap land leases

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Suncor Energy says there’s nothing unusual about a land swap agreement it has in Lambton and Middlesex counties with a neighbouring wind company. Suncor plans to build an up to 62 wind turbine Cedar Point Wind Power Project in parts of Plympton-Wyoming and Lambton Shores. Lambton Shores is also where Nextera Energy plans to build its proposed 150-MW Jericho Wind Energy Centre. The Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, one of the local citizens’ groups opposed to wind farms, recently posted to its website a copy of a Suncor document about the swap agreement with Nextera.

“What I can say is that’s a normal part of business agreements that take place from time to time,” said Suncor spokesperson Michael Southern. “The reason why Suncor would consider something like that is if it helps us in developing the best wind power project we can.”

The correspondence states the companies have decided to separate their projects by exchanging of options for easements from landowners each holds in the proposed areas for the wind farms. The document says land agents for the two companies will be contacting landowners to discuss the transfer. “They got all the leases they could higgledy-piggledy, and now they’re starting to swap them so that they’re more strategic,” said Marcelle Brooks, a member of the wind action group.

Brooks said she lives “dead centre” of Nextera’s project in Lambton Shores, and close to Suncor’s. “Our areas are literally crawling with wind reps,” she said. “There’s doing all kinds of assessments and surveys . . . Wherever we go now they are in fields. They’re all over the place.” Read article

Wind bidding war

Wind companies trading leases “like monopoly”, offering cash for extensions: opponents
By Heather Wright, Sarnia This Week
LAMBTON SHORES – Jim thought it would be a great way to secure the future of his family farm, but now the land lease he signed with Suncor Energy is making him feel anything but secure. The Lambton Shores man, who asked us to protect his identity, is in the middle of Suncor’s Cedar Point industrial wind farm. The company wants to erect 62 turbines – half of those in Lambton Shores – to generate power. Not far from Jim’s farm, NextEra is preparing to build an industrial wind farm with 92 turbines.

Jim signed the land lease with Suncor nearly five years ago – long before he had researched any of the potential problems which people who live near the turbines are reporting. For him, it was a way to keep his family farm afloat. “I said, ‘Well, to secure this for my grandchildren I’ll put that windmill on it. I don’t have to worry about the farm because the taxes will be paid for me.’”

Jim and several other landowners in Lambton Shores are coming close to a deadline in the leases which would allow them to opt out of the contract. Jim has decided not to sign on again saying the turbines “are unsafe, they’re not green and they’re going to bankrupt the province.” read article

“They want an easement, but I won’t give it to them. They will have to expropriate it”

Walking against the lines – By Heather Wright
Sarnia and Lambton County This Week
PLYMPTON-WYOMING – In a flood of people concerned about the effects of wind turbines, Paul Marsh stands out. And it isn’t just because he’s holding a picket sign.  Marsh lives in Sylvan – a community south east of Thedford just over the Middlesex County line. He, too, says he will be affected by the 62 turbine Cedar Point Wind Power project in Plympton-Wyoming.  Marsh won’t be too close to the turbines and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to see them since his 30 acre property is filled with trees. Continue reading

NFU boss warns Lambton farmers to be wary of energy lease agreements

by John Phair, Petrolia Topic
The president of the Lambton local of the National Farmers Union (NFU) has come out strongly against the province’s Green Energy Act, and is warning farmers and other landowners to be wary of contracts to lease their land. Joe Vye, at the NFU’s recent annual meeting in Forest, said issues surrounding wind generators and the Green Energy Act were among his greatest concerns for the rural community.

“The thing that had the biggest impact on me are issues regarding wind generators and green energy and the true costs behind them,” he said in his report to the membership. Read article

More wind companies scouting South Dundas

Morrisburg Leader
SOUTH DUNDAS — One of the many concerns held by South Branch Wind Opposition Group (SBWOG) is that Prowind Canada’s proposed 14-turbine wind farm will be but the first of many. Reports have surfaced that another company has been scouting for land in South Dundas. Invenergy Canada’s Director of Business Development, James J. Murphy, confirmed the report on February 9th: “Invenergy has been working with some landowners to investigate the potential for a wind energy project, but these efforts are very preliminary.”  “As per company policy we do not identify landowners by name who have signed agreements with us,” said Murphy. Read article

Neighbours sue farmers for offering land to wind turbine development

John Wiggins, who with his wife Sylvia, is suing a wind developer and the landowner who is leasing property to the wind developer. John Spears/Toronto Star

John Wiggins

by John Spears, Toronto Star
Sylvia and John Wiggins put their 48-acre horse farm near Stayner up for sale last summer for $1.25 million. Then a wind developer sent out notices of its plans to put up big wind turbines on a neighbouring farm. “Prior to that time, we had a lot of action,” Wiggins said Wednesday. “But from that moment on, none.”Sylvia Wiggins, the owner of the family property, is now suing not only the wind developer, WPD Canada Corporation, but the owner of the farm that has agreed to lease property for the turbines. It’s the first time anyone has sued a property owner playing host to a wind development, Wiggins’s lawyer Eric Gillespie, told a news conference. Continue reading

Source of information for potential wind turbine leaseholders

Ontario Wind Turbine Contracts

Assessing the legal and financial risks of contracts under Ontario’s Green Energy Act
The purpose of this website is to inform rural landowners of some of the legal and financial risks involved in signing an agreement providing for the construction and operation on their property of one or more large wind turbines which can be over 400 feet tall including the tower and rotor blades and have a maximum generating capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts.

Land owners could face huge turbine costs

by John Miner, London Free Press
GODERICH – Land owners considering allowing wind turbines to be built on their property should put a hold on signing any deal with an energy company until after the provincial election, a University of Guelph economics professor warned Saturday.

“If you haven’t put a shovel in the ground, my advice is to wait,” said Prof. Glenn Fox.  For those that have already have turbines, Fox’s advice is to cross their fingers. Continue reading

Landowners gain new strategy in turbine, highway fights

By Rita Marshall. Mitchell Advocate
Landowners against wind turbines and the expansion of Hwy 7/8 through Shakespeare gained ammunition June 13 at an information meeting of the Huron Perth Landowners Association.  Guest speaker Elizabeth Marshall of the Ontario Landowners Association spoke to about 100 people in Mitchell’s Crystal Palace about Crown Land Patent Grants, original contracts between settlers and the Crown. The OLA believes these contracts will stand up in court to more recent bylaws and legislation. Continue reading

Solar and wind power not so seductive when reality bites

By Patrick Meagher, Editor of Eastern Ontario Farmers Forum

I was offered an all expenses-paid trip to Germany in 2009 to tour the world’s leading green energy achievements. The tour included an ethanol plant with corn supplied by local farmers and a town powered by two methane digesters. The technological advances appeared endless. Germany seemed years ahead of us. Read entire article here

Microfit Program called a Ponzi Scheme

By John Phair, Today’s Farmer
The president of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) says a number of farmers who have invested or borrowed money to install solar panels on their farms have been treated unfairly in the province’s relentless push toward green energy. Continue reading

Protect farmland from energy projects, Guelph audience told

GUELPH – The intrusion of energy projects onto Ontario farmland will only increase, and it is up to farmers to ensure the land remains viable for agriculture, a Guelph audience heard on the weekend.

“There’s a way to do it in which we can preserve farmland for future use,” John Goudy, an environmental lawyer, told the annual general meeting of the National Farmer’s Union Ontario chapter. Continue reading

Experts say be careful on wind deals

By Mary Golem, Owen Sound Sun Times
For more info: Leases

Farmers at a wind energy information session in Elmwood this week went home with a clear message: Make sure you know what you are signing if asked to lease land for wind turbines.

Both Ted Cowan, an Ontario Federation of Agriculture energy and taxation specialist and Paisley lawyer Patrick Kelly told about 120 farmers at Tuesday’s meeting “there are too many unknowns” surrounding lease agreements for wind energy projects. Continue reading

Much to know about dotting rural landscape with wind turbines

Stratford Beacon Herald

As a farmer and neighbourhood member, I ask for the community to take interest in a neighbour problem. Wind turbines have become a topic that has created a great deal of discussion and concern. Viewpoints vary, hearsay causes confusion and lack of knowledge leads to vulnerability. If you wish to empower yourself, to find answers to questions, inform yourself.

Wind turbine companies have signed leases in the areas surrounding Stratford, Mitchell, Sebringville and St. Marys and are currently canvassing Fullarton and Hibbert wards. Once leases are signed, our neighbourhoods will become what every other community with turbines have become: divided, neighbour against neighbour, communities split because of secrecy of leases and fear of the health problems that do develop. Continue reading

Central Huron Councillor cancels wind contracts

Alex Westerhout

By Cheryl Heath.  Clinton News Record

Recent provincial government issued press release with regard the first of its kind wind project moving forward in Central Huron proved to be premature.

The landowners mentioned in the release, Alex Westerhout, who was recently elected as an East Ward representative for Central Huron Council, reports he pulled the plug on the plan after much heart-felt consideration. Continue reading

Beware of the carrot on a stick

Owen Sound Sun Times

I understand where Rob Gardner is coming from regarding opportunities for farmers leasing their property to alternate energy developers.  The carrot being dangled is sizable.

Just consider the impact these will have on our communities.  The developers are beginning to push for more density and less restrictions, then there is the hydro towers to take the power to the grid.  The wind turbines you see in Shelburne area and around the Bruce are only teasers. They will be far denser. 

Do we really want this area to be a hydro wasteland? Continue reading

Samsung eyes Bruce area for turbines

By Troy Patterson, Editor Kincardine News, Owen Sound Sun Times

Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. has agents in the Kincardine area to sell wind turbine contracts to residents close to the Bruce to Milton power transmission corridor.

Zohrab Mawani, director of business development for Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., a Canadian affiliate of the South Korean Samsung Construction and Trade (C&T), confirmed the company is establishing wind contracts in the area.

“We are active in the area in terms of finding suitable properties,” said Mawani, adding he couldn’t specify which areas will be included in the project. “I can say our agents are looking throughout the area.” Continue reading

Effects of giant industrial wind turbine zones on our land must be carefully considered

By MICHAEL DEN TANDT  Owen Sound Sun Times

Here’s the question: Is it proper for a landowner, in a pristine agricultural setting, to put up a huge industrial project that dramatically devalues his neighbour’s land?

There are many problems associated with industrial wind power in Ontario, with more seemingly arising all the time. These include health concerns, which haven’t been properly examined; the unreliability of turbines as a source of energy; the false economy of the Green Energy Act, paid for with our tax dollars; and the anti-democratic, arbitrary nature of the Act itself, which strips municipalities of planning authority. Continue reading

Samsung buying off neighbours to bypass regulations


A neighbour of an Ontario project was recently offered $1,500 to sign this contract so an adjoining property’s turbine could be placed only 350 meters from his home.  Under the Green Energy Act, the minimum that these could be placed from homes is 550 meters.   PUBLIC BEWARE.  

section 7(e):   The Lessee shall ensure that all Turbines on the Property are located at least 350 metres from the centre of any such Turbine to the centre of any existing house on the Property.

Poultry Industry Council wants to hear from you

To share your opinion regarding the renewable energy technologies installed on your operation, please click here.

Lawyers called to help in green energy battle

Juli Abouchar

By Daryl-Lynn Carlson  Law Times

With Ontario getting on the green energy bandwagon, lawyers who practise real estate law face the prospect of representing clients who have been approached by alternative power developers seeking to set up wind farms or solar panel projects.

‘Some people have had difficulty selling their property because of the windmills located nearby,’ says Juli Abouchar. Continue reading

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

Affidavit to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

by Haas, Allen
[docket # 1-AC-231, testimony filed Aug. 24, 2010 to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin]

I have three wind turbines on my property and get $4,000 for each one.

It’s been 2 years now with the turbines and everyone in the community is irritable and short, they snap back. The best of friends for 35 years, but everyone just snaps.  People are not really mad directly at the wind turbines or even know what they are mad about, they’re just mad, aggressive. Continue reading

Solar burning up tax dollars

 By Matthew R. Ford, Windsor Star

Last year, Dwight Duncan was in Tecumseh to make an announcement regarding placing expensive taxpayer-subsidized solar panels on a government building.

Impressionable schoolchildren were brought in for the photo-op at which time Dwight Duncan said that people want to question the financial feasibility of projects like this but we have to do them no matter what the cost.

He labelled us as naysayers to be dismissed, and Duncan proudly cut the ribbon and kissed the closest available baby. Fast-forward to the news from his own Liberal Energy Minister Brad Duguid that they were cutting the generous taxpayer subsidy to solar and we now have a totally different outcome for solar projects in Ontario. Continue reading