Seaforth Expositor Usually when a motion is passed or rejected, the municipality of Huron East simply moves forward according to the number of hands put up, but not this time as the topic at hand involved one of the most controversial topics to date-wind turbines. Three years ago council was offered a Vibrancy Fund Agreement from the St. Columban Wind Farm, which operates 15 wind turbines.
In the contract, it specified that they were prepared to give Huron East $115,000 annually for 20 years, but this significant contribution of funds would come with a catch, council must agree that they are a “willing host.” Council turned down the offer.
However, these past qualms would never be thrown under the rug permanently. CAO of Huron East, Brad Knight admitted that numerous councillors have asked if the option could possibly be brought back to the table, since that initial decision.
During the traditional bi-weekly December 6 meeting, the Mayor of Huron East, Bernie MacLellan presented council with a motion concerning the previously declined proposal. Two weeks later he requested it to be reviewed in the council chambers during their last meeting before the holidays. Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT) was on hand in anticipation and hoped that the political assemblage would once again turn down the more than $2 million agreement.
Knight propelled the recorded vote. Tuckersmith Councillor Larry McGrath voted no, Seaforth Coun. Nathan Marshall said yes, the Mayor voted in favour, both Brussels Councillors John Lowe and David Blaney were in favour of being a willing host, Seaforth’s ward rep, Bob Fisher voted no, Dianne Diehl and Alvin McLellan from Grey Ward approved the motion, McKillop’s Brenda Dalton voted no and her fellow ward rep Kevin Wilbee voted yes and Deputy Mayor Joe Steffler also voted yes. Read article
Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
Wind turbines – a thorn in the side of many Ontario municipalities – will be top of mind when local municipal leaders meet with provincial officials this week. Several Lambton County politicians and municipal staff members are headed to the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference – this year, running from Aug. 14 to 17 in Windsor – to address provincial issues impacting their municipalities.
On Friday, Lambton County Warden Bev MacDougall said she and fellow local leaders will be meeting with Ministry of Finance officials during the conference to discuss the valuation of wind turbines for tax purposes.
“When the Green Energy Act was created by the Ontario government, there was a whole slew of issues that have been dealt with, but the taxation that rests on this wind turbines is inadequate to cover the real municipal cost to host these pieces of equipment,” she said. “A good example is the cost of maintaining roads to and from them, winter maintenance, as well as road conditions that have to be protected for purposes of the owners of the wind turbines.”
They’ll also be raising the issue of OPP costs associated with policing wind turbines. Under the OPP’s new billing model, several Ontario municipalities were surprised to learn they’re being charged a base service cost per wind turbine property if these properties are already taxed commercial or industrial, but earlier this year, an OPP spokesperson said a review was underway on that policy. Read article
When that deal was criticized as ‘blood money’ and after the Tribunal gave it the go-ahead to construct the project, the developer withdrew its offer. It has left the door open for some money to go to the County—but it will set the terms and the amount.
It is that kind of agreement.
The Wellington Times “Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing,” wailed the old woman.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Yossarian shouted in bewilderment.
Joseph Heller set Catch-22 on a dusty Mediterranean island during World War II, presenting both a tragic and funny window into the bureaucratic absurdity of war. It describes equally well, I think, the madness of the Green Energy Act (GEA) in Ontario in 2016.
Consider this. A developer wants to build a large industrial installation in a pastoral rural area. It knows before it is built how much profit it will generate. It has a contract from the province of Ontario to sell every kilowatt of power it generates—whether it is needed or not. (It’s not.) Whether or not the province will have to dispose of these excess kilowatts at its cost. (It will.)
The developer is set. It has no competitors. No market risk. All it needs to do is get its turbines up, plug them in and generate money. Lots of it. With the single-minded determination of a lamprey, it seeks only to latch onto the province and gorge itself for the next 20 years.
Kathleen Wynne: “I would say to them [municipalities] that they have a whole lot more say than they did five years ago. We never said there was going to be a veto for municipalities, but we put in place much more rigorous consideration of municipalities’ concerns.” Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
a) She admits we had zero say five years ago, and she doesn’t apologize for her support of such an undemocratic process. Actually she seems quite comfortable with the fact that they rammed it down our throats.
b) If a community still can’t say “no”, then they can only say “yes” or be silent. That is not a SAY in the process. When it comes to “consent”, when a person says “no” to an “advance”, that “no” is respected, or they have been violated, end of story.
Colin Perkel, The Globe and Mail Smaller communities across the country have been grappling with what they view as an ever-increasing tax bite for policing they can barely afford. Some say they have had to raise property taxes by as much as 20 to 30 per cent to pay for increases in police costs.
Christian Leuprecht, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, said rising security costs are hurting communities across Canada. “The real problem is in the rural areas – it’s in the contract-policing areas,” Prof. Leuprecht said. “It is completely unsustainable. Their tax base is stagnant. They’re cannibalizing all other aspects of their budget to pay for policing.”
Some communities, with their limited tax bases, are seeing upward of 25 or 30 per cent of their total budgets go toward policing. One hard-hit area is in rural eastern Ontario, where communities were surprised to discover they’re paying tens of thousands of dollars for police service to wind turbines and cellphone towers. The issue is especially galling, said one mayor, given his municipality’s embrace of green energy in part as a supposed revenue stream.
“We’ve got 86 of them here so it’s big numbers,” said Denis Doyle, mayor of Frontenac Islands, population 2,000. “We went out of our way to support the windmill rollout and now we feel like we’ve been kicked in the teeth when you find out they charge us back any money we might get from taxes just to pay (police).” Read article
Ah yes, NextEra giveth and taketh away. They have always loved playing God in our townships. But maybe more like a diety that does a WAY too much taketh-ing.
It’s really quite simple: The bylaw and Warwick Fire Chief Brad Goodhill state that the NextEra Jericho turbines need to be equipped with fire suppression for the nacelles of the turbines. This was supposed to be in place by October 25th, 2015.
NextEra hasn’t complied. NextError is Out of Compliance. The Township is now looking at penalties.
See NextEra wants to install the system at the turbine base, if they absolutely have to. But if the Fire Chief says it has to be in the nacelle, well, they aren’t gonna pay or it! The community can, from the lovely “Community Vibrancy Fund” NextEra so kindly “gave” them (with lots and lots of stings attached).
Oh don’t be surprised by this! Didn’t you know that part of having a vibrant community is making sure it doesn’t catch on fire? NextEra can reason (with force) anything away…
Update on Installation of Fire Suppression System on Wind Turbines Nextera has informed the Township that all costs associated with installation of wind suppression in the nacelle would be borne by the municipality under the Community Vibrancy Agreement under clause 9 – ‘additional development charges’. According to Nextera, relevant charges for the system are $416,275 and require Warwick to forgo all revenue expected to be collected by the annual amenity fee until March 31, 2021. The section of the agreement reads as follows:
9. The Wind Project shall be exempt from payment of any other development changes under any by-law enacted by Council. In the event Jericho is not exempt from the payment of development charges in respect of the Wind Project, or is required to pay any increased amount of property or other taxes with respect of the Jericho Wind Project, any such payments or increased amounts shall be set off against and deducted from the other payments or contributions required under this Agreement.
The mayor of Prince Edward County is pleading with members of council to vote against an upcoming motion that would initiate a road users’ agreement between WPD White Pines and the municipality.
Mayor Quaiff’s email to council My Fellow Colleagues, I send you this message as my feelings and opinion on the agenda item we will deal with this Thursday about wpd, the following excerpt are my thoughts.
The motions we are asked to consider on Thursday represent by far the worst situation that we have had to confront for the good of our constituents for as far back as I can remember.
What we decide will be analyzed and picked over by the local and national media and indeed by all Ontarian’s suffering under industrial wind turbines like the ones proposed to be inflicted on us for greed, not to “save the planet,” that old cliche,’ and by other people literally across the Country.
I urge you to agree with me that we don’t have a choice but to turn this motion down. I have fought for years to keep turbines out of the County, recognizing early on how badly they would affect everything we hold dear, not to mention our economy, our tourist industry and our property and business values. The contrary spin of the wind industry is professionally and effectively done but – please don’t for a moment believe their avaricious approach and intentions. We are now the “go to” destination in Ontario by those in the know. To approve these motions will eventually drive these well motivated and well – paying visitors away; it would also reduce property assessments and thus tax revenue. It would turn our paradise into a grubby factory, the end of a heartless string of turbines stretching from Wolfe Island through Ernestown and Amherst Island to our south shore. An indiscriminately as it spins and devastating to some of the most beautiful vistas and country side in Canada. Continue reading →
You’d think it would come with the warning statement: “Anything you say could be used against you”.
Municipalities who didn’t slam the door in the wind company’s face should count themselves lucky if they didn’t find their township facing another wind project after the last round of contracts were awarded.
From what Liberal Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli is saying in legislature, any engagement at all ( I suppose even making eye contact), would give the wind company its municipality ‘points’ that furthered their chances of winning the bid.
What is particularly galling is that Dutton-Dunwhich did more than any other township in Ontario – they actually held a referendum – and the population gave an overwhelming NO to any wind developments.
But in the world of Alice in Ontario-land I suppose that even handing these results with a big N O to the wind company would have been the same as saying YES, because they would have had to have some sort of contact with the company. Ethically this is incredibly nasty – the government used words to trick municipalities into ‘engaging’ in the process, even when the engagement was negative!
Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott sensed this was the case a couple years ago, and warned everyone to not speak with the wind companies. From a Sarnia Observer article in May 2014:
“It will be very, very difficult for a developer to be approved without municipal engagement, in some significant way,” Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said last June.
But Marriott said until the province clarifies what it means by municipal engagement, “We’re being vigilant.”
He advised the anti-wind turbine group, Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), against meeting with the company.
“I said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t consult with them because they may be able to use that as a checkmark,'” Marriott said.
“Who knows what could be construed as public consultation.”
In little Adelaide-Metcalfe it is Diane McGuire’s letter to the Township that opened the door wind companies were trying to hold shut. Her family cannot get away from the noise caused by the Suncor and NextEra wind turbines, which started spinning over a year ago.
Suncor told her that she was the only one having problems.
But the next meeting yielded another letter, this time from resident James Dymond. Sure enough Suncor’s lie is outed – Diane was clearly not the only one who had filed grievances with them.
Note that each letter distinctly requested that Councillor Mary Ann Hendrikx not be involved in discussions, as she has a wind turbine in the very project that is causing problems. Cut and dry – she would be violating the Conflict of Interest Act if she were to do so.
Adelaide-Metcalfe has had a tumultuous time dealing with the wind issue in the past. Conflict of Interest came up multiple times with both the former Mayor Bolton and former Deputy Mayor DeBruyn having a parent and child respectively with wind leases. They continued to vote on wind turbine issues as the only way the public could impel them to refrain, was to take them court.
To carry on the tradition, Mary Ann also continues to discuss and vote on wind turbine related issues – even when they are directly about about her very own wind turbine, and she has been asked to declare a conflict of interest by those affected! You can watch the council videos here:
March 7, James Dymond letter (video 1 starts 17:50 min. in) & (cont. video 2)
February 16, Diane McGuire letter (video, starts 2:50 min in)
Her comments include bits like this:
Councillor Hendrikx – “I just wanted to give information that they’re working with the Ministry of the Environment – because they called me back when I had sent this (email). The concern I have is that we would be asking to set up noise receptors at every turbine – every turbine isn’t generating complaints, and they are an inconvenience to the farmers to have those turbines sitting out in the middle of the field. So I’m not sure exactly why we need to have receptors at every turbine. I think there’s more value in finding out why some appear to be noisier than others, whether there are a lot of steel rooves in the area reflecting the noise or something like that. I’d like to see something along that line addressed with the different companies.”
Unfortunately Mary Ann seems to think a ‘receptor’ is a microphone…
Councillor Hendrikx– “Just for some information, he’s [James Dymond] actually located pretty equally distant between two [turbines]… one on the southeast and one on the southwest. So, he may be getting some sort of echo effect or wave convergence type issue – I don’t know, but I’m actually just as close to the one as he is. The one – the one he’s referring to – he’s not actually referring to, there’s actually noise testing going on the one for, I think about 8 months. But they put the radar locator like the noise tester on the wrong side of the turbine. I don’t think they knew who was complaining about the noise. So, they put it on the wrong side.”
She ends up voting against supporting Diane’s letter. Then oddly at the next meeting she barely raises her hand to support James’ letter.
But should she be removing yourself from discussion on the above letters? If you were in her shoes would you even think of voting on whether a letter should be sent to the Premier about the noise YOUR turbine was causing?
It’s not that she doesn’t understand the Conflict of Interest Act. Mary Ann ‘excused’ herself from a discussion about the local park in the same meeting, right after the wind turbine vote – apparently she saw a Conflict of Interest was to be had there, but not about her wind turbine.
This sort of contempt has been brewing for years, and yes this is how community division starts. The video below is a ‘blast from the past’. Mary Ann is speaking at a Wind Turbine Meeting hosted by MPP Monte McNaughton back in March 2012.
Just before Mary Ann came up to the microphone, the Michaud family from Thamesville spoke of what it was like living with turbines and how their health was affected. Their testimony was eerily similar to the letters from Diane and James. Mary Ann takes the stage and quickly discounts their real health issues with statements like, “Why should farmers be responsible for everybody else’s anger and resentment?”, and a disparging reference to “no-cheque-itis“. So her neighbours have anger and resentment. And so do their kids, and so do their livestock…?
Being a farmer does not exempt a leaseholder from having responsibilities when they screw up big time. When a person signs a lease they take on responsibility for how they change the living environment around them. Their machine happens to make a lot of noise making it so people can’t sleep at night, they have migraines, excruciating tinnitus, debilitating vertigo. It’s a package deal: you get a turbine and a lot of nasty side effects. First step is to apologize to the neighbours that are suffering. Don’t pass blame to the ‘metal rooves’, and the ‘receptors’.
Nor does the Green Energy Act null and void the Conflict of Interest Act. Incredulously Mary Ann took the giant risk of voting with a Conflict of Interest, to defend her wind turbine, not her neighbours.
Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc.
Parc eolien Gauthier LP
Parc éolien Gauthier
32MW Municipality of The Nation and Township of Champlain UNWILLING HOST
Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc.
Otter Creek Wind Farm Limited Partnership
Otter Creek Wind Farm Project
Municipality of Chatham-Kent (and then there is Randy Hopeless, who never fails to sell out this municipality. Have a referendum Randy, then you can actually see how the people you are supposed to represent actually feel.)
By Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey is urging local municipalities to ensure they’re getting enough revenue from wind energy companies following the discovery that policing costs for wind turbine properties are now included in Ontario Provincial Police’s municipal bills.
Politicians in the Township of Frontenac Islands, near Kingston, first raised the red flag this month after they saw close to a $26,000 increase to their most recent OPP bill. After township staff investigated further, they discovered the increase was due to the cost of policing wind turbines on Wolfe Island, according to The Kingston Whig-Standard.
Under the OPP’s new billing model, municipalities are being charged a base service cost per wind turbine property – like they’re already charged for residential, commercial and industrial properties – if these wind turbine properties are already taxed as commercial and industrial, OPP Sgt. Peter Leon confirmed Friday. Calls for service – the second component of the new municipal OPP billing model – are only being charged if police have to respond to these wind turbine properties for service, Leon added in an email. Read article
By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
MARYSVILLE — Recent changes to how the Ontario Provincial Police bill municipalities for service could have a major impact on rural townships that are home to wind turbines.
More than six years after the turbines on Wolfe Island became operational, Frontenac Islands Township council was surprised in December when it received a bill for policing from the Leeds County OPP. “They charge us the same in this new policing formula for a wind tower as they do for a house,” Mayor Denis Doyle said. “It costs us a lot of money.”
Frontenac Islands Township pays an average of about $300 per household for policing, meaning new policing fees for the wind turbines properties added almost $26,000 to the township’s policing bill for 2016. “We were dumbfounded why our rate went up so much,” Doyle said, adding that township staff had to go back through the bill to find out the reason for the increase. “That’s gone way up from what we were expecting.”
Ontario sets tax rates on different types of properties depending on their use. Residential and commercial properties pay the full amount of property tax, while land being used for farming or forestry pay 25 per cent of the tax rate. Properties where wind turbines are located can only be taxed at a rate of five per cent of the full tax rate, Doyle said. Read article
Essex council is making it clear it doesn’t want to see any more wind turbines in the town, rejecting a community benefit agreement for the Blue Sky Wind Project.
“We are not interested in any more windmills in our municipality,” says Ward 3 Councillor Bill Caixeiro to loud and long applause in council chambers Monday night.
Councillors even charged the company behind the project, GDF Suez, had paid for letters of support to be sent to council.
“There was no payment made for any letters of support,” says Bonnie Hiltz, government relations for GDF Suez. “They, I believe, were referring to letters of support for landowners who have voluntarily come forward to participate in the project.” Read article
AUGUST 12, 2015
Tecumseh Public Meeting
Tecumseh Arena, 12021 McNorton Street, Tecumseh
AUGUST 13, 2015
Essex Public Meeting
McGregor Community Centre, 9571 Walker Road, Essex
Petrolia Independant, Heather Wright
Warwick Mayor Todd Case says the latest process to bid for wind energy projects amounts to extortion and his municipality won’t be part of it. Four wind energy companies are in the process of bidding for industrial projects in Warwick, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen. As part of the process, the companies are approaching municipalities to talk about what is going on and hoping to gain some form of support to improve their chances of approval.
Under the new process approved in June, companies receive bonus points for some forms of municipal approval. There is a form to say they have met with the municipal government which bears no points. If a company signs an Community Commitment Agreement with a municipality, it receives points which make the project more likely to be approved. Municipalities can also endorse projects; those projects are mostly likely to be approved.
Suncor Energy and NextEra, which are both preparing bids for projects in Warwick, are pressing the community to sign Community Commitment Agreements which include compensation for having the turbines in the community.
But Mayor Case says Warwick is not about to sign anything and shouldn’t be penalized financially because of it. “The process, in my opinion, stinks,” he tells The Independent. “The province says it now gives municipalities a chance to weigh in but there are points for the companies if you sign (for compensation). That’s extortion in my point of view.” Read article
London Free Press, John Miner
Ontario has rewritten the rules for its next round of wind farms, but will that end the high-voltage backlash the projects have sparked in rural Southwestern Ontario and elsewhere? John Miner reports.
— — —
Chalk one up for small-town Ontario. Dismissed, ignored, stripped of control, defeated before tribunals, blocked in the courts — when it comes to giant wind farms built to generate power, rural Ontario has been on a long losing streak. Until now. Powerless for years to stop the wind farms, as the Liberal government plunged headlong into green energy with 2009 legislation that seized control from municipalities over where the highrise-sized turbine towers could be built, many of those same areas are finding the rules of the game have changed.
For starters, wind energy companies will have to buy peace to win new contracts, getting local communities — many of them deeply polarized by past projects — on board. Gone, too, are the sweetheart deals that paid companies far more to generate power than consumers paid, piling up more red ink in a province that hasn’t balanced its books in years. Instead, wind companies will have to bid on price.
And with Ontario’s next round of energy contracts this fall amounting to only 300 megawatts, enough to power about 90,000 homes, competition will be fierce and fought over a much smaller share of the spoils. Wind power generates only a fraction of Ontario’s juice, but its political voltage has loomed large for years, especially in wind-swept Southwestern Ontario’s farm belt where many wind farms have sprouted. Read full article
Among those vying for the next round of contracts:
Hardy Creek Wind Energy Centre: (Middlesex and Lambton counties); up to 50 turbines, 100 megawatts (MW)
Northpoint 1 Wind Energy Centre: (Eastern Ontario): Township of North Frontenac, 35 to 50 turbines, 150 MW
Northpoint 2 Wind Energy Centre: (Eastern Ontario) Townships of Addington Highlands and North Frontenac, 35 to 100 turbines, 200 MW
30- to 40-MW project, 10 to 15 wind turbines, on existing Port Alma and Chatham wind farms.
Strong Breeze Wind Project, in Dutton-Dunwich Township in Elgin Country, 60 MW
Nine Mile Wind Farm, in Eastern Ontario South Dundas, 50 to 90 MW
Nauvoo Wind Power Project, 75 megawatts, Townships of Warwick and Brooke-Alvinston, Lambton County
Churchill wind project, 100 to 150 MW, in Enniskillen and Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton
Capstone Infrastructure Corp.
Erie Shores Wind Farm 2, up to 70 MW, within Township of Malahide and Bayham, Elgin
Sydenham Wind Power Project, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen Townships, Lambton, up to 100 MW
Silver Centre Wind Project, West Timiskaming District, up to 120 MW
SWEP Development LP
Meadowvale Wind Farm, south of Wallaceburg, Chatham-Kent, 18 to 19 MW
Clachan Wind Farm, north of Duart, Chatham-Kent, 9 to 15 MW
Duart Wind Farm, west of Duart, 8-9 MW
Townsend Wind Farm, north of Jarvis, Haldimand County, 6-7 MW
The Independent, Heather Wright
Plympton-Wyoming council has kicked a proposed road-use agreement with Suncor Energy for its Cedar Point Wind Project back to staff for further negotiations. The 46-turbine project is a 50/50 partnership between Suncor and NextEra in Plympton-Wyoming, Warwick and Lambton Shores.
Plympton-Wyoming’s Chief Executive Officer, Kyle Pratt, says earlier this year council had directed staff to discuss a road-use agreement with Suncor. “We looked at a number of road use agreements from other municipalities, namely those of Lambton, Huron and Middlesex counties,” he told council May 27.
“Their lawyers had already looked at certain things so we thought we could use them as a template and come up with something better for Plympton-Wyoming.” While Pratt noted the 30-year agreement was a lengthy document and clearly states Plympton-Wyoming remains an unwilling host and any approval of the agreement is intended solely for the protection of its taxpayers. Read article
Sarnia Observer, Tyler Kula
PLYMPTON-WYOMING – A legal challenge from Suncor Energy has prompted town council to back away from a noise bylaw the municipality enacted last year to limit local wind farm development.
Suncor, a developer behind the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project under construction in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township, recently filed a court application to quash Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaw, said town clerk Brianna Coughlin.
The municipal legislation sought, among other things, to limit wind turbine-produced noise lower than 20 hertz — infrasound: the normal limit of human hearing. Wind turbine opponents argue exposure can negatively impact people’s health. Complying with the bylaw would have made it impossible to operate the 100-MW wind farm, expected to be operational by late 2015, Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant said Thursday.
“We are committed to complying with and operating within the limits that are set out for us by the province,” he said, noting noise limits for wind farms are provincial territory. “And we felt that the municipality just didn’t have jurisdiction on this particular matter.” Read article
by Harvey Wrightman
The recent Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association(OGRA/ROMA) conference chose it’s presenters for something other than insight. Listening to the self-absorbed mayor of Chatham/Kent, Randy Hope, I had the sudden feeling of wanting to flee the room. Here’s a taste of him for starters:
“I’ve dealt with the people who claim the wind turbine has created obesity. I’ve created the issue about the birds and the bees and the bats. And, trust me, we’ve dealt with every health standard – even the Federal government’s ploy to divert the attention around the pipeline and put the health study on the wind turbines. Done, completed and no issue. And even recently I had somebody complain about my wind turbines too close to my airport. And which I found was pretty ridiculous and it was politically motivated. But you know at the end of the day, Transport Canada, my pilots, and NAVCAN all agreed there is no unsafe condition that is applied to my airport in my community.
Phew! That’s a lot of first person ego to deal with at one sitting. It’s a bit hard to decipher exactly where he’s headed but I’ll bet you can guess already.
“I’m not trying to convince you to support wind, that’s your personal choice. But I hear, “Why am I providing power to Toronto… There’s a “community benefit program” we put in place based on the size of the project, so we have it going into a community foundation fund… (which) has specific areas in which that money needs to be utilized for – which follows the lines which the community is trying to do???”
Ahhh! – It’s the Money!!! Hang on.
So we have the community strategic fund which the monies go into. We also have the tax revenues which are associated to it. We probably get about $3500 for industrial tax base which comes from each turbine based on the size of megawatts that are there…and currently we are looking at from a municipal point of view is to actually invest in it. Payback in return over the investment years that are there. We have some companies that we still have areas that we’re probably dealing. I probably have availability for another 120 turbines in Chatham/Kent, and we’re looking at ownership in one of those and there’s ways to formulate that it doesn’t cost me nothing but I get revenues from. So those are formulas in which we’re utilizing.
I must say though from our perspective and because of my relationship and council’s relationship with our developers, they know we mean business, we’ve meant business since day one. They’ve come with great community programs and supported a lot of community stuff that local, federal and provincial government haven’t been able to support. And they’ve been there. They’ve been participating in the community and been good corporate citizens.
But let me tell you – and I don’t know when to do this but everybody says, “I’m a no wind zone, and council’s not going to pass a resolution.” Do you know under the new system they don’t really give a shit. Sorry. They don’t give a shit whether you’ve got a resolution or not. Continue reading →
NextEra Energy officials say they want to work with the people of Brooke-Alvinston as they bid for a 50-turbine wind project. But it seems at least some people don’t like that idea.
NextEra Director of Development Nicole Geneau and Community Relations Officer Derek Dudek spoke with Brooke-Alvinston Council recently to outline their preliminary plans for the Hardy Creek project. Geneau says NextEra was one of 42 companies approved to bid for up to 300 megawatts of renewable energy. From that, Geneau expects there will be two or three wind projects.
NextEra hopes to build between 30 and 50 industrial turbines in the northeast corner of Brooke-Alvinston, into Warwick and Adelaide-Metcalfe Townships. The companies have until Sept. 1 to submit bids for the projects. If NextEra did win one of the contract, construction likely wouldn’t start until at least late 2018 or even 2019. Read article
by Harvey Wrightman
The buzz-words nowadays are “Community Engagement” or “Social license” – when you hear those words from the policy mandarins of the provincial government, the people who know what is best for us, be ready for something that is quite the opposite. Unhappy with the widespread opposition to wind projects, our mandarins have been scheming to show there is no opposition. To get the sentiment of a community to a project, ordinary people like myself would simply canvass/petition/survey the affected area. Not so with the mandarins, who seeing the problems of direct democracy, prefer to add layers of insensitivity to the process – ask those who will not be affected – and offer them some money. That will get desired results. It’s called, diluting the pool.
The IESO (Independent Electricity system Operator) has released the new Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) (click on LRP I RFP and go to Sec. 3.3, pg. 47), which means more large wind projects. For this round of contracts, companies need only conduct ONE public meeting (see, we did have an effect at those open houses); but, the companies must obtain a measure of local support.
So looking at the chart: “Community Engagement” rates 80 points, and “Aboriginal Participation” rates 20 points. The aim for the wind company is to get as much consent to their project as possible. Not so easy these days as people have become aware of the adverse impacts of wind turbines. The higher the point score, the higher the project is in the queue, supposedly. Let’s see how they might do it. Continue reading →
A Suncor Energy representative calls Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw “a novel approach” but wants much of the bylaw changed. Suncor Energy is planning a 43-industrial turbine project around Camlachie. It’s the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing. But the town has written and passed a noise bylaw to make sure residents aren’t bothered but low-level sound – called infrasound. While the bylaw was passed, under the Municipal Act, people can ask for changes for up to a year.
Chris Scott was at Plympton-Wyoming Council recently to outline the company’s concerns with the bylaw which Suncor says “are concepts that are not well defined and not accepted by the general consensus of (acoustical) industry standards.” While the noise bylaw wouldn’t stop Suncor from building the project, Scott says operating it would be another thing. The bylaw, he says, amounts to an “outright ban on infrasound” and “the testing methods are vague and inadequately defined.”
Scott says everything, including people, emit infrasound, making it impossible to turn on the turbines. And he suggested it would be difficult to measure low-level noise. Scott says there are instruments to measure the lower limits of infrasound as Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaw suggests, but “they are not typically available…and should be struck from the bylaw.” Read article
Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Suncor Energy and the Town of Plympton-Wyoming are at odds again over a wind turbine bylaw. Jody Hood, a manager of development and engineering with Suncor Energy, raised concerns at a recent town council meeting over a bylaw passed in 2014 to regulate wind turbine noise. Some 27 of the 46 wind turbines Suncor plans to build as part of its Cedar Point wind project would be located in Plympton-Wyoming.
“The noise limits related to our wind operations are regulated by the province,” said Suncor spokesperson Jason Vaillant. “We certainly intend to operate within those limits.” Vaillant said “from a technical perspective” the bylaw would prevent wind turbines from operating in the municipality. “Although, it’s not the bylaws that govern our project,” he added. “That approval comes from the province.”
Ontario granted environment approval in August for Suncor’s wind energy project in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. Appeals of that approval are currently being heard by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal. Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper said the noise bylaw was written in consultation with a lawyer, and added that it follows the province’s regulations. “But, we added the low level sounds,” Napper added. Read article
The Multi Municipal Wind Turbine Working group has written a letter of protest over the province’s request for new wind power proposals. Chair and Arran-Elderslie Deputy Mayor Mark Davis is asking the minister of energy why the province wants to add another 300 mega watts of wind power.
He questions how the province can add more to an already mismanaged system. “The financial ramifications of what the green energy act has done to the cost of electricity is decimating this province,” he says. “Whether it be from manufacturing sector, to just regular good taxpaying people, we’re accomplishing nothing other than taking ourselves out of a competitive market place.” Davis says electricity ratepayers continue to watch in alarmed disbelief as their hydro bills skyrocket. Read article
Grimsby Lincoln News
WEST LINCOLN — After an exhausting search, township officials have turned up at least one way to protect residents from industrial wind turbines. Staff was directed by the previous council to undertake a review of township bylaws, as well as those of other municipalities, to determine if any additional regulations can be put into place that would protect residents from wind turbines.
As far as the township’s existing bylaws go, there is little that can be done. But a look to Plympton-Wyoming may have turned up one way to protect residents from the nuisance noise associated with turbines.
The Municipality of Plympton-Wyoming, near Sarnia, Ont., has passed a bylaw that requires an expert in decibel reading to deal with noise complaints. Should a noise exceed the allowable limits of the municipality’s noise bylaw, a fine can be applied. The municipality’s CAO confirmed to township staff they have a sound engineer on retainer to address complaints under the bylaw, should any occur. Read article
Orangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
While Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) “unequivocally” states its transmission line meets all regulations, Melancthon Mayor Darren White wants the county to conduct its own electromagnetic field (EMF) tests. At county council’s meeting this Thursday (Jan. 8), White plans to urge politicians hire an electrical engineering consultant to determine whether the amount of stray energy being emitted from Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line is safe or not.
“It’s in the best interest of us to at least know what the levels are that we’re dealing with,” White said. “To have somebody, who is professional in the field, explain to us that this is safe, this is not safe, or under which conditions it is safe.” Since Health Canada doesn’t consider EMF a hazard, there are no precautionary measures required when it relates to daily exposure. As such, Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts noted the company has no testing guidelines to follow. “We state unequivocally that all protocol has been followed in the construction of this line,” Roberts explained in an email, claiming opponents to her company’s project are requesting EMF measurements that aren’t mandated in Canada.
“DWPI has installed a safe power line,” Roberts added. “It has been built to the latest industry standards; and it is consistently operating at well under capacity.”
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved Dufferin Wind’s plan to construct the transmission line from its 49-turbine wind farm in Melancthon to Amaranth last year.
The most recent criticism of the project came after a group of residents reportedly witnessed stray energy emitted from the line light a fluorescent light bulb.
While Roberts noted the phenomenon witnessed was a “well-documented side effect of the conduction of alternating current,” White thinks it would be best if the county investigated the matter further. “It’s the responsible thing to do. You can only make a good decision if you have all the information,” he said. “I just want to make sure it was done in a manner that is safe for the residents and safe for anybody that is in the area of the project.” Read article
Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Lambton County’s public works department is gathering comments from residents about power lines Suncor Energy plans to build near or on county road allowances as part of its 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind energy project. Lambton residents have until Feb. 3 to submit comments to Jason Cole, the county’s manager of public works, by e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at 519-845-0801, ext. 5370.
“We’re try to address any of the concerns we can within the construct of the road use agreement, or will respond accordingly as to why those issues can’t be dealt within this agreement,” Cole said. “It’s a valuable process that we’ve initiated to make sure everyone is aware of what we can and cannot deal with, and how this project will impact the county roads.”
Transmission lines for the wind project are expected to be built close to county roadways, while collection lines from the turbines to a transmission station are expected to be buried within county road allowances, Cole said. “Those two aspects have a very large impact on the county road allowance and we want to make sure we protect its long-term viability.” The proposed agreement will also lay out responsibilities for any damage to the road allowance during construction, he added. Read article
Orangeville Banner, By Chris Halliday
All Amaranth resident Ted Whitworth wants for Christmas is written confirmation that the transformer station located near his home isn’t hazardous to his health. Unfortunately for Whitworth, he won’t find that memo he covets from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) underneath his tree this year.
“The best thing would be to fix the whole thing,” Whitworth exclaimed, noting in absence of that he needs the letter from the MOE so he can move on and perhaps consider selling his rural property. “Let them assume the liability, if there is any. If they’re right, then why won’t they provide it?” he asked. “Why do we have to assume the liability of selling it … when the ministry says there is no problem?”
Whitworth has submitted complaints to the MOE ever since the transformer station associated with what is now TransAlta’s Melancthon wind facility was brought online in 2006. While he lives about two kilometres away from the nearest turbine, the transformer is located about 490 metres from his home and 150 metres away from his beef and dairy farm’s pasture field.
As MOE spokesperson Kate Jordan explained, the province has taken action. She said the MOE did require TransAlta replace the original transformer with two quieter ones several years ago, as well as construct noise walls and berms surrounding them. Read article
The Town of Lakeshore doesn’t want to see any more wind turbines erected within its municipality. It passed a moratorium this week that will be sent to the provincial government, as it’s seen 110 turbines go up since 2009.
Mayor Tom Bain says the agricultural areas are starting to be saturated and they’re starting to intrude on residential land and the shores of Lake St. Clair. “During the recent election campaign, all of the candidates heard from the residents that they’ve really had enough of the wind turbines and were opposed to them.” Read article
Resolution It is recommended that.-
WHEREAS, In excess of 110 wind turbines have been located in the Town
of Lakeshore since November 2009
AND WHEREAS, the Town of Lakeshore has become saturated with wind
AND WHEREAS, residential and highly populated areas are now being
considered for further wind turbine projects
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Town of Lakeshore hereby
declares a moratorium effective immediately on any future wind turbine
projects and is not a willing host municipality for wind turbine projects
which are beyond the areas already approved by Council.
“Basically, we couldn’t stop them.” That from Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper after Suncor Energy received its permits to start building the Cedar Point Wind Energy Centre. It’s a move the municipality has fought at every turn, but in the end, had to allow or face another court battle and the possibility of stiff financial penalties. The County of Lambton, which handles planning issues for Plympton-Wyoming, issued the permits – worth $378,000 – Friday.
Suncor spokesman Jason Valliant says the permits are “an important step in the construction process” adding the company will now complete a detailed construction plan. He expects the earliest the shovel will be in the ground is January. But getting the permits didn’t come without a fight. Valliant says Suncor has a contract with the Ontario Power Authority which requires it to have the turbines online producing power by 2016. “Failing to meet the terms of the contract will result in penalties to Suncor,” he said in an email to The Independent.
But Plympton-Wyoming was doing everything in its power to delay the process. The Ministry of the Environment gave final approval for the project in late August but by early October, the company had yet to receive permits. Read article