Climate change “solutions” must demonstrate effectiveness

Trillium DinerMEDIA RELEASE 19 December, 2015
Now that a second Auditor General’s Report has severely criticized Ontario’s electricity system, it is time to rethink a politically motivated energy policy. Action on climate change must not squander crucial time and resources on schemes that may be ineffective, economically unfeasible, or harm human health and the environment.

Why did the Government of Ontario choose to ignore the 2011 Auditor General’s Report that questioned the negligible ability of intermittent wind power to lower carbon emissions because natural gas-fuelled back up is required 24/7?

The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, made up of councillors from jurisdictions where wind turbine development has been most intensive, is ideally positioned to observe first hand the effects of wind turbines on the local community. Adverse health effects are occurring to citizens exposed to wind turbines at approved setbacks. Noise and health complaints have been ignored by government officials. Restrictive Environmental Review Tribunal procedures under the Ontario Green Energy Act make residents’ participation meaningless. Biologists’ observations of degradation of significant habitat and loss of biodiversity near wind turbines have been disregarded.

Because of wind power’s difficulty in matching production with demand, a substantial amount of the emission-free electricity from hydro and nuclear plants is being dumped (in order to stabilize the grid) because the Government’s energy policy gives priority to nominally “green” wind energy. This results in throwing away a large portion of the “base load” electricity already paid for by consumers.

Our technical consultant, William Palmer, using IESO (Independent Electricity Supply Operator) data, found that in 2014 hydraulic generating stations (water power) were reduced by 3.2 TWh (Terra Watt Hours) due to surplus base load generation. Bruce Power nuclear units were reduced 588 times, each occurrence resulting in bypassing some 300 MW of electrical equivalent of high pressure steam directly to the turbine generator condensers [Read William Palmer’s report here] . These transient adjustments result in accelerated wear on the condensers.

At the same time, much of the excess wind energy has to be sold outside the province at below production cost. This drives down the market price for electricity and means that Ontario is often forced to dump surplus electricity to our neighbours in New York and Michigan at negative prices – paying them to take it, further penalizing Ontario consumers.

The Auditor General’s 2015 report discloses that

  • excess payments to generators over the market price have cost consumers $37 billion between 2006 and 2014
  • are projected to cost another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032
  • electricity consumers will eventually pay a total of $9.2 billion more for renewables under the Min­istry’s guaranteed-price renewable program
  • we are paying double the U.S. average to generators of wind power
  • the electricity portion of hydro bills has risen by 70%.

Not surprisingly the Government has now denied the Auditor General access to Hydro One finances, shielding the company from public scrutiny.

A recently published “Council of Canadian Academies Report: Technology and Policy Options for a Low-emission Energy System in Canada” is an example of policy recommendations that fail to recognize the adverse impact on the existing system that the transition in energy systems is already having. It would have been more useful if its authors had given thoughtful consideration to the IESO data and investigated more fully the consequences of wind turbines in Ontario.

The Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group has written to the Federal Government, which provides substantial subsidies for wind turbines, requesting reality-based climate change policy decisions for solutions that are actually effective in converting to a low emission energy system without themselves resulting in adverse impacts.

CONTACT

Mark Davis, Chair, Multi-municipal Wind Turbine Working Group
mdavis@bmts.com
Res. (519) 353 5466

Wind turbines: rural fight against might of city-based politics

Hendrik Gout, todaytonightadelaide.com.au

The fight between city and country over a plan to install over a hundred giant turbines in the Mt Lofty Ranges, Australia.

Shocking stupidity by Wynne, McGuinty

wynne Mcguinty boondoggleToronto Sun Editorial
Thanks to Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk we now know that every substantial thing the Dalton McGuinty/Kathleen Wynne governments have said about their management of Ontario’s electricity system is a fraud. They told us they were carefully planning for the future.

In fact, Lysyk found the Liberals ignored their own legislation and regulations in developing their electricity plan. As a result, “Ontario electricity ratepayers have had to pay billions for these decisions” Lysyk found.

Among Lysyk’s shocking findings:

Between 2008 and 2014 hydro rates skyrocketed 70%, costing $37 billion more than the market price for electricity. From 2015 to 2032, the added cost is projected to be another $133 billion.

Ontarians will pay $9.2 billion more for renewable energy than necessary, despite the fact the province has a massive energy surplus.

Last year, Ontario paid wind power companies twice as much for electricity as the U.S. average and solar companies 3.5 times the U.S. average.

Electricity generated by a biomass plant in Thunder Bay costs 25 times more than the average price in Ontario because the government ignored warnings from the Ontario Power Authority that converting the plant to biomass from coal wasn’t cost-effective. Read  article

Ontario auditor finds hydro consumers pay billions extra for Liberal’s decisions

auditor general lyskAuditor General’s Report 2015 

CTV News, Keith Leslie, Canadian Press
TORONTO — Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk says Ontario electricity customers paid $37 billion for the Liberal government’s decisions to ignore its own planning process for new power projects, and warns that’s just one factor driving up hydro rates.

“We found the electricity planning process had effectively broken down over the past decade,” she said. “Instead of following the legislated process, the Ministry of Energy itself effectively assumed responsibility for electricity planning.”

The ministry issued two policy plans and 93 directives that “did not fully consider the state of the electricity market” and at times went against the advice of the Ontario Power Authority. “Ontario electricity ratepayers have had to pay billions for these decisions,” said Lysyk.

The electricity portion of hydro bills rose 70 per cent between 2006 and 2014, which Lysyk said cost consumers $37 billion dollars in so-called Global Adjustment payments to generators — and will cost ratepayers another $133 billion by 2032.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said the Global Adjustment is needed to encourage more companies to get into energy generation, and doesn’t mean people paid too much for hydro. “The words over paying don’t enter into the equation,” he said. “What it is the true costs of providing generation in the province of Ontario, which is added onto the wholesale price because it is not sufficient to cover off the generators.”

The auditor found hydro customers will also pay a total of $9.2 billion more for wind and solar projects under the Liberals’ 20-year guaranteed-price program for renewable energy than they would have paid under the old program. Read article

NextEra’s Varna Wind: What’s going on in the neighbourhood?

leaving evictionOpen Letter to ERT Panel Lawyers in Ontario
Patti Kellar
I thought it time to provide an open update to the people who put the last nail in our coffin.  That would be all of the Environmental Review Tribunal Panel consisting of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s lawyers who were deemed to be independent and hence, capable of deciding our fate.

You likely won’t remember me.  I was a member of the community of Bluewater who testified in NextEra’s Goshen Project and Northland Power’s Grand Bend Wind Project regarding the serious health concerns associated with Industrial Wind Turbines.  I recall being asked very little by either the Director or the proponent’s lawyers, other than to point out my past efforts in objecting to turbines and questioning something I said regarding the lack of information with respect to the cumulative effect of turbines.  The clear message given by both the Director and wind industry was that there is no problem here, nothing to see, move along folks.

Well, now that you are safely ensconced in the your own lives, gone about your business, I thought it fair you be aware of exactly how your choice has impacted our lives.  As I draft this, I have a sharp pain behind my left eye, the tinnitus that I mentioned to the Tribunal which began five days after the NextEra’s Varna Project started sounds like a violin screeching in my ears, the pressure I feel in my head is intense and I even though I just finished vomiting my dinner, my stomach feels as though it is tied in knots.  Oh yes, my teeth (only in the spots where I have titanium implants) feel as though they are humming. Read article

Inconvenient timing: On eve of Paris Climate Conference, Spain’s Abengoa Solar goes bankrupt

The Rebel, Ezra Levant
One of the things we’re going to hear during the Paris Climate Conference is how we need to be more like Europeans when it comes to green energy.

Here’s one headline: “Spain Got 47 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewables In March.” Abengoa, one of Spain’s wealthiest companies, has solar plants all around the world.

Except today this is the number one news item in Spain: Abengoa is bankrupt. Nine billion Euros in debt — that’s about $14 billion. 27,000 employees. The largest bankruptcy in Spanish history. Read article

Ontario Grid Operator Awards Contracts for Nine Energy Storage Projects

ieso_logo_xlRenewable Energy World
The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on Nov. 23 said it awarded contracts for nine energy storage projects totaling 16.75 MW. The projects complete IESO’s plan to secure a total of 50 MW of energy storage in Ontario, the organization said.

Through a competitive request for proposals, the IESO selected five companies to develop the projects. Those companies are Ameresco Canada, SunEdison Canada Origination, NextEra Canada Development & Acquisitions, NRStor, and Baseload Power Corp.

“Storage technology remains one of the most innovative and exciting aspects of our energy policy, particularly because of the incredible potential it presents. It will help strengthen our system and improve service to electricity consumers,” Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy, said in a statement. “Our government is proud to see the leadership of these five Ontario companies as they move forward to create good jobs and invest in their local economies.”

According to the IESO, the nine project contracts are focused on capacity value – the ability to be available to store energy and provide it back when called upon – and arbitrage value – the ability to store energy during periods of lower prices and inject it back into the electricity system when prices rise – of energy storage. Read article


IESO

​Proponent                                                                    Technology    ​       Capacity (MW)
Ameresco Canada Inc.                                               Battery – Solid           ​2.0
Ameresco Canada Inc.                                               ​Battery – Solid ​          2.0
SunEdison Canada Origination LP.                            Battery – Flow           ​2.0
​SunEdison Canada Origination LP.                            ​Battery – Flow ​          1.0
​SunEdison Canada Origination LP.                           Battery – Flow            ​2.0
NextEra Canada Development & Acquisitions, Inc.  Battery – Solid ​           2.0
​NextEra Canada Development & Acquisitions, Inc.  Battery – Solid ​           2.0
NRStor Inc.                                                                ​Compressed Air ​       1.75
Baseload Power Corp. ​                                             Battery – Flow ​          2.0

Liberals wasting billions on ‘green’ energy we don’t need

Chatham Kent wind turbines from Lake Erie and Rondeau Bay2Toronto Sun, Lorrie Goldstein
When it comes to addressing climate change, former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and current Premier Kathleen Wynne deserve credit for one significant thing. By eliminating Ontario’s use of coal to produce electricity in 2014, they can rightfully claim to have successfully completed one of North America’s largest efforts, ever, to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

True, McGuinty originally promised to do it by 2007 in the 2003 election that brought him to power and the Liberals were seven years late in fulfilling his promise. But they did get it done and it is significant. Globally, electricity produced from coal is the single greatest cause of industrial greenhouse gas emissions, dwarfing minor contributors like Canada’s oilsands and, in fact, global oil production in general. China gets 80% of its electricity from coal, India 70%, Germany 45%, the U.S. almost 40%. Canada gets less than 11% of its electricity from coal and Ontario 0%.

The problem is the McGuinty and Wynne governments claimed they eliminated coal use by investing billions of public dollars in wind and solar power. That claim is nonsense. In 2003, coal provided 25% of Ontario’s electricity. Today, wind and solar power, mostly wind, provide 4% of Ontario’s electricity.

Obviously, it is mathematically impossible to replace 25% of electricity power generation with 4% of electricity power generation. What the Liberals actually did was to replace coal-fired electricity with nuclear power and natural gas-fired electricity. Read article

Gust of bids delays wind awards

2014_06010032London Free Press, John Miner
In a province where it’s been deeply polarizing and hugely costly, wind energy hasn’t lost its steam. So many applicants are chasing Ontario’s next round of wind-energy contracts and deals to supply solar power, the Crown coporation in charge has postponed for months decisions about who will get the business.

“It’s important that we get this right,” said Shawn Cronkwright, director of renewable energy procurement for Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The delay, coincidentally, comes as the Liberal government on Tuesday rolled out its light-on-detail strategy to fight climate change, a move driven partly by the shutdown of Ontario’s dirty coal-fired power plants that were among eastern Canada’s worst greenhouse gas producers. The closing two years ago of the coal-burning plants, including one near Sarnia, opened the door to more green energy in Ontario, including wind power — most of which is concentrated in Southwestern Ontario.

The IESO had expected to award the spoils from the next round of green energy this month or next. But after receiving a flood of multiple bids from both Canadian companies and international energy giants, the agency has changed its timetable for announcing the winners to next March. Read article

Here’s how NextEra makes $287,040,645/year from Ontario wind projects

NexterasMillionsOntarioby Harvey Wrightman
Seven years ago when we first entered the fight against wind projects, everyone including myself assumed that wind companies sought to put their turbines on the sites with the most wind. Wind data was gathered and fiercely guarded by wind companies, the data being “proprietary.”  That’s how it is in the real world – performance is the goal or should be.

Well, in the alter-world that is Ontario Energy Policy, real data is undesirable. Imaginary data is much more useful. It’s almost impossible to find out how much the wind companies are getting paid. The terms of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) contracts are never released to the public – that’s also proprietary and confidential information.  However, from the minutes of the final Community Liaison Committee (CLC) meeting for NextEra’s Adelaide wind project in mid July this year, a smidgeon of real data did surface revealing how much power NextEra was claiming to have produced – it’s a lot more than anyone ever expected.


Here Operations Manager, Peter Miller, let slip how much NextEra was billing the Ontario Power Authority for power production (p 7):

“ … over 160,000 MWH of wind energy has been produced since commercial operation.”

That’s 160,000 MWh for 9 months, or 213,000 MWh/year.

Nameplate capacity for  Adelaide Wind is 60 MW which means Adelaide Wind will produce 60 MWh x 24h x 365 days = 525,600 MWh/year if at 100% of capacity.  This means that Adelaide Wind is claiming production efficiency of 41%!

At $135/MWh the Adelaide Wind project will rake in $28,755,000/year.

But, but, but… real world operational efficiency in SW Ontario rarely exceeds 25% according to the Independent System Operator (IESO) records. The windiest sites might generate close to 40%, but that’s definitely the exception. It seems the Ontario government has decreed that the wind industry shall be paid what the wind industry believes it should be paid. Real numbers/data don’t matter.


Then a question is posed as to how the  Independent System operator (IESO) determines who gets to put power into the grid (p 9). Ben Greenhouse, NextEra Executive Director of Development states:

 “… our electricity system is bizarre … If we bid zero [to IESO, system operator], we would get zero from IESO but we would get compensated at the end of the month for our contract price which is 13.5 cents per kilowatt [$135/MWh].”

Continue reading

Ontario Liberals are peddling Hydro One for the equivalent of a payday loan

National Post, Kelly McParland
Government documents can often make dull reading, couched in the near-impenetrable bureaucratese in which public servants specialize. Thursday’s report by independent budget watchdog Stephen LeClair was a welcome exception – welcome to everyone except Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government, that is.

In simple, blunt terms, LeClair explained that the Liberals’ plan to sell off 60% of Hydro One, the provincial power distributor, will cost far more than it brings in. While it may provide a short-term benefit to the government by helping it balance the budget in time for the next election, the gains will be brief while the costs run on indefinitely.

“In years following the sale of 60 per cent of Hydro One, the province’s budget balance would be worse than it would have been without the sale. The province’s net debt would initially be reduced, but will eventually be higher than it would have been without the sale,” LeClair says.

The annual loss from forgone revenue would range from $300 million to $500 million. The province would get a better deal if it simply borrowed the money rather than selling off an asset to produces a dividend for taxpayers of $750 million a year. Read article

On & off peak electricity prices increase 88% in 5 years

CTV Newselectricity prices

May 2015 comparison form Manitoba HydroProvincial Comparison May 2015

Wind Terror in Turkey

turkey-1The Law is My Oyster
If you thought the carry-on and underhand tactics by the wind companies in Ireland was something to believe, feel relieved that you are not being threatened by the Turkish wind industry (probably owned by the same crowd?), who seem to be well in control of local government and the district courts.

The environmentalist Esen Fatma Kabadayi Whiting has been conducting a brave struggle against the energy company ABK Çeşme RES Enerji Elektrik Üretim A.Ş since 2013 February. She has been resisting the building of wind farms close to residential properties and has also been highlighting the devastation caused to protected areas of conservation and to agricultural land.

The energy company responded to this campaign by making a complaint of criminal slander against Ms Whiting, but she denied the charge as bogus in the Çeşme 1st Criminal Court. The company representative who made the complaint did not bother to appear, but despite his non-appearance in court to pursue his complaint, the case was adjourned to 18 December, rather than being dismissed.
Ms Whiting has often spoken out against the compulsory appropriation of land under the Emergency Nationalization procedure and the environmental damage caused by the Çeşme WPP company. She vowed not to give up and promised that the struggle would continue against the Çeşme WPP as she predicted: “One day the wind will turn.”

I didn’t slander anyone. If I had said those words to him there I would say them to him again in this courtroom. I’m not one to be merciful with my words,” said Ms Whiting. Read article

WPD files with Superior Court of Justice to force ON government’s hand on Stayner wind project

C-K airportSimcoe.com, By John Edwards
The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is concerned that the wind farm near Stayner proposed by WPD could have an “economic impact,” on the Collingwood Regional Airport.

In a letter obtained by simcoe.com from Mohsen Keyvani, supervisor of team 5 of the environmental approvals branch for the MOECC, sent to Khlaire Parre, director of renewable energy approvals for WPD Canada, the ministry is calling on the company to complete an “economic impact analysis,” by Nov. 9. In his letter, Keyvani said the MOECC expects the analysis to include input and engagement from the Collingwood Regional Airport.

“The MOECC is concerned about the project’s potential economic impacts on the Collingwood Regional Airport resulting from the operational impacts that Transport Canada has indicated will occur at the airport,” Keyvani wrote. “In its comments to the MOECC, Transport Canada has indicated that in order to maintain aviation safety at the airport, if the project were to be implemented, it will be necessary to raise the limits of the instrument approach procedures which may result in impacts on aerodrome operations at the airport.” Read article

What I needed to say to the Anti-SLAPP Bill committee

Bill 52 was finally sent to committee last week and today was the first day of the hearing. I called in my appeal to reinstate the retroactive clause that the Liberals removed last December. The Liberals seem to be the only ones saying ‘no’ to this. Here’s what I said, (or what I wanted to say, I had to quickly cut a paragraph or two out to make it 5 minutes on the mark – I hate those hammers that tell you to stop speaking!)

As well, here’s a new video by another group that explains anti-SLAPP in Ontario quite well.

If you’d like to comment on the Bill you can still file a written statement – deadline  6 p.m. on October 1, 2015.

More wind and solar projects on the way in Southwestern Ontario

2014_06010073London Free Press, John Miner
The competition for the next round of green energy contracts in Ontario turned out to be as fierce as forecast.

Although there was a relatively moderate amount of power to be contracted under a new bidding system, a total of 103 projects have been submitted to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. “Our target is to notify successful applicants and offer contracts by the end of the year,” a spokesperson for IESO said Friday.

Though Southwestern Ontario has been heavily targeted for wind and solar farm development in the past with large stretches along Lake Huron and Erie now developed, most of the proposals this time are for eastern and northern Ontario. Part of two of the wind farm projects would be located in Middlesex County.

Up for grabs in this round of contracts is a total of 300 megawatts of wind energy, 140 megawatts of solar, 50 megawatts of bioenergy and 75 megawatts of water power. The companies submitting the bids were required to consult with local communities about their plans before the Sept. 1 deadline.

Projects proposed for Southwestern Ontario

WIND

  • Erie Shores Wind Farm 2, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation, 70-megawatt project in the Township of Malahide and Municipality of Bayham
  • Strong Breeze Wind Project, Invenergy LLC, 60-megawatt project in Dutton-Dunwich
  • Elgin Wind Project, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc,, 26-megawatt project in West Elgin and Chatham-Kent
  • Hardy Creek Wind Energy Centre, NextEra Canada, 100 megawatts in the townships of Adelaide Metcalfe, Warwick and the Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston
  • Romney Wind Energy Centre, EDF EN Canada Development Inc., 100-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent, Town of Lakeshore, and Leamington
  • Blue Sky, GDF Suez Canada Inc., 60-megawatt project in the towns of Essex and Tecumseh
  • Optima Wind Project, Kruger Energy Inc., 38.4 megawatts in Chatham-Kent
  • Otter Creek Wind Farm, Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc., 50-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • North Kent Wind 2, Samsung C&T Corporation, 100-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • Nauvoo Wind Power Project, Suncor Energy Products Inc., 75-megawatt project in the townships of Adelaide-Metcalfe, Warwick and Brooke-Alvinston
  • Clachan Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 14-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • Duart Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 9-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent
  • Meadowvale Wind Farm, SWEB Development Limited Partnership, 15-megawatt project in Chatham-Kent

Read more

Ontario government denies ‘intentionally’ destroying wind-farm lawsuit documents

6883422-corruption-in-the-government-in-a-corrupt-systemRichard Blackwell, The Globe and Mail
The Ontario government has denied that it intentionally destroyed documents related to a legal dispute with a company that wanted to build offshore wind turbines in Lake Ontario. In court documents filed in May, Trillium Power Wind Corp. accused the Liberal government of “spoliation” – the legal term for the deliberate destruction or elimination of evidence.

The government has now replied in an amended statement of defence, saying those accusations are false and there is no basis for the claim that documents “have been intentionally destroyed.” The dispute is part of a lawsuit filed by Trillium after its planned wind farm project in Lake Ontario near Kingston was nipped in the bud by a sudden change in government policy.

Trillium spent years and millions of dollars developing plans for the project, but it had the rug pulled out from under it in February, 2011, when the province said it would not consider any offshore development until more scientific studies were done. The decision came the same day Trillium was to sign a large financing deal.

Trillium sued the government – initially for $2.25-billion in damages – although most of the grounds for the suit were thrown out of court. However, in 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal said the company could go ahead with one specific allegation, that the government’s decision amounted to “malfeasance in public office.” Read article

Amherst Island wind project approved

Amherst Is3By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
STELLA – A controversial wind energy project for Amherst Island has received conditional approval from the Ontario government. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change announced Monday the project received a renewable energy approval with more than two dozen conditions.

Windlectric Inc.’s Amherst Island Wind Energy Project is to include up to 26 wind turbine generators and one substation transformer. The project has been ferociously opposed by many island residents, who argue the project is bad for their health, the environment and the heritage of the island.

The Association to Protect Amherst Island said the project proposal, which the government deemed complete in January 2014, is not finished and leaves too many unanswered questions.

“The Association to Protect Amherst Island deplores today’s decision by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to approve a Renewable Energy Application by Windlectric Inc. for the construction of turbines on Amherst Island, the jewel of Lake Ontario,” association member Michele Le Lay said in an email Monday evening. “The APAI team is ready to continue its commitment to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the Island with a strong legal position and fact-based evidence.” Read article

Tensions form over Falconbridge wind turbines

DSC_0713Mary Katherine Keown, The Sudbury Star
The debate around a proposed wind farm in Falconbridge is heating up. Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo attended the meeting of the planning committee on Monday and told members that he and his colleague, Deb McIntosh of Ward 9, ardently support the project, which would include 30 to 50 wind turbines generating as much as 150 megawatts of hydro power annually (enough to power as many as 50,000 typical American homes, according to online research).

The farm would bisect the Garson-Coniston road and spread northeast, split almost evenly between wards seven and nine. In addition to the turbines, it would include a transformer substation, low-voltage electrical collector lines, access roads, a high-voltage line, as well as work areas.

Jakubo laid out the benefits of the project and referred to the mountainous lands as ideal. “This development wouldn’t hinder any of the recreational users, such as ATVers or snowmachiners,” he said. He admitted there would be disruptions to wildlife corridors and habitats during construction, but added studies have shown those disturbances are temporary. “By about six months following construction, all wildlife returns,” Jakubo added. “They’ve seen antler scratchings at the base of these turbines.”

Chris Dougherty sees things differently. The Thunder Bay-based resource and industrial engineer has long opposed wind farms and was actually involved in stopping a project near his Lake Superior base. His family has lived on the Garson-Coniston road for nearly a century and he does not want to see the Falconbridge farm established. Read article

Residents of Nation, east of Ottawa, fight wind turbine projects

nationCTV, Joanne Schnurr
A storm is brewing over wind turbines in the municipality of nation, east of Ottawa.

Town council tonight plans to reverse an earlier decision to give the green-light to two massive projects. Two private companies have proposed to develop separate industrial wind turbine projects in St. Isidore and St. Bernardin, in Nation municipality, about an hour east of Ottawa.  Council initially supported the bid but at a council meeting Monday evening, Nation’s mayor was planning to move to reverse that decision, after a massive appeal by local residents. This has been a contentious issue in many parts of Ontario as more and more landowners rent their properties to companies looking to set up these wind turbine farms.

What is unusual here is a municipality’s change of heart.  Steve Dick and his wife moved out to the peaceful rural area of St. Isidore for just that: peace and quiet.

‘We’ve been here for more than 26 years,’ says Dick, ‘looking to be in the country, to enjoy the peace and serenity and sense of community.’ It is something the couple worries will be destroyed if a wind turbine project goes ahead as planned at a farm across the road from them. ‘And we don’t want to see that ruined by bringing a big industrial complex out here,’ Dick adds. Read article

Infrasound and Wind Turbines, Keith Stelling , reviewed by William Palmer


infrasound

Six members of Dutton/Dunwich wind turbine community engagement committee resign

no_1St. Thomas Times Journal
Weeks ahead of the submission deadline for Invenergy LLC’s Dutton Dunwich wind energy project, six members of its community engagement committee are packing it in. Six of the 13 people on the Strong Breeze Wind Project’s working group submitted their resignation Thursday evening. The half-dozen members, all of whom oppose the project, were frustrated their concerns were not being taken seriously.

“We just don’t seem to be able to reach any agreement or we don’t see that the company is really changing any of the plans for their project,” said Bonnie Rowe, a former member of the working group. “We weren’t accomplishing anything . . . We just feel as though our perspectives are demeaned and are made light of.”

The group, which includes company representatives and concerned community members, was established by Invenergy as a way to facilitate discussion and constructive debate, promote transparency and educate the public about the Strong Breeze Wind Project. Read article

Wind Turbine Blade Breaks (Shipka, Ontario)

Facebook, Kevin Roelands

NextEra’s Goshen Wind Project11822631_10153434729099360_749101345687174178_n

Enniskillen eyes fire suppression bylaw for wind turbines

K1 FIRE DPetrolia Independant, Heather Wright
Enniskillen Township is looking for ways to protect residents and firefighters if a wind energy project comes to the community. Two companies, Enerfin from Spain and EDF EN are considering projects in Enniskillen Township. While township council has refused to meet with the companies, Enerfin has revealed its project in Enniskillen and Brooke-Alvinston could have up to 30 turbines in the region.

Mayor Kevin Marriott recently presented three bylaws from communities in Grey and Huron Counties, which require wind energy companies to install fire suppression units in the motor of the industrial turbines. There motors, in some cases, are up to 300 feet off the ground making it impossible for local departments to fight a blaze. In Brooke-Alvinston, where there are four turbines, the municipality has made it clear to the owner that if there is a fire, the local department will not be able to help put it out.

But Marriott says the solution would be the fire suppression units. “If they are going to catch fire they should have their own self containment unit rather than expecting the local departments to do it,” he says noting the municipality simply could not afford to have the type of equipment on hand to fight the fire. Read article

An ill-wind in Ontario

2014_06010079Toronto Sun, Tom Harris
Environmentalists often talk about people whose lives are ruined by man-made global warming. But they never mention the lives that are devastated by misguided climate change policy.

There is no better example than the debilitating human health impacts of the hundreds of thousands of industrial wind turbines (IWTs) that are being erected around the world to supposedly mitigate climate change.

In “Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines,” a 2013 paper in the magazine of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Dr. Roy D. Jeffery, Carmen Krogh, and Brett Horner explained, “People who live or work in close proximity to IWTs have experienced symptoms that include decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction.”

“The problem is not just cyclical audible noise keeping people awake but also low frequency infrasound which can travel many kilometres,” notes Dufferin County-based Barb Ashbee, who says she was forced out of her Amaranth, Ontario home by the siting of IWTs too close to it. Read article

Turbines should be taxed at higher rates

Corporate%20welfare%20all%20reward%20no%20riskChatham Daily News, Ellwood Shreve
A former City of Chatham alderman has concerns about the amount of taxes levied against industrial wind turbines. Henry Regts, who is also a developer, contacted The Chatham Daily News regarding a recent administrative report to Chatham-Kent council that stated a proposed 12-turbine project by Kruger Energy Chatham Optima Limited Partnership would generate an estimated $37,500 in annual taxes.

Noting he’s not opposed to wind turbines, Regts said he doesn’t believe nearly enough taxes are being charged for the large structures. He points to his office building, which is valued at just under $500,000 and costs nearly $20,000 a year in taxes. Noting the revenue each of these turbines must generate in a year, Regts said, “they ought to be assessed 10 times higher than what they are.” He acknowledged turbines don’t use services such as water and sewer, but they are large structures that take a toll on roads when transported through the municipality to where they are erected. Regts said these turbines are also tying into the local electricity grid. “I want them to pay the same taxes we’re paying for similar services,” he said.

Chatham Coun. Doug Sulman agrees with Regts’ assessment of the situation. “No, they don’t pay their fair share,” he said Monday. Sulman, who is a lawyer, cited the law office he and his partners own in Chatham is less than 5,000 square feet but their tax bill is higher than what Regts pays for his office “by a long shot.” Read article

This Blows- Ontario’s Wind Energy Fallacy

Suncor admits their wind turbines have a negative impact on communities: “the precedent is there”

Petrolia Lambton Independant
[excerpt] “You are offering us $5,000 per turbine and you’re going to tell us how to spend it?” asked Councillor Frank Nemcek. “You’re going to tell us how to spend the money you’re bribing us with?

Suncor spokesperson Jocelyn Kelln says the money is not a bribe but a recognition of the impact the projects have on a community. “It directly addresses the physical impact to the community,” says Kelln. “We’re not paying to get your permission – that is not the intent; that is not the idea. We do recognize we have an impact, the precedent is there. The government has asked for an agreement and some people are not happy with the idea of a project; this is to offset that.” Read article

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Wind companies buying “support”

bribesBelow are some notes on “Support” that wind companies seek from just about everyone. What is the one and only method of gaining “Support”? You guessed it, moolah.

Throughout the whole run of the wind turbine monster story there is one constant: money, and the scumbag landmen whose task it is to trap the rubes into putting ink on the paper, have handed out $100 bills at buffet dinners for “prospective leaseholders,” presented falsified maps of signed leaseholders, pressured elderly farmers with verbal threats of legal action, provided indirect payments to family members to drop ERT appeals…the list goes on and on. 

In short, money and its corruptive effects is the root of all the problems wind projects imposed on a community. Faced with an increasingly sullen and sometimes hostile rural populace who slowly have come to realize they are targets, government response has been to encourage wind companies to spread the grease money a little wider to co-opt the opposition. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has come up with a form “Adjacent Landowner Agreement” to be filled out and signed by “willing” landowners – all identified by the property “PIN” – how clever, so personal.

Here’s a letter from Suncor to Adelaide-Metcalfe council outlining what they would like to see the council commit to for some cash. Some highlights:

Adjacent landowner support 
• Pool payments will be made to Landowners who are adjacent to the Project and have executed the IESO prescribed form: Adjacent Landowner Support Agreement
— Includes all assessed parcels with title, including Municipal Right-of-Way
— Annual payment based on Acreage with a minimum payment
— Should 75% of all Adjacent Landowners support the Project, payment doubles

Municipal agreement and support resolution |
• Request for municipalities to sign a binding agreement with Suncor, contingent upon successful award of a contract, with the following terms:
— Community Support Plan as described
— Agreement to work with Suncor to develop a framework for distribution of the funds in a way that respects Suncor’s funding priorities
— Intent to execute a road use agreement with Suncor allowing for use of Municipal Roads and Right-of-Ways for equipment delivery and infrastructure placement
• Request for municipalities to sign the Large Renewable Procurement Prescribed Forms: — Municipal Meeting
— Municipal Agreement
— Municipal Council Support Resolution
— Execute Adjacent Landowner Support Agreements 


Very helpful Suncor is, and take note:

  • that the municipality through its ownership of the Right-of-Way gets counted
  • so far no word as to how the payments are; thus, the promise of “payment doubles” for reaching the 75% level could be… double of nothing.

Nonetheless, this puts pressure on Nextera whose landmen, according to sources, have been playing hard-ball with the locals, telling them if they don’t sign they’ll get nothing, and the lease payments are less because the FIT price is less.

What the wind companies don’t produce is their spreadsheet with all the numbers for costs and revenue. Since we’re talking money now, I’ll do the simple math for them, taking the approximate operating expenses and revenues for the Adelaide wind project.

  • We’ll  estimate the operating efficiency at 27%
  • Yearly gross output 60MW/h x 24 x 365 x 27% = 141,912 MWh
  • Gross revenue is  141,912 x $135/MWh = $19,158,120 for a year’s production.
  • Payment to the leaseholders is 2% of the gross or $19,158,120 x .02 = $383,162
  • The other optioned properties get another half percent=  $95,790
  • NextEra is conditionally offering the township $1750/MWh x 60 =  $105,000
  • Property tax $40,000 x 60 x .0269259 = $64,622
  • Yearly payment on capital expense and interest: $8,000,000
  • Grand total: $8,648,574

After all the expenses NextEra takes home over $10million/year from the Adelaide Wind Project. They pay the township and leaseholders a measly $648,000  which is less than 3% of the gross revenue. Some of the Samsung projects were handing out 5%-6% to leaseholders. Wind companies are cheap. Think about that when they call on you.


Then have a look at the question/comments that were posed by energy developers to the IESO:

Trying to get away with as little “support” as possible…
17. With respect to adjacent/abutting landowners to proposed connection lines, should the proponent be responsible for the adjacent landowner support for a connection line that already follows existing municipal infrastructure – including roadways and electrical corridors – or does the proponent only need to contact those adjacent landowners that have the line passing through their personal, private property. For further clarity, is our understanding correct that the abutters for the connection line on municipal road are the municipality? (Abutting) Continue reading

Four more wind projects for Chatham Kent and Haldimand counties

event_icon

Meadowvale Wind Farm – Public Community Meeting
22 Jun 2015 7:00 PM
• Knights of Columbus, 800 Murray St, Wallaceburg
Meadovale Wind Project 
6-9 wind turbines

Townsend Wind Farm – Public Community Meeting
23 Jun 2015 7:00 PM
• Jarvis Lions Club, 18 James St.,  Jarvis
Townsend Wind Project
2-3 wind turbines

Clachan & Duart Wind Farms – Public Community Meeting
25 Jun 2015 7:00 PM
• Mary Webb Centre, 87 Gosnell Line, Highgate
Duart Wind Project
3-4 wind turbines
Clachan Wind Project
3
-7 wind turbines