Ontario Gothic

Wellington Times, Rick Conroy
Mary Shelley is said to have conceived the story of Frankenstein, a manmade monster let loose upon the countryside, while under the influence of opium in the cold summer of 1816. The gothic horror story, it turns out, was the work of a dark imagination fuelled by opioids.

It begs the question: what was Kathleen Wynne and her government smoking when they let loose their own man-made monsters across rural Ontario—in the form of industrial wind developers and speculators?

Even if you buy the sentiment that their motivations were well-intentioned, the undeniable outcome of the Green Energy Act is that Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty have spawned armies of amoral monstrous corporate creatures and have let them loose to roam unfettered across the province. To wreak havoc in rural communities. To despoil the environment. To slaughter endangered species. To make folks sick.

Worse, our government has paved the way, clearing hurdles and slashing regulations to enable these creatures to prey upon vulnerable communities, natural habitats and endangered species. Now they have lost control of their grotesque creations. Even Kathleen Wynne must know how this story ends.

Near Chatham, folks believe the wind developer working nearby has poisoned their wells—allowing toxins into their drinking supply. They have done the testing. They have spoken out. They have protested. Marched on Queen’s Park. Kathleen Wynne has ignored them.

Wynne, her government and her supporters comfort themselves believing the scourge they have unleashed—though ugly and abusive— is a necessary evil. That the greater good is being served. They ignore the folks holding up jars of black liquid, pleading with the province to test their water, drawn from wells that have become undrinkable since the wind developer began driving piles into the bedrock to secure its massive wind turbines. Even Chatham- Kent’s mayor has demanded Kathleen Wynne intervene to protect these residents. It has made no difference.

Left without the protection of the province—without the safeguards that would protect them from any other development— these folks took matters into their own hands. In August, they began blockading the construction site— neighbours joining together to form a line against the threat to their drinking water.

On Monday, in a cruel blow, the developers— a Korean conglomerate and its American partner—won a court injunction barring any further blockades of the project. The judge said he wasn’t trying to muzzle opponents, but to “prohibit unlawful acts”.

In Ontario’s perverse hunger for industrial wind turbines, it turns out Chatham-Kent residents must first prove they have been poisoned by the developer, before they may seek justice. By then, of course, the damage will have been done. Recourse will expensive and, for most, unattainable.

Four years ago, the giant American wind developer Next Era sued Esther Wrightman for defamation. On her website she had altered the company’s logo to NextError and Next Terror. They wanted the logos removed or they would litigate the mother of two young children into oblivion. All these years later, the legal action is still pending. Wrightman wakes up every morning with the weight of this action still weighing on her head. Read article

Fatal collision: van strikes wind turbine’s galvanized hydro pole on Kerwood Rd.

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The provincial government, Middlesex County and the wind developers NextEra and Suncor knew the likelihood of a tragic accident would increase because of this massive infrastructure placed too close to the roads. This is the second fatality from these new poles the wind developers installed in Middlesex County. That would be severe and irreversible harm.  We give our sincere condolences to the family for their loss.

Strathroy Today
Fatal collision Tuesday. Just before noon Tuesday, OPP, North Middlesex Fire Services, and the Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services (EMS), responded to a fatal single motor vehicle crash on Kerwood Road, north of Elm Tree Drive. A van was travelling north on Kerwood Road when it left the road, struck a galvanized hydro pole on the east side of the road, and caught on fire. The driver was transported by ambulance to hospital with life threatening injuries. The passenger in the vehicle died at the scene. The identity of the deceased is being with-held pending notification of next-of-kin. As a result, Kerwood Road between Elm Tree Drive and Bornish Drive is closed. An update will be released when more information is available.

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Wind turbine appeal leaves wpd spinning

Gisele Winton Sarvis, The Enterprise Bulletin
The plan for wind turbines in Clearview has been suspended. In the David and Goliath battle between the small municipality of Clearview and the Government of Ontario and wpd Canada, subsidiary of an international wind energy company, the little guy won – for now.

The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision that the appeals were allowed was delivered by Dirk Vanderbent and Hugh Wilkins just after 6 p.m. Friday when the hearing was adjourned. The ERT ruled that the plans for turbines in proximity of Collingwood Regional Airport and the surrounding areas was proven to be a detriment both to human safety to planes using the airport and well and an environmental challenge to certain species, specifically the little brown bat.batspeciesmortalityontario

“It’s a great win for the Clearview,” said Mayor Chris Vanderkruys. “It’s a great win for the County of Simcoe. It’s a great win for the Clearview Aviation Business Park around the Collingwood Airport,” Vanderkruys said. “I think this has strengthened our vision of the industrial project and it will be a boom for the economy of Simcoe County,” he added.

The County of Simcoe, the Town of Collingwood and the Township of Clearview appealed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) approval of the wpd Canada Fairview Wind Project based on the threat to human safety with the turbines being placed in close proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport.

Kevin and Gail Elwood and Preserve Clearview Inc. fought on the basis of threat to human safety with the turbines being place in close to their privately owned Stayner Aerodrome. Elwood, a commercial pilot and Clearview councillor has spend a large sum of money fighting this project. “I’m so proud to represent the community both as an appellant and as a councillor. I’ve received strong support from the community,” he said. Read article

wind-stayner-006

MOECC pulls support for two turbine locations in Clearview Township wind project

C-K airportWasaga Sun, Ian Adams
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is pulling its support for two turbine locations at the Fairview Wind project because of safety concerns at the Clearview Aerodrome.

In the MOECC’s closing argument to the environmental review tribunal reviewing the order approving the renewable energy application, it was determined the location of two turbines conflicted with the privately-owned Clearview Aerodrome.

Dr. Raymond Cox, a risk assessment expert in public safety, energy, and transport, as well as fluid dynamics and turbulence, testified during the hearing in June the two locations were without a five-rotor-diameter distance from the Clearview Aerodrome approach centreline.

“As it was the opinion of all expert witnesses, who opined on turbine wake … that there was an unacceptable safety risk where turbines are located within five rotor diameters from the centreline approach, the director can no longer support the locations of turbines 3 and 7 as currently approved,” wrote MOECC counsel Sylvia Davis and Andrea Huckins in their closing submission to the tribunal in August.

Clearview Aerodrome owner Kevin Elwood, who is one of the appellants to the MOECC’s  decision to approve WPD Canada’s renewable energy application, said it calls to question all eight turbines. Read article

Amherst Island residents worried wind turbine cement plant to be built near school

CKWS Newswatch

It’s a heated topic on Amherst Island, the wind turbines. But, this time the concern has shifted. Residents are worried about a cement batch plant said to be a base for the project, that they allege will be built very close to the Amherst Island Public School.

Beth Forester has lived on Amherst Island most of her life, along with 6 generations of her family. She went to this school, as a student and teacher… and now her grandchildren go there. “As far as I know it’s as close as those fence posts over there.”

Forester’s referring to a cement plant that will provide the materials needed for wind turbine footings – that residents say is being built near the school. Beth Forester, concerned Amherst Island resident & grandparent “As a teacher I just can’t not envision a closed up, closed the windows in a country setting, close the windows to keep out the noise, the dust, the nastiness.”

Forester isn’t alone.  Many other residents are concerned too, now not just over the turbine project but the possible location of the plant. Bruce Sudds, Concerned Amherst Island resident & parent “Just over 500 meters behind our school there will also be a base for industrial activities for the building of wind turbines on Amherst Island.” Read article

Enercon wind turbine collapses in Nova Scotia

some other turbine collapse… another totally isolated incident

But don’t worry, it’s an “isolated” incident.
Or a “that’s-not-supposed-ta-happen” incident.
And strangely I can can’t find one single photo of this collapsed wind turbine online. You’d think that someone would have snapped a pic of this ‘first in Canada’… unless the company is keeping it especially quiet, and the media hasn’t bothered to go all the way ‘out there’ to the, you know, countryside.


Windpower Monthly, David Weston
CANADA: Enercon has dispatched a team to investigate an incident at the 23.4MW Point Tupper project in Nova Scotia, where a turbine has reportedly collapsed.

In a release on Canadian news wire CNW Telbec, Enercon said the incident occurred on 17 August during a “scheduled component exchange”.

“An incident triggered the Enecron evacuation protocol. The technician on site diligently followed such protocol and safely evacuated the turbine and the surroundings in time to avoid any injuries prior to the turbine’s collapse. Only property damage has been reported,” the release said.

Enercon described the incident as ‘isolated’ saying it is the first time such an event has happened to one of its 1,000 turbine installed in Canada.

“This incident did not occur during regular operations and is undoubtedly an isolated one,” Enercon said in the statement. The affected turbine has been disconnected, but the site’s remaining machines are continuing with operation. Read article


Renews
Enercon has launched an investigation into the collapse of a turbine at the 23.3MW Point Tupper wind farm located close to Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia, Canada. The German turbine manufacturer said the incident, which occurred during a component exchange last Wednesday, triggered an evacuation alarm before the turbine collapsed and that nobody was injured.

The wind farm was developed by a joint venture between Canada’s Renewable Energy Services, which is the controlling shareholder, and Nova Scotia Power. It uses Enercon E-82 and Enercon E-48 turbines, although Enercon did not specify which model was involved in the collapse.

“With close to 1000 wind turbines installed in Canada over the course of the last 15 years, this is the first time that such an event has occurred,” Enercon said in a statement. Read article

Pilot killed hitting wind turbine test tower while spraying crops

august 2014 039Keloland Television
Near Ruthton, MN

A crop-spraying job ended in tragedy amid wind turbine country in southwest Minnesota. The plane nose-dived into a soybean field west of Ruthton Friday morning after striking a cable.   Investigators say the pilot, 68-year-old James Arnt of Worthington, died instantly.

A bent electrical tower high above this bean field is a telltale sign of tragedy in southwest Minnesota. “It’s a sad situation, I guess,” farmer Ben Kremer said.

The plane likely struck a wire attached to the tower which monitors wind conditions for nearby turbines.  The plane crashed some 500 feet east of the tower. Read article

Annual wind turbine blade failures estimated at around 3,800

blade_breakWind Power Monthly, Shaun Campbell
The figures, from research carried out by renewable energy undewriter GCube, were delivered by Andrew Bellamy, former head of Areva’s 8MW blade programme, in his opening address to Windpower Monthly’s blade manufacturing and composites conference in London on 12 May.

Bellamy, co-founder of renewables advisory firm Aarufield, pointed out that blade failures are the primary cause of insurance claims in the US onshore market. They account for over 40% of claims, ahead of gearboxes (35%) and generators (10%).

The wind industry also faces a struggle to secure the carbon fibre materials it needs for lighter and stronger blade designs, warned Bellamy.

“There’s growing competition for these materials from the automotive and aerospace industries,” he said. “And they are willing, and able, to pay more than we are.”

Recent examples of blade failures include a blade from a Vestas V90 3MW turbine that snapped on a wind farm in the north of Denmark last year. At the time, Vestas said the winds were not particularly high. Read article

The dangers of fire in the dead of summer

This image of a wheat field fire makes any rural resident cringe.

Wind turbine fires are always shrugged off by the developers. They bank on them just not happening – especially in the dead of summer, when the wheat is dry… and the wind is blowing. And if they do happen, they figure they can just stand back and watch it burn. That’s the only plan they have.

This fire is on the edge of Middlesex County turbine country.

wheat fire

A second fire in Middlesex (Adelaide-Metcalfe twp) happened yesterday too:
105.7FM13654196_1228941567130477_1953791430843769770_n

Wind Turbine Highlights Unifor’s Hypocrisy On Noise Hazards

o-WIND-TURBINE-570Karen Hunter, Huffington Post
The National Day of Mourning sends “a strong message to all governments of their obligation and responsibility to strongly enforce health and safety laws and regulations,” says Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, formerly the CAW.

There’s a “serious lack of commitment,” Unifor says of the provincial government, “to enforce the health and safety protections that we have fought for,” so “unfortunately, the suffering continues.” One of the hazardous dangers flagged by the union on its website notice is noise.

Meanwhile, a new online petition targets Unifor for its failure to comply with provincial health and safety protections, specifically noise regulations.

Unifor owns and operates the controversial CAW Wind Turbine, located on its property in Port Elgin, Ontario on the shore of Lake Huron. The turbine began operation in 2013 to generate money for the union. At the time, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) approved the turbine on the condition that the Union would conduct noise audits within the first two years of operation and provide MOE with the results.

Now, as the turbine begins its fourth year of operation, the tests and results are, at a minimum, two years late.

MOE knew — as did everyone else — how important noise monitoring would be. Unifor’s turbine is located just 210 metres from the nearest home, less than half of the 550-metre distance required by provincial noise regulations. MOE approved Unifor’s turbine after the union had the community’s zoning changed from a rural tourist/recreational classification to city semi-urban to allow for increased noise.

To further address noise levels, the union stated that its powerful 800kw turbine would operate at just 500kw (despite reduced revenue generation) and that it would self-monitor its operation. Since its startup, Unifor and MOE have received hundreds of noise complaints, day and night, from the nearly 200 families who live within the turbine’s 550-metre radius. Still, the noise testing has not been done.

Back in 2013, during the turbine’s first six months of operation, 140 noise complaints prompted town council to pass a motion asking the CAW to honour President Ken Lewenza’s commitment to shut down the turbine if it harmed residents. The union dismissed the request. Read article

Wind turbine at Ferndale leaning – but don’t worry, they’ve ‘tethered’ it…

1297824222971_ORIGINALBy Rob Gowan, Sun Times, Owen Sound
One of three wind turbines at Ferndale is listing, and officials are trying to determine what to do about it. But the owners of the facility say that the site is secure and there is no risk to public safety.

“The landowners are safe, the neighbours are safe, properties and structures are safe,” said Aaron Boles, senior vice-president of investor relations and communication with Capstone Infrastructure, which owns the three-turbine wind farm. “The closest structure to that turbine is 400 metres away and the closest road is 900 metres away, and that whole turbine to tip height is 115 metres.”

Twenty-four hour security has also been placed at the site and the turbine has been tethered, Boles said. Capstone first became aware of a problem with the turbine last week when electronic communications with it were interrupted, he said.

“We sent a maintenance crew up there and, doing their routine regular maintenance to get the turbine back online, they noticed that one of the turbines appeared to be listing slightly,” said Boles. “We immediately sent our engineers up there to the site and they confirmed the turbine was in the leaning position.” Read article

NextEra: “and about that Community Vibrancy Fund … we’re taking it back”

fire-turbine-smAh 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).

fire

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.

NextEra wind turbine blade snaps in Nova Scotia

article_largeYarmouth County Vanguard, Tina Comeau
PUBNICO, YARMOUTH COUNTY – Maurice D’Eon describes what he heard from his home on Saturday as “thunder out of the clear blue sky.” Not only was he surprised to hear what sounded like thunder. But afterwards he was even more surprised by what he saw.

When D’Eon, who lives near the Pubnico Point Wind Farm, came outside to investigate what he heard, he saw that one of the blades on a turbine was “in distress.” The blade was bending, says D’Eon, who says he heard the thunder-like sound at around 5 p.m. on March 19. “It was like thunder out of the clear blue sky,” he says.

D’Eon said he contacted someone from the company to report the incident and what he was witnessing with the blade. On Sunday morning that turbine sat idle, while the other nearby ones continued to rotate.

The wind farm is owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. The company’s director of communications, Steve Stengel, says the company is looking into what happened. Read article

Despite protest Clearview wind project gets the green light

The Enterprise Bulletin, Gisele Winton Sarvis
CLEARVIEW TWP. – The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has given the green light to allow the construction of eight 137 metres (450 ft) wind turbines east of Stayner one day before proponent wpd Canada was to take the government to court. MOECC awarded the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) application Thursday. The court case, which has now been cancelled, was to begin Friday.

The Township of Clearview had fought for intervenor status at court in order to oppose the project, on the north and south side of Country Rd. 91. “I am extremely disappointed that the Ministry of Environment has gone ahead in light of all the work we’ve done to show the side effects and how it will impact economic development in Clearview and the County of Simcoe,” said Clearview Mayor Chris Vanderkruys. “It’s a project that the township was clearly against. The provincial government doesn’t listen at all. They do what they want. The fact that we had to fight for intervenor status is crazy,” Vandkerkruys added. “However this happened between wpd and the government, they didn’t include us at all,” he added.

Two of the turbines to be located on the north side of the County Rd. 91 will be less than 2,000 metres from the runway at the Collingwood Regional Airport. Read article

Terrors and errors with wind turbines

2014_06010041by Harvey Wrightman

The wind battles are over in the areas of  Adelaide, Bornish, Bosanquet and the wind company landmen have moved on to “greener” pastures for their prospecting and duping.

In their wake they have left a cluttered mess of leaning towers and graceless power lines above ground, and less noticeably – the barely hidden maze of electrical 34 kV cabling that conveys the power to the substations and the grid. There’s a big punch in those cables when the wind chooses to deliver.

Trenches for these cables meander back and forth from private to public property.  According to the regulations, they must be buried a minimum of only one metre below the surface, but who’s checking.  Regardless, these are very dangerous cables to locate in a zone where others might be digging.  A breached collector cable by an excavator could cause a massive explosion.  We have heard of two incidents where collector cables have been “touched” in the NextEra Jericho wind project in the former Lambton County township of Bosanquet.

In the first case a drainage contractor who was replacing a collapsed header drain along Thomson Line, east of the Arkona Rd., hooked onto the control cable of the adjacent 34 kV collector line.  That would have been very scary!! The line had been marked for location with stakes, but the cables either weren’t where they were supposed to be as they were too shallow, or not ID’d properly by the highly qualified “locate company”.  Regardless, it should never have happened.

A similar incident occurred over on the 8th Concession, only the cable was struck by a post hole auger for a new fence, even though the line had been ID’d by the same locate contractor. See the pattern here? Continue reading

Germany: Wind turbine blade fragments thrown 500 metres form tower

Wind turbine accident at Nieder Kostenz in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany – November 15, 2015

NextEra turbine parts flying off blades

DSC_0812John Miner, London Free Press
NextEra Energy acknowledged Wednesday that it shut down some of its Ontario turbines and warned landowners after it was discovered a part on spinning blades could fly off.

NextEra said the potential problem was with “a small thin plastic attachment” on the turbine blades that could separate while in operation. “No injuries or property damage occurred as a result of this situation and we are working aggressively to develop a long-term solution,” NextEra spokesperson Joselen Bird said in an e-mail.

Some wind turbines, particularly those near roadways or other public access areas were temporarily shut down. After the plastic part was removed from the blades, the turbines were restarted, Bird said. Bird emphasized that affected landowners were notified and the company shared with them the actions being taken.

The issue was raised in the Ontario Legislature Tuesday by Huron-Bruce Conservative MPP Lisa Thompson, who demanded a safety audit of industrial wind turbines across the province because of the risk of falling debris. She asked the government to shut down any turbines found unsafe. Read article

Bluewater Gets Reports of “Material” Fall Off Turbines

turbinebladeBlackburn News, Bob Montgomery
Bluewater council has asked staff to look into reports that parts of wind turbines are falling off of the blades. Mayor Tyler Hessel reports a few residents have told their councillors that they’ve been told by wind energy company officials not to take crops off near the turbines until they notify the company so they can slow down the turbines.

Hessel points out some of the turbines are near municipal roads so if there is a possibility of parts of the blades falling off the municipality would like to know about it. Hessel adds his understanding is that sensors attached to the blades with adhesive are the source of the consern but stresses at this point the information they’re getting is second hand so they’re looking for confirmation of that and an explanation from the wind energy company.

Hessel adds if there is a possibility of sensors becoming separated from the turbine blade the municipality as well as all of the residents living anywhere near a turbine should be alerted to that possibility.

EnviroCan wins tilt at radar-hexing windmills

exeter radarJohn Miner, London Free Press
Environment Canada can’t block wind farms from being built close enough to throw off its weather radar readings, but it’s won the right to order turbines curtailed during severe weather in Southwestern Ontario, documents obtained by The London Free Press show. Under a 32-page agreement negotiated with NextEra Canada, Environment Canada can order the Florida-based wind energy giant to reduce wind farm operations in extreme weather that could jeopardize public safety.

Following a call from Environment Canada to its operation centre in Juno Beach, Fla., Next­Era has 20 minutes to “feather,” or adjust, turbine blades back in Ontario so they won’t contaminate radar readings, according to the agreement provided to The Free Press under the federal Access to Information Act. The curtailment can last up to an hour, but can be extended by Environment Canada if dangerous weather conditions — Southwestern Ontario is located in a tornado alley and heavy snow belt — persist.

Ground Zero for industrial turbines in Ontario, with the biggest and largest number of wind farms in the province, Southwestern Ontario has been a hotbed of rural opposition to the highrise-sized installations, which took off after the Liberal government began signing sweetheart deals with energy companies — paying them far more for their electricity than consumers pay — under its Green Energy Act in 2009. But while much of the opposition to wind farms has come from activists concerned about health, land values and control over where the towers can be built, which the province took away from municipalities, the contamination of weather radar readings by spinning turbine blades — known as “clutter” — is an international concern.

Scientists in United States and Europe have shown that a weather radar signal bounced off a spinning turbine blade can appear to be a rotating cloud or tornado. The wind farm operations can also distort precipitation estimates. Read article

Another Cedar Point wind project worker injured in Lambton County

2014_06010035Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Another worker has been injured during construction of the 46-turbine Cedar Point wind project being built in Lambton County for Suncor and NextEra. Suncor spokesperson Nicole Fisher said in an e-mail that a contract worker was taken to hospital following an incident Friday, that happened at approximately 3 p.m.

Fisher said contractor Amec Foster Wheeler notified authorities of the incident and suspended non-critical construction work at the site while an investigation is conducted. Tony McInally, a spokesperson for Amec Foster Wheeler, said Saturday the worker had been released from hospital and was recovering at home. McInally would not provided information about the nature of the incident, or the worker’s injuries.

“There is not a lot I can share with you, other than the Ministry of Labour was called, and they are investigating,” he said. McInally said Amec Foster Wheeler is also investigating. “Our primary concern, obviously, is the health of the injured worker,” McInally said. “We’re very happy that he has been released from hospital.”

It is the second time this summer a worker on the construction project has been injured and taken to hospital. On July 21, a Sentry Electrical worker fell from an elevated height inside a wind turbine shaft on Ravenswood Line. He was later released from hospital. Read article

NextEra wind turbine power lines creating problematic ‘induced voltage’ for Union Gas

by Harvey Wrightman
Try as we might to get proper recognition and proper assessment of the dangers of  “stray voltage”, both the MOECC and the wind companies vigorously opposed any degree of scrutiny whether at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings or the project appeals at the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).  The stock response from wind company flunkies was that “stray voltage” was a problem for Hydro One and was not caused by wind turbines or associated equipment.

It all began in early March 2015, from local reports in the NextEra Adelaide wind project:

March 5 – resident calls in power outage. Hydro One rep is not aware of any scheduled outage, but several Hydro trucks are seen in the wind project area and the turbines are off. Hydro rep says, “to ask the guys driving around…” ???

March 18 – resident reports, “So, we had another hydro outage today…Bell phone and internet is out. A Bell recorded message says, it is out in the area til 10:30 PM on Friday !!!!!” –  3 days away. By coincidence (surely), turbines are not operating.

April 21 – Union Gas Rep talks:

Resident:  What about stray voltage?

Union Gas Rep: How’d you know about that?

Resident: I guess that Gas and Bell trucks don’t normally work weekends, do they?

Union Gas Rep: (head hanging down) No, they sure don’t…. It’s been a nightmare with Hydro having stray voltage like crazy.

Apparently Union Gas is confident enough to offer some detail in this application for a work permit submitted  to Adelaide-Metcalfe Township on August 10, 2015.

“To install on existing pipe, Cathodic protection to mitigate induced voltage from Nextera Power Lines. (Kerwood Rd, Cuddy Drive, Langan Dr). Mitigation wires to be installed using directional drilling at 1.5m or as close to fence line (P/L) as possible and 1m below any drains that are to be crossed.”
union gas stray current

 

 
One would think that Union Gas would have run this past their legal staff before pointing the finger at NextEra. Continue reading

NextEra wind turbine blade near Grand Bend snaps

1297732952397_ORIGINALBy Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer
Lightning is the likely culprit after a wind turbine blade snapped amid a storm late Sunday into early Monday, near Grand Bend, a NextEra spokesperson says. One of the towering turbine’s three 50-meter-long blades was dangling Tuesday as the energy company worked to get a crane to safely take it down and uncover exactly what happened, said Josie Bird, of NextEra.

The $2-million turbine is one of 63 in the company’s 102-megawatt Goshen Wind Energy Centre — along Kirkton Road, between Blackbush and Shipka lines – in Huron County. “It’s so rare,” Bird said about the snapped blade. Only twice have NextEra turbines been similarly damaged, she said, including once at the company’s Mt. Millar Wind Farm in Quebec.

Lightning is the presumed cause there too, she said. “Obviously lightning is No. 1 on everybody’s mind,” she said about this weekend’s damage, noting turbines are designed to weather strong winds and it doesn’t appear gusts caused the blade to break. No one was injured, but the extent of falling debris on the property from the 80-metre-tall turbine isn’t clear yet, she said.

Officials haven’t been able to get close enough while the blade is hanging. “Safety is our No. 1 concern,” she said, noting the area has been secured. A damage estimate and exact cause could take a few days to a week, she said, noting NextEra will cover any property damage caused by falling debris. “These turbines are sited in a way that they’re not near any major infrastructure: any homes, any major roads,” she said. Read article

[Ed note: as most of you know bolded statement by Josie above is a blatant lie. NextEra turbines are within blade throw, ice throw, and topple distance of roadways ranging from dirt roads that school buses travel, to Highway 402.]

Ministry of Labour investigation continues into cause of fall from wind turbine

first tower and turbine in place awaiting blades Feb.13/13By Chris O’Gorman, Sarnia Observer
A Sentry Electrical worker who was injured at the construction site of a Lambton County wind farm has been released from hospital, officials say. The Ministry of Labour, however, is still investigating what caused the worker to fall from an “elevated height” inside a wind turbine shaft at the Cedar Point wind farm July 21.

In an emailed statement, Tony McInally, of engineering firm Amec Foster Wheeler who is overseeing the construction job, said the identity of the worker won’t be released “in order to respect his privacy.”

Construction at the Ravenswood Line site has since resumed after the Ministry of Labour issued 13 orders and requirements following the incident, including a stop-work order for workers climbing vertical ladders in turbines. Six of those orders and requirements were issued to constructor Amec Foster Wheeler, with Borea Construction ULC – another constructor – and Sentry Electrical receiving the remaining requirements.

The Ministry of Labour confirmed Tuesday that 11 of the 13 orders were met by July 24. The two outstanding orders, dealing with proper documentation, were later met. Read article

Flight paths and stray current concerns raised at Gunn’s Hill wind project ERT

1297718857081_ORIGINALBy Bruce Chessell, Woodstock Sentinel-Review
Five witnesses for the East Oxford Community Alliance (EOCA) took the stand during the second day of the Environmental Review Tribunal regarding the proposed Gunn’s Hill wind farm, bringing forward further concerns regarding health and the airways above the proposed turbine site.

The first three witnesses to take the stand on Tuesday all brought forward the same concern regarding Prowind’s proposed wind farm: How the turbines will affect the Curries Aerodrome and the planes that fly out of there.

Keith McKay, a pilot for 32 years and member of the EOCA, said he was concerned with flight safety around wind turbines. “We are very concerned about the safety of ourselves… but also for commercial flights going overhead,” McKay said. “We don’t know if all the mitigating options that (Prowind) are proposing will work, we don’t know the time span. So any commercial flights flying over, we are concerned about their safety as well as ours.”

McKay added that Prowind is in negotiations with NAV Canada to put in mitigation standard to solve the problem, but he isn’t convinced this will work in an appropriate time. “Prowind has decided that if this goes ahead, they will put up the turbines,” he said. “We are opposed to that for safety reasons.” Read article

Wind turbine fires ignore pathetically short setbacks

This is in Estonia. Could be Ontario. Except Ontario firefighters are told to evacuate the area and let it burn out… you can imagine the spread of this fire if the firefighters didn’t put the flying debris’ flames out.

OEB approves two distribution lines for Clearview wind power project, township and airport opposed

The Enterprise Bulletin, Paul Brian
Mississauga-based WPD Canada has been granted the go-ahead by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to locate distribution lines for two wind turbines proposed as part of the Fairview Wind project along a two-kilometre distance underneath Fairgrounds Road in Clearview Township.

Karen Evans, the Director of Corporate Communications for the OEB said that despite Clearview’s preference that OEB hold their review of the distribution plan application until the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process was complete, OEB felt it was better to move things forward in one process.

“It is more efficient and prudent for applications to be reviewed concurrently and so the distribution plant proceeding moved forward,” Evans wrote, adding that other government departments in addition to MECC could also potentially be involved in the project approval process but that the OEB will not be involved in the turbine approval process. MECC approval of the REA process is required before the project can move ahead, something Clearview officials had posited as one of their reasons that German-owned WPD’s application should not be given the nod at this point. Read article

First wind turbines, then power lines, and now they need guard rails…

NextEra and Suncor Adelaide projects add guard rails for ‘safety’ because they planted monstrous metal hydro poles along the shoulder of these country roads (Kerwood Road: 90km/h speed limit). WPD’s local Napier project moved their poles to the road edge a year ago and it tragically claimed a life already. This is what they call ‘mitigation’ I believe?

These are monster-huge transmission poles – the largest being 100′ tall and close to 4′ at the base. If you wonder why they are placed on a roadway, well ask Middlesex Cty.  The photos above mockingly show what Nextera, the OEB and the MOE think of road safety.  How could such an emminent assemblage of lawyers, doctors, engineers, and  all the other “professionals” who provided all the learned expertise at the ERT and OEB hearings approve such an awkward, cobbled up,  stupid mess as this – and, get paid for their “testimony.” One wishes that they should have to travel this gauntlet of steely bludgeons for the rest of their lives. So much education, so little intelligence.

Why didn’t Middlesex County call Nextera’s bluff and go to court about such obvious road safety hazards. In not doing so,  a very bad precedent has been set. Basically a private corporation posing as a public utility claims their “infrastructure” is for the public good. Really, that was the argument – said with a smirk.   Nextera’s initial submissions to the OEB  lacked specific details as to where the line would go or how large the poles would be. The size was the last thing revealed.  They also sought a directive to allow them to site the line on adjacent private property on an “as needed” basis and Nextera would dictate what compensation they would pay.  Continue reading

Ministry of the Environment says Amaranth wind turbine transformer is safe, won’t put it in writing

stray-voltageOrangeville 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

Transport Canada rescinds turbine order

plane chatham airportBy Trevor Terfloth, Chatham Daily News
With several changes to ensure flight safety, eight wind turbines that Transport Canada had ordered removed near the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport earlier this year can now stay. Transport Canada had said the turbines, owned by Erieau Wind, violated height limits on lands at the airport, which are subject to the airport zoning regulations (AZRs).

However, the agency said it is discontinuing the enforcement action that commenced in July. “We’ve stated all along the airport’s been safe and it’s proven in the order,” Mayor Randy Hope told The Daily News on Wednesday. “Now it’s just about moving on. … One more hurdle behind us.”

According to a media release, the potential safety risks were “mitigated by Nav Canada with the issuance of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which was later replaced with an altered Instrument Approach Procedure Chart so that pilots are aware of the wind turbines and can avoid them.” Read article

Dufferin Wind has “No Comment” at tribunal hearing, refuses to make mitigation plans public

Hydro pole beside house at Kerwood and Townsend Rds.. Property devaluation much?Orangeville Citizen
At a preliminary hearing by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal held Tuesday, Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) lawyers refused to explain why the corporation, which has erected 316 transmission-line poles between its wind farm and Hydro One’s Orangeville Transformer Station will not make mitigation plans public as requested by Melancthon Council and residents near the right-of-way. Citizen concerns arising from pole bore holes extending into the local aquifers, possibly allowing for ground water contamination, and fears that the pentachlorophenol (penta), a wood preservative coating the entire length of the poles, may travel into surrounding wells, prompted Green Party candidate Karren Wallace to file for the hearing as a private citizen.

The panel for the preliminary hearing, held at Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex in Shelburne, included Dirk VanderBent, Vice Chair of the Environmental Review Tribunal, and Tribunal member Justin Duncan. The Tribunal is an independent body that hears public appeals under the Environmental Protection Act. Also present were Sylvia Davies, lawyer for the Director of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Control (MOECC) and lawyer John Terry plus an additional lawyer for DWPI. The hearing was to confirm procedural directions for the main hearing to be held in the new year.

Ms. Wallace had said previously that her objection was based on DWPI’s mitigation plan for transmission lines never having been formally approved. The transmission poles, located alongside the County-owned rail corridor, will carry power from 49 new turbines in Melancthon to the transformer station near Dufferin 109 and the 3rd Line of Amaranth. Ms. Wallace looked at the issue of possible health risks posed by DWPI penta-covered transmission pole holes, many surrounded by water, some constructed in wetlands, and others near manure piles, “Walkerton had one conduit for contamination,” she said. “We now have 316.” Read article