Flights of fancy?

Dalton green dreamPeter Epp, Chatham Daily News
Dalton McGuinty has been a private citizen for only three days, and already his prized Green Energy Policy is facing perhaps its biggest challenge . . .  ironically, where the policy’s impact was first felt in the province, in Chatham-Kent. Transport Canada has ordered the removal of eight wind turbines that have been placed near the Chatham Municipal Airport. The order was revealed Friday and, if carried out, will likely have an enormous impact elsewhere in Ontario.

The order is unprecedented, and if the wind turbines are indeed removed, they will be the first to be removed since McGuinty’s Liberal government introduced the Green Energy Act four years ago, in 2009. Chatham-Kent was fertile ground for the Liberals when they started rolling out their plans to populate rural Ontario with turbines and solar panels, ostensibly to generate clean energy. The first turbines were erected here; in fact, they were starting to be built even before the legislation was in place. Today, as a municipal jurisdiction, Chatham-Kent is host to more wind turbines than anywhere else in the province. Read article

Watch CTV: Transport Canada orders removal of eight wind turbines in Chatham-Kent

Windsor CTV Newsctv

Transport Canada has ordered the removal of a number of wind turbines in Chatham-Kent. They’re a hazard to aviation, as pilots fly in and out of the airport. The machines may also violate federal zoning regulations.
“If you are coming in to land and you are unfamiliar with the area, especially if clouds are starting to get low, then you could end up much closer to them then you would like to be,” says 30 flying veteran Jeffrey Pyefinch. He says the 8 turbines Transport Canada has now ordered removed, should have never been built in the first place. “The airport is protected by a federal zoning law regulation and the turbines were infringing on that area, so they should have never been allowed to go up in the first place,” says Pyefnch. Read article

Pilots sounded alarm about turbines

C-K airportLondon Free Press
A long-time Chatham pilot says everyone involved was made aware of concerns about erecting wind turbines around the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport. Jeff Pyefinch, who has been a pilot since 1984, said local pilots voiced their opposition to having turbines built near the airport when the project was in the initial stages during a meeting with interested parties nearly 10 years ago. “We had concerns with it the right from the start,” he said on Saturday.

On Friday, The Chatham Daily News reported that, in an unprecedented move, Transport Canada has ordered the removal of eight wind turbines near the municipal airport for exceeding height restrictions. A company official with GDF Suez Canada – owners of the turbines – told The Daily News on Friday, it hasn’t been contacted by the federal agency about this order. Pyefinch recalled that when these turbines were proposed, “the municipality was very pro-turbine. They wanted to position the municipality as a leader for wind turbines.”

He believes political motivation may have caused the municipality to not seek the protection of the airport, to the extent that was available to them, to prevent turbines from being located nearby. Pyefinch said it was clear the turbines would be within the four-kilometre protected radius around the airport, which is a federal airport zoning regulation. Read article

Transport Canada: “The illegal turbines must be removed”

falling turbineSimcoe Reformer
In an unprecedented move in Ontario, Transport Canada has ordered the removal of eight wind turbines in close proximity to the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport because of height restrictions. However, the company that owns the turbines Transport Canada wants dismantled – GDF Suez Canada – claims it hasn’t been contacted by the federal agency.

David Timm, vice-president of GDF Suez Canada, told The Chatham Daily News late Friday afternoon: “We can’t comment or provide any information, because . . . we haven’t spoken with Transport Canada at all this week.” When asked if the company has turbines near the airport, Timm reiterated: “I don’t know whose turbines are involved, because we have not been contacted.”

Chatham-Kent Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren confirmed the action Friday morning. A Transport Canada spokesperson told The Daily News eight wind turbines violate height limits at the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport, which are subject to airport zoning regulations. “Transport Canada is enforcing safety rules and requires the removal of the turbines,” said Tina Morris. She emphasized the turbine company was advised of height restrictions on two occasions prior to turbine construction. “While Transport Canada is willing to work with the wind turbine company to set a practical deadline, the illegal turbines must be removed,” she said. Read article

Transport Canada orders REMOVAL of eight C-K wind turbines

airportLondon Free Press
In an unprecedented move in Ontario, Transport Canada has ordered the removal of eight wind turbines in close proximity to the Chatham Municipal Airport. Chatham-Kent Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren confirmed the action Friday morning. Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope deferred comment to Don Shropshire, the municipality’s CAO, but he could not be reached by phone Friday morning.

John Norton, the municipality’s chief legal office, also said he preferred not to comment on the report and deferred comment to Shropshire. Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Rick Nicholls said he complained in a recent letter to the federal transport minister of the turbines that were in close proximity to the airport. “Not only do they make it unsafe for pilots but I’m told the spinning blades affect radar,” he said.

Nicholls said he is also concerned that the turbines would limit use of the airport by larger companies that might consider locating in Chatham-Kent and make use of company planes. The MPP said the turbine company and not Chatham-Kent taxpayers should be billed for the cost of removing the turbines. Read article

Dunnville airport set to close May 30

dunnvilleBy Lori Maracle, The Saachem
An opportunity to take a flight in a 1940s Fort Erie built Fleet Finch 16 aircraft does not come around every day, and it might never come around again. Russ Cameron is the owner of the Dunnville airport, and he has signed an agreement with Samsung to erect Industrial Wind Turbines on and close to the airport.

“He hopes that the money generated over 10 years from the turbines could be put back into the $1 million needed for infrastructure upgrades at the Dunnville Airport,” said Frank Collins, airport manager. On May 30, the airport will be closed to flight operations, and although the vintage aircraft is airworthy, they will no longer be housed at the airport but will be replaced with static displays.

Ernie Amadio wanted to fly since he was eight years old and has always been mechanically inclined – interested to see what makes a machine tick, one could say. “I was a machine repairman with General Motors for 33 years and have been flying since 1972,” said Amadio. The Fleet Finch he took up on Saturday, May 4 was owned and restored by Peit Bouthoorn and purchased by Russ Cameron on July 14, 2008. Read article

Council not sold on Armow Wind mitigation measures for airport

windfarm_planeThe Kincardine Independent
The atmosphere inside Kincardine council chambers was ripe with tension last Wednesday as a Pattern Renewable Holdings developer took the floor to review a plan aimed to avoid impacts to Kincardine’s airport from the Armow Wind Project. Before launching into his presentation, Jody Law expressed disappointment that council had approved a motion, moments earlier, stating that it is not a willing host community to industrial wind turbines. He told council that approving such a motion flew in the face of the spirit in which the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was developed between Pattern and Samsung Renewable Energy and the Municipality.

Deputy mayor Anne Eadie, who chaired the meeting in place of mayor Larry Kraemer, who was absent, said she was disappointed, in turn, that the Municipality had not received a copy of the letter sent from NAV CANADA a year ago that outlined an area within the project boundaries where turbines could be placed without impacting the municipal airport. “We made it clear that our airport was our number one priority, along with our buffer zones and protecting for future growth,” she said. “We feel, in the spirit of the MOU, that our airport vicinity was not as big as it should have been. Had we heard about that letter a year ago I would have wanted NAV CANADA’s input.” Read article

Half of Armow turbines would impact airport

windfarm_planeThe Kincardine Independent
Wind energy is once again in the spotlight after the Municipality learned that 43 wind turbines, part of the proposed Armow Wind Project, will impact the Kincardine municipal airport.

In an unexpected turn of events, the Municipality discovered that almost exactly one year ago NAV CANADA issued a letter to Pattern Renewable Holdings and Samsung Renewable Energy, the developers of the wind project, outlining an area that was found to be of “no impact” to the airport to assist in planning turbine locations. The companies had sent a project proposal to NAV CANADA late in 2011 for analysis.

Last week, a second letter from NAV CANADA, dated March 17, was forwarded to the Municipality from the aviation organization and the project developers. The letter, addressed to Pattern and Samsung, was issued to inform the developers that 43 of 99 proposed industrial wind turbines infringe on the Kincardine municipal airport.

The letter states: “NAV CANADA objects to the proposal as submitted due to these multiple adverse impacts; however, the impacts on the usability of instrumental procedures can be reduced – but not eliminated – by removing 10 turbines and the re-design of several instrument procedures on a cost recovery basis.” Read article

Turbine placement violates airport agreement

windfarm_planeBy Sarah Sutter, Kincardine News
A NAV Canada letter addressed to Samsung-Pattern Armow Wind Ontario has revealed that 43 of 99 turbines in the proposed Armow wind development violate current procedures at Kincardine Municipal Airport. Kincardine’s chief administrative officer Murray Clarke presented the information at an April 10 meeting of council, highlighting “concerns with Samsung-Pattern turbines outside of airport perimeter mapping.”

In a letter addressed to Jody Law of SP Armow Wind dated March 17, 2013, Aleksandar Trandafilovski of NAV Canada wrote, “in our letter dated April 12, 2012, we included the area we found to be of ‘no-impact’ to aid in planning turbine locations which avoid impact to airport operations; however all 43 infringing turbines are located outside of this area.”

Clarke said it was not immediately clear what the implications of NAV Canada’s concerns might be, and suggested the turbines could possibly affect GPS readings in the area or present safety issues. Read article

WPD news release on airport misleading

wind-stayner-006Morgan Ian Adams, Enterprise-Bulletin
COLLINGWOOD — The federal agency that governs air traffic says regional airport authorities will have to restrict circling movements south of the facility’s main runway if a wind power developer’s plans to erect turbines in Clearview Township goes ahead. In a letter to WPD Canada — which has a proposal to erect eight 500-foot turbines in an area north of County Road 91 — Nav Canada officials say that several of its turbines are in the circling areas for two categories of aircraft (airline and military jets) conducting instrument approaches, and “implementation of a ‘Circling Restriction’ prohibiting aircraft from conducting a circling approach south of runway 13/31 would allow the currently-published circling minimum descent altitudes to remain unaffected.”

In a news release from WPD — which accompanied the release of the letter from Nav Canada — company president Ian MacRae said WPD continues to seek a meeting with the regional airport board to discuss the facility’s instrument approaches. “ It is expected that the discussions will lead to the design, testing and implementation of modified procedures,” said MacRae. “We also are sensitive to the amount of time it takes to develop and implement these new procedures, so we are available to meet with the Board in the very near future so that no lapse in functionality occurs.” Read article

Wind Turbine Turmoil

Sun Newssun

Wind turbines in Collingwood will create perfect storm

downloadBy Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun

Talk about a wing and a prayer.  As if the soaring cost of wind energy weren’t enough, a plan to put 152-metre (500-feet) tall wind turbines next to Collingwood Regional Airport is just plain dumb.

Pilots and community members are up in arms, fearing the turbines will not only pose a safety hazard to planes, they’ll limit the growth of the airport and hurt the region’s economy — just as tourism is growing.

Their MPP says the massive towers — as high as the TD Centre — will intrude on airspace.  Worse, they’ll be painted white.

Hello? Is anyone thinking? Collingwood is in the snowbelt.  Pilots landing in poor visibility will have difficulty seeing the turbines. Continue reading

Canadian Owners & Pilots Association letter to C-K mayor on wind turbines

‘Notice to airmen’ declared in Chatham-Kent

SAMSUNGChatham-Kent continues to be the laughing stock of the province as a prostitute for the wind industry. Just a week ago…C-K Mayor is very happy with the “independent” study done that finds turbines won’t be an issue for the airport. Chatham Daily News

The “independent” company that did the study was Genivar: “GENIVAR Wind Energy is part of the GENIVAR family of engineering services. We have an excellent reputation earned with over 20 years of experience in the wind energy industry.”  On top of that– shall we say, perhaps biased study, the anti-corruption squad recently raided one of Genivar’s offices.

And now (a week after the study is released that says the turbines are not an issue), the airport is issuing warnings of a potentially dangerous situation caused by the turbines…

‘Notice to airmen’ declared in Chatham-KentChatham Daily News
CHARING CROSS  –  A potentially-dangerous situation at the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport is being corrected, according to airport manager Marion Smith. Smith told The Daily News Wednesday she has been able to issue a ”notice to airmen” that the red flashing lights on top of an unspecified number of wind turbines around the airport are not working. Smith agreed that without lighting at night it created a dangerous situation for unsuspecting pilots. The Daily News was advised of the situation Tuesday by two pilots who asked to remain anonymous.

Smith said she has been assured by the company that owns the turbines that the lights will be working within the next few days. She said the company wasn’t even aware that the lights were not working. “The problem has been resolved, or at least it will be shortly,” she said. A Transport Canada inspector declined comment and referred inquiries to the department’s media department when asked about the lights.

“The lights are on the turbines but they are not working,” said Smith. “The turbine company tells us the problem will be corrected within the next few days.” Read article

Council voices disapproval of wind project

wind-stayner-006By Morgan Ian Adams, Enterprise-Bulletin
COLLINGWOOD — Collingwood councillors are tilting against windmills. Literally. While lining up to oppose the construction of wind turbines in Ontario, in the face of the Green Energy Act, may seem slightly quixotic, councillors forged ahead on Monday night to voice their disapproval to the Fairview Wind project in Clearview Township.

That project would see eight 500-foot turbines erected throughout the northern part of the township — including two within what’s been argued is the ‘outer surface’ of the Collingwood Regional Airport, and therefore presently potential interference to aircraft movements.

Two other proposed turbines sit on the imaginary line that is the 2.1 nautical-mile radius around the airport. Transport Canada guidelines specify that no objects above 150 feet be located within that approach area.

On Monday, councillors approved a motion, 8-1, drafted by the airport board expressing the view to the Ministry of the Environment that the documents submitted by project proponent WPD Canada to support its application “are inadequate and incomplete, and not in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act, (or) the Green Energy Act.” Read article

The motion also states WPD “failed to carry out the assessment… of any negative environmental effects that may result from the engaging in the project upon Collingwood Regional Airport and on the social/economic wellbeing of the Georgian Triangle area, and in turn has failed to identify modifications to the proposal to reduce or remove the negative impacts. Read article

Airport charts

Skyvector – airport charts – check for airports near wind projects in your area

Turbines too close says airport board

Turbulence coming from wind turbines in Denmark. The (usually invisible) turbulence they create is just one reason of that planes do not want to fly near them
COLLINGWOOD – Charlie Tatham says it’s inevitable that aircraft flying into Collingwood Regional Airport will collide with a wind turbine.

“You think a grade school kid would understand, you wouldn’t put 50-storey buildings beside the bloody airport. It’s so stupid,” said the chair of the Collingwood Regional Airport Services Board. “They are going to smack into those turbines.”

The airport held a press conference on Thursday, outlining their concerns about the eight wind turbines proposed to be constructed near Stayner.

Tatham said at 500 feet, the turbines will not only be a safety concern but they will also impact the accessibility to the airport.

Tatahm said Transport Canada governs airports and has what is called an Obstacle Limitation Surface. This means obstacles can’t be higher than 150 feet above the ground within the outer surface of the airport.

“If you’re coming here in poor conditions, you have the expectation that you can sneak in here from anywhere know there is nothing above 150 feet,” he said. Read article

Tatham said two of the turbines would also be within the outer surface of the airport – a 2.1 nautical mile radius from the centre of the facility.

Two events target eight-turbine development in Clearview Township

By Morgan Ian Adams, Enterprise-Bulletin
CLEARVIEW TWP. – Proponents and opponents of WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind Project hosted competing events, Thursday, as the clock ticked down to a decision by the township council whether to give the eight-turbine development its blessing. Clearview Township council is scheduled to discuss the project at its Aug. 13 meeting. Township planner Michael Wynia is recommending council not support the project’s construction, and urge the province not to issue an approval.

Collingwood Regional Airport officials — bolstered by the appearance of Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson — emphasized their position that the location of at least two of the proposed turbines falls within the “outer surface” of the airport, as defined by Transport Canada. Two other turbines sit right on the radius of that 2.1 nautical mile circle. Transport guidelines specify that no objects above 150 feet be located within that approach area. The proposed turbines would be 500 feet tall.

However, airport chairman Charlie Tatham says Transport Canada won’t get involved in the planning aspects of where turbines go, but would likely comment after, telling airport officials they’ll need to amend their instrument approach protocols. That, Tatham said, could prove detrimental to the airport’s operations. “This is ill-advised, potentially dangerous, and damaging to the airport,” he said. Read article

Concerns raised over turbines in air ambulance corridors

The Wellington Advertiser
Members of a Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group are calling on provincial health minister Deb Matthews to consider the potential effect of wind power projects on emergency air ambulance access. Last week the group, which consists of elected officials and appointed citizens from Bruce, Grey, Dufferin, Huron and Perth Counties, sent a letter to Matthews. Among the points noted in the letter are:

– air ambulances need a turbine-free corridor of up to five  nautical miles;
– not having a safe corridor for transport can result in re-routing, exposure to air turbulence, and problems with use of navigational systems;
– an example is the Saugeen Memorial Hospital where a wind power project has been proposed nearby – this project will affect take-off and approach between the hospital and hospitals in Toronto and London.;
– concerns exist similarly for Mount Forest, Goderich, Kincardine and communities in eastern Ontario, the working group states.

“We trust that having raised this critical issue with you, we will see expedient planning measures taken to safeguard safe functioning of the EMS air ambulance service in our communities,” states the letter to Matthews signed by working group chair Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran-Elderslie. Read article

Turbine firm willing to pay

By QMI Agency London Free Press
CHATHAM – A 500-foot runway extension and other major upgrades totalling $2.5 million could be in store for the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport.

The Chatham Daily News learned that South Kent Wind Energy – the Samsung Pattern project planning to erect 124 wind turbines between Blenheim and Tilbury – would foot the entire bill.

“It’s a great news story and an unprecedented financial commitment from a wind energy firm,” said John Norton, the municipality’s director of legal services.

Norton credited Mayor Randy Hope and council, as well as CAO Don Shropshire and other municipal officials, for striking the deal.

He emphasized that the airport funding will only be made available if the wind project receives the green light. He said two groups, including a cluster of 24 residents in south Chatham-Kent, have filed appeals with the Ontario Energy Board. Read article

Wind Turbines and Airports Don’t Mix: Wilson

(Queen’s Park) Jim Wilson wants the province to put a stop to wpd Canada’s proposal to build wind turbines near the Collingwood Regional Airport. The Simcoe-Grey MPP used Question Period to urge Dalton McGuinty to start paying attention to the warnings being made by aviation experts.

To Wilson, the proposal is ridiculous. “We’ve got community leaders and aviation experts saying don’t do this it’s dangerous, and we’ve got a company that knows nothing about aviation saying it’ll be fine. Why is there even a debate over who’s right?”

Continue reading

‘I don’t plan on moving because of wind turbines’ says Stayner man

STAYNER – Kevin Elwood is all too familiar with North and East Perth’s concern about wind turbines disturbing their small rural community. For years, Elwood has been involved in his own fight. The owner of a 100-acre nursery and landscape business near Stayner, Ontario, Elwood is one of many residents in Clearview Township that are taking a stand against a proposed wind turbine development in their community. Elwood said he first learned of the project from WPD Canada in late 2008, and asked the lease holder if there would be any consultation with neighbours regarding the location of the eight wind turbines.“The answer I got back was that it was a done deal,” Elwood said. “That started me investigating wind turbines.”

Elwood said he began reading into Ontario’s Green Energy Act, and felt that wind turbines were being forced upon rural Ontario with no benefit to the community. When WPD Canada announced the initial layout of the eight 479-foot turbines, Elwood and his neighbours formed Preserve Clearview Inc. as a response. “We looked at ways we could participate in the planning process and realized there were no options for us,” he said. “We looked at ways that we could prevent the project from moving forward.” read article

Samsung-Pattern yet to sign municipal agreement or commit to turbine sites outside airport buffer zone

By Sarah Boychuk,
A representative for Pattern Energy revealed there’s a possibility wind turbines will be put within airport buffer zones. Representatives for the wind project also failed to produce documents that would commit the project to guidelines laid out by the Municipality of Kincardine. The placement of wind turbines was discussed in a meeting of the Kincardine Wind Turbine Committee. Representatives from Samsung- Pattern Wind Project spoke in front of about 20 members of the public in council chambers on March 19.  Read article

Pilot puts wind energy company on notice

By Morgan Ian Adams, Enterprise Bulletin
STAYNER — The owner of a private airstrip west of Stayner has put a wind farm company on notice, should they erect any turbines that could potentially interfere with his runway. In a letter to WPD Canada, and obtained by the Enterprise-Bulletin, Stayner Aerodrome owner Kevin Elwood said the company would be “held personally liable for any aeronautical loss, damage or injury” that could occur should WPD go ahead with its plans to erect turbines in the area around County Road 91. WPD is already under fire from the Collingwood Regional Airport Board, which sent a letter to WPD last week critical of the seeming lack of consultation in siting a turbine within the runway’s approach area. Read article

Wind farms could impact Grimsby airport, says manager

by Scott Rosts, Niagara This Week

Concerns about flight safety and the impact wind turbines could have on operations of planes falls much closer to home than Hamilton.
The Grimsby Airpark, located on Mud Street on the Grimsby-West Lincoln border has also been vocal with two wind turbine projects on the horizon for west Niagara communities – particularly West Lincoln.

Ralph Meyer, manager of the airpark, said nearly all of the concerns raised by NAV Canada, the country’s civil air navigation service, regarding the impact on radar at Hamilton airport are also relevant to the small unmanned airport, which has been in operation since 1978. Read article

Siting turbines near busy airport runway “just plain loony”

by John Spears, Toronto Star

A proposed array of giant wind turbines could crimp plans for Collingwood Regional Airport to build its business, says an airport official. The developer of the wind farm says the turbines – the closest of which would be 3 kilometres from the airport – pose no threat to airport operations, according to an expert consultant. Continue reading

Hamilton area wind project hits airport turbulence

by Matthew Van Dongen, Hamilton Spectator

Flight safety concerns at the city airport may blow one of Canada’s largest planned wind farms out of the Hamilton area. Niagara Region Wind Corp. won a provincial green energy contract in February for a 230-megawatt wind farm. The $550-million, 80-turbine project is centred in West Lincoln, but the Oakville-based company has amassed contract options on properties extending towards Glanbrook, Haldimand, Wainfleet and Pelham.

Continue reading

Collingwood Airport Board ready to fight wind turbine locations

by Morgan Ian Adams, Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin

Airplanes and windmills don’t mix.  That’s the message the Collingwood Regional Airport board hopes to take to a public meeting in two weeks that will hear comments on the W.P.D. Wind Turbines’ Fairview Wind Farm Project. 

Continue reading

The perils of wind turbines to aviation

The (usually invisible) turbulence from wind turbines is a serious aviation hazard.

By Paul Hayes, Director of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), Canadian Plane Trade Magazine

A matter of increasing concern to our members is the almost uncontrolled spread of wind turbines across many areas of our country with, in many cases, little or no concern for the impacts on aviation.

These structures, nominally over 400 feet in height above ground, are being established either individually, in small groups or in much larger farms of over 20 or more units. Continue reading

Purveyors of ‘junk science’

Welland Tribune

I don’t take too much exception to IPC Energy president John Andrews refusing to comment on my ‘junk science.’  When anyone refuses to answer reasonable questions it implies they have no credible answers.

And incidentally, just for the record, I am not affiliated with WindConcerns in any way, nor ever have been, although I totally support their efforts in opposing Ontario’s insane Green Energy Act.

For 10 minutes, last Tuesday evening in Wainfleet council chambers, IPC’s Andrews claimed to be an ‘expert witness’ with regard to skydiving, based on a self-confessed few jumps many years ago in his youth. Continue reading