Wind developments are Resonating Across the Grid

Andrew Dodson was interviewed by Scott Medwid and Rick Maltese on the subject of grid stability, and the impact of “green energy”.

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

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

‘Sizzling’ noise from Samsung wind turbine transmission line a concern for council

mum march4The Sachem
Some Haldimand council members are concerned about a “sizzling” noise coming from Samsung Renewable Energy’s transmission line. Ward 1 Coun. Leroy Barlett said he witnessed an usual noise along Haldimand Road 20 where the transmission line runs. “It’s a sizzling of those lines up ahead,” he told council at the Jan. 13 committee meeting.

Bartlett said he feels this is one of a number of “significant issues” related to Samsung’s transmission project. “We have towers that I think are put in the wrong spot,” Bartlett said. “Now, we have these concerns from residents about the sizzling or crackling of the lines.” He suggested council send letters to the province and Samsung about these issues, and added that he feels residents “shouldn’t have to live through” this.

Bartlett’s concerns were backed up by other councillors at the meeting when Ward 2 Coun. Fred Morison said he also heard the noises as well. Morison described the transmission line noise as “bacon frying.”

“If you got these things making noise then there’s obviously a lot of power getting out that shouldn’t be at all,” Coun. Craig Grice added. “Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we should find that out.” Read article

NextEra’s stray voltage affecting gas and telephone lines …. what about people?

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Over the last year, our communities have been overwhelmed by the installation of Industrial Wind Development.  In the municipalities of North Middlesex, Lambton Shores and Adelaide-Metcalf NextEra’s Bornish project (45 turbines), Kerwood project (37 turbines) and Jericho project (92 turbines) all use the same transmission line to feed electricity into the grid.  Bornish and Kerwood became operational this past summer while Jericho went live last month.  The Suncor Adelaide project of mammoth 2.3 MW turbines has yet to come on line.

All three of NextEra’s projects were appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).  All of the appeals were dismissed, by the esteemed panel; noting that the community had no grounds for concern, as the expert panel provided by the proponents testified under oath that there was no possible impact to the community or the environment.  The ERT found that the Appellants failed to provide evidence to show that engaging in these projects WILL cause serious and irreversible harm.

Here is an example of that testimony from the Jericho ERT:

NextEra’s expert witness, Mr. James Arkerson, Manager – Wind Project Engineering at NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the Approval Holder’s parent company, testified that “he was not an expert in stray voltage“.  He also testified “that the transmission and collection lines for the Project were designed by licensed professional engineers and that the system complies with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and other applicable standards.”  So they must be safe, and that was evidence enough to prove that the projects would not impact the health and well being of the residents of our communities.

Mr. Arkerson also raised the possibility that other conductive objects, such as metal fences or pipelines, might induce voltage but noted that the Approval Holder is obligated to perform induction studies and demonstrate compliance to the ESA and the affected utilities, but he expected in this case that any voltage induced would be insignificant. When questioned about whether this conclusion was premature given that the induction studies were not complete, Mr. Arkerson stated that he was drawing on his past experience with numerous similar projects.  He also noted that the Project cannot be energized until compliance with the applicable standards has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the ESA.  Unfortunately, for the residents affected by this project, Mr. Arkerson was merely a puppet, speaking the words of NexTerror, and his ‘expertise’ failed to prove that there was definitely NO reason for concern, with regards to stray voltage.

This is what’s really happening in our communities ……………..

Gas Lines
Both the Jericho and Kerwood projects have transmission lines running along side the gas lines.  In both projects Union Gas found the risk of stray voltage to be a significant concern.  So much so, that they marked each regulator in front of homes along the transmission routes and temporarily placed hard plastic suitcase-like containers over each regulator.  Once all the regulators were ‘secured’ they dug up each pipeline and regulator on residences’ front lawns to insulate the equipment. Continue reading

Dufferin County pursues environment assessment of wind project transmission line

5-Transformer StationOrangville Banner, Chris Halliday
It will only go as far as Dufferin Wind Power’s transmission line is long. County politicians, however, plan to hire a land surveyor to measure the length of the wind farm developer’s transmission line and see if the findings could trigger an environmental assessment (EA).

As per provincial regulations, any transmission line in Ontario exceeding a length of 50 km automatically requires an EA be conducted.  According to Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts, the line running from Melancthon to Amaranth is 47.25 km long, but county council wants to find out for itself.

“The easiest thing I think you can start with is getting a survey. See how long that line actually is,” local resident Karren Wallace told county council on Thursday (Jan. 8). “What would the cost of a survey be? I don’t know, but what is the cost of regret?” Controversy has swirled around the construction of Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line ever since the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved the company’s plan last year. Read article

County urged to study EMF levels along Dufferin Wind transmission line

wind transmission linesOrangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
While Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) “unequivocally” states its transmission line meets all regulations, Melancthon Mayor Darren White wants the county to conduct its own electromagnetic field (EMF) tests. At county council’s meeting this Thursday (Jan. 8), White plans to urge politicians hire an electrical engineering consultant to determine whether the amount of stray energy being emitted from Dufferin Wind’s 230 kV transmission line is safe or not.

“It’s in the best interest of us to at least know what the levels are that we’re dealing with,” White said. “To have somebody, who is professional in the field, explain to us that this is safe, this is not safe, or under which conditions it is safe.” Since Health Canada doesn’t consider EMF a hazard, there are no precautionary measures required when it relates to daily exposure. As such, Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts noted the company has no testing guidelines to follow. “We state unequivocally that all protocol has been followed in the construction of this line,” Roberts explained in an email, claiming opponents to her company’s project are requesting EMF measurements that aren’t mandated in Canada.

“DWPI has installed a safe power line,” Roberts added. “It has been built to the latest industry standards; and it is consistently operating at well under capacity.”
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved Dufferin Wind’s plan to construct the transmission line from its 49-turbine wind farm in Melancthon to Amaranth last year.
The most recent criticism of the project came after a group of residents reportedly witnessed stray energy emitted from the line light a fluorescent light bulb.

While Roberts noted the phenomenon witnessed was a “well-documented side effect of the conduction of alternating current,” White thinks it would be best if the county investigated the matter further. “It’s the responsible thing to do. You can only make a good decision if you have all the information,” he said. “I just want to make sure it was done in a manner that is safe for the residents and safe for anybody that is in the area of the project.” Read article

Road use agreement to be proposed for Suncor wind project

Adelaide concrete4Sarnia Observer, Paul Morden
Lambton County’s public works department is gathering comments from residents about power lines Suncor Energy plans to build near or on county road allowances as part of its 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind energy project. Lambton residents have until Feb. 3 to submit comments to Jason Cole, the county’s manager of public works, by e-mail at, or by phone at 519-845-0801, ext. 5370.

“We’re try to address any of the concerns we can within the construct of the road use agreement, or will respond accordingly as to why those issues can’t be dealt within this agreement,” Cole said. “It’s a valuable process that we’ve initiated to make sure everyone is aware of what we can and cannot deal with, and how this project will impact the county roads.”

Transmission lines for the wind project are expected to be built close to county roadways, while collection lines from the turbines to a transmission station are expected to be buried within county road allowances, Cole said. “Those two aspects have a very large impact on the county road allowance and we want to make sure we protect its long-term viability.” The proposed agreement will also lay out responsibilities for any damage to the road allowance during construction, he added. Read article

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

Two week “Power Outage” at NextEra’s Adelaide & Bornish Wind Projects

2014_06010041There’s a two week ‘planned power outage’ at NextEra’s Bornish and Adelaide Wind projects. Flashing red navigation lights won’t be working during that time, so you might want to keep your planes grounded…

Word has it that the splicing in the underground cables were welded too close together. The underground cables need to be replaced. When they put the hydro through the cables, it caused the cables to melt; now no hydro can get through. All cables have to be replaced.

Wonder how safe all the projects cables are? Is anyone doing any stray voltage tests?


Thank you for sending your concern.

After receiving your inquiry (below) I contacted the Nextera Site Manager and Technician Leader by telephone.

They provided an explanation both verbally and followed up with an email confirming that the Navigation lights were out last night as part of a planned power outage to the wind turbines. Continue reading

Alberta wire and turbines put on hold

transmission lineReNews
Alberta has put a 75-kilometer transmission project on hold after interest dwindled for wind farm development in the area southeast of Lethbridge. The Alberta Electric System Operator said it doesn’t know when the 240kV Etzikom Coulee to Whitla (ECW) line will proceed. “Wind generation development in the area has not progressed at the pace originally anticipated,” said AESO.

The proposed line is part of the multi-stage Southern Alberta Transmission Reinforcement (SATR) project approved in 2009. SATR was designed to alleviate existing system constraints and to integrate about 3000MW of southern Alberta wind generation. Read article

Dufferin County residents blindsided, again

Barbara Ashbee

Barbara Ashbee

Orangeville Banner, Barb Ashbee
After years of educating and making headway turning this stinking wind turbine ship around, Dufferin County residents get blindsided once again. What happened on Thursday night was a blow to democracy.

After being bullied for years by the wind industry and provincial government, our last bastion of hope has been with the strength shown by our municipal leaders who have been left out of the process and steamrolled just as the innocent residents have. The recent vote before Dufferin County Council on whether to enter into an agreement to lease the rail corridor to Dufferin Wind was a no brainer.

After years of unmitigated damage causing sick and displaced families, pets and livestock, there has been a magnificent fight waging across the entire province against the bullying provincial government/wind industry partnership. Dufferin County Council had an opportunity to take a stand against this abusive process by refusing to enter into an agreement with Dufferin Wind and forcing them to expropriate. Read article

Rail agreement is now in Dufferin Wind’s hands

transmission lineBy Todd McEwen, Orangeville Banner
Dufferin County council is ready for the next stage of the Dufferin Wind Power (DWP) saga. A special meeting was held on Thursday (March 6) after council agreed to hold off on signing the $1.4 million agreement that would permit the wind farm developer an easement to run a 230-kV transmission line along about 32 kilometres of the rail corridor.

In a recorded 14-13 vote, council approved sending a revised agreement back into DWP’s hands. Orangeville Mayor Rob Adams, Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock and East Garafraxa Mayor Allen Taylor all voted in favour. The remainder of council and Warden Bill Hill all voted against the agreement, instead, wanting to face the looming expropriation.

“We’re sending back their agreement with some changes, if they agree to the changes I guess we just agreed to sign it,” Melancthon Deputy Mayor Darren White said. “If Dufferin Wind agrees to the changes … they have the authority to sign the agreement. I hope Dufferin Wind doesn’t agree to it.” Read article

Suncor seeks permission for wind farm transmission lines

DSC_0747Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Suncor Energy has asked the Ontario Energy Board for permission to build 15 km of high voltage transmission lines in Lambton Shores to deliver power from the company’s proposed Cedar Point Wind Energy Project to the province’s electricity grid.

The company is planning to build 46 wind turbines in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township and the transmission lines are proposed to run from a substation near Cedar Point Line and Fuller Road near Forest, to a substation off Thomson Line expected to be built as part of NextEra Energy’s Jericho Wind Project.

The Ontario Energy Board, a public agency that regulates the province’s electricity and natural gas industries, is accepting submissions from the public on Suncor’s application until March 13. That’s also the deadline for individuals and organizations to submit a request to be intervenors at the hearing, with the ability to provide evidence, argue their position and submit questions to Suncor. Read article

County vote on power-line deal deferred

wind transmission linesOrangeville Citizen, Wes Kellar
A decision by Dufferin County Council on whether or not to accept $1.4-million payment for a power line easement on the county-owned former CPR rail corridor was deferred following a revelation that commencement of an expropriation proceeding had been postponed,

As well, there was an impassioned plea by Melancthon resident Scott Funston and a presentation CORE (Conserve Our Rural Environment) chair Jane Pepino, both of whom urged the council not to sign off on the easement agreement.

The council had learned at 4 p.m. last Thursday that the expropriation proceeding had been postponed to March 10 from Feb. 18. It had previously prepared a bylaw for finalization of an easement agreement. Now it has until Feb. 28 to file disclosures. It will hold a special meeting prior to March 10 to deal finally with the issues.

As if further to complicate matters, the council Thursday heard opposing legal opinions about its bargaining position from two lawyers who would probably both qualify as experts on the issues facing the council. Read article

One solar panel can’t connect to grid, but over 100 wind turbines can…

CTV News
It was a $100,000 investment in a greener future, but four-years after Rita Van Geffen invested her retirement savings into a ground mount solar panel, she’s only now seeing a return and not the kind she was looking for.

In April 2010, Van Geffen invested in a solar panel, which has yet to be connected to the grid. “It’s doing absolutely nothing. I can’t get it connected,” she says. “I believed in green energy and I thought it was a good return on my money.” Read article

CTV solar

Ontario sketches out 540MW Requests For Proposals in 2015

Ontario expects to issue a request for proposals for 540MW of renewable energy in early 2015 with winners announced in July of that year. It plans to procure 300MW of wind, 140MW solar, 50MW bioenergy and 50MW of hydro-electric capacity.

The Ontario Power Authority will continue stakeholder consultation over the next few months as it designs a new competitive bid process to replace the feed-in tariff program for projects larger than 500kW.

Developers will be required to pre-qualify in order to submit bids, the OPA said yesterday in an update on the Large Renewables Procurement (LRP). It aims to post a draft request for qualifications in March 2014 for stakeholder review. The final RFQ is to run from June to September 2014.

The agency expects to release an RFP in January 2015 with bids due in May of that year. Eligible projects must use existing transmission and the procurement is limited to areas that have sufficient connection availability, said the OPA. Read article

Bluewater Wind Turbines Will Have Above Ground Transmission Lines

wind transmission linesBlackburn News
The Director of Development for Nextera Energy fielded questions from Bluewater councillors last night regarding Nextera’s decision to go with an above-ground transmission line.

The line will run through Bluewater to the Seaforth sub-stations and councillors wanted to know why Nextera was not willing to bury the line underground.

Nicole Geneau responded that the industry standard was to go with above-ground lines, adding that in the long-term above-ground lines were more reliable, required less maintenance and presented fewer safety risks. Read article

Wind power transmission line approval sought

nexterrorLondon Free Press
Nextera Energy is seeking Ontario Energy Board approval to build a 15.7-km transmission line from Lambton Shores into neighbouring Middlesex County to carry electricity generated by its proposed Jericho Wind energy Centre. The 115-kilovolt line will run along Thomson line and connect a substation planned for west of Northville Road to one in Middlesex.

Florida-based Nextra Energy is currently awaiting provincial environmental approval for the 92-turbine Jericho wind farm it plans to build in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. The company already has a contract to sell the electricity to the province and its application for a renewable energy project approval is under technical review by Ontario’s Environment Ministry.

“We anticipate that it will take about four months for the review to continue,” said Nextera spokesperson Josie Hernandez. “We should have a decision early next year.” Construction of the wind farm can move ahead at that point and should take about six months, she said. “By the middle to the end of next year, we should certainly be well under construction.” Approval of the transmission line is expected to take six to nine months, Hernandez said. Read article

Middlesex County safeguarding taxpayers against extra costs

wind transmission linesLondon Free Press
Ontario municipalities have been fuming for years over the province yanking away control over where giant wind turbines can be built. But one Southwestern Ontario county is now claiming at least a partial victory, after a ground-breaking deal to put energy giants on the hook for their power lines and towering utility poles.

Under the Middlesex County deal, wind companies — not taxpayers — will be responsible for upkeep to their transmission networks along county highways, and any costs if all the hardware ever needs to be taken down. “I’m really confident that we have the best agreement in Ontario,” county lawyer Wayne Meagher said. “What we’re saying is, ‘If you’re going to put a whole lot of stuff on our property, you’re responsible for it.’ ”

In a province where municipalities complain they have almost no say in whether, when, where or how wind and solar projects take shape, the London-area county is calling its deal a victory. “I’m sure that it will be a landmark agreement across the province,” Middlesex chief administrative officer Bill Rayburn said. Meagher said he’s surveyed arrangements between other municipalities and energy giants, and none are as good as the Middlesex deal. Read article


IESO curtailment update

On January 3, 2013, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (“IESO”) published amendments to the Market Rules that authorize the IESO to dispatch certain renewable generators in Ontario. Dispatch means to turn on and off as electricity demand from consumers or ‘the grid’ requires. The Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) is currently re-negotiating (now completed, Sept 2013) approximately 50 power purchase agreements (PPA) with certain affected renewable generators. At present, the OPA’s proposed compensation model is to compensate these renewable generators for any curtailment above specified contractual caps. This means pay wind and solar to not produce electricity. Read more here

IESO Improvements Help Transition to More Sustainable Supply Mix: 18-Month Outlook
September 3, 2013
Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) will mark a major milestone with the introduction of a new dispatch tool for all grid-connected wind resources. Previously wind and solar could only be shut off by the IESO in emergency situations. The ability to dispatch wind, scheduled to take effect September 11, 2013. 9-11? Why did the IESO choose that particular date? The dispatch will apply to 1,725 MW of existing transmission-connected wind resources as well as an estimated 3,000 MW of transmission-connected wind and 280 MW of transmission- connected solar expected to come into service over the next 18 months. They are already having problems dealing with the type of output from 1200 turbines, 1725MegaWatts and yet the provincial government is still going ahead with plans to add 1500 more turbines in the next 18 months. And then even more after that.

Transmission-connected wind is the large 10 to 100 turbines sites. Distribution-based wind is the smaller 5 turbine sites that are tied into the local power lines. Read more at IESO

County demanding burial of entire 230kv line: DWP

transmission lineWes Kellar, the Citizen
Whether or not Dufferin Wind Power (DWP) gains a negotiated easement for its 230kv power line along the county-owned rail corridor depends on whether the line must be buried, according to a communication from DWP. However, DWP is insistent that portions of the line be overhead, and has indicated that it will not negotiate with the county unless it is to be built in accordance with plans approved in its “leave to construct” from the Ontario Energy Board ( OEB).

Failing negotiations, there is an application to expropriate the required easement. There is an inconsistency between the County of Dufferin minutes and the position outlined by DWP. According to the minutes of the county’s in camera meeting on the transmission line’s easement, it was “Moved by Councillor Taylor, seconded by Councillor Mills, that staff be directed to continue negotiations with Dufferin Wind Power Inc. for an easement agreement with Dufferin Wind Power for a transmission line. –Carried.”

But, according to an emailed comment by Connie Roberts of DWP. “On the matter of negotiations for an easement agreement with the county: Dufferin Wind Power was informed on August 15th that Dufferin County Council will not negotiate the proposed power line easement unless Dufferin Wind agrees to install the line underground the entire length of the line. “County Council also directed County Staff to discontinue negotiations and to not speak further with Dufferin Wind on this matter unless the Company agreed to its demand. Read article

Premier called on to intervene in Melancthon wind war

300px-Melancthon_ON_2Orangeville Banner
Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill is urging Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to step up and address what he labels the “seriously flawed” powers of the Green Energy Act (GEA). It’s no secret Melancthon council and Dufferin Wind Power Inc., which received approval to operate a 99 MW wind farm in the township and construct a 230 kV transmission line to Amaranth, have a less than amicable relationship.

With Dufferin Wind filing for expropriation, taking the township to court over the storage of wind turbines, and recently applying to have the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) institute a road use agreement, the township has reached a breaking point, Hill said. “People are incensed by the bullying tactics employed by Dufferin Wind Power Inc.,” Hill wrote in his letter sent to Wynne on Tuesday (Aug. 13). “The reason they can act that way is because of the flawed Green Energy Act that allows them to steam roll over municipalities and individuals.”

At nearly every turn, Hill contends the Chinese-owned wind power developer has brought the GEA hammer down to get whatever it wants. The mayor is now urging the premier to “intervene” into the situation. “It does appear your government has chosen to favour foreign owned wind farm developers, over the interest and livelihood of Ontario farmers,” Hill said. “It is imperative that further charges are made.” Read article

Power line work stops until young hawks can take flight

Hawk Turbine Haldimand 109_v1 CRThe Windsor Star
When a pair of ferruginous hawks decided to nest in the only tree standing in a sea of rolling southern Alberta grassland, it was tools down for Enbridge. The tree was located within one kilometre of a company work site, south of Lethbridge, Alta., so Enbridge officials waited about a month for the hawks, classified as a species at risk, to raise their three fledglings.

As a result, Enbridge’s new $300-million transmission line will begin importing Montana wind power into the province next week, missing their end of July target. “These birds are a protected species and were actually following the crews as they installed the line,” said Don Thompson, vicepresident for green energy at Enbridge. “We were basically feeding them, because the work crews stirred up the field mice,” he said. “You would think the sounds of construction would disturb the hawks, but these birds are predators and they are looking for any advantage. And we gave them lots of advantages.” Read article

Dufferin Wind Power Inc. has dropped the expropriation bomb

expropriationOrangeville Banner, Chris Halliday
Dufferin Wind Power Inc. has dropped the expropriation bomb. A little more than one week after county council agreed to revisit negotiating a rail corridor easement agreement with the wind farm developer, Dufferin Wind filed for expropriation to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) on Friday (July 19). Dufferin Wind intends to build a 230 kV transmission line along the county-owned rail corridor running from its 99 MW wind farm in Melancthon to Amaranth. Both the 49-turbine wind farm and transmission line have received provincial approval.

Permission to build the transmission line requires Dufferin Wind to have land agreements in place with any affected property owners before construction can begin. Those property owners include the county and a number of private landowners found in Dufferin. “To construct the transmission facilities in accordance with the route approved in the Leave to Construct decision from the OEB, Dufferin Wind Power requires an easement along the former rail corridor to allow for a power line,” Connie Roberts, spokesperson for Dufferin Wind, said in an email.

Dufferin Wind could seek to acquire the land in two ways. It could successfully negotiate agreements or choose to expropriate land through the OEB. After going back-and-forth with Dufferin Wind for nearly two years, county council decided to sit back down at the negotiation table again on July 11. Dufferin CAO Sonya Pritchard hadn’t been able to meet with Dufferin Wind officials until Wednesday (July 24), when she was told they had filed for expropriation. “They knew we were still interested in talking. They’d been made aware,” she said. “At the same time, Dufferin Wind had previously made it clear that they were going to start the expropriation process.” Read article

Huron East decides it cannot proceed with appeal against St. Columban wind approval

wind transmission linesMitchell Advocate
While Huron East council has decided it doesn’t have enough evidence to launch a successful appeal against the recently-approved St. Columban Wind project, Mayor Bernie MacLellan said the municipality would like to gain intervenor status as part of an appeal submitted by two McKillop families.

“There are specific things the tribunal will listen to in an appeal,” explained MacLellan after Huron East’s July 16 council meeting. “Part of our problem with going to the Ontario Energy Board is we didn’t even fit the criteria of what allows us to have an appeal, based on their standards. If we felt we had any argument to get our foot in the door to the tribunal, we would.”

MacLellan said that Huron East cannot argue a definite health risk caused by the St. Columban wind development since its complaints centred around two turbines the municipality was concerned were located too close to the road.

“We would need to prove that something could come off the turbine and become a traffic hazard or a distraction,” he said, adding the municipality would have to find evidence that such a hazard has been documented to have happened. Read article

Entegrus and Hydro One investigating

Toronto Power Failure 20090116By Bob Boughner, Chatham Daily News
Reports of power quality issues in the Erieau area are being investigated by Entegrus, according to Mike Goodwin, the company’s manager of engineering. “We have heard from some customers who are having power quality issues and we are looking into the matter along with Hydro One,” he said.

Goodwin said he was only aware of some issues in the Erieau area. He noted that Erieau is at the far end of the grid. The Hydro One district station is located on Erieau Road. Erieau businessman Doug Barnier, owner of Erieau Marina, told The Daily News Wednesday he purchased a $35,000 generator system as a backup because of the hydro quality issue. He said his company can’t afford power interruptions. Read article

Green blackout

Wind+turbines+and+power+lines+65035Tom Adams, Financial Post
Careless environmental ideology was a root cause of the blackout that cut off power to tens of thousands of Toronto homes, businesses, and institutions for several hours during rush hour on Monday this week.

Although a full technical report on the event is not yet available, it is clear that some transformer station equipment at the Manby transformer station in west Toronto failed. Transmission planning experts have long identified a failure at Manby as a known risk to the reliability of Toronto’s electricity supply. Three years ago, the Ontario Power Authority published a transmission plan for the province that included a detailed scenario analysis for a failure at Manby almost identical to Monday’s event. Unfortunately, that transmission plan got shelved, replaced by government directives to support more wind and solar generators.

Transmission experts have also long recognized that the power transmission network upon which Toronto depends is the most vulnerable to blackouts of the type experienced on Monday of any major financial centre in North America. Toronto’s special weakness is its lack of local transmission system redundancy.

The transmission system serving downtown Toronto is operated at its limit, with no capacity to spare. As a direct result, maintenance schedules are squeezed or eliminated, a factor that may well have played a role in initiating the event. The ability of grid operators to transfer load from one transmission path to another in the event of failures is severely limited, a factor that directly determined the scale and duration of the blackout. The large number of customers blacked out and the duration of blackout was a function of the system’s flawed design. Read article

Energy Board flooded with objections to NextEra’s transmission project

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Sarnia Lambton Independent
NextEra Energy is facing stiff opposition to its transmission plan. Dozens of people, organizations, and businesses have filed to be interveners at an Ontario Energy Board Hearing on the transmission line project to serve three of NextEra’s projects including the Jericho Wind Energy project in Lambton Shores.

The company plans to erect 100 foot poles over 30 km along roads in Middlesex County to carry the power generated by the wind projects near Strathroy and Lambton Shores. But some neighbours are not pleased. The OEB allowed 10 days for people to register to take part in the hearing to approve the plan, at least 15 landowners and nine other organizations want a say in the hearing.

Middlesex County, Adelaide Township and North Middlesex want to be involved in the hearing. So does Hydro One, the Independent Electric System Operator, and Entegrus Transmission Lines. The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group – a citizens group which has been objecting to the industrial wind projects in the area – also wants a say. Read article

First, mega-turbines . . . now, giant poles

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By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press
Get ready for the next tilt in Southwestern Ontario’s transformation into the province’s wind-energy hotbed: 10-storey-high poles to help collect all that power. Debora Van Brenk looks at the early static one wind energy giant’s plans are creating in Middlesex County.

A wind energy giant’s plan to put up 10-storey poles and high-voltage wires along Middlesex County roads is sparking energetic attention. The Ontario Energy Board will consider the application by NextEra Energy Canada to put up poles from its proposed three wind farms along about 30 km of Middlesex roads north and northwest of Strathroy. The county and two residents want permission to speak at a hearing — no date set yet — and more than 24 others have asked to be observers.

The county wants to make sure any poles on municipal rights-of-way don’t interfere with existing or planned infrastructure such as bridges, utilities or drainage ditches, Middlesex engineer Chris Traini. “Anything that would be of public use to the residents should take precedence over transmission poles,” he said.

The county is obligated to share its rights-of-way with utilities, and Traini said he wants to make sure residents’ interests are protected. Council has also expressed concerns about the possible effect on drivers of roadway sign and pole clutter. Traini said the county also wants the energy board to help draw lines of clear responsibility for maintenance and safety of the lines and poles. Read article