Wind subsidies gone, Samsung gone

Toronto Sun, Jennifer Bieman and Megan Stacey
The loss of 340 jobs at a factory that makes blades for wind turbines could be harbinger of troubles ahead in Ontario’s green-energy industry, a leading analyst says.

Siemens Canada announced Tuesday it’s closing its Tillsonburg plant, one of four Ontario green-energy factories set up under a controversial, multi-billion-dollar deal with Korean industrial giant Samsung.

The closing of one of the town’s largest employers came after weeks of nervous speculation.

But energy analyst Tom Adams said Ontario’s green-energy industry could be in for a rough ride if it doesn’t lay its hands on orders from outside Ontario, arguing the provincial market is saturated with wind and solar electricity brought online since the Liberal government plunged headlong into green energy in 2009.

“I think it was always pretty obvious that whatever jobs were going to arise from the Green Energy Act were all temporary or almost all temporary,” Adams said, referencing the provincial law that paved the way for big wind farms in Ontario under contracts paying energy giants more than consumers pay for power.

“Samsung had no history in renewable energy before they came to Ontario. They came only for the subsidies, and when the subsidies dry up, they’ll disappear as quick as they landed,” said Adams, an independent energy and environmental advisor and researcher. Read article

The Green Job “Joke” in Ontario

“Green Jobs” have always been a bit of a joke. Although not a very funny one.

Back in 2010 McGuinty signed a deal with South Korean company Samsung, and promised Ontarians that all kinds of employment would flow from it.

The Liberal government ended months of speculation in September when it confirmed it was in talks with Samsung about a project that could create about 15,000 jobs.

Ontario’s manufacturing sector has shed hundreds of thousands of jobs in the recession. The deal with Samsung would likely be the linchpin in McGuinty’s push for renewable sources of energy and his plan to create 50,000 jobs. CBC, 2010

The numbers were highly inflated in that press release. Even Samsung’s website could only cough up minuscule (although inconsistent) numbers.

Thanks to Samsung’s Green Energy Investment Agreement with the Government of Ontario, we are creating 9,000 jobs, kick-starting a new industry in Ontario and generate 1,369 megawatts of clean energy. Samsung Renewable Energy

Samsung and Pattern Energy’s wind power projects in Ontario are creating more than 1,000 jobs Samsung Renewable Energy, 2014

Our investments will create 900 direct renewable energy manufacturing jobs and 9,000 high-skilled jobs in Ontario. Samsung Renewable Energy, 2014

Down down down the number fell! We went from a promised 15,000 Samsung jobs in 2010, to a possible 900 in 2014? So what is the real number? I suppose nobody is really counting anymore. The fact is the province blatantly lied to the people of Ontario just so this juicy deal could be pushed through without much fuss. One would think the opposition parities would do as much as they could to investigate WHY this deal had to be made… Continue reading

Ontario gov’t ignored chance to cut $1.5B in hydro bills: documents

CTV News
Newly unearthed documents suggest Ontario’s Liberal government could have saved hydro customers $1.5 billion by terminating an agreement with Samsung, but decided against it.

The papers, uncovered by Progressive Conservative Finance Critic Vic Fedeli, relate to the 2009 Samsung green energy agreement that would take $10.5 billion from Ontario hydro bills, and pay it to a Samsung consortium over 20 years. In return, Samsung would deliver green energy and build factories in the province, employing 900 people.

Four years into the deal, however, a confidential document from staff at the Ministry of Energy advised the government it could save hydro customers $5.2 billion by terminating the agreement. This was because the Korean consortium was missing contract targets and deadlines on electricity projects that Ontario didn’t even need anymore.

But instead of calling off the deal, the Liberals renegotiated the contract to save only $3.7 billion –leaving $1.5 billion in hydro savings on the table.

“Even though we don’t need the power, and even though we can get out of this for nothing, (the Liberals) already told the public how important this deal is,” Fedeli told CTV Toronto, suggesting that the government ignored the potential savings “just to save face.” Read article

NextEra freely handed permit to destroy Bald Eagle nest: FOI records

Have a good look at these recent and disturbing pictures posted on Canadian Raptor Conservancy’s Facebook.

  • Eagle Nest location: Port Ryerse
  • Wind Developer: Boralex

Flashback much?

Who does one go to when you see wind turbines installed this close to an active nest? You know it’s just a matter of time before the residents of that nest get added to this list of carcasses found in Ontario under wind turbines:

X 2009, Norfolk Wind Project – Bald Eagle

2012, Talbot Wind Project –Bald Eagle

2013, Talbot Wind Project – Bald Eagl

2014, Port Dover Wind Project – Bald Eagle

You want to help. The government makes all the rules and regulations for what any person/developer can do around important habitat like this, so they are the first you think of. Except… that they have a really bad track record on this.

Okay, lets say you go to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), as some good citizens did in November 2012. I’ll take you back there.

Warning, this is a long one, there is no other way to write it, so grab a drink.


***Last year I filed an Freedom of Information request with the MNRF for all correspondence relating to the Haldimand eagle nest destruction by NextEra Energy. I wanted to see what the hell was happening in their heads, and head offices. You can see all the files received from the FOI on this Google Drive: Bald Eagle Nest Destruction NextEra MNRF.

Somewhere around November 19th, 2012 the MNRF had it’s first glimpse at an issue they hadn’t dealt with before. Letters from residents in rural Haldimand County had landed on their desk – they were asking that the MNRF intervene with Florida based wind turbine developer NextEra’s construction around an active Bald Eagle nest.

The MNR wasn’t quite sure what to do. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act said:

7.  (1)  A person shall not destroy, take or possess the nest or eggs of a bird that belongs to a species that is wild by nature.  1997, c. 41, s. 7 (1).

But there were also exemptions made for “special” people/corporations in need of favours:

(3)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who destroys, takes or possesses the nest or eggs of a bird described in that subsection,
(a)in accordance with the authorization of the Minister

Ah yes, and that was the dilemma the MNRF faced. This appeared to concern at least Erin in her query to her co-worker. But that’s the last “concern” you will see from this Ministry.

The public kept the pressure on, sending pictures and maps. Surely to God the MNRF would intervene and save the nest…?

That day, December 4th, the MNRF Manager asked Jim Beal and Joad Durst, “…how quickly we can we pull this (a response to the public) together”. They knew an eagle nest was protected under the Renewable Energy Act (REA) – if the nest was noticed during the Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA). But the company missed this nest in their NHA – was that as good as saying the nest “wasn’t there”? Should NextEra have to move their road and turbine plans now, they would have to go through the Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) amendment process all over again – and that would cost wind company time and money. NextEra wanted to build now, and they were going to get their way.  Continue reading

What’s 64 stories tall? 4.2MW wind turbines planned for Wallaceburg!!

David Gough, Chatham Daily News
The 12 wind turbines that are proposed for the Otter Creek Wind Farm, will be significantly taller than wind turbines already erected in Chatham-Kent. The wind farm, which is scheduled to be built north of Wallaceburg, will have Enercon E-141 turbines.

From the ground to the top of the wind blades, the proposed wind turbines at the Otter Creek Wind Farm will measure 195 metres (642 feet). By comparison, the world’s tallest wind turbine in Germany is just under 230 metres (754 feet). Initially 17-20 wind turbines were proposed for the wind farm project. It was scaled back to 12, which Otter Creek officials said was due to public concerns. Most wind turbines in Chatham-Kent are approximately 155 metres (510 feet) from ground to the top of a blade’s tip.

“The reason why these turbines are a little bit higher and a little bit wider in diameter, is to effectively reduce the use of the number of turbines,” said Adam Rosso, who is Otter Creek Wind Farm’s director of development. Rosso said by using fewer turbines it will reduce the visual impact, as well as other impacts. Read article

Dear NextEra, Destroy the eagle nest, just do it by Sunday. ~ Love, Ministry of Natural Resources

I’m still going through the NextEra eagle nest destruction FOI documents and will post them all as soon as I can. But so far I’d say this e-mail from the MNR to NextEra, on New Years Day (when we know everyone is at work, right?), delivering the permit to destroy the nest, says it all.

Oh, and how long do you think it took them to get this permit? Well, NextEra submitted a request on December 28th (Saturday afternoon…), and four days later they had it in their hot little hands. Now that’s service!!

Four Bald Eagles Killed by Wind Turbines in Ontario

Bald eagles (yes that’s plural) have been killed in Ontario by wind turbines, and more will continue to meet this fate for the 20 year lifespan of these projects.  We knew of only one up until a few days ago. Not that we didn’t suspect there were others, but when the proof is in the hands of the government and the wind developers, you can be sure the public will be the last to find out.

Wind companies have quietly admitted in their reports to killing four bald eagles in Ontario. That’s just the bodies found (tripped over), not factoring in carcasses that have been scavenged and the months upon months that turbine bases just don’t get checked anymore.

X 2009, Norfolk Wind Project – Bald Eagle

X 2012, Talbot Wind Project – Bald Eagle

X 2013, Talbot Wind Project – Bald Eagle

X 2014, Port Dover Wind Project – Bald Eagle

Did the government fine the wind companies for any of these deaths? Of course not. Wind companies get “permission” to kill bald eagles. And bobolinks. And little brown bats. Anything you can imagine they can kill with impunity.

Last week we received these bird and bat mortality reports through an FOI. Something that we noticed going through them is that rules change – where to collect, when to collect, how long to collect. None of this is consistent. Wind companies go bankrupt, sell out, change names. So it’s no wonder that the Ministry of Natural Resources loses track of the ‘big picture’. Jim told me that he was absolutely certain there were NO cumulative impact studies on the bird and bat kills by wind turbines. He also hadn’t heard of many of the wind developments I had on the list… and he was the MNRF’s Renewable Energy coordinator. Continue reading

Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Reports, with Summary – Ontario, Canada

Below is a summary Maureen kindly assembled from all of the reports retrieved through the FOI. Have a good hard look at the numbers per project. Individually, these projects have got off scot free – they have never been challenged, never been questioned, never been charged, or even slapped on the wrist for these astounding kills. Dan tallied the actual raptor deaths on the right hand side, as many raptor deaths were ignored as “incidental” – not killed at the right time/place…more on that later. There is much more to glean from these reports – please share what you gather. This is a draft that will be added to and amended as we go.

Click here to download and view in full screen

Bird-and-Bat-Mortality-v012417-Sheet2

 

Full list of Bird and Bat Mortality Reports

Say NO to Double Standard on Species at Risk Penalties!

In the last few days these three stories came out. Please read them, and then respond to those who are failing to protect these Species at Risk below. 

1. Penalty for Canaport songbird deaths

…The deaths of thousands of songbirds at the Canaport LNG terminal more than three years ago resulted in a $750,000 penalty against the company… In September 2013, thousands of birds were drawn to a 10-to-15-metre gas flare during a period of fog and low cloud. Twenty-six species of migratory birds died, including four Canada warblers, a threatened species…

2. Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed/turbine/yr

…This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since. Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason. Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report. How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you? Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?…

3. Minister says thanks but no thanks, to wind energy review pleas

…McKenna wrote that current research shows wind turbines kill relatively few birds when compared to cats, windows on buildings, vehicles and transmission lines.”Monitoring studies of existing wind farms in Ontario have shown that while some birds are incidentally killed, mortality rates as well as cumulative mortality of species that have been found incidentally killed to date are not likely to have a biologically significant impact on provincial population levels of those species,” McKenna wrote. “However, it is possible that turbine sites in areas with important populations of some species at risk could have impacts on those populations.”…


***Send a message to the key decision makers by filling out the form below with your own comments or copy and paste the following message into the comment section below:

The other day I read that LNG was fined $750,000 for killing 4 Species at Risk (SAR) in New Brunswick. Fair enough.

But I also read the 2011 Bird and Bat Mortality Report for the Mohawk Point Wind project in Haldimand County. It appears that this wind company killed around 270 SAR, in just one season. To be more specific – it was the Endangered Little Brown Bat that was all but wiped out by this project’s 6 wind turbines.

And I’m left wondering why this wind company wasn’t fined. In fact, I’m wondering why they were allowed to continue to operate year after year ever since. Even with mitigation measures, they were only able to bring the kill rate of the bats down to 24.27 bats/turbine/year by 2013 – over double the allowed limit in Ontario. Several years later now, it appears no government agency is even counting the deaths there anymore – they are just happening, and those who know, turn a blind eye.

This project continues to operate, and kill SAR, with impunity. Please explain to me the reason for the double standard. Or if it isn’t a double standard, and somehow the government just missed this violation, I might as will give you this link (below) to all the other wind turbine Bird/Bat mortality reports in Ontario, because there are hundreds of SAR that have been killed in these reports, and none of the operators have ever been penalized at all. So of course they continue their operations as usual.

Canadian Wind Turbine Bird and Bat Mortality Reports https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B24A4SH_cewXV0VhTENxTGp3LVk

I’m frankly sick and tired of watching wind developers get off scot free for this kind of slaughter that’s happening before our very eyes. If it’s wrong for LNG to kill endangered species, it’s wrong for all the wind companies in Canada to kill them as well. Apply the law consistently!

Awaiting your reply,

Subject: No Double Standard on Species at Risk Penalties! 


Form will be sent to:

  • Fed. Min. of Environment: Catherine McKenna
  • Fed. Min. of Natural Resources: Jim Carr
  • Fed. Conservative Environment critic: Ed Fast
  • Fed. Conservative Natural Resources critic: Candice Bergen
  • Ontario Min. Natural Resources: Kathryn McGarry
  • Ontario Min. of Environment: Glenn Murray
  • Ontario PC Natural Resources critic: Todd Smith
  • Ontario PC Environment critic: Lisa Thompson
  • Ontario PC Leader: Patrick Brown
  • Ontario PC Energy critic: John Yakabuski, Energy Critic,
  • Ontario NDP Natural Resources critic: Gilles Bisson

Construction starts on wind energy project on Amherst Island despite incomplete approvals, residents say

National Post, Elliot Ferguson
The opening stages of construction of the Amherst Island wind energy project are underway, much to the dismay of the residents who opposed the development. Workers are building footings for a new dock and a marshalling area on the island west of Kingston, Ontario.

Michele Le Lay, president of the Association to Protect Amherst Island, said the start of construction has come before all of the required permits have been secured and before efforts to stop the project have finished. “It’s worrisome because they don’t have all their permits and they are starting,” Le Lay said. “You have to have all your permits before you start.”

The initial work on Algonquin Power-owned Windlectric’s 26-turbine, 75-megawatt project was to include construction of the mainland dock and access road, island dock and access road, island staging area access road, transmission line work and a portion of the island staging area for aggregate storage and positioning of the batch cement factory.

The start of work is made even worse, Le Lay said, because there is little information coming from the company about its plans. “If this company is going to be a neighbour for 20 years, the way they are acting in the first part of construction, if it’s an indication of the relationship with the community, it’s sort of scary,” she said. “We don’t know what is happening.” Read article

Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed /turbine/yr

Yesterday the CD arrived with loads of Bird and Bat Mortality Reports that I had filed an FOI from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for last year, and you good people had funded. I’m slowly organizing and will get them all posted shortly.

But for starters I came across five reports for Mohawk Point Wind Project, a 6 turbine project in Haldimand County. I didn’t know much about this one – it was never in the news… sort of flew under the radar. It came on around the time of the Clear Creek turbines in Norfolk County.

This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since.

Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason.

Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report.

How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you?

Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?

Perhaps I’m too soft, but my thinking is 25 bats per turbine is atrocious (I mean, 10 is the MNRF’s limit). And as for Little Browns, they usually only make up a percent or two – not HALF of the kill! It’s an endangered species for crying out loud!

Okay, based on these insane numbers, why didn’t they SHUT DOWN the project? Oh they mitigated instead, and they believe they brought it down to a more reasonably atrocious number of 24.27 bats killed per wind turbine/year by 2013. That puts you all at ease, doesn’t it? I mean shouldn’t we be happy for the success of this ‘mitigation’ even though it is still double the legal limit?

Not so fast. Think about this – female Little Browns have just one offspring a year. After 5 years of 6 turbines decimating 85 bats each (give or take), how many do you really think are left in those local colonies? Pretty damn sure that number is dropping rapidly by the oh-so-natural process of “wind turbine selection”.

And as for you, dear Crawely, at least you have the current claim of creating the biggest bat killing “farm” in the country. Now that should make the green Liberals proud.

Esther Wrightman

[With only an initial look at some reports I hope this is as bad as it gets for bat kills in this country. As the bird and bat mortality reports are slowly uncovered, the numbers just seem to get worse and worse. I never imagined it could get this low, but then again nobody was releasing this info to the public, so how were we to know? Maybe some company will outdo Crawley on this one yet…heck, maybe even some of Crawley’s other projects could claim this title too…]

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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Help Fund FOI Request: Release Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Data!

UPDATE: Wow! Rural Ontario pitched in the whole $625 and more in less than a day!! Thank you so much! ~  Esther


The bill came in. I haven’t decided if this is good or bad news yet, but at least it is ‘progress.’ The Freedom of Information office sent an ‘estimate’ for the retrieval of all the wind turbine bird and bat mortality reports in Ontario to date. I had forwarded the MNRF a list of over 110 wind projects in Ontario ’cause the government doesn’t have a list of all these energy plants (do they have a list of all the nuclear plants, I wonder?). There is certainly no guarantee they have mortality reports for some of them, but whatever they have, we want to see.

The bill is roughed in at $625. Yeah, really it should be $0 and the government should just be posting these reports on their website, but we can’t wait for pigs to fly when raptors, and endangered bat and birds are being knocked to the ground daily by these machines.foi-estimate

I’ve asked for this in specific:

“All final, annual post-construction mortality monitoring reports for birds and bats (or last available draft, if there is no final) for the wind power projects in Ontario.”

 

“Records related to the MNRF permit granted to destroy a bald eagle’s nest within the NextEra Summerhaven Wind Project.”

They say it will come roughly to 28,000 pages released, if they can find them.

gofundmeCould you please help by sending what you can to cover these costs, and share the page with those who would like to see these reports made public? When the documents eventually arrive (it will take a few months) I will parse them and post them on the Google Drive here so everyone can easily access, review and use them. Have a look through the reports we have listed there already – they are eye opening, and rage inducing.

Visit the GoFundMe page to read more about the issue of hidden bird and bat mortality data in this province. We can’t let this go on any longer – if we don’t get the numbers out there, nobody will.

Oh yeah, and I’ve asked the MPP’s to pitch in too, since they are all about “open government”… see below.

————

Dear Ontario MPP’s,

We have to talk.

It is no longer a matter of guessing what wind turbines ‘might do’ to Ontario’s birds and bats – you know what’s happening. Or, you should know. Wind developers have been filing bird and bat mortality reports with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for many years now. So, what do those numbers look like? Oh. Right… nobody really knows because they get filed away – far far away – from public scrutiny.

trade secretsI left Ontario two years ago when wind turbines destroyed our land, and the habitat for all animals, including us. But I did not forget about the destruction that was taking place in my absence. I suppose I was hoping (as I usually do, hope is healthy, but rarely rewarded in Ontario politics) that the MNRF, or the media, or the researchers, or the nature organizations – somebody! – would keep a close eye on the bird and bat kill rates from these machines. I expected this, because I know that when LNG killed 7500 birds in New Brunswick in 2013, the world knew, as they should, and the company was fined $750,000 under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. Other industries have been held accountable for bird kills too – especially if Species at Risk are involved.

Not so for the wind industry in Ontario. Nope, wind developers obliterate an area’s raptor population in several months. If it relates to wind turbines – those deaths don’t even “happen,” it’s all in your imagination.

adelaide-raptor-2015-kill

Frankly I’ve had enough of this. I’ve filed a Freedom of Information request for all the bird and bat mortality reports in Ontario wind projects. Hey, quick question: Do you know how many wind projects are in Ontario? I’ll give you a second to Google it, or look it up in your government files, but I don’t think you’ll find the answer because there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list of them anywhere. I tallied over 110 wind projects in Ontario. What are the chances someone is actually overseeing all the dead birds and bats found around the bases at all these wind projects. The MNRF didn’t even know of many of the wind projects I listed for them.  Continue reading

Another Statewide Blackout: South Australia’s Wind Power Disaster Continues

sa-28-sep-16Stop These Things
Thanks to its ludicrous attempt to run on sunshine and breezes, South Australia has just experienced yet another Statewide blackout. SA’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill and what passes for media in this Country ran straight to the periphery, blaming everything except the bleeding obvious (see this piece of infantile doodling from wind cult central – the ABC).

STT’s SA operatives tell us the blackout occurred during a blustery spring storm (heavy rain, lightning and surging, gusty wind). The power supply went down across the entire State at precisely the same time (a little after 3:30pm). It took more than 5 hours to restore power to a few parts of the State, and many regions remained powerless for much longer than that.

True it was that lines were damaged in the mid-North around Port Augusta, but that doesn’t explain why the whole State’s supply went down. Grids are designed with with a level of redundancy, and to avoid complete collapses by isolating damaged sections, in order to keep the balance up and running.

For those truly interested in the cause, what appears in the graph above – care of Aneroid Energy – gives a clue as to the culprit.

SA’s 18 wind farms have a combined (notional) capacity of 1,580MW.

On 28 September (aka ‘Black Wednesday’), as the wind picked up, output surges by around 900MW, from a trifling 300MW (or 19% of installed capacity) to around 1,200MW.

As we explain below, electricity grids were never designed to tolerate that kind of chaos, but it’s what occurs in the hour before the collapse that matters. Read article

Ontario wind turbine developers killing endangered birds and bats, with impunity

dead-bird-1024x560Bird Studies Canada quietly released a summary of bird and bat kills a few days ago. It doesn’t include last year’s toll on the avian population, but it gives you a good idea of where it’s headed – for a cliff. As you have probably noticed, this item hasn’t made the mainstream news in any way, shape, or form.

Even though the “Top 15 Hit List” consists of threatened swallows, tiny kinglets, scarce hawks and purple martins… not the common and introduced birds wind companies put on their open-house posters (i.e. house sparrows).
top15ONbirdkillBSC

Even though Ontario avian mortality rates have skyrocketed for both bats and birds in recent years. 40,833 bat deaths. 14,144 bird deaths. 462 raptor deaths.

birdbatmortalitychart

 

Even though bat kill averages grossly exceed the MNRF allowable limit. On average they are killing almost double the bats in Ontario than supposedly permitted (although, who’s watching?).

  • Average # of bats killed by just one Ontario wind turbine: 18.52.batmortality
  • Amount supposedly allowed by MNRF per wind turbine: 10.  Bat mortality threshold

Think about that.

Even though the Barn Swallow (a threatened species) is one of the top 15 birds found killed by wind turbines.barn swallow

Even though the Red-tailed Hawk is the sixth most likely bird to be killed in Ontario by a wind turbine.

red-tailed-hawk1

Even though three of the bat species killed by wind turbines are listed as endangered. Does it count as a violation to kill an endangered species if you are a … wind developer? Apparently not. Continue reading

NextEra’s wind turbines kill at least 16 raptors per year in SW Ontario

trade secretsHas anyone mentioned recently how many birds or bats are found dead around the bases of operating wind turbines in Ontario? Like say… the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, or how about Bird Studies Canada? Or maybe even one of the many wind companies in this province that have to collect the bodies? Surely with these hundreds of turbines in operation there would be a news article, or a report released with all the data…?

Of course not, because to talk about the bloody details of bird and bat deaths from wind turbines would just lead to a sorry black eye on such a glowingly green and pristine industry.

Bats killed HaldimandA week ago I was supposed to find out whether NextEra filed an appeal to my Freedom of Information request for three of their wind project’s Bird and Bat Mortality Reports. Nobody called, and nothing arrived in the mail, so I called in this morning. Turns out that even though NextEra had 30 days to file an appeal, they asked for a little more time. And in order to get what they wanted they pointed out a ‘clerical error’ that the FOI office made and this bought them that 30 additional days to file an appeal.

The important message out of this is that NextEra is appealing the FOI office’s decision to release these reports. They don’t want the public to see just how many Purple Martins they killed in Haldimand Cty, or what kind of raptors (Bald Eagles?) they killed in each of their projects. They must think the public can’t responsibly handle that kind of information. Or perhaps they are claiming it’s a ‘trade secret’ like Iberdrola did in Ohio. We won’t know what their official excuse is for another month. Continue reading

Dear Mike Crawley (Liberal Wind Pusher for AIM PowerGen, IPC, GDF Suez, and now Northland Power)…

crawley

https://i1.wp.com/www.northlandpower.ca/Assets/Images/EmailLogo/NPi2010_Logo_1inch.jpg?resize=96%2C55From: Mike Crawley
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 10:18 AM
Subject: Mike Crawley – Contact information

As some of you may know, I joined Northland Power this past July.   Belatedly, attached and below please find my new contact information.  For those in the power sector, Northland Power (www.northlandpower.ca) is pursuing  wind, solar, pumped storage and thermal generation opportunities in Canada, Europe and Mexico.  We are also open to considering good opportunities in other jurisdictions that meet our investment criteria.

mike1Best regards,
Mike

Mike Crawley | Executive Vice President
Northland Power Inc.
d: 647 288 1066 | m: 416 554 8513


From: Ginny Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 3:05 PM
To: Mike Crawley
Subject: Re: Mike Crawley – Contact information

Hello Mike,

You cannot imagine how surprised I was to hear from you especially in light of the fact that you have not responded to any of my emails or complaints since the Plateau Wind Project went online in early 2012.

I would like to take this fortunate opportunity to bring you up to date on my current situation. I am very much aware that you will say there is little you can do from your new position at Northland Power, but I would like to bring to your attention how your investment opportunities are destroying the lives of people in all the jurisdictions which you target.

You might be interested to know that from April 17, 2012 through April 7, 2015 I filed nearly 70 complaints with the MOECC, copying Plateau Wind Inc. on many of them. I have incident numbers for each and every complaint. It is also my understanding that the obligation of the MOECC and the Owner/Operator of a Wind Generating facility are to report the complaints to each other. In order to keep a record of my complaints and their acknowledgement and because a record of my complaints was not available to me without a freedom of information request but ironically available to Plateau Wind Inc.,  I began to send my complaints electronically; the only acknowledgement of such to me by your company was one email in 2013 that my emails would be responded to through the Ministry of the Environment.

It is very time consuming, frustrating and degrading to continue to call the MOECC on a routine schedule and not receive any acknowledgement or mitigation for the insufferable agony that I, my family and my neighbours are subjected to regularly. I have however kept an ongoing journal with entries beginning February 24, 2012 through to today. At an ERT hearing in June of 2015 my witness statement boasted a 128 page summary of typed health related entries. That journal continues to date with barley a day going by without the affects of my nightly experiences, especially in the winter.

In September 2012 a presentation was made to The Grey/Bruce Medical Officer of Health and the Board of Directors. Fourteen Casualties submitted their experience by supplying a statement of their experiences. We were all looking for relief for symptoms that presented themselves after the commencement of the turbines in our area.

DestroyedHomeI remember how you came to my home on two occasions and tried to reassure me that there would not be a negative impact to my health, my property values, and that I would barely be able to see the turbines from my home. In fact you brought me an industry study on property values near IWTs that claimed that property values would in fact rise. You sent a photographer to photograph the view from our home and then superimpose the turbines so that I would be assured that they would not be invasive. How brilliantly you deceived me. The reality of massive 120 meter machines placed 1,400 meters to 3 kilometers from a home is drastically different from  photographs of benign looking “windmills” peeping over the tops of trees. Since the installation of your project, 7 families have moved away siting the IWTs as the reason. Some just walked away, others suffered a huge financial loss on the sale of their property.

So while you, Mike continue to meet your investment criteria, I hope that you will remember that it is because of the suffering of so many individuals; babies, children, young adults, middle aged people and the elderly that you reap your benefits. Eventually it will no longer benefit the “common good” because the critical mass will become too great.

Thank you for taking the time to become informed. I’m guessing that the last 4 years have just flown by for you while we suffer a slow agonizing existence.

Sincerely,

Virginia Stewart Love

Chatham-Kent Wind company pleads guilty to two offences. Fined $11,000

fine penaltyDaily Commercial News
CHATHAM-KENT, ONT.—A company that develops renewable energy projects has been fined $11,000 for two environmental offences, including failing to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) by installing a transformer substation.

Gesner Wind Energy Project operator, Saturn Power Inc., pleaded guilty to the two offences, which also included failing to submit an annual bird and bat monitoring report on time, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), explains a December 2015 release from Ontario’s ministry of the environment.

Operating from New Hamburg, Ont. the company works on renewable energy projects and also operates a wind energy project, the Gesner wind farm, in Muirkirk, Ont.

According to the ministry, the REA was issued for the Gesner wind farm, where, during construction, it was discovered that the project needed construction of a transformer substation, which the REA did not include approval for.

“Approval of a transformer substation is significant because of the potential for transformer substations to produce noise,” explains a release. “The company constructed the substation without seeking an amendment to the REA.” Read article

Today, remember NextEra, and their Nest Terror

There is this thing that Facebook does: reposts a picture or comment from any number of years ago that was on your timeline, sporadically, and calls it a Memory. I believe you are supposed to cherish these posts and sigh with, “Time flies!” or “Isn’t that cute?!”

FBEagleNestThis morning the picture of the severed eagle nest was there and Facebook said: “Esther, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 3 years ago.” Ahem. Well now. Some people have sweeter memories than others apparently. I should like all the cute little pictures scattered around the gruesome one of the crane and nest – kittens, flowers, children – awww! But I hate to tell ya FB, that so called ‘memory’ still feels like yesterday, and not in a good way.

The night before the eagle nest was cut, my dad was dutifully browsing the “Friday evening approvals” by the Ontario government (you know, when the reporters have all gone home for the weekend and no news story can be made until Monday, when the lead has lost most of its heat), and he saw this permit issued to NextEra Energy to destroy an active bald eagle nest. Really. He called me up. We didn’t believe it. Read and reread it. No… they wouldn’t do that. I mean, even when the government would unthinkably hand you a permit to commit an act like this, you wouldn’t go and cut a rare (only forty-eight nests in SW Ontario), massive nest, that was currently home to two eagles, down… would you?

Oh but then we had to think, “What Would NextEra Do?” Well yes, they would cold bloodedly do this, they had an access road that had be plowed through to three of their proposed wind turbines (yet to be built) – and this road demanded that these trees (including one with the nest) be cut in order for the project to proceed. They like words like ‘proceed’, as in “Proceed as Planned”. They wouldn’t want to disrupt a Plan for a silly little (or big) nest. Continue reading

Ontario’s Liberals have completely broken the electricity system

The Hamilton Spectator - Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay

The Hamilton Spectator – Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay

Finally – the Globe and Mail gets it!

The Globe and Mail, Editorial
In politics, as we wrote Wednesday, people get upset about the little things. Remember Bev Oda’s $16 glass of orange juice? In the context of a 12-figure federal budget, or ministerial trips justifiably running into the tens of thousands of dollars, some overpriced OJ hardly mattered. And yet it galled. Small misdeeds are relatable. A big, complicated and massively costly government screw-up, in contrast, sometimes leaves people cold.

Let’s see if this warms you up. On Wednesday, Ontario’s Auditor-General announced that, between 2006 and 2014, thanks to incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the province’s Liberal government, Ontarians overpaid for electricity to the tune of $37-billion. And over the next 18 years, consumers will be overpaying to the tune of another $133-billion.

Let’s try to put those numbers in context. Electricity overpriced by $170-billion is equivalent to $12,326 in excess costs for every man, woman and child in Ontario. Over 27 years, that averages out to $457 per person, per year. According to Statistics Canada, the average Ontario household has 2.6 people, so for the typical family, we’re talking about a power utility bill roughly $1,188 higher than it should be – every year. 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

NexTerror strikes again – wind company threatens elderly leaseholders

NextTerror lawyerFebruary 13, 2014 we received registered mail from McCarthy Tetrault LLP stating… “our client [NextEra Energy] demands that you promptly execute and return two fully executed copies of such lease by no later than February 21, 2014.

If you fail to deliver such copies of the signed lease, you should be aware that Goshen has requested us to take immediate legal action on its behalf to enforce its rights and remedies for your breach of the Option Agreement, which action may result in you becoming liable for, amongst other things, Court costs, damages (which can extend to substantial amounts on account of delayed construction of the overall project and lost revenues arising from such delays), and interest on such damages at the rates prescribed under the Courts of Justice Act of Ontario. As well, you should be aware that such litigation against you may result in adverse implications for your credit ratings.”

Mayor Hessel, Council members and CAO:
I am attaching a self-explanatory letter from Bev Teeter, a Bluewater resident and turbine lease holder in Nextera’s Goshen Project.  In addition the addressee within the attached, she has also sent it to the London Free Press as an open Letter to the Editor however it is unlikely they will print it.

This brave woman has been a thorn in Nextera’s side for a long time now.  They eventually removed Turbine #13 from being built on her property however the transmission/collection lines do go through their property.

Bev has been a staunch supporter of the anti-wind movement after she realized she was duped by the wind companies.  She is in her 80’s, has a hearing impairment and cares deeply about doing what she can to right a wrong which is what she felt she did by signing the lease.  She was bullied into doing so without a care towards her or her husband of over 50 years.  I cannot express how disgusted I am with Nextera for treating vulnerable people such as Bev and her husband, Irv, so callously.

My hope is that Council is able to see this as just one example of how useless it is to enter into any sort of agreement such as a Vibrancy Fund that would ‘recognize’ wind companies as anything other than the wind weasels they are.  Should you disregard the manner in which they have treated this senior citizen and taxpayer of this county, you do so knowing full well that you are putting all the the citizens of Bluewater at risk.

Please do the right thing and stop the ongoing data collection with the wind companies.  Your actions in continuing to engage with these companies will do nothing other than sell us all down the river.

I would request this letter along with Bev’s be attached to the agenda of a Municipal Council meeting and that they be read aloud in their entirety. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.
(pk)

The following is a prime example of how people are actually treated by wind developers after they get their signatures….


Open Letter
Dashwood, ON N0M1N0
June 3, 2015
Goshen Wind, LP
700 Universe Blvd.
Juno Beach, FL 33408
Att. Carlos Megias, Senior Counsel
Re: Lease with Goshen Wind Inc. with Effective Date of  December 15, 2013

Dear Sir,
Your letter dated May 28 arrived here June 1.   You object to our informing the Sumitoma Mitsui Banking Corporation of Canada that “the lease on our land assumed by Goshen Wind was obtained illegally, as our signatures were attached without our knowledge or consent”.   This in our opinion is absolutely true.

As stated in my reply to NextEra’s Goshen employee in June 2014:
“Nicole, before responding to your June 19th letter, I would like to set down my view of the overall situation and the Green Energy Act . For every monster turbine set in motion, the people of Ontario lose.  Every wind project increases our future energy payments.  People complain about their “hydro” bills but may be unaware that wind power has been given special status…  guaranteed high rates and first usage before cheaper sources already available.  They may be unaware that excess  power is dumped across the border for far less than what we have paid for it.  Along with the enormous costs of building these projects which we do not need, they destroy  habitat for birds and people alike,  cause many to suffer Wind Turbine Syndrome documented where ever such mammoth turbines spin  and ultimately facilitate a process which turns our prime agricultural land over to Corporate owners at drastically diminished values.  And as turbines go up, possibilities for truly green alternatives diminish. There is nothing beneficial to Ontario in this.  Wind Turbines do not serve to reduce CO2,  they are not pristine and green. Continue reading

Trillium accuses Liberals of destroying wind project lawsuit documents

977054_10151435763616463_1203818282_oGlobe and Mail, Richard Blackwell
An offshore wind farm developer that is in the midst of a lawsuit against the province of Ontario is now accusing the Liberal government of destroying documents related to its case.

In a notice of motion filed with the Ontario Superior Court, Trillium Power Wind Corp. says: “It has become apparent … that documents have been destroyed and records of communications have been wiped clean or deleted from computers, or assigned a code name to render their retrieval impossible.”

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

Trillium sued the government – initially for $2.25-billion in damages – but most of the grounds for the suit were thrown out of court.

However, in 2013 the Ontario Court of Appeal said the company could go ahead with one specific allegation, that the government’s decision amounted to “malfeasance in public office.” Read article

Can wind companies fake community engagement?

imagesby Harvey Wrightman
The buzz-words nowadays are “Community Engagement” or “Social license”  – when you hear those words from the policy mandarins of the provincial government, the people who know what is best for us, be ready for something that is quite the opposite.  Unhappy with the widespread opposition to wind projects, our mandarins have been scheming to show there is no opposition. To get the sentiment of a community to a project, ordinary people like myself would simply canvass/petition/survey the affected  area.  Not so with the mandarins, who seeing the problems of direct democracy, prefer to add layers of insensitivity to the process – ask those who will not be affected – and offer them some money.  That will get desired results. It’s called, diluting the pool.

The IESO (Independent Electricity system Operator) has released the new Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) (click on LRP I RFP and go to  Sec. 3.3, pg. 47), which means more large wind projects.  For this round of contracts, companies need only conduct ONE public meeting (see, we did have an effect at those open houses); but, the companies must obtain a measure of local support.

So looking at the chart: “Community Engagement”  rates 80 points,  and “Aboriginal Participation”  rates 20 points.  The aim for the wind company is to get as much consent to their project as possible. Not so easy these days as people have become aware of the adverse impacts of wind turbines. The higher the point score, the higher the project is in the queue, supposedly. Let’s see how they might do it. Continue reading

Suncor and NextEra now bedfellows for Cedar Point wind project

Suncor Bullynext.JPGThe Independant
Suncor Energy is teaming up with wind energy giant NextEra to build its Cedar Point project in Plympton-Wyoming and Lambton Shores. Jason Vaillant says the companies have formed a limited 50-50 partnership with the “skilled and experienced operator.” Suncor has been working on the Cedar Point project for years. The company has received approval from the Ministry of the Environment for 43 turbines in the region. That approval was challenged by local residents at an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing recently. A decision is expected in a matter of days.

NextEra has several wind projects in the area, including the massive 92-turbine Jericho project. The two projects are next to each other and that means they can share resources, according to Vaillant. “The transmission lines combined into one single line instead of two,” he says. “That will minimize the overhead lines…We’ll be taking advantage of the infrastructure that is already there…We don’t have to do any construction on the second line.” He adds that will be “less intrusive” on the landscape. Read article


 Appeal Rejected

The Independent
Suncor Energy and NextEra can move ahead with the Cedar Point Wind Centre in Plympton-Wyoming and Lambton Shores.

The Environmental Review Tribunal released its decision on the appeal of the 46- turbine project near Camlachie and it has rejected all the arguments against the project.

The County of Lambton appeal arguing some of the utility poles on Thompson Line in Lambton Shores were too close to the road and could lead to death if there were an accident. The tribunal found while an accident could happen, the traffic along the roadway is very low and dismissed the county’s argument. Read article

Suncor wants much of Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw axed

turbine-noiseThe Independant
A Suncor Energy representative calls Plympton-Wyoming’s noise bylaw “a novel approach” but wants much of the bylaw changed. Suncor Energy is planning a 43-industrial turbine project around Camlachie. It’s the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing. But the town has written and passed a noise bylaw to make sure residents aren’t bothered but low-level sound – called infrasound. While the bylaw was passed, under the Municipal Act, people can ask for changes for up to a year.

Chris Scott was at Plympton-Wyoming Council recently to outline the company’s concerns with the bylaw which Suncor says “are concepts that are not well defined and not accepted by the general consensus of (acoustical) industry standards.” While the noise bylaw wouldn’t stop Suncor from building the project, Scott says operating it would be another thing. The bylaw, he says, amounts to an “outright ban on infrasound” and “the testing methods are vague and inadequately defined.”

Scott says everything, including people, emit infrasound, making it impossible to turn on the turbines. And he suggested it would be difficult to measure low-level noise. Scott says there are instruments to measure the lower limits of infrasound as Plympton-Wyoming’s bylaw suggests, but “they are not typically available…and should be struck from the bylaw.” Read article

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

Bird Studies Canada’s (and CanWEA, MNR) July 2014 Bird/Bat Fatality from Wind Turbines Summary

birdcartoonBird Studies Canada  – why bother doing the summary if you know more than half the birds are not being collected? Why is the specific data on each projects ‘kill’ confidential? Do the wind companies own the wildlife here too? Seems like it. 

“In Ontario, 1,187 bird carcasses were found, comprising 118 identified species. Passerines were the most common fatality, representing approximately 69% of all bird fatalities in Ontario. The most prevalent passerine species found were: Golden Crowned Kinglet (9.39% of all bird carcasses found), Red-eyed Vireo (6.91%) and Horned Lark (5.39%). Raptors represented 8% of all bird fatalities, with Turkey Vulture (2.29%) and Red-tailed Hawk (3.99%) found most commonly. Gulls represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities; with Ring-billed Gull (1.59%) the most often reported Gull species. Waterbirds represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities, with Mallard (1.29%) as the most frequently reported waterbird species.

Table 4 lists the top 20 bird species found during post-construction mortality monitoring at wind power projects in Ontario and the proportion of carcasses found of each species, listed from lowest rank (most prevalent across sites) to highest rank (least commonly found). A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.”

Table 4: The top 20 bird species found at wind power projects in Ontario based on fractional ranking and percent species composition. A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.

Rank        Species                     % Composition

  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet     9.39%
  2. Red-eyed Vireo                      6.19%
  3. Horned Lark                          5.39%
  4. Purple Martin                        6.09%
  5. Tree Swallow                         8.79%

“The total number of operating turbines in Ontario as of February 2014 was 1,331 (CanWEA, personal communication) resulting in an estimated mortality of 7,250 bird fatalities (95% confidence interval of 6,236 to 8,265 fatalities) in Ontario between May 1st and October 31st based on February 2014 installed capacity.”


The mortality estimates presented here potentially underestimate true mortality as they are based solely on carcasses that fell within 50 m of the turbine base. It is expected that a certain proportion of birds and bats will fall outside of this radius, and there are several different approaches to quantifying this correction factor as can be inferred based on extrapolation of Figures 11 and 12. Zimmerling et al. (2013) reported that turbine heights were very similar (~80 m) for most turbines installed in Canada as of 2011 and estimated the proportion of carcasses expected to fall outside of 50 m to be up to 51.8% of birds, based on 4 studies that searched a radius up to 85 m. These values were further validated based on a field trial that searched up to 85 m from the turbine base (Zimmerling et al. 2013). Smallwood (2013) found that the proportion of both birds and bats that fell within 50 m of the turbine base varied with turbine height and estimated higher correction factor values for carcasses falling outside of 50 m than Zimmerling et al. 2013. Smallwood (2013) fit a logistic function to carcass distributions, and the proportions of carcasses falling within the search radius were calculated based on a variety of search radius and turbine height combinations. For 80 m turbines, carcasses were expected to fall to a maximum distance of 156 m. These findings indicate that the mortality estimates presented here may underestimate true mortality, but still allow for comparisons amongst sites and regions as long as turbine heights are similar; this is an important consideration for future investigation of landscape level factors and mitigation measures.”

Read more here

Suncor threatens Plympton-Wyoming with $18,000/day fine if wind project delayed

suncorThe Independent
“Basically, we couldn’t stop them.” That from Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper after Suncor Energy received its permits to start building the Cedar Point Wind Energy Centre. It’s a move the municipality has fought at every turn, but in the end, had to allow or face another court battle and the possibility of stiff financial penalties. The County of Lambton, which handles planning issues for Plympton-Wyoming, issued the permits – worth $378,000 – Friday.

Suncor spokesman Jason Valliant says the permits are “an important step in the construction process” adding the company will now complete a detailed construction plan. He expects the earliest the shovel will be in the ground is January. But getting the permits didn’t come without a fight. Valliant says Suncor has a contract with the Ontario Power Authority which requires it to have the turbines online producing power by 2016. “Failing to meet the terms of the contract will result in penalties to Suncor,” he said in an email to The Independent.

But Plympton-Wyoming was doing everything in its power to delay the process. The Ministry of the Environment gave final approval for the project in late August but by early October, the company had yet to receive permits. Read article

Hot air from the wind power lobby

Tom Adams and Ross McKitrick, Financial Post
Wind and solar power are key drivers behind Ontario’s surging electricity prices
On Oct. 30 we published a Fraser Institute study entitled “What Goes Up… Ontario’s Soaring Electricity Prices and How to Get Them Down.” We analyzed the factors driving the rise in Ontario’s electricity prices, focusing on the so-called Global Adjustment (GA), which is a non-market surcharge set by the province to fund payments to electricity producers for above-market revenue guarantees. Our econometric analysis allowed us to track not only the impact of direct payments to power generating firms but also indirect effects arising when one distorted production decision subsequently distorts the incentives of others, boosting overall provincial liabilities. Among other things we found that adding wind power to the grid increases costs by about three times the amount of the direct payments to wind turbine operators, with the interaction effects making up the difference.

On November 3, The Canadian Wind Energy Association issued a response to our study prepared by the consulting firm Power Advisory LLC. CanWEA’s press release acknowledges that electricity prices are increasing but claims that these changes benefit Ontarians. While it is certainly true that rising prices — up 52% since 2004 in inflation-adjusted terms — have been enormously beneficial to CanWEA and its members, they are harmful to Ontario consumers and firms. It is important to understand the real factors behind price trends, and not simply to take at face value the claims of an industry group with an obvious conflict of interest in the matter. Read article