A rural wind farm, the scene of a protest two weeks ago over the removal of a bald eagle nest, was hit by vandals on the weekend, causing $60,000 in damages to a windmill about to be installed.
It’s not known if there is any connection between the protest, which attempted to stop the removal of the active nest on the windmill project site near Fisherville, and the weekend vandalism of a new windmill, OPP Constable Mark Foster told reporters Monday. The protest centred on concerns that the development of wind farms in Ontario is threatening bird species across the province.
Police say vandals struck at the NextEra Energy’s Summerhaven wind farm project sometime between late Friday evening and early the next morning. The project is slated to have 56 turbines when completed. No turbines have yet been erected. Continue reading →
By Laura MacDuff, The Post, Hanover
DURHAM – Emotions ran high in Durrham Tuesday evening during an open house organized by NextEra Energy, the largest generator of wind in solar power in North America, currently proposing a wind turbine development in West Grey. The first half of the open house was a drop-in, one-on-one conversation style meeting, typical of most open houses for previous wind turbine proposals.
The second half was different, a question and answer public forum, one and a half hours in length. Questions were written down and given to the moderator Sheila Willis, who orchestrated the meeting. The authors of the questions were not identified. NextEra hired security to be present at the meeting. A West Grey police officer was also present.
Fifteen landowners have signed contracts with NextEra in West Grey, explained Adam Rickel, project manager, however only 10 landowners will have wind turbines on their properties.
Questions, comments and outbursts erupted from the audience more than once to answers provided by NextEra. One of the first questions answered was in response to why NextEra needed security to be present at the meeting. Nicole Geneau, director of NextEra, said that employees and other people associated with the project have been threatened with physical harm and death. Therefore, to keep everyone safe, they employed security, she said.
Joan Osborne, a citizen concerned with the way NextEra handles wildlife near its turbine operations, handed out pamphlets regarding NextEra removing a Bald Eagle’s nest from a tree during construction of a road intended for use to construct a turbine. A question was posed asking whether the employees of NextEra had told their children about the bald eagle’s removal. Read article
By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
A subsidiary of an American energy company has chainsawed a bald eagle nest to make way for a wind turbine with the blessing of Ontario bureaucrats, The Free Press has learned. NextEra Energy Canada took down the nest Saturday in Haldimand County as horrified onlookers snapped photographs — the incident already has drawn outrage from environmentalists in Ontario and even in the United States.
Onlookers claim that no one with Ontario’s natural resources ministry, which approved the nest removal, even bothered to show up to insure it was done properly. “This issue has people infuriated, and rightly so,” said Esther Wrightman, a wind farm opponent.
Also weighing in was Tom Wasilewski, co-ordinator of an eagle conservation association in the Northwestern Pennsylvania: “The Ontario government continues to blindly accept inaccurate information from wind companies as the truth without providing an investment in truly independent, scientific studies of bird, bat, butterfly migration before and after these projects are built.” His comments and photographs of the nest removal appear on the website http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/.
The Ministry of Natural Resources approved the nest removal Dec. 31 without input from the public and posted notice of the removal Friday —just one day before the next was removed. Read article
Teri Pecoskie, The Hamilton Spectator
Protesters attempted to stop a wind energy company from removing an active bald eagle nest near Fisherville this weekend — but their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. According to the Ontario Wind Resistance website, NextEra Energy employees cut down a tree limb holding the nest around 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Ministry of Natural Resources authorized the removal at the Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre last week.
“Removing the nest will reduce the risk of eagle mortality at the site,” the ministry said in the permit. “NextEra plans to provide artificial nests in the surrounding areas to ensure that the eagle pair can safely relocate.” The ministry says it was made aware of the nest last summer. It was built in a tree scheduled to be removed for the construction of a road, and within 20 metres of the blade sweep of one of the project’s 56 proposed turbines. The Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre, which is still under construction, is expected to have a maximum generating capacity of more than 120 megawatts — enough energy to power 32,000 Ontario homes. The centre is scheduled to be up and running next January near the shores of Lake Erie.
Neil Switzer, chair of the West Lincoln and Glanbrook Wind Action Group, said about two dozen protesters came from as far away as Stayner, Ont., near the coast of Lake Huron, to try to stop the nest’s destruction. “There are only 50-some bald eagle nests in Ontario,” he said. “This is one.”
“There’s no end to the limits that the government will go to accommodate the wind industry,” he added. Read article
The people pushing industrial wind farms won’t be too happy once this gets out, but one of their machines killed a bald eagle in Ontario last summer.
The official cause of death: “Blunt force trauma,” according to Scott Petrie, a PhD waterfowl biologist who says he was “privy to the results” of the autopsy. “They’re trying to keep it hush-hush,” he says of government biologists.
Petrie says the bird was killed in the Erie Shores Wind Farm, a installation of 66 land-based turbines south of Tillsonburg, 10 kilometres from where he works as staff biologist with the non-profit education group, Long Point Waterfowl. Continue reading →
A dead Bald Eagle was found about 40 metres from an industrial wind turbine in Norfolk County last year. The eagle’s body was sent to Bird Studies Canada and then to the MNR. An examination of the carcass showed it had injuries consistent with a sudden impact while toxicology tests indicated it was otherwise healthy
MNR Representative, Ron Gould stated “It may take several years to conclude conclusively.” Continue reading →