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
[Excerpt] “Bald eagles have been known to have alternative nests within their territory,” Jolanta Kowalski, a spokesperson for the MNR, said Monday in an email. “Authorizing the removal of this nest will encourage these bald eagles to relocate farther away from these turbines while allowing the project to proceed as planned.”
This is not NextEra’s first experience with eagle-nest removal. Spokesperson Josie Hernandez says the company has removed eagle nests in Maine and Florida as well. Wildlife biologists have told NextEra that breeding pairs will rebuild without disruption to their breeding cycle if the nest is removed soon enough before spring.
“We understand some may be concerned about the removal of the nest and we share that concern,” Hernandez said. “However, after discussions with experts, we believe the action taken was absolutely in the best interests of the eagles and would significantly reduce the risk of harm coming to them.”
Jody Allair is a biologist with Bird Studies Canada in Port Rowan. He is the chief monitor of the bald eagle nesting program in southern Ontario. The MNR sought his opinion before issuing the removal permit.
Allair became aware of the nest last November. It is a new nest belonging to a young mating pair. Allair told the MNR that the nest should be left alone and the turbines relocated elsewhere. Allair only learned of the nest’s removal on Monday.
Allair said no one can predict with certainty whether this mating pair will skip a year due to habitat disruption. That, he says, remains to be seen. Allair’s email and voice mail is overflowing with outrage over the incident.
“I was very surprised and disappointed by the MNR’s unprecedented decision to remove this nest,” he said. “The bald eagle is no longer listed as endangered. But we have always afforded their nests some measure of protection. There are a lot of people really unhappy with this. People have a lot of questions, and so do I.” 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
In the Bornish project near Parkhill, a 115 kv line is proposed to link projects in north Lambton (the Jericho and Camlachie wind projects) and another 115 kv line is planned for the west Middlesex (Adelaide) wind project. Both lines to converge at a new substation at Nairn that will “tap” into the 500 kv line. Nairn and Seaforth are the only 2 “taps” that Hydro will allow. That both would be built by NextEra/FPL (NexTerror) is interesting.
NexTerror has an inside track in its dealings with this government.
Because both lines are high voltage, they require easements with adjoining landowners. I’m not sure of the status of those easement acquisitions for Bluewater; but, there is considerable resistance to both the Jericho/Camlachie line and the Adelaide line. Both happen to feature buildings of historical significance that are on the municipal road – you can’t just shove string lines over them. Continue reading →
Three hours before the Nextera hosts it’s final public meeting in Adelaide, a man arrives to ‘videotape’ the meeting. Nextera Josie Hernandez greets him like an old friend, and tells us they are “stepping up security”. He’s driving a fancy red 6L V8 Mustang that he leaves running to charge his camera, or phone… so much for global warming.
Residents were blocking the downstairs entrance to the township building in protest the development of Nextera’s 38 wind turbines in Adelaide. Nextera reps were both inside the building and arriving. They tried to get through the blockade downstairs, telling the residents they must move – just practicing their ‘authority’. The residents refused to move. Up pops video guy with a smirk on his face. He starts taunting the people, asking them why they are doing this, videoing their reaction. Residents tell him to turn it off; he smiles at the fun he is having. We call him out for what he is: an agent provocateur. The OPP order him to leave. He and his Mustang disappear, and the meeting hadn’t even started.
Very classy Nexterror: you know this guy, and you asked him to come to do what – video us for ‘security’, or stir the pot? We can see right through you.
As of March 18, NextEra Energy Resources hired the Bay Street law firm Cassels, Brock and Blackwell to lobby the McGuinty government on their behalf. The Ministry of the Environment, led by Liberal MPP John Wilkinson, was one of the ministries listed on the lobbyist registry. Continue reading →
Published in the Wellington Advertiser, Jan 21, 2011
I live in Arthur, Ontario, and am located in the middle of the study area of a proposed wind farm by NextEra Energy/FPL (Florida Power and Light Co.) As a resident of the area, I am concerned with the project and its negative effects on the health of humans and livestock (there are several dairy, hog and poultry operations within the study area), coming from the audible and inaudible sounds emitted, as well as it being placed in a rural setting and disturbing the wildlife that lives in the local bush. So in frustration I began researching the company of NextEra Energy as it is known in Canada, but in the United States it was known as FPL up until the Spring of 2010. I was alarmed at what I found about this company, that prides itself on being one of the greenest energy companies. Continue reading →
Regarding the online article Huge wind deal coming (June 29). Who will pay the $1.1-billion to build the gigantic wind farms in Lambton and Huron counties? Ontario taxpayers will pay huge subsidies to the Florida-based energy company, Next Era Energy.
Electricity consumers will find electricity bills will double or triple and more in our children’s future. The residents of these areas will pay a huge price as they witness the industrialization of rural and vacation areas, the subsequent degrading of the environment, and possible rural de-population. Continue reading →
Author: Ashtabula Wind (Nextera Energy Resources [FPL])
Jerry Lien, North Dakota Public Service Commission
April 16, 2010
I appreciate your attention to this matter of the effects of living next to wind turbines. As was discussed in our phone conversation, Next Era Energy is not offering to repair the damage or fix the problem of the noise and shadow flicker imposed on our home, business and property. They merely want to pay us to accept it. They say we can use the payment to fix the problem ourselves. In order to receive the payment, we must accept this contract as offered, which I have attached to this letter [below]. This contract, as you can see, is a release for the company to negatively affect us. Furthermore, this contract has more wording in it about keeping quiet about the whole issue than solving the problem. Also you can see that it will be binding on us and our property in any future issues. Continue reading →