Wind farms causing turmoil, meeting hears

by Vik Kirsch  Guelph Mercury
FERGUS — Nicholas Schaut of Meaford says he was so stressed from years of living near a Shelburne wind farm that he can’t stay long on return visits to his former home.

He’s saddened to see that once happy community disrupted as wind farms pit neighbour against neighbour, some favouring them for the money they bring in, others opposed for reasons of health, noise and unsightliness.

“This kind of industrial development is ripping communities apart,” Schaut told hundred of people who filled the main hall of Centre Wellington District High School Thursday night.

If they allow Chicago’s Invenergy LLC to construct 25 to 35 wind turbines on 4,000 acres near Belwood, “I believe you will regret it,” he warned.

“Turbines,” Schaut stressed, “do not make good neighbours.”

Audience member Christopher Wilkins of Belwood wanted to know if they can be stopped through class action lawsuits against companies and farmers who allow turbines on their land.

Thursday’s meeting was organized by the community activist group Oppose Belwood Wind Farm, who see the Belwood proposal as premature.

Keynote speaker Carmen Krogh said such lawsuits typically focus on individual developers and “there’s such a variety of them.” Further, she said while such lawsuits are being considered by opponents to wind farms, there’s a general reluctance to go that route because, as Schaut alluded to, it could further divide communities.

Krogh, a retired pharmacist who sits on the Society for Wind Vigilance board of directors, said in these early days of wind farming, the world is only starting to recognize the potential health risks.

“The technology can create negative effects,” Krogh said, pointing to noise, shadow flicker and stress on surrounding residents. She rebuffed conclusions of wind farm associations in Canada and the U.S. that there are no significant health risks beyond some potential discomfort.

“We need a lot more research on this,” said Krogh, from Killaloe, Ont., adding there should be a provincial moratorium on wind farms in the meantime.

What’s known to date, she said, is turbines cause low-frequency noise, an “intermittent swooshing,” that’s particularly disturbing to people.

“It’s very disruptive. The body is not tolerating this type of noise very well.”

Krogh said Ontario and Japan are two jurisdictions about to study the effects of wind farms.

But she stressed issues go beyond health, to what she sees as an effort to discredit and silence critics of find farms.

“This particular emerging issue we may see more (of),” Krogh said.

She added a public inquiry may be called for if critics are indeed being muzzled by confidentiality agreements between developers and farmers accepting turbines on their lands.

Ripley, Ont. dairy farmer David Colling, who has a background in electrical engineering, told the audience there is increasing health concern about “dirty electricity” from the electromagnetic waves produced by turbines. Nearby residents, he said, develop “electrohypersensitivity” and eventually have to move away.

“This is like a peanut allergy — once you get it, you have it for life.”

Colling said that’s what happened to some of the former residents of Ripley, which has a wind farm nearby.

“(We need) to thoroughly evaluate the impact this could have on the community,” spokesperson Laura Humphrey of Belwood said in an interview. She feared the proposal for up to 35 turbines will grow over time to a much larger development.

The Shelburne site, she noted, started with 25 turbines and now has 133.

Further, there are proposals for other wind farms in the region, including sites in Arthur, Grand Valley and Mapleton north of Guelph.

And in addition to questions relating to people’s health, it’s still unclear what effects wind farms will have on wildlife and farm animals, Humphrey said.

10 thoughts on “Wind farms causing turmoil, meeting hears

  1. The MOE and the Ontario Government will be “Negligent” if they fail to have a full enquiry to determine the impact of health issues and the viability of this FAKE Green Energy program…

  2. Negligent is mild…………downright “malicious” should be the word here……………..to cause bodily harm and absolute destruction of one’s quality of life in this Province by the very Government that was elected to “protect” Ontarians from harm is more tyrannical than negligent.

    Too bad it will take so long for the majority of Ontario Citizens to find out how “evil” this agenda really is, but with the help of people such as described above, the message is slowly getting out!

  3. Negligence causing harm…?
    Is this a criminal offence?
    What are the penalties for this?

  4. The health effects are horrible but the insult is industrial wind turbines provide no meaningful contribution of energy to the grid that could justify the horror created. The health effects are horrible but the insult is; industrial wind turbines provide no meaningful contribution of energy to the grid that could justify the horror created. The 108 MW reported at this time gives the illusion industrial wind turbines are producing 108 MW right now, when in fact they are not. Varies in output, up and down are a fact when using the kinetic energy from wind to produce power. Producing 108 MW over long period of time is inconsistent with reality. Industrial wind turbines provide no future stability and are a waste of time and money if energy production is their main purpose. The 108 MW reported at this time gives the illustion industrial wind turbines are producing 108 MW right now, when in fact the are not. Varies in output, up and down are a fact when using the kinetic energy from wind to produce power so producing 108 MW over long period of time is inconsistent with reality. Although 108 MW may be enough to meet the needs of Milton, Milton is not nor is any other community being supplied 108 MW of wind energy at this time.

  5. David Colling is bang on. Have a look at this video to see a heart breaking story of how stray voltage is killing a dairy heard. How fitting to hear Stevie Nicks singing in the background. “Just like the white winged dove…Sings a song…Sounds like she’s singing…
    Whoo… whoo… whoo…”

    Who is responsible?

  6. This is proof ! Where is W5 or our Ombudsman.
    Where is The milk Marketing board. Where are the POLICE!!! This is criminal!!!

  7. I know this is an American dairy farm MA but there have been reports in Ontario as well.

  8. No one should think electrical pollution from industrial wind turbines is limited to a few farmers. The ground is where the excess sporadic electrical power production of industrial wind turbines is put when the grid is unable to manage the excess high points. Any power that would risk grid stability cannot be put onto the grid regardless of who has first rights. The excess power goes into the ground. Following the path of least resistance could take the electricity miles from the source. Anyone living in the vicinity of an industrial wind development should be measuring voltage in the ground and in their homes. Voltage reading should be done prior to development to have a better understanding of natural levels. Any power going into the ground from industrial wind turbines is wasted production, not used by consumers and creates a hazard industrial wind companies know about but spend more money hiding and ignoring than trying to correct. The best way to correct is to not build the industrial wind turbines at all. Why build them to pump electricity into the ground? Who wants to pay for that?

  9. When you get corruption as deep as this, and the Wind Industry has buried it inside politics and Ministries that are supposed to not allow things like this to happen, all the proof in the world isn’t enough to stop any of it!

    There is too much money and power here to expect any agency or Official to stop it from happening!

    The ONLY solution is to change it OURSELVES getting all landowners onside and take it to them in a public forum. On the streets, outside their offices, outside Parliament……..anywhere that they live and work!

    Peaceful demonstration with lawful protests is the only answer! Only a massive Public Outcry will shame these evil and destructive individuals to stop this criminal activity! The light of Truth usually puts the run on a dishonest person!

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