Haldimand council, farmers are at odds on green energy

By MONTE SONNENBERG, QMI AGENCY, www.woodstocksentinelreview.com 

Haldimand County and its farmers are at odds about the future of green energy in the municipality.  Haldimand council last week rejected a motion from the county’s agricultural advisory committee calling for a moratorium on solar energy projects on viable farmland. 

The advisory committee is not convinced that land used for solar energy can be easily reverted to agriculture. As well, the committee says there are better places for solar panels such as the rooftops of homes, businesses and institutions in urban areas where the energy they generate will be used.

“The Haldimand Federation of Agriculture and the Haldimand County Agricultural Advisory Committee are comprised of farmers that make their living off the land,” Brent Everets, chair of the advisory committee, said in a report to Haldimand council. “It is in their interest to ensure that productive farmland is not only preserved and the soil maintained, but that agricultural production continues to be an important sector within Haldimand County.”The issue of green energy is coming to a head because two solar farms and two wind farms have been proposed for Haldimand. Municipalities in Ontario no longer control where green energy projects go.

However, that hasn’t stopped municipalities and community groups from registering their concern as a means of pressuring the province.Haldimand council turned down the advisory committee recommendation at its June 14 meeting. At the same meeting, council refused to endorse a recommendation from Norfolk council for a moratorium on wind turbine development until their alleged impact on human health is thoroughly analyzed.Haldimand’s agricultural advisory committee and Norfolk council put Haldimand council in a tough spot because the latter has signalled to the province that it wishes Haldimand County to serve as “the green energy hub” for southern Ontario.Mayor

Marie Trainer says it is imperative for Haldimand to follow through on this because of the pending closure of the Nanticoke Generating Station. The province may ultimately convert the plant to other fuels, but until decisions are made in this area the county is at risk of losing 600 high-paying jobs, $4 million a year in property taxes and $3 million in spin-off benefits to the wider economy.“We want to be known as the energy hub of southern Ontario,” Trainer said. “We can’t survive without it.”

Trainer added now is not the time for Haldimand council to send contradictory messages about its objectives.Jarvis-area Coun. Leroy Bartlett worries about the proposal that would bring as many as 120 wind turbines to an area along the lake-shore straddling the Norfolk- Haldimand boundary line. Eighty per cent of the turbines would be located in a 130-square-kilometre area of south Walpole Township.Bartlett is concerned because the huge turbines need to be anchored in 7.6 metres of concrete. If there is insufficient ground cover for that, the turbines have to be bolted to the underlying bedrock.

Bartlett says south Walpole does not have sufficient ground cover for concrete bases. He worries about the potential for vibration problems if this many turbines are anchored to the bedrock so close together.“That’s a huge concern for me,” Bartlett said. “If there are vibrations, how will that affect residents?”

4 thoughts on “Haldimand council, farmers are at odds on green energy

  1. Coun. Leroy Bartlett deserves another term- He has obviously investigated and understood the concerns. The other councillors and mayors need to be shown the door.
    Will Haldimand really die without wind turbines…no, but it may die with them.

  2. Re: Marie Trainer, in the above article:

    ““We want to be known as the energy hub of southern Ontario,” Trainer said. “We can’t survive without it.”

    Trainer added now is not the time for Haldimand council to send contradictory messages about its objectives.

    Mayor Marie Trainer says it is imperative for Haldimand to follow through on this because of the pending closure of the Nanticoke Generating Station.”

    Does Mayor Trainer need to be reminded who is responsible for making such a foolish promise to close the Nanticoke coal-fired generating station in the first place, responsible for her County’s pending “doom”?

    And now she’s trying to kiss-up to the same clueless tyranny of Dalton McGuinty and Co.?

    I’m glad she doesn’t represent me, because she doesn’t seem to know how to stand up for her constituency’s best interests.

    Yes, it is a very lofty aspiration to be known as a “green energy hub”. But does Haldimand County know what “green energy” should mean? Ruining farmland, and subsidizing inefficient wind turbines that encourage people to move off the farms and into the only safe havens left — the cities – is not green or sustainable.

    Haldimand County and it’s mayor have shown how “green” they really are.

  3. Leroy Bartlett has done his due diligence.

    The Clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore Industrial Wind Turbine Zone is bolted to the Clear Creek Ridge, a bedrock formation which extends almost to the American shore of Lake Erie. It is vibration, not noise only which is causing sleep deprivation among residents who live surrounded within 3 km by 18 Vestas 1.65 MW Industrial Wind Turbines [IWT’s].

    As well as the noise and vibrations, there are the issues with stray voltage and dirty electricity which keeps our neurons constantly on edge whenever Norfolk Victims of Industrial Wind Turbines [NVoIWT’s] try to stay in their homes for more than a day.

    Since Nov 22, 2008, many NVoIWT’s have had to find respite to catch up on lost sleep in, Delhi, in Long Point, Burlington, Aylmer – anywhere were they can escape the debilitating effects of these behemoths.

    We have been asking for a scientifically rigorous research study to be done in order to save our health which is deteriorating slowly but surely.

    Hopefully, residents of Haldimand will listen to their Agricultural community and wait until the study is complete before making a decision about IWT’s which will ALWAYS need the back up of either the Nanticoke coal fired generators OR a NUCLEAR generator!

  4. Become the Energy Hub of Ontario…reap the whirlwind of $$$$$$$$$…………10 years down the road school bus tours can visit the biggest Ghost Town in Ontario!

    Nice Council!

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