Too many decisions made by developers
I read with interest your well balanced report (Saturday, Dec. 11) on the wind energy controversy now taking place in Ontario. While wind energy may have its place, my concern is that Ontario is moving too quickly and mostly for political reasons, motivated more by “wanting to be first” than good sound business reasons.
The Liberal government has created a “feeding frenzy” in Ontario by rushing to sign a multitude of 21- year rather generous contracts. This has attracted developers whose objective is sign up gullible landowners, develop the project and then take their profit by flipping it hopefully to an energy operator and move on to their next speculative scheme. The government has abdicated its responsibility by leaving the decision of where the wind farms are best located up to the developers who have no long-term interest in what is good for the people of Ontario.
The risk is that pristine landscape and prime agricultural land and semi-residential areas will be dotted with massive structures that, even if the wind turbine idea fails in future, will probably not be taken down and will be there for generations to come as monuments to the inadequate planning of the Liberal government.
JIM NEILL RR1, Millbrook
Inefficient wind power just drives up costs
Marion Thompson is right to be worried about wind turbines going up outside her door. I don’t know anything about health effects, but I do know that every kilowatt of electricity produced by every turbine erected in Ontario is driving up the cost of her electricity.
They are doing it in three different ways. First, owners of wind farms are paid almost twice as much for the electricity they generate as Ontario Power Generation is. This as a result of the McGuinty government’s desire to induce wind turbine construction.
Second, wind is only available somewhere between a third and a quarter of the time. So the claim in the article that “Each of the proposed turbines . . . (is) . . . enough to power 500 to 700 homes” is patent- ly false. Wind doesn’t blow most of the time so, unless those home- owners are happy to be in the dark 70% of the time, you need to double up with some other form of generation.
The third factor driving up costs is availability. When is there almost no wind? On hot summer days when air conditioners are crying out for electricity and the spot price is the highest. The wind is most often blowing at night, when actual demand for electricity is at it’s lowest.
Wind power is all about gaming the system. And we are all going to see higher rates as a result.
PAUL STEVENS, RR1, Hastings
‘ Green’ spin can’t hide wind turbines’ faults
The construction of hundreds of access roads and massive 1,000-ton concrete bases topped by 500-foot towers that kill birds and bats and will be positioned in fragile ecosys- tems, fragmenting natural habitats across, Ontario is not environmentally responsible.
The wind farm companies are able to inflict this damage because the Green Energy Act, which they must abide by, is so lax that environmental restrictions are almost non-existent.
Wind farms are planned for Millbrook, Bethany, Pontypool, Hastings, Kirby/Orono and Centreton. More will follow. Premier McGuinty has indicated plans for thousands of industrial wind turbines to be constructed by 2025. There are wind test towers in Mount Pleasant and Yelverton. Perhaps when this region is shunned by tourists and possible new residents because the very essence of the landscape its spectacular vistas and myriad natural attractions are despoiled, more people will pay attention to the government’s green energy agenda.
The degradation of various ecosystems for minimal energy production by industrial wind tur- bines that only have a 20-year lifespan, no matter how industry and the government tries to spin it, is not green.
JANE ZEDNIK, RR1, Cambellcroft
Wind power a misguided Liberal science project
Wind power is not green, nor is it clean, and most definitely the opponents to industrial wind turbines have a valid point.
It is a fact that industrial wind turbines must be paired with some other power plant or energy storage device to add capacity to the grid.
Westinghouse nuclear engineer Dr. Ulrich Decher stated that industrial wind turbines “do not replace the need for any other generators. All the generators that are needed without industrial wind turbines are needed with industrial wind turbines.”
Premier McGuinty and the Liberal government in Ontario have sold out rural Ontario in the name of so-called “green” energy.
It is time to put some real science to work for all of us. Forget about your ill-conceived attempts at a science project.
DEBBIE LYNCH, RR2, Norwood