Port Elgin Residents to voice turbine impact stories before council

STOP CAW BillbooardBy Sarah Sloan, Shoreline Beacon News

It has been approximately 20 weeks since the blades on the Canadian Auto Workers’ (CAW) wind turbine in Port Elgin have been spinning. It has also been the same amount of time since members of Stop Turbine Operation Policy (STOP) have been tracking complaints of those experiencing alleged negative impacts associated to the turbine.

A recent email sent to those on STOP’s mailing list, provided some of those complaints which included audible noise outside the home preventing property enjoyment; inside the home causing sleep depravation, headaches, nose bleeds, nausea and dizziness, to name some.

In the same email, STOP spokesperson Greg Schmalz said the listed symptoms go away when those affected leave the turbine area, but reappear when they come back.

Deputy mayor Luke Charbonneau made reference to some of those residents who have made complaints at last Monday night’s council meeting. He also said he had visited with a couple who live on Stickel Street, close to where the turbine is situated.  Read article

38 thoughts on “Port Elgin Residents to voice turbine impact stories before council

  1. It’s good they have in writing about the shadow flicker issues.
    Do they also have the math calculations that should have been done for shadow flicker issues?
    Probable shadow flicker can be predicted/woked out depending on the position of the sun, the angle of the sun and the height of the turbine blades for starters Should be just matter of geometric calculations.

    • Demand to see the math calculations for shadow flicker issues. Perhaps this was never done?
      Maybe the engineer assumed every day would be cloudy with no flicker issues?

      • If you have a ceiling light panel with a ceiling fan installed close by you get flicker issues as the fan blades pass under the ceiling light source and this is very annoying.

      • Any tall object with the sunlight behind it will cast a shadow. If the object has a turning blade attached to it then you get flicker. When and where the shadow will be can be predicted.
        These things can’t be mitigated/changed. You can’t change the laws of nature.

      • FindMyShadow

        “This site allows you to calculate the position and height of the sun anywhwere in the world on any date and and plot the shadow cast by the sun at different times of the day.”
        There is no excuses for not knowing when and where shadow flicker will occur.

      • At least an outline map of the areas affected by shadow flicker can be made by recording the addresses of properties affected.
        Recording the dates and times of day for each property affected will add additional information.

      • 98 the Beach, July 12,2013
        “Residents Spell Out Wind Concerns”
        There are noise issues with this turbine and 117 homes are within the 550 metre turbine zone.
        The CAW turbine is 76 metres high but don’t know if this includes the blade length.
        Using just the turbine height the the length of the IWT “pole” shadow can be calculated without taking into consideration the width of the blades.. Just determining the length of the “pole” shadow itself will show how far the shadow will extend.
        The time of day and the time of the year affect shadow lengths.
        Anyone who cares about this issue can do the the calculations.

  2. The Premier is on Ontario Today, now. Call in is 1-888-827-8995
    Now from 1:00 to 2:00pm CALL IN

  3. Website says phone number is 888-817-8995 not sure if the 827 works

    The Premier is on Ontario Today, now. Call in

  4. Flashback!
    Workers of the world unite – who wants a ‘green job’?
    David Suzuki – spreads news about the economy.

    ‘[excerpt] The CAW’s commitment to environmental sustainability is enshrined in the CAW’s Statement of Principles and reflects the union’s concern about serious global challenges such as climate change, preserving the natural environment and advocating for clean, renewable power generation to meet future energy needs.

    “Our planet faces an environmental crisis of major proportions, one which could challenge our very survival,” Lewenza said.

    “Unions around the world are striving to address this crisis, while protecting the welfare of working men and women. The CAW is also committed to this task. On behalf of our members, we advocate for a healthier environment on many fronts; in the workplace, at the bargaining table, in the community and through political activism. Our wind turbine serves as a symbol of environmental sustainability for generations to come,” he said.

    CAW is setting a great example with this new wind turbine, said Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union President Dave Coles. “While governments drag their feet on strategies for the use of renewable resources, unions are leading the way.”
    Coles noted that CEP has been calling for a national energy strategy for years – one that includes a stable and sustainable energy supply for Canadians.

    The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) congratulated the CAW on the launch of the wind turbine.’

    Earth Week Climate Awareness Event Brings David Suzuki to Windsor, ON
    Progressive grass-roots environmental organizations joined with the CAW and other affiliated labour unions to host Dr. David Suzuki in Windsor, Ontario on April 25, to remind us that climate change is the biggest challenge of our times.

    The event called “Wake Up Canada” brought more than 8,000 students and activists to the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre to hear how after 150,000 years of human development and 100 years of ever accelerating industrialization and urbanization, we are just a decade or two from irreversible environmental damage. According to Suzuki, it’s up to this generation to apply the brakes.

    Suzuki, whose address will be aired across Ontario on TV Cogeco, said that for the first 150,000 years of human existence, people lived within the laws and exigencies of the natural world – their existence dependent on their relationship to the environment. That, he said, began to change with industrialization and the pace picked up steam as a result of mass urbanization in the last century. Instead, society focuses on the economy. The economy was not designed to sustain the environment – it was designed for relentless growth which has no concern for the very real necessities that sustain human life.

    Afterwards, CAW event organizers CAW Co-ordinator Ken Lewenza Jr, CAW Local 444’s Melisa Larue and Rob McGuffin and CAW Local 200’s Tracey Ramsey joined with Dr. Suzuki to officially open the “Canvas Campus Educational Initiative” where activists and students will come together to work in mutual respect within the diversity of our communities in order to educate, inform and establish a commonality of environmental sustainability.

    Welcome to Ontario – 2013

    • Ontario’s Energy Future – Gird your loins

      In the lead-up to the October 6, 2011 Ontario Election, the David Suzuki Foundation and Sustainable Waterloo Region have partnered to create a non-partisan expert review of the energy policies of leading political parties, entitled Ontario’s Energy Future: A Climate Change Perspective, with the goal of informing the debate surrounding the province’s energy and climate future.

      The policies are reviewed from a climate change perspective by considering how the policies will mitigate against, or adapt to, the impacts of climate change. Twelve questions were submitted to the parties in relation to the categories of electricity, natural gas and heating, transportation, jobs and business, and the provincial budget and private cost impacts.

      It is our hope that this report will spark informed discussion on our political leaders’ competing visions for Ontario’s energy future. We encourage you to join the conversation in one of several ways:

      • The bottom line is that IWTs don’t affect the climate one way or the other. The rest of this is propaganda and B.S. fed to a gullible public.

  5. How many in this bunch are willing to give up their modern conveniences and return to an agrarian lifestyle
    Give them a hoe, a rake and a shovel and put them to work!
    It’s been downhill for the UAW & CAW ever since the death of Walter Reuther.

    • The CAW is gone. Reuther knew that an auto industry was required for there to be an auto union.
      The auto union leadership hooked up with the eco-nuts who were out to destroy the North American auto industry which has turned out to be a disaster for their union members.

  6. I gotta wonder…

    Moreover, he said a shadow flicker is now occurring in people’s homes, something the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) said would not occur.

    In an interview Friday, Charbonneau referred to a meeting which took place in late 2011 where he was the only town official present. It was there, he said, that Martin Ince, the CAW’s engineer for the project, said a shadow flicker would not occur.

    This sentiment, Charbonneau continued, was repeated on page 6 and 7 of the OMB decision that permitted the turbine in the first place.

    “There is (also) recorded testimony present from Brooks Wickett (a landscape architect) on behalf of the CAW. He testified that there would be ‘…no appreciable shadow cast by the turbine off site,’” Charbonneau said. “We now know that they were wrong to make these assertions. “

    There have been a few recorded incidents of shadow flicker well beyond the limits of the CAW property – on (and in) people’s homes, he continued.

    The deputy mayor said the Ministry of the Environment told town officials, some months ago, that the CAW was working on mitigating this problem but, “nothing seems to have been done yet.”

    Whether there will be shadow flicker requires an engineer to determine the angle of the sun at a given latitude, and then do some simple geometry. An engineer got that wrong? Did anyone actually check to see if he took (and passed) any applied math courses? Just askin’.

    This was a ridiculous miscalculation.

    • Just in case anyone thinks I am kidding…


      Generally you start with the day the sun will be at the lowest angle in the Sky, December 21-22 then see if there is a problem.

      The day it is least likely a long shadow will be cast is of course June 21 -22 — so you check those days — get some idea and go from there.

      You have to check near dawn and dusk because that is when you will get the longest shadows. Then you check days on either side — to see which ways the shadows are lengthening. The rate and length shadow elongation is not symmetric at morning and night — so you have to do a number of checks — but that can be easily plotted…

      This is not a tough problem. You need the “exact” (i.e. with a known error) latitude and longitude and you need to be able to plot a “rose” graph. These are not extraordinary skills.

      That someone did not do these calculations make me think that we have simpletons — or maybe Biology grads running the GEA — oh Wait! Right on both counts!

      • Or you can use this calculator:

        Once you know the sun angle, you need the turbine height — an estimate will do or again you can calculate height using distance from base and an angle to the tip of a blade at the highest height.

        This is high school math really — even junior high math at some schools….

      • If you want you can get the definitive book on how to do this…

        So for $50 or less you can become an expert — just not a “forever expert” as the formulas are approximations centered around the year 2000.

        Umm… this is embarrassing to technical people everywhere as it took me less than an hour to come up with a complete system to do the a whole set of calculations which can prove or disprove whether there will be shadow flicker..

        It’s possible to automate all these routines — rather easily.

      • They should also make an outline map of the affected areas using street names or addresses to show the extent of the problem.
        Caught in writing this time and how many more times has this happened in other IWT areas?

      • Barbara:

        Because it was an engineer — with public liability, and he works for a corporation — the CAW — there is a clear path of liability.

        Can you spell lawsuit?
        This case has clear issues? Time to talk to Eric Gillespie folks and point out the obvious.

      • Yes, it is an engineer but dosen’t the town also employ a consulting engineer?
        The only engineers that will speak out are the retired ones. The rest fear for their jobs.

      • OMB – accountable to no one
        ‘[excerpt] Moreover, he said a shadow flicker is now occurring in people’s homes, something the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) said would not occur.’


        Note: The OMB supports Agenda 21
        It has been suggested Ontario get rid of the OMB.

      • True but in practice people still fear for their jobs.
        Don’t contradict the boss where you work.
        The shadow flicker issues should have been known befoer the IWT was installed. My question is whether or not the town consulting engineer was asked for input on shadow flicker? That is if the town has a consulting engineer? Nobody knew enough to do this?

      • Another important issue here is did this same engineering firm do shadow flicker work on other Ontario IWT projects?

      • This same engineering firm has worked on several Ontario IWT projects.

  7. Looking forward to standing with “the big numbers”, at the beach in Port Elgin, on Sept 2nd, Unite and Fight. Wind warriors from across the province are coming, the bigger the numbers the better.

    Same goes for today’s event in Clinton to support SWEAR and the Charter Challenge fund raiser. Mom and I are going for a drive to support the silent auction.
    (See the above notice on the site for directions. I would have made this comment under the notice, but, there isn’t a comment section. Why are the comment boxes not appearing? Did I miss a memo?)

    Yesterday 18-25 wind warriors and some media listened in (some were in attendance) on the Drennan ERT preliminary hearings.

    During years of writing, e mailing, talking, reading and meeting “our rights as Canadian citizen” have been part of the topic and part of the push against industrial wind facilities.

    Yesterday, all of the efforts by Shawn and Trisha Drennan to bring “rights “forward happened.
    Yesterday, a very skilled constitutional lawyer politely commanded the room and directed the ERT panel, Co., and MOE as to the rights of the individual under the Charter.
    Not only that, but Mr. Falconer did not hesitate to provide the councils for other Challenges with very helpful suggestions and an offer to work in co-ordination with one another ( It was very unfortunate the offer was not pick up by other council to work together It would have been fun to watch happen!.).
    Mr. Falconer offered the panel and other lawyer’s practical suggestions on how to save time (for witnesses, the ERT, the wind warriors, the councils) in the process that was to start.

    In unhesitating, knowledgeable, redirects and rebuttals Mr. Falconer reminded the other lawyers and the ERT panel of the legal rights of the citizens of this land. The tone was not arrogant or pushy, but polite, skillful and brilliant.

    Those wind warriors in the room watched the ERT panel and the Crown,Co. and MOE lawyers become more and more concerned ( lots of breaks to consult with each other) as they were made to face the reality that the process ( we all have been fighting) violated the “rights” of Canadian citizens.
    By the end of the hearing Mr. Falconer had gained the ground he was looking for to move Shawn and Trisha”s case forward. More movement in 3 hours and 50 minutes then in any other ERT


    So I am getting my 84 year old Mom from her retirement home and we are off to Clinton to help with the fund raiser to support the movement of our rights forward through the dedicated work by Shawn and Trisha Drennan and SWEAR.

    And we will see you in Port Elgin…….Sept 2nd, too!!!!!

  8. Pingback: Port Elgin Residents to voice turbine impact stories before council | ajmarciniak

  9. This morning on CBCs Metro Morning (serving the GTA), Matt Galloway said he had been up in Port Elgin this last weekend and toured around Lake Huron. He said that although he knew that there were differing views over wind turbines, he thought that they were ‘beautiful’.
    Thought you might want the opportunity to share with him what this ‘beauty’ looks like.

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