NextEra: “and about that Community Vibrancy Fund … we’re taking it back”

fire-turbine-smAh yes, NextEra giveth and taketh away. They have always loved playing God in our townships. But maybe more like a diety that does a WAY too much taketh-ing.

It’s really quite simple: The bylaw and Warwick Fire Chief Brad Goodhill state that the NextEra Jericho turbines need to be equipped with fire suppression for the nacelles of the turbines. This was supposed to be in place by October 25th, 2015.

NextEra hasn’t complied. NextError is Out of Compliance. The Township is now looking at penalties.

See NextEra wants to install the system at the turbine base, if they absolutely have to. But if the Fire Chief says it has to be in the nacelle, well, they aren’t gonna pay or it! The community can, from the lovely “Community Vibrancy Fund” NextEra so kindly “gave” them (with lots and lots of stings attached).

fire

Oh don’t be surprised by this! Didn’t you know that part of having a vibrant community is making sure it doesn’t catch on fire? NextEra can reason (with force) anything away…


 

  • Update on Installation of Fire Suppression System on Wind Turbines
    Nextera has informed the Township that all costs associated with installation of wind suppression in the nacelle would be borne by the municipality under the Community Vibrancy Agreement under clause 9 – ‘additional development charges’. According to Nextera, relevant charges for the system are $416,275 and require Warwick to forgo all revenue expected to be collected by the annual amenity fee until March 31, 2021. The section of the agreement reads as follows:

    • 9. The Wind Project shall be exempt from payment of any other development changes under any by-law enacted by Council. In the event Jericho is not exempt from the payment of development charges in respect of the Wind Project, or is required to pay any increased amount of property or other taxes with respect of the Jericho Wind Project, any such payments or increased amounts shall be set off against and deducted from the other payments or contributions required under this Agreement.

36 thoughts on “NextEra: “and about that Community Vibrancy Fund … we’re taking it back”

    • LOL! no, not at all. That’s why they were called Bribrancy Funds. They can hold the money out to lure the municipalities to be “willing”, and then when something goes wrong they can whip it back. Sounds like a very controlling relationship…

  1. FYI

    UNEP Finance Initiative/UNEP FI, Est. UN Rio, 1992

    PSI/ Principles for Sustainable Insurance

    Signatory companies & Supporting Institutions include:

    Munich Re
    TD, Canada
    Aviva plc. UK has subsidiary Aviva Canada
    HSBC Insurance
    IISD. Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada
    Climate Bonds
    The Nature Conservancy, U.S.
    Ceres

    http://www.unepfi.org/psi

  2. Such a un-transparent company.

    Group in LinkedIn – easy to join –

    wind turbine fires and solutions

    They have found at least 10 fires in wind turbines in 2016 already. Some techs needed a helicopter to rush them to critical condition after the turbine went up in flames while they were inside working. Another caught fire, threw parts across the country then falls over all on video.

    Guess they figure our kids that may end up wind technicians in Ontario are expendable like our farm lands?

  3. Nothing here to be surprised about. Fires in nacelles was discussed a few years back with the incident near Goderich, Huron Co. That blaze was simply allowed to burn out, as obviously the Goderich or Lucknow volunteer FD had no means whatever of fighting the fire and no volunteers ready to risk lives to aid a Wind Company.
    The fire was in the spring and danger of sparks was at a minimum, but if it had been Aug, with a wind the tower located in the middle of a wheat field, the damage would have been severe.
    The cause of the fire in a near new turbine was never explained satisfactorily, the Ont Fire authorities glossed over the incident without too much investigation or recommendations.
    Questions raised then about adequate protection, or company safety requirements were never answered.
    From this story it seems nothing has changed. Ont is simply depending on luck and hoping a serious fire can be maintained to the tower without spreading.
    As the fleet of turbines in Ont age rapidly, the likelihood of fires increases dramatically. We may be sitting on a time bomb waiting to ignite.

    • And remember, that wind turbine fire north of Goderich happened in the middle of the night, when the country folk are asleep in their beds … Makes one picture a much worse outcome of a fast spreading fire, if it had happened on a dry hot windy August night, with the ripe wheat ready for harvesting.

      • And were the turbines north of Goderich inspected prior to becoming operational? Or for that matter have any of the IWTs installed in Ontario ever been inspected?

      • No, I don’t believe any of the Ont turbines have been inspected for fire safety, It is inconceivable that a 30 story office tower could be constructed with no provision for fire prevention, but wind towers? What is there to worry about?

        Like construction code violations and road usage
        excesses, Wind companies have been treated differently from local residents planning a barn or storage silo.

      • And what constitutes negligence?

        Just this one IWT fire should be enough to justify an inquiry into the inspection issues with IWTs.

        Was there a provision in the Green Energy Act that provided that IWTs are exempt from inspection?

        Solar farms also generate lethal amounts of electricity.

      • CSA document information leads to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

        And the Ministry website referrals are to the Green Energy Act. Ministry information indicates that industrial scale IWTs are classed as buildings.

        But what about the inspections of IWTs that were installed prior to the Green Energy Act or are they included in the Act?

      • Kingsbridge wind turbine fire reported by the new media ~ Apr.2, 2013. Ontario, Canada

        Location between Goderich and Kincardine, ON in Ashfield-Colborne-Wanawosh Town?

        Kingsbridge Wind Farms originally developed by EPCOR 2004-2005?

        Now owned by Capital Power Corp.as of what date?

        Has Vibrancy Fund agreement with wind farms owners with a no complaints against the company clause included?

        Inspection records?

      • In addition the host IWT land owner can’t make a complaint?

  4. Ella, FYI

    Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. & Renewable Energy System Americas,Inc./RES Americas:

    Joint venture for the Deerfield Wind Project in central Michigan. Completion 2016. RES is family owned in the U.K. by the McAlpine family.

    For information:
    U.S. SEC @ http://www.sec.gov, Enter search Algonquin Power & Utilities

    See: Form F-40, filed March 15, 2016 >
    Exhibit 99.1- pp.32-32, Deerfield project
    Exhibit 99.2, Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, Item No.8
    Exhibit 99.3, Oct.19, 2015, Algonquin – RES joint project.

  5. Response from ON Fire Marshal’s Office July 9 2013 in light of Goderich fire

    Please describe the fire safety plans which are required to be in place for an IWT mechanical, chemical, or electrical failure (or collapse) and the fires that result from these.

    The OFC contains Fire Safety Plan requirements under Division B, Section 2.8, but these are typically applicable to occupied buildings to ensure evacuation procedures are in place in the event of an emergency. These requirements would not be applicable to a structure that is typically unoccupied such as a wind turbine.

    Our office recommends municipalities conduct fire risk assessments within their community to determine whether their existing fire protection services are capable of addressing local needs and circumstances. The presence of wind turbines would be a good example of a potential community risk that should be considered when establishing fire department response plans. Fire Fighters Guidance Note #6-35 recommends that fire departments develop Response Safety Plans in cooperation with the wind turbine owner.

    What suppression systems are required by law to be installed on these machines? (I do not mean by this merely disconnecting turbine power from the grid!)

    There are various standards applicable to wind turbine construction. Our understanding is that some have requirements for various fire protection features that recommend the installation of a detection/fixed extinguishing system. However, none of these construction standards are referenced under the FPPA or OFC and are therefore not a legal requirement under our legislation.

    • Can you even wire a storage building in Ontario without an inspection? Any unoccupied building?

      • BlueGreen Consulting Group, Posted April 22, 2013 and has updates
        Access the the Ontario Building Code

        1.3.1.1., Designated Structures:
        (g) a structure that supports a wind-turbine generator having a rated output of more than 3 kW.

        Section 2.2 Building Code Objectives include:
        Safety
        Fire Safety
        Structural safety
        Safety in use.

        Provides a short explanation of each of the above categories. The” why ” of each of these categories in table format.

        http://www.bluegreengroup.ca/tag/free-ontario-building-code

        Also has Ontario building code for farm buildings

  6. Given that there are NO TOWN WATER SOURCES available in rural regions, and that IWTs are LOCATED IN OPEN FIELDS of crops and grasses, what IWT on-site water sources does the province require the Wind Corporation have to store water? Given that there are only household and barn wells (and perhaps a few ponds) which are insufficient to handle large scale industrial fires, what requirements are there for ponds on-site? heated storage tanks? drilled wells? If the latter, how do these large bore wells affect local aquifers?

    There are no requirements for the provision of fire protection water supply for wind turbines under the OFC. The Ontario Building Code (OBC), which applies to the new construction of wind turbines with a rated output of more than 3 kW, does not have such a requirement either. In situations where water supplies are unavailable for firefighting, fire departments would need to provide a transportable water supply in the event of a fire.

    • The OBC covers the construction of buildings requirements.

      After construction would be operational safety issues. Even a large city fire department can’t fight a fire 20-30-stories up or more.

      How do you know if the IWT construction met the building safety code requirements if it is/ was not inspected? What about the IWT grounding systems in the foundations?

      The 2004-2005 era OBC building code might be available at Ontario university law libraries. An e-mail inquiry should do it and find out which Ministry had jurisdiction of IWTs back then.

      One issue here is where are the IWT inspection reports if any?

      How about yearly structural inspections for IWTs?

      It’s always the same thing. People will have to do this themselves.

  7. http://www.k2wind.ca/files/9514/3693/0569/K2-Newsletter_Summer_2013.pdf

    Here is a slight mention of fire hazards in the K2 Wind newsletter 2013. In between crowing of money donated for swings at Brookside Public school, they do admit to the fire at Capital Power Kingsbridge 1 installation, just down the road. What is stressed in the rarity of the event and the unlikelihood of any re-occurrence. Why the nacelles pose no more danger threat than a farm combine:

    “The nacelle of a modern wind turbine typically
    contains lubricants and coolants for the turbine
    machinery. These are essentially the same kinds
    of liquids that would be used in a farm combine”.

    Nothing to see here folks just move along. Rather than a warning call, the turbine fire simply showed no fire emergency plan in place before
    the blaze, and nothing afterwards.

    Ont is simply trusting on good fortune with respect to any fires originating in turbine towers, to watch the fire burn out and hope nothing else catches fire.

  8. A farm combine is not that large compared to an IWT. And a combine fire/explosion won’t throw pieces very far.

    Situation is that an IWT caught fire and exploded or exploded and caused a fire? weather conditions were good?

    Was or was not this turbine ever inspected as is required of other buildings in Ontario?

    These are pre-fab except for the foundations.

    Ontario building codes were enacted to protect the people including those who live adjacent to a building from, fire, explosion, building/structure collapse.

    IWTs are subject to vibrations which might cause structural problems.

    Appears this turbine in question was built 2004-2005 time frame so the Ontario building and fire codes from that time should be looked at. Clearly identify the Ministry responsible at that time as well.

    Has anyone tried to obtain any inspection reports for this wind project?

    It’s a good bet that it was the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at the time this IWT was built.

    • The attached newsletter from KS Wind mentions all the monitoring safety systems in place, but does not explain why any of these didn’t alert the operators to shut down the turbine ar K1 before it caught fire. Also there is no mention of culpability (Capital is one on 3 partners in K2) the fire was simply an act of God apparently.(one fire in 5500 nacelles).

      Apologists are wont to point out urban fire departments don’t have equipment to fight 30 story blazes either. The difference is that were the tower to be in Etobikoke surrounded by houses, there would be some plan in place to deal with an emergency. Of course it isn’t there, but in rural Huron County and thus not worthy of undo concern from governmental authorities.

      • Act of God would be weather related. Or an earthquake.

        Weather conditions for the area for this date are someplace at Environment Canada?

        Try this website for Ontario Building Codes;

        https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulations/970403

        Building Code with its versions which run from Sept.1,2003 – Dec.31, 2006. After that time there was a new Building Code
        and more new codes subsequent.

        Covers Pre-fab construction & foundations.. Not an easy task to look through these codes for information.

        Main issues are no inspections and why not.

        Combine is not a building so not covered/included in Ontario Building Codes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *