Ontario Great Lakes wind power

Letter I sent to Tyler Hamilton who wrote the article below
I just read your piece in the Star.
Helimax is a member of CanWEA, they both have a vested interest in wind farm development. It would be reasonable to expect a qualifier in the story.
When people read “could generate up to 47,000 megawatts of clean electricity” they are unfortunately under the impression 47,000 MW will be produced, even though it is very improbable they will ever produce this amount. There is no mention of the natural gas plants that will have to be constructed in order to provide power when the wind is not blowing at capacity, which is most of the time.
The entire renewable energy program set out by the Ont. govt. is based almost entirely on assumptions and possibilities, not on sound engineering practices. It is also a product of Maurice Strong and the e8. In fact the entire Ont generation system is being orchestrated by the guidelines set out by the e8. Marie LeGrow, who is the head project coordinator for wind farms, at the Ministry of the Environment, wrote the manual for the e7 before it became the e8
This story should have been a press release from the govt and the wind industry. When you attach your name you legitimize the fraud that is being perpetrated on the people of Ont. That is unfortunate.
Please read what McGuinty has to say about wind,solar and natural gas.

Thank you for your time
Ron Stephens
Blowing Our Tax Dollars on Wind Farms
Ontario to approve Great Lakes wind power


Melancthon wind farm west of village of Shelburne, Ont.

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Several offshore projects are waiting in the wings

Jan 15, 2008 04:30 AM

Energy Reporter
Ontario is preparing to lift a controversial moratorium on the development of offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes that has been in place for nearly 14 months, the Toronto Star has learned.

A Ministry of Natural Resources official says the department is “getting ready” to make an announcement and that new minister Donna Cansfield is “anxious to demonstrate leadership in the area.”

Jamie Rilett, a spokesperson in Cansfield’s office, confirmed that the ministry is currently revisiting the moratorium. He said a decision would be made “shortly.”

Industry sources also confirmed the moratorium’s end is imminent.

Offshore wind energy, while typically associated with ocean projects, offers significant opportunities in the Great Lakes. According to one study by Helimax Energy Inc., the strong and consistent winds typically over the lakes could generate up to 47,000 megawatts of clean electricity – nearly double Ontario’s existing power capacity.

The ministry put a halt to all offshore development in November 2006 to give the government more time to study the potential environmental impact of such projects on bats, butterflies, aquatic species and bird migration routes.

But the moratorium caught some wind developers off guard, particularly those trying to raise money for their proposed projects.

The wisdom of halting development was also called into question when it was discovered that some U.S. states, such as Ohio, were actively moving forward with offshore projects in Lake Erie despite the Ontario policy.

The moratorium followed a protest against an offshore wind project near Leamington, Ont., in September 2006. Nearly 300 residents showed up to a council meeting to protest a 119-turbine project planned by developer Southpoint Wind Power. Council unanimously rejected Southpoint’s proposal and urged the ministry to come up with guidelines that would help small communities evaluate offshore projects.

“There were a number of serious concerns,” said deputy mayor Robert Schmidt, explaining that many residents saw negative impacts on lake navigation, bird and butterfly migration, recreational boating and fishing.

“The biggest issue to most residents was how it affected their view of the lake, which is really only the last natural view we have in our area.”

Schmidt said a number of offshore proposals still wait in the wings.

“The majority of people aren’t against the idea, as long as it’s located in an area where it doesn’t cause problems.”

Energy consultant Paul Bradley, manager of PJB Energy Solutions and former vice-president of generation at the Ontario Power Authority, said offshore projects hold great potential but are also a huge technical challenge.

“They’re all-or-nothing projects,” he said. “You’ve got to collect all that power from each turbine, aggregate it, and then bring it in efficiently through an underwater cable.”

The best wind resources tend to be far from where power is consumed.

One of the biggest challenges is to bring wind-generated energy to communities in southern Ontario without breaking the bank on building high voltage transmission lines, which cost about $3 million a kilometre to construct.

Toronto Hydro Corp. has considered an offshore wind project in Lake Ontario near the Scarborough Bluffs. That wind farm would have a capacity of up to 200 megawatts.

“In the general context of developing wind power in the province, (lifting the moratorium) would be a great step forward,” said Joyce McLean, chair of the Canadian Wind Energy Association and Toronto Hydro’s manager of green energy services.

A more ambitious project by Trillium Power Energy Corp. would involve 140 turbines erected along a shallow stretch of Lake Ontario, about 15 kilometres offshore from Prince Edward County. The wind farm would have a capacity of 710 megawatts, the largest in Ontario.

Wind energy is a major part of the McGuinty government’s plan to double by 2025 the amount of electricity that comes from renewable resources.

The Ministry of Energy announced last August it had directed the Ontario Power Authority to procure another 2,000 megawatts of renewable power, a large portion of which is expected to be generated from wind.

Toronto Star

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4 Responses to “Ontario Great Lakes wind power”

  1. Lynne Says:

    Offshore wind farms can affect navigational radar. I wonder if anyone will contact the Coast Guard or Transport Canada before they build it?

  2. Assissotom Says:

    I found it very interesting.

  3. MATT Says:

    Offshore wind? What a great idea!
    Wind farm efficiencies will double.
    The government won’t be having to subsidize wind farms with tax payer dollars.
    Electricity prices won’t go thru the roof. Our factories won’t have to move to China.
    We will be burning half the natural gas to back up the wind farms.

    Based on: External Costs-Research results on socio-environmental damages due to electricity and transport – EUROPEAN COMMISSION 2003

    …a number cracking exercise says that the environmental costs of off-shore wind backed-up by gas are lower than the environmental costs of nuclear units backed up with gas or US coal power when the nuclear units are out of service…50% lower if coal is used.

    Someone else can now crack the financial cost numbers for wind/gas vs. nuclear/gas-coal.

    If nuclear power costs 6-8 cents a kw-hr why is Ontario paying 11 cents for wind?

    I don’t expect that a crunching of the financial numbers would justify paying the 11 cents today. But then again the 11 cents is for a 20 year contract and the nuclear price will go up with inflation.

    Our Green friends may well be onto something. However, too bad the Greens don’t have consideration for families being made sick on account of noise pollution from wind farms. But offshore wind would solve that problem too.

  4. MATT Says:

    Anyone wanting to get into the industrial wind business, here’s some financial numbers.


    Note that bonus bucks are expected from selling carbon credits down the road.

    Wind has a levelized production cost of around 5 cents per kw-hr.????What’s nuclear?!? Why is Ontario paying wind producers 11 cents? The government says it’s to help out farmers in crisis.

    Americans, why settle for a measly return of $50,000 annually per wind turbine in the US when Ontario pays 11 cents per kw-hr + up front grants. Build the farm in a good wind location in Ontario and make an extra $300,000 per year per WTG in bonus bucks. And if you want to build anywhere, it hardly matters cuz you’ll still make extra bucks thanks to the Ontario government subsidy.

    Credit goes to the Canadian Wind Energy Association for getting the Ontario government to give the wind industry such a generous deal compliments of Ontario power consumers.
    Credit goes to the government for solving the farming crisis with the generous subsidies. Ontario farmers, are you feeling the benefits from those wind farms yet?

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