Archive for the ‘Ashfield township’ Category

Wind energy: beware, turbulence ahead

November 22, 2007

[Bernard Viau was the editor of the national newsletter for the Green Party of Canada. When he posted an article denouncing wind in early July, Green Party of Canada Opposes Placing Industrial Wind Farms too Close to Homesthere was such a backlash that he resigned his post.]

Wind farm projects are growing like mushrooms after a rainy day, but the air is turbulent in the wind industry. Industrial wind farms are not as nice and green as promoters want us to believe. Like an opponent puts it : “There is more here than immediately meets the eye with industrial wind generators, and often the devil is in the details.”

Pugwash in Nova Scotia, Wolfe Island in Ontario, Saint-Arsene in Quebec, and Edinbane in Scotland are actually living very stressful times. These small places are being called names by both industrialists and environmentalists because of their opposition to a green energy project.

Lots of other small places have the same problem in the world : Carrolltown in New York, Cairnbrook in Pennsylvania, Chilton in Wisconsin, Glenrock in Wyoming, Saint-Joseph in Manitoba, Greensburg in Kansas, Benjamin in West Virginia, Mount Hays in British Columbia, Sevenmile Hill in Oregon, Bagthorpe in England and many others.

Wind farm projects are growing like mushrooms after a rainy day, but the air is turbulent in the wind industry. Industrial wind farms are not as nice and green as promoters want us to believe. Like an opponent puts it : “There is more here than immediately meets the eye with industrial wind generators, and often the devil is in the details.”

Like a lot of other countries, Canada is actually facing a rush of private wind energy companies. Don’t be fooled, the money promoters are investing in wind energy has nothing to do with the environment. What these astute industrialists want is clear : profit from government Green Energy Projects, grab all incentive money available, commit as little as possible to local economy and then run or sell their wind farms to large income funds. All political parties are praising the wind energy but all, including the Green Party, are carefully avoiding the tough questions. The truth is that our politicians are misinformed, naïve and gullible. They all want to be known as green because nowadays for everyone, green is the politically correct colour to wear. The story is the same whether you live in Canada, in Australia, in Scotland or in France.

Don’t misunderstand me ! I believe that making a profit is a sign of good management. I have no anti-capitalistic thinking and I believe that the wealth of nations is built by entrepreneurs but I also strongly believe in responsible investment. A few years ago, I did sell one of the first Canadian tax shelter in the wind energy when I worked as a investment broker. Don’t give me that grap thinking about what is good for the economy and the global market. Buying garlic from China at the supermarket instead of buying it from local producers is totally stupid from a common sense point of view and some wind farms also defy pure common sense as you will see.

Most wind energy projects are industrial in size, ranging from 30 to 150 turbines. Simple people are often blinded by the very words “wind energy”. They cannot imagine that one could oppose so green a project as a wind farm. Well, I’m opposed to some industrial wind farm projects and for good reasons ! Wind farms do have downside effects : on the landscape, on health, on property value and also on our energy supply.

Wind farms may be built on private land but they affect the landscape, which is common property, so to speak. We judge things according to their potential return on investment. It is then only normal that promoters are at loss when one speaks of the “value” of a landscape. In Europe, citizens are complaining that miles of landscape have already been destroyed by wind farms and that people have been forced to leave their homes for health reasons. Let’s face it, a wind farm is like a forest of huge towers with intermittent headlights on top of them for airplanes ; nobody can miss them ! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but still, some landscape are exceptional and we need to protect them ; a wind farm project in front of Niagara Falls would certainly not gain public support in Canada.

The French National Academy of Medicine has called for a moratorium of all industrial wind farms within one and a half kilometers of any residence, because they felt there was a risk for people exposed to the sounds generated by the turbines. The United Kingdom Noise Association recommends the same. A number of health issues have already been raised and researchers have found a cluster of symptoms near industrial wind turbines : headaches, dizziness, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, anger and irritability.

The wind industry has been trying to convince everyone that there is no problem with bird kills but independent scientific reports of bird and bat deaths near a wind facility estimates the annual death toll between three and six thousand, far worse than anything the wind industry is ready to admit publicly.

It is a well known fact in Europe that land value near a wind farm declines immediately because nobody wants to live near a forest of huge towers. A wind farm is different from the idyllic postcard we mentally have of wind mills in Holland and a wind farm is not a tourist attraction. A wind farm area is a ghetto area, land prices go down. In Danemark, the liberal government is about to pass a bill to give compensation for land loss value to people living near a new wind turbine.

The construction of a wind farm also implies a lot of cement ; a sea of cement would give a better picture. Thousands of very long, broad and heavy trucks will damage all the network of roads. Who will pay the bill ? In 30 years, if the promoters have not declared bankruptcy to avoid paying for dismantling the towers, the cement foundations will be left to the grandchildren of the original owners. Promoters should put money in trust to cover end-of-life dismantling ; a form of asset fund for future generations.

By nature, wind is erratic. An expert who spent his whole life working in generating stations says that “wind power can never become part of any large power grid, it is nothing more than an unreliable add on which is a serious nuisance to grid operators.” A wind farm produces little electricity and adds almost nothing to our generating capacity but yes, it is green and more importantly, it has the favour of politicians around the world.

Promoters say that their wind farm brings an economic windfall, but 75% of the expenses are for the turbines built by multinationals. The truth is that local entrepreneurs will provide the sand, the gravel and the donuts. The company pays royalties to the farmers for their land but prices vary a lot depending on how gullible people are and contracts are secrets of the trade. Farmers often realize later on that all the drainage system is modified and that their lands are permanently damaged for crops. An industrial wind farm creates few jobs locally because the turbines can be monitored by a technician working far away in an office filled with computers.

During public hearings, two promoters were recently scolded by the commissioners for having failed to mention and supply critical information, for not having notified residents affected, for having frequently changed site plans without consulting the township and for failing to comply with several regulations, showing in fact no regard for the environment or for the residents. This is the reality Wolfe Island near Kingston Ontario is actually living and there are hundreds of other cases around the world.

Urban environmentalists, unaware of the real issues, are often saying that any opposition to wind farm project is wrong. If greedy promoters and big shareholders had their way, public enquiries would never be necessary. It is not a question of NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude. One company in Ontario has a wind farm project right in front of a wildlife protected area. Some far-west entrepreneurs would like to construct wind farms right in your frontyard. The landscape, the local environment and public opinion are being ignored, this is totally unacceptable for society as well as detrimental to the wind industry in general.

These huge towers will still be on our landscape when today’s decision makers are dead. In June of last year, during public hearings by an environmental commission, we proposed that wind farms should be moved away from cultivated lands, away from rivers, from migratory corridors, scenic landscape and heavily populated areas. The best place for wind turbines is the seashore like in Holland. Substantial indemnities should go to repair the road system and standards should be set for the contracts with the farmers. Local residents should be paid on a system based on proximity to the turbine rather than on a system based on straight rent because landscape is a form of common space which belongs to everyone. Municipalities have to become partners with the wind industry. Power utilities should have standard offer contracts that permits local participation. Large wind farm projects, especially those over 100 turbines, should be moved in Canada’s northlands or on the shores of large hydroelectrical reservoirs.

Some will say that the wind farms are replacing coal fired generating plants or nuclear generators. This is not the case. We have better alternatives. Geothermal energy is the greenest and most economical alternative to meet our heating requirements while solar energy is the best one for our energy requirements. Wind energy projects have several downside effects. Why is it that the protection of multinationals and the wind industry’s interests override the protection of wildlife, the environment, local public opinion as well as pure common sense ? The answer is that money talks.

The people building wind farms are not environmentalists but astute promoters who want to profit from green subsidies using tax shelters. These companies feel that they should be able to do as they like without regard for the stakeholders. Milton Friedman would be proud of them for he once wrote that an officer of a company who cares about anything else but maximizing shareholders dividends is to be considered as a subversive element. How could he receive a Nobel prize in Economy ?

Because of greedy promoters, large industrial wind farms are rapidly becoming anti-environmental because they are symbols, not of our respect for the environment but of industrial domination over our resources. The situation is the same in every modern country of the world. Only China has no opposition to the wind industry, but is opposition really possible in China ? The best options for our heating and energy requirements are clearly solar and geothermal energies. Governments should transfer tax credits from wind to geothermal and solar energy. They should also start seriously to promote the use of these green energy in all public buildings and give strong fiscal incentives to companies working in the energy efficiency field. Wind farms are unreliable and are not the best solution to the world energy problems.

If you ever wake up in the middle of a 100 turbine wind farm project, you will not be fighting alone.

Bernard Viau
viaub@sympatico.ca

August 4, 2007

cmaq.net


ACW Council waits for wind word from ministry-Update

September 6, 2007

From the editor:

We need more men and women with the backbone and conviction of Councilor
Barry Millian

 

I got involved with the wind farm issue in Oct. 2006. The Kingsbridge l wind farm started operation in the spring of that year in the Twp. of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. I had no intention of getting involved. I did like a lot of others, I drove by the wind farm in Oct. and my first reaction was that it didn’t directly affect me so don’t worry about it. What made me stop at several farms to see how the people were dealing with the wind farm, I’m not entirely sure. What I found was good honest people, that have been lied to and have had both their lives and property values ruined.

Epcor who built the Kingsbridge l wanted to build Kingsbridge ll even though there were many problems with No. l. The council wanted to give the go ahead with no regard for the people who were already experiencing problems.

I and several others trying to find the truth about wind farms were told by frustrated residents from ACW to contact Councilor Barry Millian. We were told that he was the only one who seemed interested in making sure the residents were protected from adverse effects that might be caused by putting the turbines too close to homes.

We sent Mr. Millian volumes of information on the subject of which he studied. The G.P. van den Berg: “Effects of the wind profile at night is one paper he paid close attention too and it showed why the people living near the wind farm were having problems sleeping at night.

Councilor Millian who under intense pressure to allow Kingsbridge ll to proceed, stood his ground and convinced the council to wait until they got an answer from the ministry with regards to the G.P. van den Berg Report.

They were promised an answer by the end of Feb. 2007. They still do not have an answer to date. It is now promised sometime in Oct., after the Provincial election.

If the govt. acknowledges the G.P. van den Berg Report they will not be able to put the turbines as close to homes as they are.

It appears the govt. is sitting on the report trying to put through as many wind farms as they can before they get caught.

The OMB hearings are a farce when the govt. is withholding information that would force the turbines to be much further from homes.

Was the Enbridge 110 turbine wind farm near Kincardine passed because information was withheld by the govt.?

I asked Marie LeGrow, senior project coordinator for the MOE, how they could go ahead with the OMB hearing for the Enbridge wind farm when they hadn’t completed the study on the G.P. van den Berg Report. I was told that because the Enbridge wind farm was already in process, the report regardless of the outcome, would not affect the Enbridge project

Below is the story from The Goderich Signal-Star

Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. council will not pass its new comprehensive zoning bylaw until the Ministry of Environment responds to the township’s concerns about wind turbines.

At the Aug. 21 meeting, council was to set a date to review comments and changes to the comprehensive zoning bylaw with the planning department. However, Counc. Barry Millian said council should not rush passing the bylaw until the township gets answers back from the ministry following their meeting on July 30 at the Huron County council chambers.

“The minister said she will get back to us in October and we’ve waited this long, why not wait another month?” asked Millian.

Township resident Harry Kerr said the wind turbines neighbouring his property are more than 800 metres away but “damn noisy”.

“The 400 metre setback is not enough,” said Kerr.

Millian urged all council members to study the reports on the wind turbines.

“Nobody is going to disagree with the Ontario government saying that there is a need for renewable energy but we don’t know anything about it and the government just wants us to do it,” said Millian. “We can’t talk to anyone in Ontario about this because it’s new and no one knows anything about it and I challenge anyone in this room to argue with me about this.”

Council agreed to wait for the minister’s response.

By Sara Bender

The Goderich Signal-Star

5 September 2007

We need more men and women with the backbone and conviction of Councilor
Barry Millian

You’re a good man

Wind Farms Fail Once Again in Ontario

July 24, 2007

From the Sygration website

Ontario Generation for 2007-07-24

All power production in Ont today. Once again wind fails. 400 MW capacity producing next to nothing.The graph starts at 1am. McGuinty is too stupid to be the leader of this province. I don’t have much faith in the other parties either. They have all become corporate puppets.

This is your province and your country please get involved. It is your children and grandchildren that will ask you why you were so apathetic.

click on the link to view the “Great Saviour” wind power stats for today. Be sure to click on pic to enlarge it.

sygration-ontario-generator-report

OMB Hearing – Decision Issued July 16th

July 19, 2007

From the Editor

I have just finished reading the OMB judgment for the Enbridge wind farm in Kincardine. My take on the Judgment goes like this. One man who knows nothing about the wind industry is charged with listening to testimony from both sides and making a judgment. Even though people testified about the problems they are experiencing from the wind farms near their homes, their testimony was dismissed because it is a different wind farm. Two separate engineering reports by the wind industry state that any turbine within 1000 meters will have a negative affect, I can find no reference to these reports in the decision. Makes no sense. Elizabeth May of the Green party who is a big promoter of green energy sides with Anne Murray when it comes to the siting of wind farms near homes. Not the OMB. The question that needs to be answered is, does the the OMB have any power to force changes or is it just a rubber stamp. The chair states that the Enbridge wind farm conforms to the MOE and Bruce County guidelines. It does not however conform to the guidelines set out by the WHO.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

Here is another story of a family run out of their homes

On July 20, 2007 Ruth & I decided to drive from the Gulf Shore to Elmira, which is on the northeastern tip of PEI, to visit with Dwayne Bailey and his father, Kevin, and view the new local wind farm. Both abandoned their lifelong homes because they could not tolerate the noise from this facility.

The OMB gives no weight to these events, and the govt just denies there is a problem.

When I get some time I will post the entire decision and you can decide if the judgment was correct and in the best interest of the public.

A very bad day for the people of Ontario. Everybody must continue too fight this McGuinty Govt. and their ridiculous energy policy. The corporations didn’t care about polluting the world and they don’t give a damn about saving the world. They care about the money and that’s all they care about.

To all those fighting wind farms and any other stupid govt. policy around the world. Keep fighting. You are heroes of the common man

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

Europe drying up for wind energy developers

July 12, 2007

‘Wind energy in the U.S. “is like Europe was years ago,” says Xavier Viteri, head of Iberdrola’s renewable-energy business. “There’s a lot of room for development there ….”‘ (Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2007, page A1)

That raises the question, Why isn’t Europe like Europe was? Clearly, the momentum has slowed. Even “showcase” Denmark hasn’t added new wind capacity since 2004. Doubts have arisen about the utility of wind energy on the grid. Adverse impacts (to wildlife, landscape, and human health) can no longer be denied. Instead of repeating Europe’s mistakes, the U.S. and Canada ought to consider the limits of wind energy that European countries have already discovered.

There’s a good reason Iberdrola and other European wind developers are moving their efforts to North America. Europe doesn’t want them any more. Let’s learn from that experience instead of repeating the same boondoggle.
From Kirby Mountain

The Great Global Warming Swindle

March 17, 2007

The full documentary from Channel 4 in the U.K. (1 hour 15 min)

This video is important. It should be required viewing for everyone who has seen Al Gore’s film. It should be included in the curriculum in all schools and broadcast on the CBC to all Canadians. The more you read and see the better your education on any subject. In the end it is you that must make your own decision. Get some popcorn and enjoy the movie.

The+Great+Global+Warming+Swindle

Frey & Hadden, Wind turbines and health

March 4, 2007

From the editor

It appears from all the research that has been done on wind turbines and wind farms that not only is the wind industry not telling you the truth, neither is your govt. When I say your govt., I am talking about all govt. bodies that are involved in the promotion and licensing of wind farms. The evidence is in. The question at this point in time is really very simple. Are you going to stand up and be counted or are you going to do nothing?

Thousands of lives have already been ruined by poorly sited wind farms, you may be next. Both the wind industry and your government knew and continue to know that these wind farms are sited too close to people. It is about economy of scale. Never forget “By the people for the people”

I don’t remember it being changed to
By the government for the corporations.”

The wind companies are in the process of sucking billions of dollars from taxpayers pockets and your govt. is helping them.

Is Democracy still alive in the so-called free world?

Leave a comment

The document below says it all

Frey_&_Hadden,_Wind_turbines_and_health

Wind turbines are large industrial structures that create obtrusive environmental noise pollution when built too close to dwellings. This annotated review of evidence and research by experts considers the impact of industrial-scale wind turbines suffered by those living nearby. First, the paper includes the comments by some of the families affected by wind turbines, as well as coverage in news media internationally. The experiences described put a human face to the science of acoustics.

Second, the paper reviews research articles within the field of acoustics concerning the acoustic properties of wind turbines and noise. The acoustic characteristics of wind turbines are complex and in combination produce acoustic radiation. Next, the paper reviews the health effects that may result from the acoustic radiation caused by wind turbines, as well as the health effects from noise, because the symptoms parallel one another. Primarily, the consequent health response includes sleep deprivation and the problems that ensue as a result. In addition, this paper reviews articles that report research about the body’s response not only to the audible noise, but also to the inaudible components of noise that can adversely affect the body’s physiology. Research points to a causal link between unwanted sound and sleep deprivation and stress, i.e., whole body physiologic responses.

These injuries are considered in the context of Human Rights, where it is contended that the environmental noise pollution destroys a person’s effective enjoyment of right to respect for home and private life, a violation of Article 8 of the European Court of Human fights Act. Furthermore, the paper considers the consequent devaluation of a dwelling as a measure of part of the damage that arises when wind turbines are sited too close to a dwelling, causing acoustic radiation and consequent adverse health responses.

The review concludes that a safe buffer zone of at least 2km should exist between family dwellings and industrial wind turbines of up to 2MW installed capacity, with greater separation for a wind turbine greater than 2MW installed capacity

Frey_&_Hadden,_Wind_turbines_and_health_2-07.pdf

400 MW of Wind Capacity Produces O MW of Power

February 27, 2007

At noon today I checked how much power was being produced by the wind farms in Ontario. The govt. has this idea that if they spread the wind farms around the province wind farms will produce power. Their logic is that it has to be windy somewhere. Port Burwell = O MW Kingsbridge l = O MW Amaranth = O MW and last but not least Princefarm = O MW. Lets add that up now. 400 plus MW of wind capacity producing O MW of power at noon today.

Mr. Dwight Duncan our esteemed Energy Minster wants more wind power. Maybe it’s time Duncan and McGuinty had a brain scan. I think most of the wind in Ontario is blowing around between their ears.

Time to wake up people.

Time to raise a little hell………….or you can do nothing, but please don’t bitch and complain when your hydro bills go through the roof. This province doesn’t belong to McGuinty, Duncan or the wind industry, it belongs to you. Please act accordingly.

Remember when Bush said he knew what he was doing in Iraq. McGuinty and Duncan have ignored all the advice from the experts to follow their green dream and if it’s not stopped it is going to cost you and your children dearly.

Send an e-mail, write a letter or make a phone call.

If you own a plane a little sky writing might be a nice touch.

Get active!

There’s nothing on TV anyway

I am your Energy minister and I want more wind

 

duncan31.jpg
or do I just have Gas

David Suzuki isn't so green after all

February 24, 2007

By TOM BRODBECK

Political activist David Suzuki — on a cross-country tour urging Canadians and politicians to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions — may want to look in his own backyard before lecturing Canadians on how they’re destroying the Earth.

With all the alternative-energy modes of transportation out there, Suzuki and his entourage are crossing Canada in a sprawling, “rock-star-style” diesel-burning tour bus, emitting more greenhouse gases during his 30-day tour than many of us do in a year.

That’s right. Mr. Kyoto isn’t so green after all.

“It’s diesel,” Jason Curan, a media staff member on the Suzuki tour told Sun Media yesterday. “It’s a tour bus — kind of like a rock-star tour bus.”

You know, one of those big-ass, diesel-guzzling, carbon-spewing beasts?

Suzuki seems confused about how pollution actually works. He claims that his trip across Canada in a diesel bus is carbon neutral, because he is going to buy carbon credits. You can buy all the carbon credits you want David. The fact is you chose to travel in an emission spewing bus and that pollution ended up in Canada. Carbon credits are nothing more than an accounting system for polluters. The wind farms are a perfect example. The companies building the wind farms are building them for the carbon credits to put against their fossil fuel businesses. Polluting the same or more, but on paper they look like good corporate citizens.

click link for full story

winnipegsun.com – Tom Brodbeck – Eco-icon not so green

“The David Suzuki Foundation also received donations from EnCana Corporation, a world leader in natural gas production and oil sands development, ATCO Gas, Alberta’s principle distributor of natural gas, and a number of pension funds including the OPG (Ontario Power Generation) Employees’ and Pensioners’ Charity Trust. OPG is one of the largest suppliers of electricity in the world operating 5 fossil fuel-burning generation plants and 3 nuclear plants… which begs the question – is Suzuki now pro-nuclear power?” Institute for Canadian Values

Duncan wants more wind energy

February 22, 2007

DUNCAN SAID
Duncan said he intends to cut back on the need for nuclear power and wants to harness more wind energy. “Nuclear as a percentage of our overall supply is going to go down under our plan from 50 to 41 per cent,” Duncan said.
“We’re going to maximize wind power, we’re going to work with our communities, with First Nations, to ensure everybody shares in the benefit and everybody understands the benefits.”

Dalton and Dwight should be in jail for wasting your tax dollars on their stupid wind dream. Only an idiot or a fool would allow himself to be conned into thinking that wind will power Ont. Add the high cost of natural gas along with the tight supply, plus the huge subsides paid to the wind companies and you have a recipe for economic disaster. Two clowns chasing the green vote regardless of the cost to you or society.

Read the full story

CTV Toronto
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