Archive for the ‘Chris LaForest’ Category

Energy Costs Could Rise by 70 per cent if Natural Gas Generation Replaces Coal Plants in Ontario

July 29, 2007

From the Editor

On Oct. 10th vote for anyone but McGuinty and his party of clowns.

The economy of Ontario will be crushed if this man is allowed to continue. A 70% rise in electrical rates will send every major employer running. Affordable power is the cornerstone of the Ontario economy. High rates = high unemployment.

Note: at 8pm tonight the 396 MWs of installed wind capacity were generating a grand total of 18 MWs.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Turning grain to power; LGS wants to test mix of distiller’s grain, coal

CATHY DOBSON / The Observer
Local News – Saturday, July 28, 2007 @ 16:00

Ontario Power Generation hopes the province will soon approve testing of an innovative fuel alternative at the Lambton Generating Station this year.

“We’re still learning more about it but we think it’s viable,” said LGS spokesperson Susan Thurston.

The coal-fired power plant intends to conduct tests with dried distiller’s grain from a Lambton County supplier, she said.

If the Ministry of Environment gives the green light, five to 10 per cent grain will be mixed with the coal in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is still released by burning biomass but when crops are grown a nearly equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is captured through photosynthesis, making biomass “greenhouse gas neutral,” according to LGS.

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Mixing biomass products with coal is still in the experimental stage, Thurston said. LGS needs to establish if it’s technically, economically and environmentally advantageous to use biomass co-fired technology.

“We continuously look at the possibility of using different types of fuel,” she said.

Mixing various types of grain products with coal is already a well-established practice in several European countries.

Overseas, the fuel is blended with up to 20 per cent biomass, according to information provided by Lambton Generating Station.

Biomass is used to describe any organic material made from plants and animals and used as an energy source.

When certain organic materials are combined with coal to make electricity, carbon emissions are lower.

Biomass fuels provide only about three per cent of the energy used in the U.S. today, but that’s expected to change as concern for the environment increases.

In 2006, OPG’s Nanticoke Generating Station began tests that involved mixing coal with wheat shorts, a byproduct of the milling process.

More extensive testing is taking place at Nanticoke this year to provide detailed energy and environmental data, said Thurston.

Dried distiller’s grain is the biomass fuel of choice for LGS because it can be bought locally, she said.

Meanwhile, Premier Dalton McGuinty repeated his pledge this week to shut down Ontario’s coal-fired plants by 2014, even if it means paying higher electricity rates.

A new report predicts that energy costs could rise as much as 70 per cent if natural gas generation replaces the four coal plants. But McGuinty said that’s the cost of cleaner air.

“The single greatest contributor to greenhouse gases in the province of Ontario is coal-fired generation so we’re going to do something about that,” he said.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

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Bruce County to Get up to 3000 Turbines

July 28, 2007

From the Editor

Anything less than a complete moratorium on wind farms in Ontario is unacceptable. The corporations will smile at you while they take over rural Ontario. Heading full speed ahead back to “Feudal Times” where you are reduced to a Serf on the land you once owned and controlled.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Serfdom is the socio-economic status of peasants under feudalism, and specifically relates to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery seen primarily during the Middle Ages in Europe. Serfdom was the enforced labour of serfs on the fields of landowners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields.

Serfdom involved work not only on fields, but various agriculture-related works, like forestry, transportation (both land and river-based), crafts and even in production. Manors formed the basic unit of society during this period, and both the lord and his serfs were bound legally, economically and socially. Serfs were labourers who were bound to the land; they formed the lowest social class of the feudal society. Serfs were also defined as people in whose labour landowners held property rights.

The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture is calling for measures to protect the county’s tourism industry, farming operations and municipalities from the rapidly developing wind energy industry.

“Recent studies in other countries have shown that large wind generating areas and tourism are not compatible. It would be a shame to lose the gains we have made in tourism by not having planning in place to make sure our tourism industry stays vibrant,” federation president Robert Emerson told Bruce County council’s agriculture, tourism and planning committee on Thursday.

The committee was looking at wind energy policy as part of the county’s five-year review of its official plan and because of concerns raised by residents and the industry over the lack of adequate regulations.

Committee members later approved 15 recommendation that chair Charlie Bagnato described as a beginning of more policies to regulate wind energy development.

The recommendations include one calling on developers to provide clearer information about shadow flicker and noise and a provision for a complaint protocol, so members of the public can make their concerns known to the developer and the county.

There was no proposal to change setbacks from built-up areas, which municipalities can set at anywhere from 400 to 700 metres. However, there were recommendations that the planning department conduct further research on the density of turbine development, cumulative impact of wind turbines in an area and the effect of cold weather on wind turbine operation.

Bagnato said more policies will be included once that information is received.

“The overall updates they made today will be helpful in the short term . . . but we’re suggesting now is the time to take a long-term view of the whole issue as it affects county tourism, county agriculture and we’re identifying some real important agricultural issues,” said Emerson.

Emerson held up the example of Grey Highlands, which has designated certain areas suitable for wind energy development and prohibits it in visually sensitive areas. It has incorporated those regulations into its official plan.

“This is fair to all concerned because then wind prospectors will know where they can develop their wind parks and farmers will know if their land is eligible for development,” Emerson said.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith agreed with Emerson’s suggestion of looking into protecting natural and tourist attractions from wind energy development.

Chris LaForest, head of planning for Bruce County, noted the proposals by Grey Highlands still need approval by Grey County.

Emerson cautioned against rushing into new regulations to satisfy the demands of the wind energy industry. He noted the transmission capacity for new wind energy won’t be available until 2011 and the recent announcement of up to 3,000 megawatts of wind energy coming from Bruce County within the next 10 years would require between 1,500 and 3,000 wind turbines.

“Once these units are up and running . . . the citizens of Bruce County will be left to look at a wind park of industrial proportions for the rest of their lives,” Emerson warned.

Emerson also is concerned that wind turbines are not being fairly assessed. He worries that will result in municipalities collecting less in taxes.

Wind turbines are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation at $40,000 for each megawatt of electricity they are rated to produce. The standard 1.5 megawatt turbine worth $2.5 million dollars is assessed at $60,000. A farming operation of the same value is assessed at $500,000.

“To me these large wind turbines have been given a sweet heart deal by the province . . . there’s no fair comparison at all to agriculture. We see it having a detrimental affect on the whole county assessment,” Emerson said.

LaForest said he sees the updates to the county official plan passed by councillors on Thursday as a first step to setting policy for wind energy. Final approval will takes place at a meeting of County council on Aug. 2.

By Don Crosby

The Sun Times

28 July 2007

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.