Archive for the ‘Essex’ Category

C-K business owner makes case for wind turbine setbacks

February 13, 2008

C-K business owner makes case for wind turbine setbacks

The need for proper setbacks in Chatham-Kent between wind turbines and homes and natural settings was voiced loudly Tuesday by Chatham businessman Harry Verhey.

Verhey told Chatham Sunrise Rotary Club members — of which he is a member — that he isn’t challenging the use of wind turbines, but is convinced there is an urgent need to determine setbacks that are right for the municipality.

“The recent proliferation of industrial wind projects will have a negative impact on the community,” he said. “The massive size of industrial wind turbines conflicts with the scale and character of the Chatham-Kent landscape.”

Verhey said the improper siting of industrial wind turbines will result in the loss of the scenic rural landscape, wildlife habitats and migration routes, peace, quiet and health of our citizens and future economic development opportunities.

Verhey made his comments while introducing Chatham-Kent planning official Ralph Pugliese, the club’s guest speaker.

“We are a unique community and cannot follow provincial minimum setback guidelines of only 250 to 600 metres,” said Verhey.

He said there is a need to come up with new setbacks that are right for the municipality.

“I love this community, its people, the rural landscape and the lifestyle available to us here,” said Verhey. “It’s my hope we will all be able to feel the same way in the future.”

Verhey noted Chatham-Kent is playing host to applications for the installation of hundreds of industrial-sized wind turbines.

“These turbines are of monstrous proportion,” he said. “The Greenfield Ethanol plant stack in Chatham is 260 feet high. The proposed turbines are nearly 400 feet high — as tall as a 40-storey apartment building.”

Verhey said there are many questions regarding how wind turbine developments will affect the surrounding area.

“Will property values decrease, will it stop new construction and future housing developments near by, is wildlife at risk and are there negative health affects?” he asked.

Verhey said he’s convinced the public is unaware of wind turbine developments in Chatham-Kent, planned locations for each turbine and any associated adverse affects.

“We need to evaluate the landscape of the potentially-affected areas, consult with the public and develop a criteria for the public input process,” he said.

Verhey said ads run in local papers by the proponents of wind farms aren’t enough — “for the most part the public is unaware of turbine developments and locations.”

He said significant cultural heritage landscapes, important bird areas, which include wetlands and staging areas, shorelines, the Thames River valley, small rural community’s areas for future development and rural homes need to be protected.

Club member Paul Roy of Pain Court said there is a need for the municipality to hold public meetings to help clear up the confusion that exists about wind turbines.

Larry and Linda Reaume of Erie Beach, club guests, said they would never have purchased their “dream” home at Erie Beach if they knew wind turbines were going to be erected in their backyard.

“We looked for a place to buy for years and finally settled on a home near the lake in south Chatham-Kent in 2006,” said Larry Reaume. “We had no idea the area was ripe for wind turbines.”

Source C-K News 

Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

February 6, 2008
Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

[ News Watch Home ]

“Understanding Sound Associated with Industrial Wind Developments”, was the theme of the presentation by Rick Bolton, Engineer & Sound Specialist, and sponsored by Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood (CHRN), on Wednesday, January 30, at Perry’s Masonic Temple.

Though Wednesday’s inclement weather prohibited attendance by many from outlying areas, citizens and Town Board members from Perry, Gainesville, Leicester, and Orangeville were there. Mr. Bolton’s presentation was designed to convey a basic understanding of the complexities of sound, effects on humans, and flaws in current analysis standards being employed by wind developers in the U.S.

Mr. Bolton began by explaining that sound associated with wind turbines is an extremely complex issue, and one that needs thorough analysis. “Sounds are waves – just like light and water,” he said. These sound waves are measured in deci-Bels (dB, or dBA – A-weighted deci-Bels – most closely imitate the human ear).

“Human audibility is extremely sensitive,” he said. “In fact, far more sensitive than anything we can use to record sound electronically. While the human ear can detect to 0 dBA, the lowest range even the most expensive noise meters can measure is 14 dBA.”

Elaborating on the factors that can amplify sound, Bolton pointed out:

1.) Sound can propagate for over a mile, and even further over water;

2.) Sound gets worse in water (i.e. – ice, fog);

3.) Low frequencies can double sound by refraction off hard surfaces (hillsides, snow-pack);

4.) ‘Wave Coherence’, created by a number of turbines together, amplifies sound;

5.) When the wind is blowing, it can refract noise from the elevated source-point downward;

6.) Sounds below 30 Hz, termed ‘infrasound’, create serious health problems (turbines have been indicated as being a strong source of ‘infrasound’)

7.) Ice-loading on the front edge of turbine blade tips disturbs air flow around the blade, creating turbulence, and increasing sound.

8.) Modulation occurs when the blade compresses air as passing the mast of the turbine, and is worsened by large groups of turbines’ blades not operating in sync. (Bolton has never seen modulation addressed in any wind developer provided studies.)

Bolton explained the many ways wind developers methodology is flawed. Field measurements are not done correctly (i.e. – improper microphone placement, no justification for sampling sites, etc.); accurate samplings need to be done for a full year to account for seasonal variations, but aren’t; and computer prediction models wind developers rely on are inadequate because they don’t account for modulation, coherence, refraction, and icing.

Facts contained in Perry’s DEIS from the sound study done by Horizon for Perry were brought up that highlighted Bolton’s point that sound studies being done are totally inadequate: “5 monitoring locations; Survey was carried out over roughly a 3-week period; Unfortunately, 3 primary & 2 backup instruments were destroyed by water infiltration, so octave band data could not be collected for ALL positions for the entire 3-week survey; There were a number of periods of either inclement weather or low wind speeds – conditions that are not generally useful; General conditions of temperature, barometric pressure, & wind for the survey period are shown in plots below as observed at DANSVILLE, NY – some 20 miles southeast of the site.”

Illustrating and explaining his points with numerous charts and graphs that were part of his presentation, he also included examples and measurements from homes that had been abandoned by their owners due to the resulting life-altering health effects of living too close to turbines. Not surprisingly, these health problems have been linked to sleep disturbances.

The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend that sound level should not exceed 30 dBA for a good night’s sleep. WHO also unanimously agrees that noise levels greater than 42 dBA create sleep disturbances, and that disturbed sleep has serious health effects.

Bolton explained that rural country settings currently enjoy extremely quiet night-time noise levels of 20 – 30 dBA. However, wind developers typically propose 50 dBA as acceptable noise levels at property lines of neighboring homes to their industrial wind installations. They do so despite the fact that the NYS DEC recommends no more than a 6 dBA increase over existing night-time ambient noise levels.

“Every 6 dBA is a perceived doubling of sound, or loudness,” Bolton said. When you understand this, you can begin to understand the problems that are occurring from siting these facilities far too close to people’s homes in rural areas. Bolton’s research suggests that 3,000′ – 5,000′ setbacks from the nearest property line should be the rule of thumb.

Neither citizens, nor the town officials being rushed through zoning, siting, and approval processes by wind developers truly understand the vast difference between 30 and 50 dBA until it is too late. Bolton stressed the importance of “getting it right” before allowing industrial wind facilities to be built, since mitigation after the fact is not available. He has yet to see wind developers do any follow-up studies for those now experiencing problems. They simply ignore them.

Bolton also explained that NY Townships are perpetuating flawed methods by accepting, and placing in their ordinances, the 50 dBA sound levels being submitted by wind developers, without demanding justifications – despite the fact that this is contrary to SEQR rules. NYS DEC’s Environmental Conservation Rules for SEQR state that the noise pollution potential must be evaluated at each affected “receptor”.

NYS DEC’s Program Policy, “Assessing & Mitigating Noise Impacts”, states: “When a sound level evaluation indicates that receptors may experience sound levels or characteristics that produce significant noise impacts, or impairment of property use, the Department is to require the permittee or applicant to employ necessary measures to either eliminate, or mitigate, adverse noise effects.”

If our townships fail to hold developers accountable to required standards, “we will lose the privilege, and precious asset, of having the peace and quiet of the country,” he said.

Mr. Bolton then took questions from the crowd. In response to questions asking what he thought of being “surrounded” by up to 23 turbines within 1.5 miles of their homes, he answered, “I would be VERY concerned if I were you.”

When asked if he has conducted any studies in the Perry area, Bolton replied that he had. Those who attended Perry’s Public Hearing October 16, 2006, will remember Mr. Bolton adding his comments, and handing in the study he did for Perry to the Board that evening. (Mr. Bolton’s comments on the Noise Issue can be found in the Comments to Perry’s DEIS under H-1, pages 1-24.)

By Mary Kay Barton

Batavia Daily News

Wind Generator and Wind Generating Facility Ordinance for Trempealeau County

December 18, 2007

Editor:
Reading the letter below showed me the real life problems associated with wind farms being sited too close to homes. That was just over a year ago. Anyone trying to convince any level of govt knows the frustration they have endured in their fight for reason. Mr. Monfils warned us and it seems fitting that the first realistic, not perfect, setbacks in North America should be passed in Mr. Monfils State of Wisconsin

This letter was written by Mr. Monfils, Lincoln Town Board Chairman, about living near wind turbines in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. He wrote it hoping that it will help other communities facing wind power plant proposals. problems-associated-with-wind-turbines

Please make sure everyone gets a copy of this new ordinance

Wind Generator and Wind Generating Facility Ordinance for Trempealeau County

Setbacks: The following setbacks and separation requirements shall apply to Commercial Wind Turbines.
(a) Public Roads: Each Wind Turbine shall be set back from the nearest public road and its right of way a distance no less than two (2) times its Total Height.
(b) Railroads: Each Wind Turbine shall be set back from all railroads and their right of way a distance of no less than two (2) times its Total Height.
(c) Wind Turbine spacing: Each Wind Turbine shall have a separation distance from other Wind Turbines equal to one and two-tenths (1.2) times the total height of the tallest Wind Turbine.
(d) Communication and electrical lines: Each Wind Turbine shall be set back from the nearest above-ground public electric power line or telephone line a distance no less than two (2) times its Total Height.
(e) Inhabited structures: Each Wind Turbine shall be set back from the nearest structure used as a residence, school, hospital, church, place of employment or public library, a distance no less than one (1) mile, unless mitigation has taken place and agreed by owner/operator and affected property owners involved and recorded in the Trempealeau County Register of Deeds office which describes the benefited and burdened properties and which advises all subsequent owners of the burdened property.
(f) Property lines: Each Wind Turbine shall be set back from the nearest property line a distance no less than one-half (½) mile, unless mitigation has taken place and agreed by owner/operator and affected property owners involved, and recorded in the
Trempealeau County Register of Deeds office which describes the benefited and burdened properties and which advises all subsequent owners of the burdened property.
Click link to read complete document.

wind_ordinance doc

Industrial Wind Farms Banned

December 4, 2007

From the Editor: I think everyone fighting against the plague that is wind farms should write a note thanking the CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG for doing it’s duty. That duty is look out for the best interest of it’s citizens. Everyone needs to make sure that their council reads this and “DEMAND” that they implement the Resolution set out by the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission.

Resolution of the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission

Industrial Wind Farms

The Gillespie County Economic Development Commission opposes the construction of industrial wind farms in Gillespie County and the surrounding Texas Hill Country area. This position is taken after a careful consideration of the issues associated with the economic and environmental impact of industrial wind farms.

The Hill Country is a jewel of Texas. It is highly touted and highly regarded for its landscapes and scenic beauty. It is a desirable area to both visit and live and property values and the robustness of the tourism economy reflect its attractiveness. Wind turbines are incompatible with the elements that make the Hill Country special. Their presence would cause irreversible harm. There is ample reason to believe that industrial wind farms would cause a general reduction in property values and would cause a significant reduction in tourism. Our county and city governments and our school districts are responsible and fiscally conservative. Accordingly, the loss of revenue from reduced tourist dollars and a tax based reduced by declining property values will result in a corresponding tax rate increase. Tax increases do not stimulate economic vitality.

The environmental impact of industrial wind farms is known. Wind turbines create a noise that is described as a penetrating low-frequency thudding vibration that travels even further than the measured audible noise. The spinning blades can create a flickering light on one side of a blade and a flickering shadow on the other side that can literally cause humans and animals to experience spatial disorientation. The spinning blades also kill and maim birds and bats. Each tower requires a cleared area of several acres at its base and the towers must be connected by roads capable of handling heavy equipment. The destruction of the landscape and wildlife habitat required for this is permanent. And, each tower is required to be lighted with a flashing red light at night. These adverse environmental impacts are a direct cause of the reduction in property values mentioned earlier.

The economic development commission generally applauds the search for alternative energy sources to satisfy our increasing demands. However, the commission is skeptical about the real potential for wind power’s contribution.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that wind power has the potential to contribute 1.2% of our energy demand by the year 2030. To achieve this miniscule contribution to energy needs the federal government subsidizes the construction of wind farms through production tax credits and accelerated depreciation schedules. This essentially passes along a majority of the cost of construction of wind farms to taxpayers. The Gillespie County Economic Development Commission believes that the potential economic loss to the community is grossly out of proportion to the immeasurably small potential contribution industrial wind farms here could make to the energy solution.

The economic development commission respects the rights of individual property owners to make decision regarding their property without outside interference. However, the commission is concerned that property owners who exercise their property rights and sign lease options with industrial wind companies are actually relinquishing control of their property. While industrial wind farms may provide some economic benefit to the participating land owner, adjacent landowners will experience a decrease in property values and other adverse effects which effectively infringes upon their property rights. And there are additional complications. Transmission lines will be required to move the electricity from the wind farms to the electric grid. It is likely that eminent domain would be used to acquire rights-of-way for new transmission lines from non-participating, unwilling land owners.

To summarize, the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission believes that concern for the economic cost to the Gillespie County community as a whole far outweighs consideration of uncertain financial benefits to a few and a marginal at best contribution to future energy needs.

WHEREAS, there are now and there may be other companies in the future who are attempting to enter into lease agreements with landowners in Gillespie County for the purpose of erecting wind turbines (wind farms) on the scenic landscape of our community; and

WHEREAS, the construction of such wind farms will certainly be detrimental to the wildlife habitat of the area; and

WHEREAS, wind farms erected with the shadows of Enchanted Rock will forever scar a popular recreational asset of the area; and

WHEREAS, the construction of such wind farms will destroy the peaceful existence of the quality of life the residents of Gillespie County have come to enjoy over the years by generating noise from the turbines, creating “shadow, strobe or flicker” effects; and

WHEREAS, it is widely accepted by professional appraisers and members of the real estate community that land values where wind farms are built and the land of the adjoining property owners will be devalued by an estimated 25% to as much as 50% of its market value; and

WHEREAS, according to ERCOT wind study maps, the amount of wind generated in this area is in the bottom 20% of the available wind locations in the state of Texas; and

WHEREAS, the City has so agreed, and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG:

The construction of wind turbines (wind farms) is not an industry that is welcomed or encouraged to come to the Gillespie County area.

Fredericksburg City Council

3 December 2007

Worldwide rush for wind power could result in massive debt

November 30, 2007

Posted November 30, 2007

As told in a recent ad, a Johnsburg farmer who will host wind turbines now has many regrets.

He regrets having been the “lure” to draw in other unsuspecting landowners. He regrets that he has allowed fields to be subdivided, road base to be spread on land once picked bare of rocks, costly tiling to be cut up. He regrets that he’s no longer the person who controls his own land and is now told where to go by security guards. He regrets the divide he has created between friends, between neighbors and between family members.

He regrets not having looked into all the ramifications first. That farmer is now locked in to a binding contract. But there are many landowners who have not yet suffered this fate.

Calumet County Citizens for Responsible Energy asks that landowners considering a contract first step back and study the issues. As with any financial transaction, don’t put a lot of trust in those who stand to gain financially.

Look for Web sites and information from those experiencing the effects of this worldwide “gold” rush for wind power. People across world are rebelling. They’re finding that they’ve lost control of their land and their lives. And they’re in danger of financial hardship if these companies dissolve.

Our irresponsible government representatives are forcing this “windfall” for wind investors on us. Their knee-jerk reaction to the global climate change alarms will cause billions of dollars to be wasted, lives to be ruined, and environments degraded for what is, in actuality, a very inefficient energy source.

With a declining tax base and state and U.S. legislators driving us further into massive debt, taxpayer subsidies for wind will be impossible to maintain.

And with the subsidies gone, what will you be left hosting?

Don Bangert,

Chilton

postcrescent.com

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 Power Will Save Us……NOT!

August 19, 2007

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

Dalton McGuinty and his Wind Farm Dream

May 13, 2007

Dalton McGuinty is a DISASTER

By not putting the scrubbers on the coal plants he has put the people of Ont. at risk. He said he would shut down the coal plants in 2007. I have yet to find a report saying that was possible. Options for coal plants

He said he got bad advice.

Now he wants to cover Ontario with wind farms.

More bad advice Dalton?

Leamington has joined the Town of Essex in approving a one-year ban on new wind and solar power projects until a county planning study is done to help put some controls in place.

Dalton forgot to put controls in place.

Probably got bad advice Again

When are you going to tell the people about the thousands of megawatts of gas plants in the works to back up your wind dream.

When are you going to tell the people about the massive increases they can expect in their electric bills.

You are either a FOOL or a LIAR. Either way you are not fit to be premier of this province.

I have sent my blog to every Liberal MPP in Ontario asking that they look it over and to get back to me if they find anything they question or disagree with. To date I have had no replies. Therefore it can be concluded that the information on my blog is factual and is accepted as factual by the Liberal Party of Ont.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

If you have any questions please contact me.

Please read the excerpts from

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO

Monday 10 April 2006

Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North)

Before I wrap up here, I wanted to just spend a few moments on the blackout in 2003 and where we’re going, as a province, as a result of that. I’ll tell you, we have some very interesting data that’s coming towards us on our hydro supply and where we’re going with hydro in the province of Ontario.

It seems so amazing that we had the blackout just prior to the election. One of the election promises was that the new government, the Liberal Party, would close all coal-fired generation by the year 2007, which is now nine months away — the beginning of 2007.

I recall Dalton McGuinty on Steve Paikin’s show one night. Mr. Paikin was interviewing Mr. McGuinty, and he said, “Mr. McGuinty, would you close the coal-fired generation early in 2007 or later in the year?” He looked like a deer in the headlights when he answered the question. He said, “I’d close the coal-fired generation late in 2007.” That means sometime in November or December, 2007. That’s 6,416 megawatts that we’ll have to close down. As of today in the province of Ontario, the only coal-fired generation that has been closed down is Lakeview, and that’s the one that we had planned on closing down four years ago; Elizabeth Witmer made the announcement and was at the ceremony that actually closed it. The Progressive Conservative Party’s plan for coal-fired generation was that we would close the facilities down by 2015. That is still, today, the most realistic figure we can come up with, because we have to find a way to find 6,416 megawatts in the province of Ontario.

I was really interested today: It’s amazing that the minister’s comments on wind power came up the same day we’re debating Bill 56, we’re talking about blackouts and all that sort of thing. One of the things that really was amazing is that the government is counting on the total capacity of the wind power generation as fact. This all ties in to our need for power, so we don’t have another blackout, another natural disaster. To date: Melancthon Grey wind project, which is 67.5; the Kingsbridge wind project, 39.6 megawatts; Erie Shore’s wind farm, 99 megawatts; the Prince wind farm, 99 megawatts; and the Blue Highlands wind farm, 49.5. That’s a total of 354.6 megawatts. The minister keeps saying that’s how many megawatts she has coming on-stream.

1730

The reality is that in this book put out by the Independent Electricity System Operator — which I think is a government body, part of the old Ontario Hydro — it says, under an asterisk at the bottom, “For capacity planning purposes, wind generation has a dependable capacity contribution of 10% of the listed figures.” So of the 354.6 megawatts that Minister Cansfield talked about today, according to our own Independent Electricity System Operator, we really only have 35 megawatts, if you consider 10%.

The reason is that we can never shut down the other systems. We can’t shut down a nuclear reactor and use all 354 megawatts. We can’t shut down a power dam. We can’t shut down a natural-gas-fired system, because it takes too long to fire them up. Even if we bring all these wind turbines on stream, we still have to leave all the other ones in place. So not only do we have to replace 6,460 megawatts of coal-fired — we should even maintain that, or replace it with something other than wind, because the wind turbines certainly don’t have the ability to work all the time. If you have a hot summer day — 30 or 35 degrees Celsius outside — and there’s no wind, there’s no wind power. There’s no turbine going to operate that will feed our air conditioning systems across the province of Ontario.

The same thing applies to the ones that she has planned. The Wolfe Island wind project, the Leader wind project A, the Leader wind project B, Prince II wind power, Kingsbridge II, Ripley wind power project, the Kruger energy port and the Melancthon II wind project total 955 megawatts. The reality is that, under the Independent Electricity System Operator, they will only have a total capacity, probably, of around 130.9 megawatts, if you take into account the fact that this booklet says they’re only at 10% of capacity.

My concern is that we’re creating this illusion out there that we’re doing all these wonderful things in power. I’m very, very concerned that if they do close those coal-fired generators down in 2007, like they promised they would to the citizens of the province of Ontario, we won’t have nearly enough power to operate in the province and we will be in a serious blackout right here in Ontario.

Up our way, we’ve got a couple of projects, one by a company named Ventus Energy. They’re one of the companies that want to put wind power into Simcoe county; apparently there are a couple of proposals there. I understand now that a guy by the name of David Peterson is one of the members of the board of directors. I hope that’s not the David Peterson that was the Premier here. In my opinion, his ties to the Liberal Party would make this very, very uncomfortable if we go towards awarding contracts to this company. I believe that the contracts will be awarded for a 20-year period at 8.5 cents or nine cents a kilowatt-hour. My understanding, talking to people who have a lot more knowledge about wind turbines than I do myself, is that they stand to make a fortune out of this over the next 20 years, because the first 10 years will pay off the cost of the turbines.

If there’s anything we can do around electricity, because it has such an impact on emergency planning in the province of Ontario, if there’s anything we can do whatsoever, it’s to make sure we tell the people in the province, our citizens, that wind power may be wonderful — everybody wants to have their energy come from green, if it possibly can — but let’s not put them under an illusion that there’s something seriously wrong here, and we’re spending millions and millions of dollars for only 10% of the capacity they actually perform at. That scares me, particularly if someone is foolish enough to actually close down that coal-fired generation in 2007, as Dalton McGuinty promised in his Liberal platform. That is a scary thought.

I understand that they’re going to put one on hold — I think it’s Atikokan, or maybe Nanticoke — but the reality is, if we close the other three, we’re still in a serious problem. If we thought we had a blackout and emergency planning was required in the summer of 2003, God only knows what we’ll need if we shut that coal-fired generation down without a proper, adequate supply of electricity for the future.

1740

Mr. Norm Miller (Parry Sound-Muskoka): It’s my pleasure to add some comments on the debate this afternoon on Bill 56, An Act to amend the Emergency Management Act, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

We just had our leadoff speech from the hard-working member from Simcoe North, who spoke for an hour on this bill. Toward the end of his speech, one of the points he brought up was the emergency that is being created in this province by this government, by its irresponsible plan to shut down coal-fired generation in the province before it has an adequate supply of electricity to replace that coal-fired generation. I can tell you that there’s an emergency being created in northern Ontario. Every week there’s another paper mill, another forestry company announcing layoffs or slowdowns.

When they talk about some of the recent announcements to do with electricity and solar power at a cost of 42 cents a kilowatt hour or wind power at a cost of 12 cents a kilowatt hour, I can tell you that will not sustain the economy of the province.

Originally, their plan was to shut down coal-fired generation in 2007; that was the first announcement. That has now been backed up to 2009, and I hear rumours of maybe 2011. Of course, that’s well beyond the next election, so this will be another broken promise, thank goodness, that this government will not be able to keep.