Posts Tagged ‘CanWea’

I'm not going to put up with the whining of CanWEA

June 10, 2009

OTTAWA – Money earmarked to support wind energy producers was diverted to research and development in the oil patch in backroom budget wrangling, the minister of natural resources said in a conversation with an aide in January.

Lisa Raitt told aide Jasmine MacDonnell that she suspects Environment Minister Jim Prentice took the money for wind power and redirected it to his Clean Energy Plan – a $1-billion fund for research and development in the oil sands.

The revelation is likely to intensify criticism of the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as unfriendly to the environment.

Mr. Prentice is the MP for Calgary-Centre North, home to much of Canada’s oil industry. Mr. Harper also represents a Calgary riding.

Ms. Raitt made the comment as she and Ms. MacDonnell were being driven around British Columbia on Jan. 30, a few days after the budget.

The conversation was inadvertently recorded on Ms. MacDonnell’s digital recorder and eventually came into the possession of The Chronicle Herald.

Ms. MacDonnell tells Ms. Raitt that CanWEA, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, had sent a letter to its supporters complaining about the lack of funding for wind energy in the budget.

“I’m not going to put up with the whining of CanWEA, and the reason being is that they’re not utilizing the money that is there now,” says Ms. Raitt. “And until these things don’t start getting built.”

Ms. MacDonnell appears to read from the letter from CanWEA: “We know that the proposal was actively promoted and pushed by Minister Raitt. In fact, it is our understanding that it was actually part of the budget until it was taken out very late in the process.”

Ms. Raitt responds: “No. No. I would never have told that.”

“You wouldn’t have told her,” says Ms. MacDonnell. “Is that true?”

“Yes,” says Ms. Raitt. “It is true.”

“So somebody is talking,” says Ms. MacDonnell.

“Someone in Finance talked,” says Ms. Raitt. “Am I going to get blamed for this?”

Ms. Raitt was worried about the prime minister’s reaction to the fact that CanWEA was somehow aware of budget talks, which are supposed to be kept in confidence.

“I certainly didn’t know the fact that it came out late in the process,” she said.

“I would have no way of knowing that. I understand that’s what happened. My suspicion is, what I told you, that Jim took the money for his clean energy plan. They said ‘Ah, they don’t need it.’ There should never have been any choice. No one asked my opinion on it. If they had, I would have lobbied. Maybe that’s why I’m invited to P and P (priority and planning, a cabinet committee). Oh, the prime minister’s not going to like that.”

Ms. Raitt at first blames the normally tight-lipped Finance officials for leaking the information. Later in the conversation, though, she and Ms. MacDonnell seem to agree that it may have been Natural Resources officials who let CanWEA know that the money had been there but was pulled.

“Those quotes clearly point to the fact that I’m on the team,” says Ms. Raitt. “And I am. That’s what happened. I don’t have that pull. Period.”

“Do you think someone on the EnerCan side did it?” she asks Ms. MacDonnell.

“That would probably be the most likely explanation, that they’re trying to do damage control with the different groups,” she says. “’We did it. We pushed. We brought it. It was there.’”

“’The minister brought it to Flaherty,’” says Ms. Raitt. “I didn’t push it hard at the table though.”

They go on to discuss problems with wind energy funding, with Ms. Raitt complaining that wind energy producers aren’t accessing federal funding that is already available – a subsidy based on kilowatt production.

“If they can’t finance it, and they can’t get their (environmental approvals), and they can’t buy their equipment, then it doesn’t go further and they don’t get the kilowatt cent,” she says.

“So I asked Tyler what’s the sunset? How long do people have to hold onto money? And I don’t know what the answer is yet. But there’s $862 million still waiting for this project.

“I’m upset that the ministry, that the department, told people that that was going to be oversubscribed by a certain date. That’s built this whole fear. It was a $1.5-billion announcement, started in ’07. No one would ever think the funding would run out unless they were told it would run out. So that’s my sadness.”

CanWEA complained publicly about the lack of new money in a news release after the budget.

“Our ability to compete with the United States for investment in wind energy projects and manufacturing opportunities will decline as a result of this budget,” said president Robert Hornung.

“At a time when the United States has made measures to support renewable energy deployment a key component of its plans to stimulate the U.S. economy, Canada is moving in the opposite direction.”

CanWEA had called for a $600-million fund to expand wind energy. It declined to comment when contacted Wednesday.

On May 19, Ms. Raitt announced the $1-billion fund for research and development in the oil patch at a speech at the University of Alberta, saying the money would encourage “new technologies now to help protect and preserve our environment for future generations.”

Mr. Prentice’s office refused to comment on the recording on Tuesday, and the minister’s office told reporters he would end a media question and answer session on Wednesday if anybody asked him about the recording.

Speculation about the recording has been rife since the Canadian Press reported Tuesday that Ms. Raitt mentioned Mr. Prentice on the recording, apparently because Conservative officials knew about the comments and were bracing themselves.

Ms. Raitt’s comments about the budget wrangling were made on the same five-hour recording in which Ms. Raitt called the medical isotope crisis “sexy” and criticized her cabinet colleague, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, which has led to a media storm in Ottawa.

The Chronicle Herald went to Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Monday to fight an emergency injunction that would have blocked publication of the stories that came from the recorder.

After refusing to apologize on Tuesday under opposition pressure, Ms. Raitt did tearfully apologize for her remarks in a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, making reference to the toll cancer has taken in her own family.

Original story at CBC

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No Compromise on Health

April 27, 2009

No Compromise on Health News release

Toronto, April 27, 2009Wind Concerns Ontario is encouraged that the Premier of Ontario has committed to an examination of the health issues involved with industrial wind turbines.

“We’ll take advantage of the very best information that’s out there to make sure that we’re doing something that’s intelligent.

~Premier Dalton McGuinty The Canadian Press April 24, 2009

The Premier will need to go well beyond speaking only to the manufacturers of these turbines and the Canadian Wind Energy Association lobby in order to rely on the “best information” available. There are and have been better sources of information for several years. Other jurisdictions with far greater experience have implemented stronger regulations that Ontario has so far chosen to ignore. To date the “best” Ontario Health Effects information is the Wind Concerns Ontario survey presented by Dr. Robert McMurtry to the Standing Committee on the Green Energy Act on April 22.

Wind Concerns Ontario repeats its demand that Premier McGuinty apply the precautionary principle and conduct a full epidemiological study into health effects of wind turbines before any more industrial wind projects are installed in Ontario closer than 2km to any residence. This is the only way to avoid causing serious harm to those who live beside industrial wind turbines. Medical authorities elsewhere have already recommended precautionary setbacks.

The Government of Ontario must consider these various national standards:

  • Scotland requires setbacks of at least 2 km from cities, towns and villages.
  • The United Kingdom’s Noise Association recommends a one-mile (1.6 km) setback.
  • France will soon add the International Standards Organization’s absolute level of 25 dBA, as measured inside homes in response to the National Academy of Medicine’s earlier recommendation of 1.5 km. setbacks,
  • Germany specifies maximum noise levels for three different environments or “regions”:
    1. quiet 35dBA (Setbacks in quiet or country locations are typically 1000-1500 meters)
    2. middle, 40 dBA
    3. standard, 45 dBA
  • Denmark, Holland, and Sweden have a maximum noise level of 40 dBA.
  • South Australia’s standard is 35dBA or background +5dB
  • New Zealand is now reviewing its secondary noise limit of 35dBA for evening and nighttime in low background

The Canadian Wind Energy Association recommends noise levels of 40-53 dBA. They state that setbacks are normally 300-600 meters but in some cases “separation distances of less than 250 meters may achieve acceptable sound levels” (CanWea paper, “Addressing Concerns with Sound from Wind Turbines,” January 2009).

Ontario’s Ministry of Environment presently does not specify setback distances. It has established only ‘regulatory guidelines’ that allow wind turbines, depending on the wind speed, to produce from 40 to as high as 51 dBA of noise, measured not at property lines but outside homes.

The present standards for Ontario are not nearly the best but rather nearly the worst.

If the Government of Ontario aspires to be a world leader in wind energy, it should also lead the world in protecting its citizens from harmful side effects of this industry. In addition to setting world-class standards for low noise levels on the dBA scale, Ontario must determine appropriate levels on the dBC scale for low frequency sound, reported increasingly as a health concern.

Ontario’s war on carbon

March 5, 2009

Editor: I would like to thank the Post for this article. How much taxpayer money has been wasted financing this scam. Everyone and I mean everyone from McGuinty on down should do maximum jail time. This scam runs deeper than any scam ever perpetrated on the people of this province. Every single  person involved  must be held accountable. Politicians and individuals alike.

This province belongs to the people not a bunch of crooked politicians and their business friends.

This goes for the opposition parties as well. By their silence they are guilty as well.

It’s over McGuinty and friends. It’s over. The time for your prosecution is near.

Terence Corcoran: Ontario’s war on carbon

But this is turning into a Big Green Lie. Ontario, along with the United States and the rest of Canada, will get what Europe already has: massive carbon taxes and massive regulation and subsidies for renewables. The effect will be to drive up the price of every form of energy, whether it’s based on carbon, wind, solar, biomass or flatulating cattle.

Green agitators

Who’s pushing for all this? Not the people. The major backers of green power tax-and-grab regimes are hundreds of businesses that stand to collect billions in subsidies and tax benefits from solar, wind and other alternative energy forms.

Business groups, with major lobbying and legal backing, are in cahoots with green activists, who, in turn, are sleeping with government bureaucrats and politicians.

Let’s follow some money. There’s the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance, the major lobbying effort behind the new green police state. It self-describes its origins: “The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), together with other leading trade associations, environmental groups, First Nations, developers, manufacturers, farmers and landowners, is initiating a campaign to create the Ontario Green Energy Act.”

Among the backers of the alliance is the Pembina Institute. The institute’s former climate campaigner, Robert Hornung, is now head of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, which in turn gives money to Pembina. Pembina writes glowing reports on renewables.

Pembina also receives money from the Ontario Power Authority, the Ontario Energy Board and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Another alliance backer is Environmental Defence, the radical Ottawa-based activist group headed by Rick Smith. Last year, Environmental Defence received $500,000 in funding from the government of Ontario. It would appear that one source of that money was the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, which is largely funded by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government. Rick Smith recently resigned from the Greenbelt Foundation, where he was a director.

Another Green Act Alliance backer is the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. It gets money from local community groups, such as the York Region Environmental Alliance, which is largely funded by the agenda-driven Ontario Trillium Foundation, which spends Ontario lottery cash. The Clean Air Alliance also counts the Energy Action Council of Toronto as a member. Its major backers include the Ontario Energy Ministry and the Ontario lottery operation.

In summary, the Ontario government pays millions of dollars to environmental activists and corporate interests to lobby the Ontario government and agitate for the Green Energy Act, which act serves the interests of the agitators.

And just in case the political connections might be lost, the Ontario Clean Energy Act Alliance’s Web site provides a handy link to the Ontario Liberal Party — not the Ontario government, but the Liberal Party — Web site that highlights George Smitherman and Dalton McGuinty. The Web link says: “Paid for by the Toronto Centre Provincial Liberal Association.”

So a final question on Ontario’s new Green Energy Act: What’s the definition of corruption?

Financial Post

Full Srory here

Loss of local control

March 5, 2009

Loss of local control concern at green energy meeting

Posted By Don Crosby

Concerns are being raised that the proposed provincial Green Energy Act threatens the authority of local municipal councils.“Municipal powers are our checks and balances. Once they are removed for any reason you set a priority, you have lost your democratic right. This is not what the Green Energy Act should be about,” said Ron Stephens of Kincardine, who attended a public meeting in Markdale on Tuesday night about the province’s proposal.

The meeting was sponsored by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Tuesday’s meeting in Markdale was one of several being held by OSEA and other members of the energy alliance in communities across the province to promote the new bill and drum up support for the proposed legislation.

Stephens and others at the meeting expressed their concern that in a bid to streamline regulations around development of renewable energy the province has promised to establish standardized setbacks and shorten environmental assessment times that would favour developers and speed up the approval process while reducing local control.

“We don’t need the Green Energy Act. We can figure things our ourselves,” Stephens said.

The Ontario government introduced its proposed Green Energy Act late last month after a year of lobbying by the Green Energy Alliance — a network of agricultural, labour, industrial and environmental organizations.

The proposed act includes:

• A commitment to improve energy conservation.

• An obligation to purchase power from sustainable energy sources over other sources.

• Fair prices for renewable energy based on the cost of production and guaranteed over the long term.
An obligation for all utilities to connect renewable energy to the electricity grid.

• Financing programs for community-owned energy projects.

• An adjustment of electricity prices to reflect true costs and promote conservation.

• First Nations and Metis community participation.

The bill passed first and second reading late last month and is now before a standing committee for public input.

Grey Highlands Mayor Brian Mullin said it’s a bit too soon to be concerned.

The details of any legislation are in the regulations, which are passed by the government and not the legislature.

His municipality did a lot of work and spent a lot of money to create policies governing renewable energy in Grey Highlands.

“On the other hand there are some issues are bigger that we can’t address and have to be addressed by the province, such as connections to the grid,” said Mullin.

He’s concerned that that regulations won’t be tight enough to protect everyone and that the timetable for approval of the bill is quite short. It is expected to become law this summer.

Mullin said concerned residents can post comments on the provincial Environmental Bill of Rights website and make presentations before the standing committee, which has begun public hearings.

Tuesday’s meeting began with a video comparing the advances that Germany is making in renewable energy with what’s happening in Canada, which was portrayed as lagging far behind many European countries in wind, solar and biogas.

Tony Clark of Chatsworth said the video created an erroneous impression.

“They always compare Canada to Germany and say we should be like Germany. That’s absolutely nonsense, they should be like us. Germany already gets 60 per cent of its power from fossil fuels (coal and gas) and they are implementing 26,000 megawatts more of coal generated electricity. That’s the equivalent of the total amount of power we have in Ontario. Canada only gets about 27 per cent of our power from coal . . . they are light years behind us,” Clark said.

“I’m really upset that the new Green Energy Act will take away the rights of municipalities and the civil rights of residents of Ontario . . . it sets a precedent and once the government does it a precedent will be set and they will do it again and again,” Clark said.

Read more at Sun Times

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Are turbines making some people sick?

November 9, 2008

Editor:

The problems with wind turbines being placed near homes has been known for years.

The Govt of Ontario is well aware of the problems, because they have volumes of information on the subject, but have chosen to ignore it. They
are guilty of putting the health of residents of Ontario at risk.

A fact that can no longer be disputed.

Dr. Ian Gemmill, Kingston’s medical officer of health, said – “that though there are concerns about low-level noise, appearance and stress caused by the turbines, research has suggested that those effects don’t cause long-term health impacts after people are no longer living near wind farms”.

Are turbines making some people sick?

James Cowan, National Post Published: Friday, November 07, 2008

Opponents of wind farm developments allege turbines are not just ugly and inefficient, they can also make you sick. There are growing reports of people who live near wind turbines complaining of headaches, nausea, sleeplessness and other symptoms. Sufferers contend the illness is caused by low frequency noise and vibrations released by the turbines, along with the flickering shadows cast when the sunlight is cast through the blades. While wind power proponents contend there is conclusive evidence turbines are safe, Kingston’s Medical Officer of Health was concerned enough to say developments need to be monitored. Here, we present four views on so-called “wind turbine syndrome.” — James Cowan, National Post

The Sufferer

“Our home was 423 metres from the nearest turbine. When we first heard about the project, we were trying to be green — we always recycled more than we threw in the trash — so I thought it was great. I was in favour of them, even as they were doing the construction around us. But my health did deteriorate immediately when the turbines were on . . . I had ringing in my ears, it felt like there was something crawling in my ears — I said ‘what in earth is going on?’ And then the shadowing effect when the sun is behind the blade, it was so bad, I just thought the top was going to blow off the top of my head. But we went camping in July and it cleared up — I didn’t have a headache, I wasn’t going to bathroom as frequently, I had none of the itchy ears. I came back and it immediately started again. When the blades were facing the house, I couldn’t concentrate at all, I couldn’t sleep, my body would ache . . . so finally I started to clue in that something had to be going on with the turbines. I could tell before I got out of bed, just based on how I felt, whether they were running.”

— Helen Fraser, former neighbour of Melancthon Wind Project in Ontario

Article continues at the National Post

Green, not dumb – The Reality of Wind Energy

September 29, 2008

Editor:

It is quite unfortunate that a man like Mr. Carr, former CEO of the Ontario Power Authority, who has known for a long time, the problems with wind energy, declined to step forward until now.

Many families in the province have had their lives ruined while he and his colleagues remained silent.

That said, maybe his words will encourage others to step forward.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who refused, to shut up, lay down or go away. Be proud of the fight you have, and continue to wage. Truth and justice are always worth the effort.

May other citizens learn from your example.

Jan Carr, former OPA CEO, will now tell you exactly what we have been saying for years.

Thanks for coming forward Mr. Carr, and welcome aboard the truth train.

Mr. Carr’s letter to the Globe and Mail.

.

Green, not dumb

Toronto — My wife suggested Murray Campbell’s use of “old” in “dumb old utility guys” should be my basis for a complaint to a human rights tribunal (‘Dougs’ Take Warning: Curious George Is Keen On Green – Sept. 25), as the former CEO of the Ontario Power Authority.

Let the facts speak for themselves. The OECD’s International Energy Agency and the websites of the European utilities themselves say it all. In spite of hype about their innovation in renewable energy, both Germany and Denmark derive half of their electricity from coal-fired stations. As its nuclear generating stations reach the end of their design-lives, Germany will have to decide between building new coal-fired generation (it already has 10 times the amount that Ontario has) and abandoning its no-new-nuclear policy. With a quarter of its supply coming from renewables and more on the way, Ontario’s electricity is already considerably greener than Germany’s and soon will take league leadership from Denmark.

Then check electricity prices. Germans pay double and Danes triple what Ontarians do.

From the Globe and Mail

Today at noon, Ontario’s 672MW’s of wind were producing 32MW’s

Province to push renewables – Green Energy for Ontario

September 19, 2008

The Ontario Govt. seems to like this story. Maybe if they read it enough times they might just figure out the scam themselves. It’s 4:15 Fri. the 26th of  Sept. The Gov. of Ontario has viewed this page 12 times today.

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario 4:06:34 pm 3 24:48 http://windfarms.wordpress.com/agenda-21/

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario 4:03:20 pm 7 62:45 http://kincardine.wordpress.com/…09/21/ontario-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario 3:41:46 pm http://kincardine.wordpress.com/…09/21/ontario-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca ? (Canada) Time of Visit Sep 26 2008 3:00:35 pm Last Page View Sep 26 2008 3:37:56 pm Visit Length 37 minutes 21 seconds Page Views 6 Visit Entry Page http://kincardine.wo…o-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca Toronto, Ontario Sep 26 1:50:25 pm
http://kincardine.wordpress.com/…09/21/ontario-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca ? Sep 26 2008 1:16:51 pm

http://kincardine.wo…o-pushes-renewables/

gov.on.ca ? Sep 26 2008 9:44:51 am
http://kincardine.wo…o-pushes-renewables

As you read through this article from the Toronto Star, you might want to ask yourself. Where are the people and engineers that actually understand our energy system. Then I want you to read the Green Agenda in order to understand what is taking place. This is not about energy, it about control. You might also ask yourself how these people gained such influence over our elected officials.

I try not to cuss, but under the circumstances it seems appropriate.

Global Warming is a complete and total fraud. The sooner you understand it the better off you will be.

Smitherman calls for review of energy plan to speed conservation, and green technologies (Smitherman used to be the Ont. health minister. He’s the guy who wanted our elders to sit in their own dirty diapers until they were 75% full. Go fuck yourself Smitherman.)added

Energy Reporter ( Hamilton says he’s an energy reporter yet he has no idea what he’s talking about. If he did, he would refuse to write this drivel. A shill for CanWEA and the wind industry in general.  Tyler go fuck yourself.) added

NIAGARA FALLS–Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman has directed Ontario’s power authority to review and “fine tune” the province’s 20-year energy plan with the goal of accelerating conservation efforts and adding more renewable energy to the electricity mix.

But Smitherman, also deputy premier, said yesterday in a speech to energy-industry officials that the government is sticking with its target of phasing out coal by 2014 and maintaining the capacity of Ontario’s nuclear power fleet.

Inspired by recent learning expeditions to Spain, Denmark and Germany, considered global leaders in renewable energy adoption, and to California, the energy-conservation capital of North America, Smitherman said he’s convinced that more can be done in Ontario to unlock the potential of conservation and clean energy.

The Wind Energy Scam- Compare the Numbers

(Denmark is a tiny country  with about the same population as Metro Toronto, they are 83% dependent on fossil fuel for their energy. Germany is now fast tracking coal plants because they need energy.  Germany is over 60% dependent on fossil fuel for their energy and it will rise as they add coal plants. Go fuck yourself Smitherman.)added

The review will also look at ways to improve transmission capacity that has limited the development of renewable-energy projects, as well as explore opportunities for pump storage – a way of storing water power in natural geological reservoirs for use during peak times.

“With innovation and strong leadership I know we can raise the bar on the energy system,” said Smitherman, making his first major speech since he took over the “super ministry” in June. “Just because we’re doing well doesn’t mean we can’t do it better.”

(Smitherman, you couldn’t even figure out how to keep our elders in clean diapers and we are to trust you with our electrical system. Go Fuck yourself)added

In an interview, Smitherman said he would work “very closely” with the Ontario Power Authority over the next six months to refine the plan.

Environmental groups appreciated the strengthened commitment to green power and conservation but said Smitherman, by leaving the nuclear file untouched, didn’t go far enough.

“We agree that prioritizing renewable energy and conservation is essential as such economic strategy holds huge potential for job creation and the establishment of new industries to replace job losses in Ontario,” said José Etcheverry from the David Suzuki Foundation.

“However, we also believe that rethinking the commitment to new nuclear and refurbishments should be now top on the agenda to develop a truly innovative, reliable, and competitive green-energy sector in Ontario.”

(David Suzuki and his followers want no coal and no nukes. Think about it! Suzuki go fuck yourself)added

Both the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the Ontario Waterpower Association said they were encouraged by the announcement. “I am particularly pleased with the recognition that enabling transmission is critical to the achievement of our renewable energy targets,” said Paul Norris, president of the water association.

The Ontario Power Authority’s proposal – called the Integrated Power System Plan – is currently in the hands of the Ontario Energy Board. The regulator launched a hearing early last month that will determine if the plan is “economically prudent” and “cost effective.”

Under the current plan, Ontario’s nuclear power capacity is limited to 14,000 megawatts, which will be maintained by building new reactors or refurbishing old ones. Renewable energy has been doubled to 15,700 megawatts, while conservation and demand management efforts are targeting a 6,300-megawatt reduction in peak-time energy consumption by 2025.

Some industry associations, including the Power Workers’ Union, consider the renewable and conservation targets already too aggressive and say coal plants should be cleaned up and kept in the mix.

Smitherman said Ontario hasn’t begun to scratch the surface and the government isn’t going to rest on its laurels. “I’m pretty stoked, really, about the early progress that we’ve made, and the message that sends about the next steps.”

Keith Stewart, an energy expert with WWF-Canada, said it’s unclear what will happen at the current energy board hearings. “It is difficult to see how the hearings would proceed while the review is under way.”

(Stewart is not an energy expert anymore than anyone reading this is.(Keith Stewart has a PhD in political science from York University, where he studied environmental politics Gerald Butt’s the ex-principal secretary for McGuinty, is now the head of WWF Canada and a Bilderberger. For working so hard to undermine Ont. and it’s economy, go fuck yourselves.)added

This article is from the Toronto Star one of Ontario’s many propaganda machines

Read the GREEN AGENDA.

get educated

and

WAKE UP!

Wind energy unreliable, says E.On

Wind turbines in Union Township would need to be at least one-half mile from homes

February 1, 2008

 Watch the video

— Regulations being considered for wind turbines in Union Township would make a proposed wind energy project in the township impossible, the wind developer said this morning.

Wind turbines in Union Township would need to be at least one-half mile from homes and 1,000 feet from property lines, according to a proposed wind ordinance presented to the Town of Union Plan Commission on Thursday night.

The town’s Wind Turbine Study Committee was charged with investigating wind turbines and writing a proposed ordinance to regulate them.

Curt Bjurlin, Wisconsin project developer for EcoEnergy, said he is disappointed with the draft ordinance because he said it is “far more restrictive” than the state’s model draft ordinance.

“I think the town leadership realizes the people in the town and surrounding area greatly desire the need to have renewable energy,” he said.

The proposed setbacks leave “very, very little land” available, he said, “and certainly not enough for a renewable energy project.”

Bjurlin said EcoEnergy staff will work with town officials and residents to answer questions.

“We’re dedicated to building this project and moving forward,” he said.

The recommended setbacks are the absolute minimum, committee chairman Tom Alisankus stressed, because the committee’s research suggested distances of up to 12 miles.

The town board appointed the seven-member committee in September, and it has met nearly every Saturday since. The town board imposed a stay on construction of large wind energy systems until August.

EcoEnergy is proposing to put three 397-foot tall wind turbines in the township. Wisconsin Public Power would buy the energy to be used by Evansville Water and Light customers.

A town attorney will review the committee’s recommendations, and the plan commission will discuss the ordinance at its Thursday, Feb. 28, meeting and likely hold a public hearing at its March 27 meeting.

Committee members worked hundreds of hours, and committee member Jim Bembinster visited wind farms as far away as Wasco, Ore., Alisankus said. The committee’s results are summarized in a 318-page report, along with a 25-page draft ordinance.

Members looked through thousands of pages of documents and only considered information that was peer-reviewed or cited by reputable sources, Alisankus said. Doing so eliminated any influence from members’ personal feelings, he said.

Committee members started with the state’s model draft ordinance, which Alisankus said left a sour taste in their mouths. They sent an open records request seeking the scientific and medical documentation used to develop the state’s model ordinance, which has an “aura” of state approval, he said.

“The committee was shocked to receive a response to this open records request that in fact there was no scientific or medical documentation used to create the model draft ordinance,” he said.

Instead, the state sent them 11 pages, most of which were notes from meetings used to write the ordinance. It appeared the ordinance was written predominantly by a Florida power company, Alisankus said.

In Ontario it appears rules governing wind farms were written predominantly by CanWEA (added by blog editor)

The committee also invited stakeholders to participate and sent lists of questions to the companies involved.

“We were not particularly pleased with the responses we got,” Alisankus said. “In one case, even though there were scores of questions, we only received five answers back.”

Setbacks and sound were key to the committee’s work, he said.

“If you control … the setbacks and the sound levels appropriately, there should be no issue with ultimate construction of these turbines, at least with respect to the health and safety boundaries that we had to live by,” he said.

The state’s model ordinance makes the “assumption” that a 1,000-foot setback is OK, Alisankus said.

EcoEnergy plans its projects to have at least a 1,150-foot setback, Bjurlin said.

But the majority of the scientific and medical documentation the committee found recommended a minimum of one-half mile from homes, Alisankus said.

Their research came from the World Health Organization, audiologists, physicists, acoustical engineers, doctors and residents, he said.

“The whole problem area that a lot of people have been focusing a lot of time on can be solved by proper siting and proper testing ahead of time,” he said. “If the community does that and if the wind industry goes along with that, there shouldn’t be too many issues left over beyond that.”

WIND COMMITTEE

Members of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee are Tom Alisankus, chairman; Renee Exum, secretary; Scott McElroy, Jim and Cathy Bembinster, Mike Leeder and Sue Pestor.

ORDINANCE HIGHLIGHTS

Under the Town of Union Wind Study Committee’s recommended draft ordinance:

— Wind turbines must be sited at least one-half mile from the nearest home, business, school, daycare facility, church, hospital and other inhabited structures.

— Turbines must be sited at least 1,000 feet from the nearest property line and at least five times the rotor diameter from the property lines of all adjoining property owners who have not granted an easement for a lesser setback.

— Turbines must be sited at least 1,000 feet or three times its total height from any road, railroad, power line right-of-way and above-ground public electric power line or telephone line.

— Applications for a wind energy system must include—in part—a pre-construction noise survey within a 1-mile radius of each proposed turbine location, a sound study, an environmental study, ice and blade throw calculations plans, a shadow flicker and blade glint map, a stray voltage and ambient voltage test/plan and a fire prevention, emergency response and rescue plan.

— Limits would be placed on the sound produced by turbines as measured from the outside of the nearest residence and other inhabited structures.

REGULATION LIMITS

Wind turbine ordinances can only regulate turbines in regard to public health and safety, said Tom Alisankus, chairman of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee.

Alisankus said the committee could not address:

— Necessity of a meteorological tower to gather data in a proposed site

— Impact on farmland

— Divisiveness in communities

— Impact on property values

— Decommissioning of turbines

— Other alternative energy sources

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