Appeal filed for Ontario wind turbine noise records

Government records for reports of wind turbine noise 2006-2016 have already been released — what’s the big deal about 2017?

October 10, 2019

Wind Concerns Ontario has filed a second appeal with the Information and Privacy Commissioner following failure of the environment ministry to respond to a routine request for copies of government records of citizen reports of wind turbine noise.

A request for the 2017 records was submitted in 2018, and full payment for the record search was made earlier this year. The environment ministry has already been the subject of one appeal, and was ordered by the Privacy Commissioner to respond.

Months have passed since and WCO, the coalition of community groups, individuals and families across Ontario concerned about the negative impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines, decided to appeal again.

The government launched the reporting system for wind turbine noise and other environmental health and safety concerns in 2009 when it passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. Then Premier Dalton McGuinty assured Ontarians that their health and safety would be protected, and concerns addressed.

The number of reports of noise pollution used to be public but posting that information halted in 2013; the Wynne government’s promise to reinstate a public accounting of the number of pollution reports in 2017 has never been fulfilled.

Wind Concerns Ontario already has records for 2006-2016, which include the number of individual Incident Reports filed with the environment ministry Spills Line or now Spills Action Centre as well as Master Incident Reports.

There were more than 4,500 such reports, which is almost certainly not the whole picture as some District Offices did not give Incident Report numbers and reports cannot now be tracked.

A request for 2018 documents is in process, and fulfillment expected within days.

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

 

K2 Wind claims it’s compliant with Ontario noise regulations

Meanwhile, complaints from residents mount

The only measure of success in resolving Ontario’s wind turbine noise problem is the complete cessation of resident complaints — that’s not happening. Yet.  [Shutterstock photo]
October 9, 2019

In a letter from Senior Environmental Officer Scott Gass in the Owen Sound District Office of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Ministry staff report that the operator of the massive K2 Wind power project claims the project is now in compliance with Ontario noise regulations for industrial-scale wind turbines.

K2 Wind was found out of compliance earlier this year and was the subject of a Director’s Order to implement a Noise Abatement Plan for 90 of the 140 turbines in the power project.

Now, says Mr. Gass in his letter to a resident with longstanding problems (who wishes to be anonymous), the noise issue appears to be resolved. Mr. Gass’ email, it should be noted, was to furnish the residents with official Incident Report numbers for ongoing reports of excessive noise and vibration.

His email stated:

“At this time, in response to the additional Part D noise analysis completed in the spring, K2 has taken steps to de-rate approximately 90 turbines to reduce noise emissions. The information supplied by the company indicates that the wind turbines, with the interim curtailment in place, meet the ministry’s sound level limits. This is an interim measure put in place while K2 develops a long-term noise abatement action plan for ministry review. Once a long-term plan has been implemented, additional monitoring will be required to assess the noise emissions.” [Scott Gass, email October 4, 2019]

The ministry continues to rely on outdated regulations in its Compliance Protocol, which assess audible noise emissions only. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Act clearly states that the operator of a wind power project must address all conditions causing “adverse effect” and take steps to address the complaints from nearby residents.

So, in short, the only sign of success in noise abatement would be a complete halt in complaints about noise and adverse effects — that’s not what is happening. Resident complaints do not appear to be a factor in assessment of compliance.

The family emailed by Mr. Gass lives on a farm surrounded by turbines in all directions, and has been reporting excessive noise from multiple K2 Wind turbines for four years — since the project began operation.

Problems with wind turbine noise are prevalent all over Ontario, with more than 4,500 formal reports filed  up to 2016. (Wind Concerns Ontario has requested  data for 2017 and 2018 but so far, has not received any information, and has in fact filed for a second appeal to obtain the 2017 records.)

Environment minister Jeff Yurek recently visited residents in Port Elgin who have filed hundreds of complaints about the Unifor wind turbine in that community.

While a pledge to enforce regulations is a step forward from the previous government, which had a very close relationship with the wind power industry, there can be no “success” on this front until all noise complaints and reports of adverse health effects have stopped.

That will require political courage and decisive action, including the shutdown of wind turbines.

 

Note: if you are experiencing noise/vibration/sensation of pressure from wind turbines, please report it to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks by calling the Spills Action Centre at 1-866-MOE-TIPS. Be sure to get an Incident Report number and keep a record of your call. You may wish to copy your MPP.

The wind ‘farm’ everyone forgot

More wind turbines going up in Chatham-Kent; millions more to be added to Ontario electricity bills

Turbine under construction October 5 near Wheatley: more Unreliables Ontario doesn’t need… and can’t afford [Photo: Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns]
October 7, 2019

Chatham-Kent residents living near Wheatley Ontario were surprised to see construction work last week, and delivery of components for industrial-scale or grid-scale wind turbines.

The “Romney Wind Energy Centre” turbines are now being erected, with a projected commercial operation date early next year.

Romney was one of five LRP I (Large Renewable Procurement) projects that received contracts in 2016 under the Wynne government; three of those (Dutton-Dunwich, Otter Creek, and La Nation) were “cancelled” by the Ford government last year, but two were considered to be too far along in the process, having achieved “Key Development MIlestones” or KDMs as the IESO calls them, to be cancelled.

Pity.

Romney will cost Ontario electricity customers more than $260 million over its 20-year contract. The maximum pre-construction liability for cancelling the project would have been around $500,000.

The project capacity is 60 megawatts of power, which Ontario does not need at present. Wind power is produced out of phase with demand in Ontario, and wind power projects rarely achieve more than 30% of capacity. Developer EDF of France of France promised construction updates for the projects so residents can know when traffic will be disrupted, but the last update posted was for a single week in August.

The other project that escaped cancellation was “Nation Rise” in North Stormont in Eastern Ontario. The community there launched an appeal, which was dismissed and currently has a final appeal and a request for a Stay of Construction before the MInister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. That project will cost electricity customers more than $400 million, and posed significant environmental risks as presented in the appeal.

The Romney project was not appealed.

 

Too hot to handle? Sierra Club funded publication retracts articles on wind turbine infrasound

Two articles suddenly retracted without notice — are the facts about infrasound too uncomfortable for the former “environmental” organization?

Independent researcher Donald Allen Deever PhD recently found himself on the wrong end of a battle between a magazine editor and the publication’s funding organization, as articles he prepared — at the request of the magazine — were suddenly yanked from publication.

Deever’s “crime”? He outlined research that shows infrasound emissions from wind turbines can be harmful to animals and people. In short, “what you can’t hear, can hurt you.”

Don Deever shared with us the account of what happened to him and his research, as well as the two articles that were not published.

 

WIND TURBINE INFRASOUND ARTICLES: TOO HOT FOR THE SIERRA CLUB TO HANDLE

by Donald Allen Deever, PhD*

After working without compensation for months to uncover the most revealing, current scholarly studies and thought-provoking news reports on the known health hazards associated with infrasound from industrial wind turbines, a two-part series of articles that was written at the Sierra Club’s request was suddenly retracted from one of their club’s magazines.

Moreover, it was announced that the reason would not be revealed until December. This was a shocking outcome, especially considering that the articles had been the idea of the magazine’s editor, who along with a recruited author had painstakingly scrutinized, double-checked, and triple-checked every one of the extensive sources for the two-part article, and had verified not only the legitimacy of the sources, but also authenticated the interpretation of those reports.

While the first part of the series — which delved into the potential health hazards of infrasound on wildlife, house pets, and farm animals — had been considered a completely acceptable report for months, one week after the second part of the series was published online, which focused on the potential human health hazards of wind turbine produced infrasound, both articles immediately became the target of a mysterious set of “editors” (plural) for a publication that had only an editor (singular) prior to the banning of that series.

Apparently, the compilation of too many eye-opening pieces of evidence of infrasound danger in too little word space may have created too much truth for comfort for some of the Sierra Club’s largest donors, who had purchased their positions as foundation directors, all of whom profit greatly from the promotion of costly and hazardous so-called green energy schemes (see the last portion of this article on how billionaire directors use the Sierra Club as a lobbying front, blatantly exchanging green hype for greenbacks in a well-orchestrated and highly successful scheme to increase their vast corporate profits). Therefore, not only was the article retracted, but a campaign to discredit the two-part report is also currently underway. As Sir Walter Raleigh once put it, “He who follows too closely on the heels of history is likely to get kicked in the teeth.”

The following is an account of the unfolding treachery of the Sierra Club, as documented in the email conversations between the author and the editor of the Desert Report magazine, where the travesty occurred…

Read the full article here: Sierra Club ban on infrasound articles

  • (C) Don Deever, 2019

Read the “banned” articles here:

Infrasound Article_Part 1

Infrasound Article_ Part 2

 

FAIL: Ontario’s wind turbine noise monitoring process

New information reveals audits of Ontario wind power projects still not complete after years in review

The people of rural Ontario were promised a system to check wind turbine noise: it’s not working.

September 30, 2019

When the Ontario government under premier Dalton McGuinty introduced the Green Energy and Green Economy Act in 2009, the premier promised that regulations for setbacks between the industrial-scale wind turbines and Ontario residents’ homes would be based on science, for health and safety.

“If you have concerns [about health and safety],” he said, “ we must find a way to address those.”[1]

So, promises of protection were made to the people of rural Ontario, who were without recourse as their quiet communities were transformed into power generation facilities.

But there was little or no protection.

Information provided to Wind Concerns Ontario by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks shows that lengthy periods, sometimes years, elapsed between the submission, review and acceptance of technical reports required to confirm that turbines were safe. The majority are still either not complete or in review.

Meanwhile, citizen complaints of excessive noise, many with reports of adverse health effects linked to sleep disturbance, continue. Thousands of complaints have been registered with the government, most without resolution.[2]

Regulations exist but checking for compliance involves comparing real noise measurements via “audits” (done by the wind power operators themselves, using acoustics contractors) against their own “modelled” or predicted noise levels.[3]

According to the information provided by Eugene Macchione, Acting Director Client Services and Permissions Branch of the environment ministry in an email dated August 9 this year, of the 49 wind power projects listed in response to our request under Freedom of Information legislation:

  • 16 are determined to be incomplete
  • 15 are still in review
  • 12 have demonstrated compliance with regulations
  • 3 are not yet due
  • 2 are non-compliant and in Noise Abatement plans, and
  • 1 was never submitted.

These figures mean that, according to the environment ministry’s list, Conservation and Parks, almost 70 percent of the audits required to assure health and safety are either not complete as submitted, are in review, not compliant, or not submitted at all.

The list is not complete and is missing 11 post-Green Energy Act projects; more projects, at least 19, are also not listed.

 

WIND POWER PROJECT AUDIT STATUS AS OF JULY 30, 2019, FROM MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS

Not only are the required audit reports not completed, the time elapsed between submission of the audits and conclusion of the government review is astonishing. The Conestogo wind power project began commercial operation on December 20, 2012, and is listed as still being “in review” as of July 30 for 2,058 days — that’s over five and a half years. According to noise report data provided to Wind Concerns Ontario via FOI, Conestogo has been the subject of dozens of noise complaints from nearby residents.

East Durham Wind Energy Centre began commercial operation in 2015, but after 1,087 days, it is now listed as incomplete; the project racked up almost 300 formal noise complaints in just a year and a half.

The Summerhaven power project has been operating since August 2013, and remains “in review” after more than 2,000 days, or 5.4 years.

The list provided by the ministry is not only incomplete, however, it is inaccurate: the K2 Wind power project, which is number three in Ontario for noise complaints as of 2016 (it started operation in 2015) is listed as “incomplete” when in fact, the project was found to be out of compliance with more than 80 of its 140 turbines not meeting the regulations. The project is currently under a Director’s Order to implement a noise abatement plan.[4]

Bluewater is one project that was determined to be “in compliance” (despite many noise complaints against it), but its audit report was in review for four years.

The single wind turbine owned by union Unifor is not named on the government list but was the subject of over 300 complaints by the end of 2016, with many more reported in the media. Meeting recently with environment minister Jeff Yurek, residents of Port Elgin told him that audits were never done for the turbine, in spite of hundreds of complaints, many with reports of adverse health effects. [5]

 

DAYS IN REVIEW: WIND TURBINE PROJECTS CURRENTLY DEEMED “INCOMPLETE” AS OF JULY 30, 2019

Source: Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, August 9, 2019

The new government seems to be actively demanding audits be done, and several Ontario projects are now under order to reduce noise, but a lot of people have been waiting a long time for these reviews, says Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson.

In April 2017, MPP Lisa Thompson asked a question in the Ontario Legislature regarding resolution of complaints about wind turbine noise emissions experienced by two families in her riding of Huron-Bruce. Then Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in the Wynne government Glen Murray assured members of the Legislature that:

The … law works. There are standards. When people call, I’m very proud of the officials. They respond quickly and they enforce the law. The law is being enforced here. If wind turbines or any other type of technology exceeds sound levels, we enforce the law. … No one should have to suffer noise or noise pollution from any source, and certainly not wind turbines in their community.[6]

“People were promised—and they are still being told by environment staff, every day—that the rules are there to protect them,” Wilson says. “But here’s the truth: the rules may be there but they’re not adequate, and they haven’t been enforced. The previous government appears to have been very protective of the wind power business.”

The Ministry has multiple options to force wind power operators to comply with regulations, including shutdown. (See Sections E1 and E3 of the Compliance Protocol). The project operators are required to post the submitted audits publicly, but there is a serious inconsistency in this. The Compliance Protocol on the ministry website appears to have been edited and is now contradictory.[7] As of September 24, 2019, the protocol (with the apparent cut-and-paste errors) reads:

The Ministry will also require that all Acoustic Audit reportsSummary [sic] documents are also acceptable but upon request, the complete audit should be made available. be posted [sic] on the project website within 10 business days of the Acoustic Audit being submitted to the Director and District Manager. The Ministry expects the owner/operator to ensure that the Acoustic Audit reports, and any updates, remain available to the public on the project website for the life of the project.

The larger issue is the fact the Compliance Protocol is flawed: it is based on audible noise and does not take into account the full range of noise emissions from wind turbines. Low-frequency inaudible emissions are implicated in many adverse health effects, but were not included in the regulations which were themselves formulated with guidance from the wind power lobby.

“While the current government seems to be committed to enforcing the noise regulations for wind power generators, there is a long way to go before the people of rural Ontario are protected,” says Wilson.

© WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

Read the MECP document here: I and E Audits July 30 2019 – (Aug 9 2019) (1)

NOTE: data on noise reports filed with the Government of Ontario are only available at present for 2006–2016; requests have been made for 2017 and 2018 data, but have not been fulfilled. WCO recently applied for a second appeal with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office for refusal to reply to the 2017 data request.

[1] Toronto Star, February 11, 2009. “McGuinty vows to stop wind farm NIMBYs.” Available at: https://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/2009/02/11/mcguinty_vows_to_stop_windfarm_nimbys.html

[2] Wind Concerns Ontario. Response to Wind Turbine Noise Complaints, 2nd report 2015-2016, February 2018.

[3] According to the Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbine Noise two kinds of audits are required as part of their Renewable Energy Approval, and to comply with Ontario regulations. They are: E-Audits to verify the validity of the sound power levels provided by manufacturers, and used in acoustic models to determine the noise impact of a wind facility at receptor locations; and I-Audits to verify the validity of predicted sound pressure levels in Acoustic Assessment Reports, and verify compliance with applicable sound level limits at receptor locations.

 

[4] Scott Miller, CTV News London, May 27, 2019. Wind farm ordered to reduce noise. Available at: https://london.ctvnews.ca/wind-farm-ordered-to-reduce-noise-1.4438989

[5] Shoreline Beacon, September 24, 2019. Environment minister hears about Port Elgin wind turbine suffering. Available at: https://www.shorelinebeacon.com/news/local-news/environment-minister-hears-about-port-elgin-wind-turbine-suffering

[6]Hansard, Ontario Legislature, Oral Questions, Session:  41:2   Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017

[7] Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Compliance Protocol, Section E5.1 Complete Submissions. Available at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/compliance-protocol-wind-turbine-noise

“Bitter pill” as North Stormont residents watch turbines rise while other projects cancelled

“We’re big, you’re small”: community leader on fight for the environment vs huge developer

Turbine foundation near Crysler, Ontario: not wanted, not needed [Photo: Wayne Cuddington Ottawa Citizen]
September 27, 2019

Residents of North Stormont, between Ottawa and Cornwall, are now seeing the reality of having lost their fight against a giant power developer. Citizens spent over $100,000 to bring forward their concerns about damage to the environment and human health over having huge wind turbines erected in their communities, only to have the Environmental Review Tribunal (operating under an almost no-win set of rules) turn against them.

The Nation Rise wind power project is going up.

Access roads have been built, foundations are being poured, and the massive turbine parts have arrived by ship at the nearby Port of Johnstown.

Many people in the community don’t want the project, Ontario doesn’t need the electrical power, and wind power is now widely seen as an expensive, unreliable source of intermittent power, produced out of phase with real demand.

The project is being developed by EDP Renewables, which had revenues of 1.8B Euro in 2018; it was purchased by Axium Infrastructure, a large portfolio management company with 100 projects in North America, including K2 Wind in Ontario.*

And it’s tough to watch this happen when several other wind power projects were cancelled early on in the new Ford government.

Veteran Ottawa Citizen columnist Kelly Egan visited North Stormont this week, and his story is here.

An excerpt:

Concerned Citizens chair Margaret Benke, 63, a retired [school] principal and lifelong resident of the area, was asked if opponents felt like they were viewed as a bunch of “kooks” who just don’t get it.

“Of course,” she said Thursday. The attitude, she elaborated, is: “We know, you don’t, we’re smart, you’re dumb, we’re big, you’re small.”

What Benke and others know, however, especially, from experiences in other parts of Ontario, is that the noise from big wind turbines is often an annoyance, that there is suspicion that vibrations are affecting the soil and possibly livestock and that wells could be affected both by digging the infrastructure and a constantly humming terrain.

(It is, indeed, a deep rabbit hole: what about so-called infrasound, stuff we can’t hear?; or shadow flickers, ice tossing from the blades; the effect on birds, bats, cows; the leaking of voltage into the ground.) On top of which, opponents say, Ontario doesn’t even need more power production.

In an oft-cited study that is being read different ways, Health Canada reported in 2014 that 16.5 per cent of respondents were “highly annoyed” when the turbine noise was at its highest level, but the investigation found no links to major health impacts.

And there is another important consideration. The project has created divisions in the community. “It has created an incredible rift,” said Benke, “and it is only just beginning.”

Wind Concerns Ontario is in the process of acquiring the noise reports filed with the Ontario environment ministry for 2017 and 2018. The 2018 data is due to arrive shortly but the 2017 request has already been the subject of one appeal based on a refusal to comply, and WCO has just filed another appeal.

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

 

*K2 Wind was recently found non-compliant with Ontario noise regulations for wind turbines and is under a Director’s Order for noise abatement related to the operation of more than 80 of its 140 turbines.

 

Environment minister hears stories of wind turbine noise, health impacts

The previous government did not respond to complaints, or do the testing required in its own regulations, Saugeen Shores residents say

Unifor turbine: hundreds of complaints, no resolution under the previous, pro-wind government in Ontario [Photo: Greg Schmalz]
September 25, 2019

Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, met privately with residents of Port Elgin/Saugeen Shores to discuss the hundreds of complaints filed by families there about noise emissions from the single wind turbine owned by Unifor.

Mayor Luke Charbonneau, who has long advocated for the residents and tried to resolve the problems with the Unifor turbine, was also present at a meeting, wrapped up by Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.

Local community leader Greg Schmalz was grateful for the minister’s attention (“I had to pinch myself”) and said the government seems to understand that new regulations for wind turbine noise, including the low-frequency or inaudible noise emissions from turbines, is part of the answer.

Read this account in the Shoreline Beacon, here.

An excerpt:

Port Elgin resident Greg Schmalz, founder of STOP/ Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy, said the medical harm the CAW wind turbine has caused local residents makes Port Elgin “the lab rat test case” for Ontario.

“They put a low-powered machine amongst 1,300 people living 1,000 metres (of the turbine) – you’ve got an experience that generated the highest number complaints about any wind turbine in Ontario – half which are about audible noise and the half are ‘I’m feeling sick’ complaints due to infrasound,” Schmalz said in a Sept. 24 telephone interview, adding the constant feeling of nausea by at least one local couple forced to them to sell their new Port Elgin home near the turbine.

Schmalz said after years of not so much as an email from ministry officials on turbine issue, he was “pinching myself” to believe he was actually in a room with the minister who was listening.

After the meeting Schmalz was confident they got more than lip service from Minister Yurek, who is on a turbine fact-finding tour of Ontario.

Schmalz hopes the first-hand testimonies and scientific data provided to the minister will lead to regulations prohibiting health harming ‘nauisogenic frequency range’ audio emissions that can’t be heard but are felt by the body.
“Part of the remedy, that I believe the PC government is examining, is how to create regulations that could address the measuring of very low frequency of sound inside people’s homes – the nauisogenic frequency range emissions,” Schmalz said, adding they presented the minister with their expert’s testing results and information uncovered after STOP filed a Freedom of Information request that showed the turbine was operating out of compliance with provincial rules.

Schmalz said they key message to the minister was they’ve done the science.

Noise and infrasound harms people and here’s the people that were harmed,” Schmalz said, adding after 10 years of opposition to the turbine, STOP wants to end the endless cycle of noise complaints to the ministry about the UNIFOR turbine and help finding a solution.

Provincial officials made a written commitment for annual emission testing of the UNIFOR turbine when it began operating in 2013, but that testing was not done.

Private testing by STOP and a Freedom of Information filing found the turbine had been operating out of compliance, and last spring a noise abatement plan, including reducing output to 300Kw from 500Kw, showed it was in compliance under those conditions.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau revealed details of the meeting after-the-fact, saying the minister wanted no advance notice to prevent “some big splashy thing where a lot of people – no offense media – show up,” Charbonneau said , adding the minister wanted the affected people to be the story, not his visit.

Charbonneau said two or three years ago, the very notion that the minister would come and speak to the affected people was impossible, so “just the very gesture means a lot to me and those folks who had a chance to speak to him the other say,” Charbonneau said after the Sept 23 council meeting.

Charbonneau said the minister listened, but did not say anything that would advance the issue.

“I hope and expect the government will make some decisions based on what they are hearing from the people,” on the minister’s fact-finding tour.

Charbonneau said Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, facilitated the meeting, and wrapped up the Sept. 19 meeting asking Minister Yurek to comment on what he’d heard.

 

Wind Concerns Ontario reminds everyone living inside wind power projects to continue to file noise reports with the ministry by calling a local office or the “Spills Line” at 1-866-MOE-TIPS. Be sure to get an Incident Report number, and keep a record of the call.

North Stormont MPP throws in the towel

Citizens are still fighting a huge, risky wind power development, but their MPP has given up

McDonell: it’s Premier Wynne’s fault

September 17, 2019

MPP Jim McDonell published a letter in today’s Nation Valley News, claiming the 100-megawatt Nation Rise wind power project is too far gone to stop now. In fact, he says, it was too far in development last year to stop.

This will disappoint many people of North Stormont, who pursued every avenue to halt the project including a formal appeal. Legal costs are in the area of $100,000, money which has been raised by volunteers through bake sales, silent auctions and breakfast events throughout the project area.

In fact, while MPP McDonell was throwing in the towel ringside, the concerned citizens have a last-ditch appeal on the desk of the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

During the formal appeal held last year before the Environmental Review Tribunal, concerns were raised about the fact that many of the turbines will be built on a provincially designated “highly vulnerable aquifer” and that there are thousands of complaints about excessive wind turbine noise produced by wind turbines throughout Ontario.

See Mr. McDonell’s letter here

 

‘Forced upon the people of North Stormont by the previous Wynne gov’t’

The Editor:

Our government was elected on a promise to reduce the costs of electricity for the people of Ontario. One of our first actions as government was to wind down over 750 surplus renewable contracts to avoid long-term costs and save $790 million.

Last fall, we repealed the Green Energy Act to ensure that expensive renewable energy projects would never be forced on to unwilling communities again, and returned local decision-making powers to municipalities.

The Nation Rise Project, like many industrial wind farms across rural Ontario, was a project forced upon the people of North Stormont by the previous Wynne government.  The Liberal Government made it their mission to expand renewable energy at an unsustainable rate, resulting in unaffordable contracts for surplus power.

Moving forward, we have taken a responsible approach by winding down renewable energy contracts that have not achieved key Development Milestones (KDM).  The Nation Rise Wind Farm project obtained a Large Renewable Procurement contract in 2016. This project was at an advanced state of development, and had already achieved confirmation of its KDMs so it was not one of the contracts eligible for wind down. Unlike the previous Liberal government, our government is committed to respecting our taxpayer’s dollars and we cannot in good conscience, add additional costs to an already unaffordable electricity bill.

The province is ending the contracts where the costs outweigh the benefits. These actions will ensure that ratepayers are not paying for electricity that we don’t need, at a cost that we cannot afford.

Jim McDonell
Member of Provincial Parliament
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

 

To respond, contact editor@nationvalleynews.com

More protective regulation needed for wind turbines: NY health official

Stapleton to lead state health officials group 

Daniel Stapleton of Niagara County: managing risk is my job [Photo: Niagara Gazette]

September 17, 2019

Last week, Senator Robert Ortt of New York State, hosted a public health forum in Williamsville, NY. Many speakers attended including acoustician Robert Rand, audiology professor Jerry Punch, and others.

The Public Health Director for Niagara County, Daniel Stapleton, was one of the featured speakers. Starting out with the grave pronouncement, “I don’t call them wind ‘farms,’ I call them industrial wind turbines,” Stapleton said it is his job to manage risks to health in his jurisdiction.

He pointed out that sleep disturbance is an acknowledged and serious risk to health, and leads to various chronic diseases. He linked wind turbine noise emissions to sleep disturbance (which is not the same as sleep deprivation) and the development of chronic disease.

He said that he, and many fellow public health officials are so concerned about wind turbine noise emissions and the lack of appropriate regulation, that he, and 58 other officials will be issuing a statement on the need for stronger regulation governing wind turbines.

In Ontario, Canada, wind turbine noise regulations were drafted by the government under Premier Dalton McGuinty whose government took many actions to promote wind power development; the regulations, including property setbacks, were developed in consultation with the wind power industry.

They have not been updated.

Ontario received more than 4,500 reports of excessive noise from wind turbines, many with reports of adverse health effects, between 2006 and 2016.

Wind Concerns Ontario has requested the noise reports for 2017 and 2018 from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, but has notreceived any documents. The 2017 documents were the subject of an appeal after lack of response was deemed a refusal, but the request has still not been fulfilled, after more than a year.

Listen to the 12-minute Daniel Stapleton presentation here:  https://youtu.be/fWwLAxIaiYY

 

Wind power expensive, not needed: Ontario Cabinet Minister

[Photo: MyWestNipissing]

August 20, 2019

Many people will have missed this interview with MPP Vic Fedeli, as it was published in the West Nipissing community newspaper, but the comments from Mr. Fedeli on a recent report from the Fraser Institute are definitely worth a look.

Especially this week, as the wind power industry trade association and lobbyist CanWEA is in Ottawa, trying to persuade Ontario municipalities that wind power is a cost-effective way to generate electrical power that also brings jobs and prosperity to communities.

Not so, says former finance minister and nor Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade for Ontario. Wind and solar are among the most expensive ways to generate electricity, he told My West Nipissing News.

Wind power contracts were a waste of money because they produced power that Ontario didn’t need, and the surplus power is sold off, often at a loss, to competing jurisdictions in the U.S., Fedeli said. “We make about 30,000 megawatts of power a day but only need about 20,000,” Fedeli said. “So we end up paying the United States and Quebec every single night to take our surplus power.  And it’s billions of dollars every year that we’re paying those competitors of ours.”

Referring to a recent Auditor General’s report, Fedeli says the AG identified that the solar and wind projects of the previous government resulted in “spending $37-billion in wasted money”. He added that former Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne pursued the wind and solar projects solely for ideological reasons and photo ops.

“The Auditor-General has proven it certainly wasn’t anything in terms of bringing relief for families,” Fedeli said.

The Fraser Institute report  noted that solar and wind are intended to displace emission-producing forms of power generation, but also that many provinces in Canada get much of their power from nuclear plants or hydroelectric dams, neither of which energy sources produce greenhouse gas emissions.

Fedeli said Ontario gets 60 percent of its power from nuclear and additional power from its huge hydroelectric projects like Niagara Falls.

“We have clean energy from water and nuclear,” he said.

What Mr. Fedeli didn’t mention in referring to the Auditor General reports over the last 15 years was that the former McGuinty and Wynne governments never did any kind of cost-benefit or impact analysis for their wind power program which was essentially forced industrialization for rural communities. Impacts such as environmental noise leading to health problems and property value loss were never examined. The report from the Fraser Institute alleges the wind power lobby purposely ignores the consequences of wind power development, and the operation of wind power facilities.