Wind energy town hall meeting planned

Wind energy town hall meeting planned | Sarnia Observer:

A public town hall meeting that three area anti-wind turbine groups are holding July 31 in Sarnia will feature presentations on how wind energy impacts energy costs, as well as the people and wildlife living near them.
The 7 p.m. town hall meeting at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre on Christina Street is being hosted by We’re Against Industrial Turbines — Plympton-Wyoming, Conservation of Rural Enniskillen and the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group.
The agenda includes a video presentation by economist Ross McKitrick, as well as presentations by retired banker Parker Gallant, Orangeville area resident Barb Ashbee-Lormand and Esther Wrightman, a Middlesex County anti-wind activist being sued by Florida-based Nextera Energy.
Nextera’s application for provincial environmental approval to build its proposed 97-turbine Jericho Wind farm in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township is available online for public review and comments at www.ebr.gov.on.ca.

Continue reading at the Sarnia Observer

Join the Liberal “Conversation” but don’t believe they will listen!

The July 10, 2013 press release from the Ministy of Energy announcing how Ontario was kicking off the Long-Term Energy Plan Review was relatively short but contained quotes and some “Quick Facts” that were obviously meant to impress the reader.

The release invited the reader to “join in the conversation” by “Taking part in one of the information sessions that will be held in communities across the province” and to complete an online survey” or; “Submit[ting] comments in response to the discussion guide, Making Choices Reviewing Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan.

What the press release didn’t say was: the “information sessions” were all in urban communities, the “online survey” led the reader to only choose results favourable to the Green Energy Act (GEA) without the actual opportunity for input and that the “Making Choices” link took the reader to the Environmental Registry.

The other interesting fact the press release didn’t disclose is that preceding the “information sessions” are “roundtable discussions” that invited local “energy companies and municipalities” and “is an invite only event” according to an e-mail this writer received from a member of Wind Concerns Ontario. The message came from the “LTEP Team” who are presumably charged with pulling all the activities together to present the Minister with recommended revisions to the LTEP.
The “roundtable” excluded the “general public” but interestingly enough did include officers from Environmental NGOs (ENGO) such as Gideon Forman of CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment) and presumably others from groups like Environmental Defence Pembina and OSEA.  Another WCO member secured a copy of the invitation to Gideon Forman of CAPE allegedly signed by Minister Bob Chiarelli in which he “strongly encourage[d]” them to “make submissions to the Environmental Registry.

The Ministry’s press release then goes on to cite what they refer to as “QUICK FACTS” including the following gems;

Over the past 10 years, Ontario has brought more than 3,300 megawatts of renewable energy online — enough to power 900,000 homes each year.

This writer assumes that the inference here to “renewable energy” is the wind and solar that has been built and may (although not mentioned) include the addition of Big Becky (140 megawatts) a hydro project which cost ratepayers $1.6 billion ($600 million over budget) and perhaps a few other small hydro projects. The balance would be wind and solar and the 900,000 homes referred to would infer that wind and solar collectively would produce at the rate of 30% of its rated capacity. The latter is a fallacy as wind might produce at 28% of capacity and solar at a average of 12/15% (more in May and June and almost nothing in the Winter) whereas wind produces at high levels in the shoulder seasons (Spring and Fall) when we don’t need the power but produces at very low levels when we really need generation on those hot summer days when Ontario’s demand peaks.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act has attracted billions in investment and created 31,000 jobs.

What the press release fails to say is that over 90% of the jobs they claim have been created are short term construction jobs and as noted by the Auditor General in his 2011 report have cost Ontario 2 to 4 jobs for each one created. The “billions in investment” attracted is approximately 1/3rd of the billions that will flow from ratepayers to the investors over the 20 years of the wind and solar contracts. Those billions attracted are basically a reference to the capital costs of the wind and solar developments and add absolutely nothing towards creating either meaningful jobs or adding to Ontario’s GDP (gross domestic product).

Since 2003, approximately 12,000 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished generation has been added to Ontario’s energy supply.

The reasoning behind the Liberal push to add new generation was directly related to closing the coal generators by 2007 (promised by the Liberals in their 2003 election campaign).  In 2003 Ontario had 7,500 MW of coal generation capacity but 1200 (Lakeview) of that was already scheduled to close in 2005 by the Harris/Eves PC led government meaning that approximately 6,300 MW of capacity was to be closed. While another 3,500 MW of coal has been shut down since 2005 there are still 2800 MW of capacity that provides valuable peaking power for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. NB: See below to see what it took to shut down the 3,500 MW of coal generation.

Between 2006 and 2011, Ontario conserved over 1,900 MW – enough to take over 600,000 homes off the grid.

Fact; in 2005 Ontario’s energy consumption was 157 terawatts (TWh) and in 2011 it was 141.5 TWh for a drop of 15.5TWh or enough to take 1.5 million homes off the grid. The question that this claim highlights is; did the 5.7 TWh claimed as “conservation” really represent what they state or was it simply a result of our manufacturing base shrinking? Based on the Auditor General’s 2011 report the loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector was probably the cause of the “conservation” that is claimed by the Minister rather then Ontario’s ratepayers doing their laundry in the middle of the night.

By the end of 2014 the use of coal for electricity generation will be discontinued completely.

As noted about 3,500 MW of coal generation has been closed since 2005 but exactly what did it take to achieve those results? Well according to the Chart on page 2 of the “Status, Outlook and Options for Electricity Service, In Support of the 2013 LTEP Consultation” it required 13,930 MW of new capacity to replace the 3,500 MW of coal that has been shut down. The reader should bear in mind the fact that Ontario ratepayers during that period reduced consumption by approximately 15 TWh which is the equivalent of approximately 1800 MW of generation running at 100% of its capacity. That 1800 MW is not included in the 13,930 MW of additional capacity noted on the aforementioned Chart. That new capacity noted in the aforementioned “Chart” consisted of;

  • 1,500 MW of refurbished nuclear generation, 
  • 700 MW of hydroelectric generation, 
  • 2,500 MW of wind generation, 
  • 130 MW of bio-energy generation, 
  • 1,100 MW of solar generation, 
  • 5,600 MW of gas generation, and 
  • 2,600 MW of “Conservation”
The foregoing 13,930 MW of new capacity added would indicate that “coal generation” was either the lynchpin of our electricity system or we suffered from extremely bad planning.  The following quote from that July 10, 2013 press release by Minister Chiarelli would indicate the latter. It would appear that the Minister has acknowledged Liberal energy planning has suffered from the advice he now seeks by stating;

” It’s critical that we plan Ontario’s energy future with input and advice from every corner of the province. Together, we’ll continue to build a clean, modern and reliable electricity grid.”

That “input and advice” apparently wasn’t critical in the past but Minister Chiarelli now suggests it is for the future. This writer, however, is more inclined to believe that joining the “conversation” will once again simply mean that Ontarian’s “input and advice” will be ignored and the governing Liberal Party will instead revise the Long-Term Energy Plan to suit the likes of the Gideon Formans, the Kristopher Stevens and David Suzukis who were instrumental in the creation of the Green Energy and Economy Act.

The “conversation” with the Liberal Party will be the same one we have had for the past 10 years and will simply fall on the deaf ears of the Energy Minister. Let’s hope the voters are paying attention and join in the conversation!

Parker Gallant, 

July 29, 2013

Environmental hearings on DWP limited to serious health risks

The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) will consider only whether the Dufferin Wind Power project and its transmission line pose serious risks to human, animal and plant health or would cause irreversible damage to the environment, among similar considerations, the preliminary hearing was told Monday.
The actual hearing is set for Aug. 20 in Grace Tipling Hall, Shelburne. There’ll be a few familiar faces participating along with several lawyers of note who’ll be acting for some parties to the hearing.
Toronto lawyer Eric Gillespie is representing Dennis Sanford of Melancthon in opposition to the project. Mr. Gillespie gained turbine recognition in Chatham-Kent proceedings a couple of years ago, and is currently waging a multi-million-dollar battle over turbine leases near Stayner, among other actions.

Joan Lever, also an opponent of turbines since the development of Melancthon Phase 1, is representing herself as a participant. In a somewhat lengthy and impassioned presentation

A Niagara Escarpment Commission manager appeared Monday to lodge an objection to the proximity of the wind farm to the escarpment. In part, the NEC’s opposition is to visual impact.
Amongst the heavy hitters, DWP is represented by Toronto’s Torys LLP, and Conserve Our Rural Environment (CORE) by the Toronto office of Davis LLP.
Davis lawyer Laura Bisset made representations for Dr. Crysdale of Mulmur whose property adjoins that of the most northerly farm within the DWP area at issue. She didn’t outline the doctor’s credentials but said his concerns are for human health.

Read the entire article at the Orangeville Citizen

Twenty lies the Liberals told you

From Lorrie Goldstein…

Twenty lies the Liberals told you | Column | Opinion | The London Free Press:

Picture from source article

13. “We will shut down Ontario’s coal-burning plants by 2007”: The Liberals still haven’t closed them, now promising to do so in 2014.
14. “We will bring clean, renewable energy to Ontario”: Under the Liberals, wind and solar power are producing minuscule amounts of unneeded, unreliable, inefficient and expensive electricity, which has to be backed up by fossil fuels. This will, according to the Auditor General, cost Ontarians billions of dollars extra on their hydro bills, for decades to come.
15. “We will bring stability to Ontario’s electricity market”: See above.
16. “We will respect the views of rural constituents by giving their MPPs free votes”: If that was true, Liberal MPPs wouldn’t be responding to furious complaints from their constituents about having industrial wind turbines rammed down their throats with form letters.
17. “We will ensure that all developers play by the rules”: Unless they’re wind developers, where the Liberals took away the rights of local citizens to oppose wind projects.”

Continue reading at The London Free Press

Neighbors complain of Vermont wind woes

wherein a developer opines wind opponents are “just short of crazy” – for warning people who aren’t “just short of crazy” about the threat facing them.

Neighbors complain of Vt. wind woes – WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

The Milton Independent recently wrote an article saying that Georgia Mountain Community Wind co-owner David Blittersdorf described the people who complain about wind turbine noise as just short of crazy. Blittersdorf says his words were misconstrued.
“It was out of context; I was talking about generally across the state, across the U.S., the opponents to wind are not always grounded in reality. When we talk about facts on sound levels and things that are said that are not true,” Blittersdorf said.
Blittersdorf says he made a visit to Johnson earlier this week to hear the concerns. He says although people like Johnson may not support this project, he stands by the project.

Johnson says although the turbines are in compliance with the state, his experience living with them so close is unbearable. He wishes more people could understand.
“Even though there’s significant data you can get, you have to really experience it,” he said.

Continue reading, and view video, at WCAX.COM
WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Wind farm companies warn against wild land ban

Wind industries suggestion for siting restrictions: none

Wind farm companies warn against wild land ban – Telegraph:

Scottish Renewables, which represents the industry, delivered an outspoken attack on additional protections being proposed in response to a public outcry about the spread of turbines across the countryside.
Ministers are considering introducing special safeguards that would make it more difficult to build on wild land, which is defined as being rugged, remote and free from modern visible human structures.
They are also examining increasing the recommended distance between wind farms and the nearest town or village from 2km (1.2 miles) to 2.5km (1.6 miles) and giving greater protection to wildlife.
But Scottish Renewables said the proposed reforms to the planning process would jeopardise £2 billion of investment and Mr Salmond’s plan to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from green sources by 2020.
They recommended that there be no blanket protection for wild land …or areas near towns and villages.

Continue reading at the Telegraph:

FERC Commissioner: Wind subsidies must go

FERC Commissioner: Wind subsidies must go – Power Engineering:

It’s time to let wind subsidies become a thing of the past, said Phillip Moeller, a commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, speaking to a luncheon at “Reading the Tea Leaves: A Forum on the Future of America’s Installed Power Plants” hosted by Alstom, the Institute of Clean Air Companies and others.
“There are people who have been quoted saying in the future we’re not going to need any more baseload in this country. That, obviously, I think is wrong,” Moeller said.
The wind power industry in particular, he said, is sufficiently mature to no longer need federal subsidies, which he said have the deleterious effect of distorting energy markets in harmful ways. “The wind subsidies are wreaking havoc, particularly on the nuclear fleet,” Moeller said.

Continue reading at Power Engineering

Longer setback requirements in Germany

A new post on the German Energy Blog notes a number of German states with more stringent setback requirements than Ontario’s.
The latest being 1 km.

On 12 July 2013 representatives of the Saxon State Ministries of Economics and of the Interior signed a joint “Decree on Minimum Distances between Residential Housing and Priority Areas and Other Areas Suitable for Wind Power”. The decree essentially stipulates a general minimum distance of 1,000 metres between residential housing and wind power plants, a press release issued by the State of Saxony says.

This would help to “reduce conflicts between immissions and adverse affects on the landscape on the on hand and the need for a moderate and sensitive expansion of wind power”, the statement says.

Judging from the press release (the decree is not available yet), the minimum distance seems to refer mainly to immission control law and seems stricter than in other German states. The Bavarian wind power decree points out that the Federal Immissions Control Act does not stipulate a minimum distance, pointing out that below a distance of 800 metres an expert opinion on the noise caused by the wind power plant (Lärmschutzgutachten) would have to be submitted. The wind power decree of the State of Baden-Württemberg states that regional planning authorities should observe a minimum distance of 700 metres from areas in which housing can not only be permitted by way of exception when designating priority zones for wind power.

The State of Saxony also informed that it plans to submit an amendment of the Federal Building Code (Baugesetzbuch) together with the State of Bavaria that would allow the federal states to set minimum standards to residential housing depending on the height of the wind power plant.

The entire article may be read at the German Energy Blog

5th International Wind Turbine Noise Conference (2013)

The Conference Programme is not set for the 5th International Wind Turbine Noise Conference (2013) to be held in Denver August 28-30.
Some prominent names from Ontario:

29 August 2013
Effects of WTN on Individuals

08.00 Audit report: Literature reviews on wind turbine noise and health
Brett Horner, Carmen Krogh and Roy Jeffrey, Canada

08.15 Wind turbine noise: What has the science told us?
Loren D. Knopper et al, Canada

08.30 Perception change of soundscape as wind turbine alters community sound profile
William K.G. Palmer, Canada 

08.45 Trading off human health: Wind turbine noise and government policy
Carmen Krogh et al, Canada 

09.00 Wind turbine facilities’ perception: a case study from Canada
Peter N. Cole and Carmen Krogh, Canada