Grand Valley letter writer: wind power is a “feel good ploy”

Here from a Grand Valley letter writer, a take on wind power.

The province’s green energy plan is nothing more than hot air (letter)

Orangeville Banner

Dear editor,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my opinion on the issue of wind farms, not only in Dufferin County, but as it affects the entire province of Ontario.  
Wind energy is a farce.  Wind energy is not a reliable source.  It is not able to generate enough power at a consistent rate for people to power their homes.  In other words, if there is no wind, there is no electricity in your home.   
The second issue is the cost of wind farms.  The cost to produce wind energy is more than it is worth.  
It costs more than $0.16 per kilowatt/hour for wind.  Currently, we pay approximately $0.09 per kilowatt/hour for hydro for our homes, therefore, tax payers are picking up the tab for the difference. The county of Dufferin would like to shut down the production of wind farms.
The third issue is that wind farms are producing a surplus of power.  That is, because they are not constantly or predictably generating power from wind they have to produce equal power by their traditional source.
The province, however, wants to build more wind farms when there is no need for them.  It is just a feel-good ploy for the Liberal government that will cost tax-payers hundreds of millions of dollars.  
Needless to say, I, too, question the need for more wind farms.
Brianna Wildeboer
Grand Valley

David Colling

David Colling

We are very sorry to report the sad news that David Colling has passed away. David was involved in a workplace accident on the weekend, and had been in hospital since Sunday.
Those who met Dave or perhaps were lucky enough to hear one of his presentations, will recall a polite, smiling, deeply caring individual who was truly working toward a better environment for everyone.
Our thoughts are with his wife Kim and his family today.

Jane Wilson
Wind Concerns Ontario

Parker Gallant to Minister Chiarelli: my turn yet?

[Tongue in Cheek Letter # 4 ]

October 29, 2013

The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy,

Dear Minister Chiarelli:

I hate to bother you but I’m still waiting for a response to my three letters of September 9th, September 13th and September 22nd.   I am becoming concerned about being able to not produce electricity from wind or solar and get paid for it. I sure would like to know if I can be one of the chosen ones.   I see that Mike Crawley who used to be the President of the Ontario Liberal Party has done pretty darn good.  Those CanWEA people gave him a nice pat on the back in their magazine for getting 700 megawatts of wind turbines up and running so I`m hoping I can have the same success.  I will be happy to serve a term as President if that will help make my requests happen.  Just let me know, please! 

I see you have been very, very busy closing coal plants, raising money for the Liberal Party and visiting the Bruce nuclear plants, so I kind of understand why you haven’t answered me yet but I want to plan for all the things on my “wish list” and really want to know when the money will start coming my way.

I have also been keeping track of all the money you are saving, going back to your June announcement about the reduction in the Samsung contract.  You told us that one saved us $3.7 billion; your recent announcement about saving $95 million from closing the Lambton coal plant seems like small potatoes compared to the “billions and billions” you said we are saving by not building new nuclear plants. I did note however that the press release said that the coal plants were costing us $4.4 billion annually so that makes it worthwhile.  That sure sounds like they were paying way too much for coal!  Good for you for saving us all that money. 

I also read that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) would save $200 million from constraining wind —that is a pretty big number too, which was the subject of my first letter.   The new president of IESO also said that profits from exporting our electricity had generated $5/6 billion dollars, which is even more than you said it was generating.   But he probably has more details than you do so I guess he is right about that, eh?

You have probably been way too busy to add up all those savings so I will do it for you. 

Here’s what I get:  Samsung $3.7 billion plus savings of $16 billion by not building new nuclear plants, plus $4.5 from closing the coal plants and $200 million from constraining wind.  Add the $6 billion we make from selling our electricity to NY and Michigan —I think that adds up to $30.4 billion.

 

Samsung Savings $  3.7     billion

No new nuclear   $16.0    billion

Closing coal plants   4.5     billion

Constraining wind      .200 million

Exp to NY & MI$  6.0     billion                                                                                                 Total                        $30.4    billion

 

Impressive! I bet Finance Minister Sousa will be thanking you for getting rid of his deficit and handing him an extra $15 billion or so to pay down Ontario’s debt.  He owes you big time for saving all that money and should at least treat you to a couple of beers at your local pub near Queens Park.

I think you should hold back on some of those savings however to pay me and the other guys for not generating electricity from any wind turbines or solar panels.  

Keep up the good work but please, let me know soon about my offer as I would like to head south for the winter.  I heard the electricity rates in Florida are much lower than Ontario’s, especially now that they are going up again November 1st.

Yours truly,

Parker Gallant

The opinions expressed are those of the author and not Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

Parker Gallant to Minister Chiarelli: is it my turn yet?


[Tongue in Cheek Letter # 4 ]
October 29, 2013
The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy,
Dear Minister Chiarelli:
I hate to bother you but I’m still waiting for a response to my three letters of September 9th, September 13th and September 22nd.   I am becoming concerned about being able to not produce electricity from wind or solar and get paid for it. I sure would like to know if I can be one of the chosen ones.   I see that Mike Crawley who used to be the President of the Ontario Liberal Party has done pretty darn good.  Those CanWEA people gave him a nice pat on the back in their magazinefor getting 700 megawatts of wind turbines up and running so I`m hoping I can have the same success.  I will be happy to serve a term as President if that will help make my requests happen.  Just let me know, please! 
I see you have been very, very busy closing coal plants, raising money for the Liberal Party and visiting the Bruce nuclear plants, so I kind of understand why you haven’t answered me yet but I want to plan for all the things on my “wish list” and really want to know when the money will start coming myway.
I have also been keeping track of all the money you are saving, going back to your June announcement about the reduction in the Samsung contract.  You told us that one saved us $3.7 billion; your recent announcement about saving $95 million from closing the Lambtoncoal plant seems like small potatoes compared to the “billions and billions” you said we are saving by not building new nuclear plants. I did note however that the press release said that the coal plants were costing us $4.4 billion annually so that makes it worthwhile.  That sure sounds like they were paying way too much for coal!  Good for you for saving us all that money. 
I also read that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) would save $200 million from constraining wind —that is a pretty big number too, which was the subject of my first letter.   The new president of IESO also said that profits from exporting our electricity had generated $5/6 billion dollars, which is even more than you said it was generating.   But he probably has more details than you do so I guess he is right about that, eh?
You have probably been way too busy to add up all those savings so I will do it for you. 
Here’s what I get:  Samsung $3.7 billion plus savings of $16 billion by not building new nuclear plants, plus $4.5 from closing the coal plants and $200 million from constraining wind.  Add the $6 billion we make from selling our electricity to NY and Michigan —I think that adds up to $30.4 billion.

Samsung Savings $  3.7     billion 
No new nuclear   $16.0    billion  
Closing coal plants   4.5     billion  
Constraining wind      .200 million                                                                                         
Exp to NY & MI$  6.0     billion                                                                                                 Total                        $30.4    billion

Impressive! I bet Finance Minister Sousa will be thanking you for getting rid of his deficit and handing him an extra $15 billion or so to pay down Ontario’s debt.  He owes you big time for saving all that money and should at least treat you to a couple of beers at your local pub near Queens Park.
I think you should hold back on some of those savings however to pay me and the other guys for not generating electricity from any wind turbines or solar panels.  
Keep up the good work but please, let me know soon about my offer as I would like to head south for the winter.  I heard the electricity rates in Florida are much lower than Ontario’s, especially now that they are going up again November 1st.
Yours truly,
Parker Gallant
The opinions expressed are those of the author and not Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

WCO to Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer Health: STOP turbine approvals now

Wind Concerns Ontario, immediately upon learning the results of the University of Waterloo research prepared for the Renewal Energy Technologies and Health (RETH) project, wrote a letter to the Ontario Premier and Ministers of Energy and the Environment, demanding a halt to all wind power generation approvals immediately.

Today, we wrote to Health Minister Deb Matthews and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Arlene King. The letter is below.


WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO

October 28, 2013
Honorable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health
By e-mail
Dear Minister Matthews and Dr. King:
Re: University of Waterloo research on wind turbine noise; need to halt wind power project approvals immediately
We learned recently of the Ontario Research Chair symposium held at Glendon College on October 17, 2013, at which were presented the results of the study being conducted by the Ontario Research Chair program in Renewable Energy Technologies and Health (ORC-RETH) at the University of Waterloo, funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. 
Those results were in a poster presentation titled, Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems presented by Claire Paller, Philip Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis. We are now in receipt of a PDF of that poster presentation, which we attach to this letter. The highlights are as follows.
 “The relationship between vertigo and ln(distance) was statistically significant (P<0.001) when controlling for age, gender, and county. The relationship between tinnitus and ln(distance) approached statistical significance (P=0.0755). Both vertigo and tinnitus were worse among participants living closer to wind turbines.” [Our emphasis]
And:
In conclusion, relationships were found between ln(distance) and PSQI, ln(distance) and self-reported vertigo and ln(distance) and self-reported tinnitus. Study findings suggest that future research should focus on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.”
While the University of Waterloo’s final report and recommendations have not yet been published, the results at this point indicate that there is question as to whether the  “setback” requirements in Ontario from industrial-scale wind turbines are sufficient to protect the health and safety of Ontario citizens.
As you are aware, sleep disturbance due to environmental noise has been documented as a factor in poor health. In 2011, the World Health Organization published a report on the burden of disease from environmental noise, and concluded: “There is sufficient evidence from large-scale epidemiological studies linking the population’s exposure to environmental noise with adverse health effects. Therefore, environmental noise should be considered not only as a cause of nuisance but also a concern for public health and environmental health.” (WHO, Burden of disease from environmental noise, 2011, page xvii)
In your 2010 literature review, The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines, you conclude that “The review also identified that sound measurements at residential areas around wind turbines and comparisons with sound levels around other rural and urban areas, to assess actual ambient noise levels present in Ontario, is a key data gap that could be addressed.” (page 10)
You are also aware of complaints being made about excessive noise to the Ministry of Environment “Spills Line” and other complaints of poor health are being made to health units and municipal councils.
In our view, it is mandatory that the Ontario government, and specifically, the Ministry of the Environment should immediately halt issuing Renewable Energy Approvals for any new wind power generation projects that are less than 10 kilometres from a receptor until the final report is issued by the University.  We also encourage the Health Ministry to take immediate action to ensure the government has the capacity to measure “infrasound” noise and enact strict guidelines to protect the citizens of Ontario.
It is also necessary at this point, based on the Precautionary Principle, if not basic common sense, that the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care immediately call for a moratorium on all wind power generation project approvals, in order to protect the health and safety of Ontario citizens.
Yours sincerely,
Parker Gallant and Jane Wilson
Wind Concerns Ontario
Copied to: Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Minister of Environment Jim Bradley, Leader of the Opposition Tim Hudak

Pembina and Greenpeace have the Energy Minister’s ear


No thanks: I already know what I am supposed to think
Following Ontario Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli around the province is an interesting exercise that raises questions.   Back on September 10th  Minister Chiarelli and Premier Wynne were feted by Bruce Power at an exclusive fundraiser that reputedly generated $100,000 for the Ontario Liberal Party.
On the same day, a joint Pembina Institute/Greenpeace report was released titled “Renewable is Doable” with the following statement:
Ontario has experienced an absolute decline in electricity demand in recent years, due in part to the province’s successful conservation programs.” 
One can challenge the veracity of that statement: the decline in demand for electricity is due to the demise of Ontario’s industrial manufacturing base, which is being exacerbated by high electricity prices.  There’s more: the report was prepared by three graduates in “environmental studies,” and from the charts and writing, one discerns a lack of basic math capabilities. 
That aside, the report is all aglow about Conservation and states:
Ontario’s new “Conservation First” initiative provides the opportunity to continue electricity savings [writer’s emphasis: presumably meant in an non-monetary way]. The evidence presented in this report shows that putting conservation first, and supplementing it with a diversified portfolio of green energy sources, can be more cost-effective [writer’s emphasis again:that would be the math problem] than renewed investment in nuclear stations whose costs continue to increase [not according to the Minister’s remarks below].
Scrolling through the Executive Summary one also finds this: “Can Ontario replace nuclear reactors with a cost-effective, low-carbon energy mix?
Well, the report’s title says it all so the conclusion is, it can!   Examining the report and several of the charts you find the words “typical”and “averaged,” butnot “actual”!  If one specifically looks at the charts depicting how “renewables” can replace nuclear you find the phrase “Modelled from historic output data”!   The report smooths or averages intermittent production from wind and solar and fails to note they produce at both the wrong time of the day and the wrong time of the year.  The report also ignores the cost of back-up gas plants, as well as the costs of exporting surplus energy, additional transmission cost, and the costs of constraining wind and solar.  All of these billions of dollars are omitted.
With all these flaws, our Energy Minister wouldn’t buy into that report, would he?  He did! On October 25, 2013 he Tweeted:
That Tweet by the Minister followed the news reports of Thursday October 10th of criticism by the PC Party and a comment from the NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath, who said,“the optics are very, very bad.”
The CBC reported:
“Ontario’s Liberal government on Thursday abandoned plans to spend billions of dollars to build two new nuclear reactors, saying the province doesn’t need the power to meet its electricity demand.
“New nuclear will not be part of the long-term energy plan which we hope to finalize before the end of this year,” Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli told reporters.
“We’re in a comfortable surplus position at this point in time, and it’s not advisable to make the major investments in new nuclear.”
Costs have fallen since the province first paused its plans to build two new reactors in 2009, when the estimated price was said to be as high as $26 billion.
“The costs have come down, but they have not come down enough to justify us building new nuclear when we have a very comfortable surplus,” said Chiarelli.
“It is not wise to invest billions and billions of dollars in new nuclear when the power is not needed.”
Sure sounds like the Minister bought into the “Renewable is Doable” diatribe of the joint report. Instead, he will take “billions and billions” from ratepayers pockets to satisfy large and mainly foreign corporations who came to Ontario for above market rates paid for wind and solar developments.
The coincidences over the past two months are just too obvious to ignore: the fund raiser and the release of the joint report on the same day; then Minister Chiarelli’s visit to Bruce Power on October 7thand three days later he announced cancellation of the 2,000 MW of new nuclear to be built by Ontario Power Generation and confirmationof the refurbishment of nuclear reactors at Bruce and Darlington. 
When can the people of Ontario expect to see competent and transparent management of this portfolio?   I leave that question to the voters for the next election. I certainly hope they will reflect on the obvious.  Their pocketbooks will be not be protected by anyone appointed by the Ontario Liberal government!
Parker Gallant                                                                                                                                     October 28, 2013  
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the policies of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Minister Chiarelli answers questions about siting wind power plants. Sort of.

Here from The Independent, is the responses received by the newspaper to a set of questions put to Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, on the new procurement process for large-scale wind power projects. The announcement of the new process has been delayed.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli answers turbine questions

Posted : Business, Featured, Front Page, News.

wind turbines and lines

Editor’s note: The Independent recently requested an interview with Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli about the concerns about industrial wind turbines. We submitted five questions and here are the unedited responses forwarded by the minister’s office.
When will the province outline how it will handle FIT program?
The Large Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program is being replaced with a new competitive procurement process for renewable energy projects.  We asked the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to develop a new competitive procurement process for future renewable energy projects larger than 500 kW, which will take into account local needs and considerations before contracts are offered.
The OPA has engaged with the public, municipalities, Aboriginal communities and other stakeholders to help inform the identification of appropriate locations and siting requirements for future renewable energy projects.  The OPA has reported back to the government with interim recommendations and additional engagement activities will occur later this year.
We need to make sure our approach is balanced and considers the views of local communities while ensuring the long-term sustainability of Ontario’s electricity system. We expect to have more information on this once the province has updated its Long-Term Energy Plan later this year.
Is it deliberately ignoring those opposed to wind energy projects?
We’re moving forward with renewable energy in a balanced (way).  We listened very extensively to the public and we’re changing the way we procure renewable energy projects to respond to community concerns while continuing to encourage a strong renewable energy sector in this province.
Will the government return planning authority to municipalities on Green projects?
The Ontario government is making key changes to increase local control over the siting of renewable energy projects. As a former Mayor and Regional Chair, I understand how important it is for communities to be involved in decision making from the beginning.
Our government wants to ensure that future renewable energy projects will be built in the right place at the right time. That’s why we are replacing the current Feed-in-Tariff program for large renewable energy projects with a competitive bidding process, tailored to the needs of communities. Potential developers will need to work directly with municipalities to determine appropriate locations and site requirements for any future large renewable energy project.
Our government will also provide up to $90,000 for municipalities to develop Municipal Energy Plans. These plans will help municipalities better integrate energy, infrastructure, growth and land use planning to support economic development, increase conservation and identify energy opportunities.
Finally, we’ll work with municipalities to determine a property tax rate increase for wind turbine towers.
If municipalities declare themselves “Not Willing Hosts” is it a guarantee there will not be wind energy projects in their municipalities in the future?
Recent changes will ensure that municipalities have more say over renewable energy projects.  Through the priority points system municipalities will have increased influence over the siting of projects through the prioritization of applications that have demonstrated municipal support.  Developers that work closely with municipalities and have broader support will receive points during the application process, helping those projects move forward.  During the recent round of Small FIT contract awards, over 98 percent of the successful applications received municipal council support resolutions.
These recent changes also gives municipalities more tools and enables them to participate directly in the FIT program
Municipal energy plans will give municipalities a much stronger role in identifying local energy needs and opportunities. Municipal Energy Plans are comprehensive strategies to align infrastructure, energy and land use planning.
The competitive procurement process will ensure that renewable energy developers work directly with municipalities, before contracts are awarded, and that large renewable energy generation is targeted regionally, based on system needs.  This process will better integrate renewable energy into our communities and economy, encouraging growth in the renewable energy sector and respecting communities.
Will there be a moratorium on the [wind] current projects until the two-year federal health effects study is complete as many municipalities have asked?
The government is committed to protecting the health of residents in communities that are home to renewable energy projects.  We have taken a cautious approach when setting standards for wind turbine setbacks and noise limits to protect Ontarians.
Large-scale wind energy projects in Ontario are subject to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) regulation, which includes minimum setbacks for wind energy projects, and minimum requirements for environmental studies and community consultation activities.  Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King undertook a review of the potential health effects of wind turbines. Her 2010 report stated that there is no scientific evidence to date to support claims that wind turbine noise cause adverse health effects.
The Ministry of the Environment continues to review emerging scientific, health, acoustics and engineering studies to ensure Ontario’s REA regulation remains in line with the latest and best in science. The ministry also continues to support further research by funding, through an agreement with the Council of Ontario Universities, a Research Chair for the ongoing study of Renewable Energy Technologies and Health.

….
Translation: if we decide your community is getting a wind power project, you’re getting a wind power project. You can have “say” but the word “no” will not be allowed.
Obviously, at the time some person in the communications warren answered The Independent’s question, the results of the Renewable Energy Technologies and Health were not known—it will be very interesting now to see  what the Minister does with that, keeping up as he is with the “latest and best in science.”
See also the blog Smithville Turbine Opposition Party for more comment. http://smithvilleturbinesoppositionparty.ca/news/energy-minister-bob-chiarelli-answers-turbine-questions/