Wind Concerns Ontario is a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to provide information on the potential impact of industrial-scale wind power generation on the economy, human health, and the natural environment.
This story is about Wind Concerns Ontario member Leslie Disheau who, until the group decided its mission was fulfilled and to disband, was leader of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group. Leslie has been active in a number of community and charity endeavours, and is now taking her enthusiasm and leadership to local government. From The Morrisburg Leader
Disheau shifts focus to the 2014 election
News – October 23, 2013 Edition
SOUTH DUNDAS — The nomination process for the 2014 municipal elections doesn’t open until the new year, but already, Leslie Disheau has announced that she plans to seek a seat at the South Dundas council table. Disheau made the announcement to the South Branch Wind Opposition group, and its followers, within the context of the announced dissolution of the group, over the weekend. Although Disheau has not yet announced which seat at the South Dundas council table she has her sights set on, she has been considering an election run for some time. “This decision has not come easy, and it’s not something that just happened overnight,” said Disheau. She said she has been approached often by community members suggesting that she seek election to either the school board or municipal council. “I’ve been very active over many years in the public school system on the parent councils with our local schools and still am with Seaway. However, it has taken this mess of industrial wind turbines and the actions of our current council to put me in the direction of municipal council,” said Disheau. “I’ve decided to open that door of opportunity and bring positive change to a community I am passionate about.” “My definition of community includes all of South Dundas. I’ve lived in Iroquois, Morrisburg and now in Brinston. My university degree is in sociology and anthropology with a minor in political science. I’ve been down the path of social work, now it’s time to use that political science education as an elected municipal official.” In order to make this council run official Disheau, like all other potential candidates will have to file nomination papers with the Municipality of South Dundas between January 2 and September 11, 2014. The next municipal election will take place October 27, 2014.
North Gower-Richmond (Ottawa), October 26–Hundreds of residents jammed into the largest hall in the Recreation Centre in North Gower today, to listen to speakers and sign petitions to declare the community Not a Willing Host to a proposed wind power project. The 20-megawatt project is on hold, waiting for Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli to announce the new “procurement” process and application procedure for large-scale renewable power generation projects, which is expected to happen in January, 2014. The wind power developer Prowind, based in Germany,already told The Ottawa Citizen it intends to reapply for the subsidy program, and that it would work to make local residents “comfortable” with the project. But the citizens looked anything but comfortable Saturday as they lined up to sign a petition to go to the City of Ottawa demanding to be declared Not a Willing Host. Ottawa Wind Concerns chair Jane Wilson said that the $20-million project has the potential to erase as much as $124 million in property values for the area, and is far too close to too many homes. MP Pierre Poilievre, who earlier this year demanded in the House of Commons that Ontario place a moratorium on the power plant until the Health Canada study results were out, in 2015, says that cancelling wind power projects will actually save Ontario taxpayers money. Lisa MacLeod, who is the PC MPP for the riding and also the PC energy critic, lambasted the Ontario Liberal government for inflicting giant wind power projects on Ontario communities without giving them any recourse, and for the impact on the Ontario taxpayers who have to pay for the billions in subsidies to expensive wind power that is produced out of phase with demand.She was in Strathroy last weekend for a Not a Willing Host demonstration that closed Highway 402, she said. “That was a peaceful demonstration that showed how angry the people of Ontario are.” MacLeod also made reference to the University of Waterloo study on health impacts and wind turbine noise and vibration. Results ere showcased last week in a poster presentation at a symposium in Toronto, and showed a positive link between turbine noise and sleep deprivation, vertigo and tinnitus. “You can bet that Kathleen Wynne and her government won’t be organizing photo ops for that research,” she quipped. Organizers have several hundred signatures on the petition already and will carry out a petition drive with volunteer canvassers and a special “voting day” over the next few weeks. “We are not only Not a Willing Host, said Wilson, “we are not willing to be a hostage to huge, subsidy-seeking wind power developers.”
Ontario Power Authority’s new mandate—21 new Integrated Regional Resource Plans
One needs to travel back several years to understand the context of planning as it relates to Ontario’s electricity sector.It started with Dwight Duncan’s creation of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) a “temporary” agency.The OPA was created to provide an Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP) that would look ahead 20 years and decide the makeup of how we would generate and consume electricity.It had offshoots which included the use of “smart meters” and development of a “smart grid” that the Liberals hopedwould be the envy of the rest of the developed world, create jobs and make Ontario the “leader of the pack” in all that is “green” and “smart”!
Coming full circle to today (late 2013) we know now that the Liberals ultimate creation was neither smart nor enviable. Its effect is that Ontario is poised to become the highest priced electricity sector in North America!
Planning by the OPA created two versions of the IPSP both of which were tossed in file 10 (the garbage) by the Liberals. That temporary agency, the OPA, now appears a lot more permanent and will likely outlast the Liberal government, despite last year’s plan to merge it with IESO!
To put the foregoing in context, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) just completed the process of “amending the licence” of the OPA to accommodate the latest incarnation.This time, the OPA is charged with producing not just one vision of our future “electricity” needs: it has received the blessing to produce as many as 21 Integrated Regional Resource Plans(IRRP) for the “electricity regions” that exist in the province.
The Smitherman-Duguid legacy
Reviewing the history of the OPA discloses the IPSP they produced was on the verge of being blessed by the OEB.At that moment in their short life, McGuinty appointed Mr. Smitherman Energy Minister. Smitherman begat the Green Energy & Green Economy Act (GEA) and told the OPA to start over with IPSP II.The OPA did as “directed” presenting the revised version to Brad Duguid just prior to the 2011 Provincial Election.In the newly elected minority Liberal government,Chris Bentley found himself in the Energy Chair andshortly thereafter decreed that the planning was over and they would simply accept the Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) developed as a guide, by Brad Duguid.The LTEP turned out to be the accepted “gospel” of what the Ministry saw as a “plan.”
Subsequent events include Minister Bentley being thrown “under the bus” by McGuinty in respect to the gas plant scandals, the proroguing of the Legislature, and to Kathleen Wynne named new Premier.Wynne appointed Bob Chiarelli as the new Energy Minister, leading to numerous “consultations” with a variety of “stakeholders” through the summer months. This fall, some of those “consultations” have created a new wealth of energy planning.
The OEB’s “Decision and Order” affecting the amended licencing of the OPA is significant.The changes now allow the OPA to develop not just one “plan” but as many as 21 for the various “Electricity Regions” in the Province.Each of those plans, or IRRPs, are described as:
“…a document prepared by the Licensee that identifies the appropriate mix of investments in one or more of conservation and demand management, generation, transmission facilities or distribution facilities, or other electricity system initiatives in order to address the electricity needs of a region in the near- (up to 5 years), mid- (5 to 10 years), and long-term (10 to 20 years)”.
When this writer determined some time ago that the OPA had developed the revised version of the IPSP and delivered it to Energy Minister Bentley, contact was established with a Ministry official to determine what happened to IPSP II.The response received was:
“In response to your questions on the IPSP process, the proposed legislation at the below link, regarding the merger of the IESO and the OPA, also sets out a proposed new framework for long-term energy planning in Ontario.
The IPSP was designed with good intentions but it has proven far too rigid and slow to be an effective tool for planning our energy supply. Ontario’s fiscal reality has changed a great deal since we began the planning process, and we need planning tools that can keep pace for the short, medium and long-term.”
Translation: in the minds of the Liberals the OPA wasn’t “up to snuff” in the development or revision of the IPSP!Now here we are with a new Liberal Minister a year and a half later and suddenly the OPA has the ability to develop as many as 21 IRRPs.
Taking advice…or not
So what happened to gain the confidence of Minister Chiarelli?Perhaps it was the penchant for “Advisory Panels” which according to Tim Hudak, Opposition Leader, have numbered 36 since Wynne has become Premier.Chiarelli has certainly been a contributor to that number with at least four of them ongoing through the summer months.
The question for those follow energy in Ontario is: will the Minister accept the recommendations or impose his will as his predecessors have done, or is this another waste of taxpayer money?
Some of the recommendations emanating from those charged with “engaging” stakeholders have been, for lack of a better term, “wimpy”!For example, the joint recommendation of the OPA and Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on siting “large” generation projects completely ignored the wishes of approximately 64 (now 73) municipalities who declared that they were “not willing hosts” for industrial-scale wind power generation projects. It failed, despite consistentmunicipal input, to recommend offering them the ability to refuse projects.
What the ratepayers of the province have seen in the 10 years of Liberal rule has been unprecedented growth in the cost of a basic commodity and “back of a soiled napkin” planning focused on rewarding large corporations that have taken advantage of above market prices for “renewable” energy.That “renewable” energy has generated great revenue benefits for the Ontario Liberal Party while driving up the cost of electricity by over 100% with more increases expected for the next generation.
West Elgin debated a Not a Willing Host motion today, and became Ontario municipality number 73.
The Not a Willing Host communities are those that have declared via a motion or resolution that they are not willing to host industrial-scale wind power generation facilities, referring to remarks made by both Premier Kathleen Wynne and Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli that the government will not force power projects on communities that don’t want them.
Grant Church, Cayuga Remember Premier Kathleen Wynne’s statement from the billion-dollar gas plant cancellation, “It will never happen again”? It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. In the Auditor General’s 2011 report, he stated, “Based on our analysis of net exports and pricing data from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), we estimated that from 2005 to the end of our audit in 2011, Ontario received $1.8 billion less for its electricity exports than what it actually cost electricity ratepayers of Ontario.” (2011 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario page 112) A total of $1.8 billion flushed down the toilet. Has the hemorrhaging stopped? Not at all. We continue to lose hundreds of millions dollars per year on exports, and it’s getting worse as more wind turbines are deployed. Further in his report, he revealed, “In 2010, 86 per cent of wind power was produced on days when Ontario was already in a net export position.” Has anything changed? Absolutely nothing. Wind power most often comes when we don’t need it and doesn’t come when we need it. Wind power is routinely bought at 13.5 cents/kWh and exported for 2.5 cents/kWh. All power is exported without the Global Adjustment, currently at 5.81 cents/kWh. We are supplying tens of thousands of homes and industry as the wind industry claims. It just happens to be at a subsidized rate in other jurisdictions. So billions more are being blown despite our Premier’s assurances. The government is in a state of denial on these matters. The new rules to pay wind turbines to sit idle remain idle themselves, as the IESO lacks the resolve to use them. Just remember how they insisted the Oakville gas plant cancellation would only cost $40 million. My money is on the Auditor General.
Following an article in SooToday on the appeal of the Goulais Wind project is an assortment of comments. This one by correspondent “TRJ” is a nice summary of wind power on the industrial scale, doesn’t work.
Thanks to Gillan Richards of SOAR for sending this along.
Where you guys getting your info? A little long but worth reading. :Forget about the fact that some people can’t sleep because of them. Or that they cause property devaluations by up to 50%. Or that they’re a blight on the rural landscape.
Forget about the fact that they make life unlivable for many autistic children. Or that many countries in the world are in the process of abandoning them. Or that they only operate less than 30% of the time and often when they’re not needed. Forget about the fact that they create virtually no jobs. Or that they seriously affect tourism. Or that they kill birds, bats and other wildlife.
Forget about the fact that they’re causing the destruction of valuable land. Or that much of their profits go to U.S.-based corporations. Or that they cause tinnitus and other hearing disorders for many people. Forget about the fact that it will likely cost us hundreds of millions of dollars to tear them down in two decades or whenever they need to be decommissioned. Or that they’re driving a wedge between rural neighbours. Or that many people suffer headaches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and other health disorders because of them.
Forget about the fact that they’re so unreliable they require other traditional forms of energy production just to supplement the meager amount of power they produce. Forget all of it. Just remember this. Industrial wind turbines make absolutely zero economic sense. And, finally, the reality is starting to sink in across the province.
Don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to all the propaganda and rhetoric and hyperbole that get tossed around regularly by both sides of the wind energy debate. Listen to the Auditor General of Ontario whose damning 2011 report on Renewable Energy Initiatives, including industrial wind turbines, paints a bleak picture of Ontario’s energy future.The AG’s report also notes that, instead of sticking with a Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program that included competitive bidding, the Ontario government introduced the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program in 2009 that added about $4.4 billion in costs through extremely generous incentives to energy providers.
Because a large portion of wind energy is produced when we don’t need it (at night or in lower-use seasons), it has to be dumped or it’s lost forever. As the AG’s report notes, “Ontario deals with surplus-power situations mainly by exporting electricity to other jurisdictions at a price that is lower than the cost of generating that power.” That’s great news for the U.S. states that buy the cheap electricity from us, but not so much for the people here in Ontario who pay for it.
And for what? The Ontario Power Authority says both average and peak demand for electricity will drop between now and 2025 and that both our installed and effective capacity is already more than enough to meet that demand. However, we’ll still be paying handsomely. As the AG’s report notes, “Renewable energy generators who have contracts with the OPA will get paid even though Ontario does not need their electricity.” Those contracts last 20 years.
And that’s just the tip of the ice-encrusted, 40-ton, 180-foot turbine blade. From whatever economic perspective you look at them, industrial wind turbines are a financial disaster that we’ll be paying for long after they’ve stopped generating even a trickle of power.
At long last, the media in larger centres are starting to catch on. Rather than assuming it’s just some scattered grassroots complaints , people in urban areas are beginning to see the big picture, that we’re all headed down an economic sinkhole from which we’ll never recover. It’s about time they realized the truth in what people from rural areas have been saying for years. This delusional, wind-powered flimflam scam must end. The Ontario government got us into this mess. Now it’s time for them to get us out, whatever the cost, before it takes down the entire province.: Get informed and ask anybody in Prince Township what they think about it. But wait there’s’ more. The Bow Lake project will be another huge disaster and there goes our pristine Heritage Coastline. You want this?