SooToday commenter tells it like it is

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.

trj 10/22/2013 7:25:16 PM Report

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?

Green energy: not playing the role it was supposed to

Here from the Lucknow Sentinel, an opinion on what is being done to our fair province…and its fortunes.Lucknow is the location of the ongoing Drennan appeal of a Renewable Energy Approval.

Green energy not playing the role it was meant to

Tracey Hinchberger
By Tracey Hinchberger, Kincardine News Freelancer

A Wind Concerns Ontario 'STOP' sign is seen on a post in Bruce Township, while Enbridge Ontario Wind Power Project turbines spin in the background near the Bruce-to-Milton transmission corridor. Health Canada announced July 10, 2012 that a study would be conducted on the health impact of noise from wind turbines, with results to be published in 2014. (TROY PATTERSON/KINCARDINE NEWS/QMI AGENCY)
A Wind Concerns Ontario ‘STOP’ sign is seen on a post in Bruce Township, while Enbridge Ontario Wind Power Project turbines spin in the background near the Bruce-to-Milton transmission corridor. Health Canada announced July 10, 2012 that a study would be conducted on the health impact of noise from wind turbines, with results to be published in 2014. (TROY PATTERSON/KINCARDINE NEWS/QMI AGENCY)

Is this what “green energy” is supposed to look like? This is a question I keep asking myself, and would like to pose to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli.
As a writer of an environment-themed column I should be pleased to see the fruits of the provincial government’s Ontario Green Energy Act sprouting up all over our municipality.
Instead, as yet another wind farm project has been approved for the area, I find myself dismayed. I am also heartsick for the residents who have fought so hard to oppose these developments and who will be impacted the most by their presence.
While I realize wind turbines utilize an unlimited resource and produce energy that does not create pollution (at least the operational turbine itself) I have never been convinced they are the Holy Grail of clean energy. There are too many cons, such as unstudied health risks, environmental impacts and effects on energy costs.
But some of the biggest concerns I have with the “green energy” the provincial government has been installing in Ontario are the unquantifiable costs.
What I think Queen’s Park has been ignoring is the impact this program is having on Ontarians’ lives.
By denying municipalities the right of refusal in their jurisdictions, and seemingly disregarding opposition to wind projects, an environment of distrust and anger has been created. Unwilling host communities have lost trust in the process, in the government and the corporations who are developing these installations.
By not giving a meaningful voice to individuals who are impacted by neighbours’ decisions to option land, animosity and distrust have been created between former friends.
Communities have been divided.
Too many reports of ill health effects and lives disrupted have come to the forefront. Too often these same families are left unable to escape because of their inability to sell properties that fall within the boundaries of wind developments.
Pro-wind agents will argue that no health effects have been proven. However, even if no physical impacts truly exist (which I’m not convinced is the case) what about the emotional and psychological effects on these families? What about the anguish people have faced, the feelings of helplessness as massive mechanical structures are erected around their properties, and the stress in knowing their homes are now largely unsellable?
The Kincardine area is already inundated with wind development. To the south there are the 38 turbines of Ripley Wind, to the north 115, when combining the towers of Enbridge Bruce and the handful from Huron Wind. From some vantage points in the municipality there are turbines in every direction for as far as the eye can see.
The recently approved Armow Wind project will see another 92 towers erected in the north east of the municipality, almost doubling the number of turbines already in existence north of town. Compounding this is the fact that these towers will be markedly bigger than those already in place.
What the government refuses to acknowledge is that these benignly labelled “wind farms” are in reality large industrial installations, huge pieces of machinery being erected in great numbers across our rural landscape, amongst people’s homes. The province is essentially turning our municipality into a big factory.
Lives in host communities are being impacted significantly, whether it is health-wise, financially or socially.
If I could, I would invite Premier Wynne and Minister Chiarelli to actually stand amongst the turbines, take it all in and attempt to comprehend the impact of masses of towers sprawling off in every direction, with scores more to come.
I would then ask them to look at every one of the lives that have been so wrongly disrupted, imagine their own loved ones in the same position and ask “is this really what green energy is supposed to look like?”

Results from U Waterloo RETH study: statistically significant

University of Waterloo Research Chair

industrial wind turbine (IWT) study results statistically significant

Oct. 24.2013/ At a recent symposium in Toronto facilitated by former Toronto Mayor David Miller titled Symposia of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, a poster entitled ‘Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems’ was displayed by Claire Paller, Phil Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis.
The research indicates statistically significant results for sleep, vertigo and tinnitus (excerpt):
“All relationships were found to be positive and statistically significant.”
The University of Waterloo – Ontario Ministry of Environment funded IWT health study was publicly displayed during the symposium on sustainability held at York University , Toronto on October 17, 2013.
It is reported that 396 surveys were included in the analysis (excerpts include):
“In total there were 412 surveys returned; 16 of these survey respondents did not provide their home address. Therefore, 396 surveys were included in the analysis.”
Of note is the acknowledgement that as the distance from the IWT increases, sleep improves:
“The relationship between ln(distance) (as a continuous variable) and mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was found to be statistically significant (P=0.0096) when controlling for age, gender and county. This relationship shows that as the distance increases (move further away from a wind turbine), PSQI decreases (i.e. sleep improves) in a logarithmic relationship. Multivariate analysis involved assessing distance to the nearest wind turbine as both distance and ln(distance). In all cases, ln(distance) resulted in improved model fit.”
In addition the authors state that the relationship between vertigo and tinnitus worsened for those living closer to IWTs:
“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.”
The conclusion states:
“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.”
Counties and projects in the study include:
§         Bruce (Enbridge project);
§         Chatham-Kent (Raleigh);
§         Dufferin (Melancthon);
§         Elgin ( Erie Shores );
§         Essex (Comber):
§         Frontenac ( Wolfe Island );
§         Huron (Kingsbridge); and
§         Norfolk (Frogmore/Cultus/ClearCreek).
Based on this evidence, it is not clear what the next steps will be for the Ministry of Environment. However, based on these results, evidence gathered by other researchers in Ontario and elsewhere supports these statistically significant findings.
Carmen Krogh BSc Pharm
Ontario , Canada

Goulais wind project appealed


October 22, 2013
For Immediate Release:

“A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to SP Development Limited Partnership to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of 11 wind turbines, with a total name plate capacity of 25 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Great Lakes Power’s distribution system.

This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Goulais Wind Farm, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as power lines. The wind facility is located in the Unorganized Townships of Pennefather and Aweres, Algoma County. (http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTE5MDI5&statusId=MTgwNzEz&language=en)”
Appellant, Doug Moseley, Heyden Ontario, with the assistance of Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) and the law offices of Eric Gillespie, has requested a hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal  (ERT) into the approval granted by the Ministry of the Environment to the Goulais Wind Project and posted October 4, 2013 on the Environmental Registry website following a 45-day Public Comment Period.
Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR) fully supports Mr. Moseley’s appeal.
Both LSARC and SOAR oppose industrial wind development in Algoma and elsewhere in Ontario on the grounds that industrial wind turbines:

  • ·         Are harmful to human health
  • ·         Are disruptive and destructive to the natural environment and wild life habitat
  • ·         Contribute to the rising cost of electricity 
  • ·         Are totally unnecessary to produce clean energy in Ontario.

Further, both groups have objected to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process which through the Green Energy, Green Economy Act, 2009:

  • ·         removes the authority to approve industrial wind projects from local governance
  • ·         supersedes Environmental Protection Acts
  • ·         empowers wind developers to control public information sessions and consultation opportunities.

Citizens wishing assistance to participate in the appeal of the Goulais Wind Project may contact:
George Bowne, Co-Chair, LSARC at:
Email:             action@lsarc.ca
Telephone:      (705) 542-3482
Skype:             LSARC1
Submitted by:
Gillan Richards, Executive Member
Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR)
150 Churchill Blvd.
P.O. Box 20052
Sault Ste. Marie, ON  P6A 6W3

 

What will Ontario’s new large power project procurement process look like? (We’re waiting)

Here from law firm McCarthy Tetrault (which is among the large law firms acting for the wind power industry) opines on what the new procurement process for “large” renewable power projects might feature. What it doesn’t include, of course, is a means by which communities can say a power project is not appropriate for it. Instead, the Ontario Power Authority will “continue to reflect government policy.”

Here is the article:

Ontario’s new procurement process for large renewable energy projects

Retrofitting Ontario’s FIT Program

In June 2013, we highlighted some important changes by the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) to Ontario’s renewable energy procurement program for microFIT, Small FIT, Large FIT as well as Contract Capacity Set-Asides.
Perhaps the most significant of these changes for renewable energy project developers was the removal of Large FIT projects (over 500 kilowatts) from the OPA’s Feed-In Tariff (“FIT”) Program. Pursuant to a Directive from the province’s Ministry of Energy, the OPA was directed to replace Large FIT Projects with a new competitive procurement process to be developed based on feedback from municipalities, Aboriginal communities, industry associations, the general public and other energy stakeholders.
On August 30, 2013, the OPA delivered its initial report and recommendations to the Minister of Energy based on this stakeholder feedback. Though the report does not discuss recommendations for identifying the quantity or types of renewable generation facilities that may be required, it does reveal a few important details of what a possible procurement process for large renewable energy projects in Ontario might look like. In particular, the OPA recommends:

  • Continuing the “Request for Proposals” (“RFP”) model with a bidder pre-qualification process and project bid price as key RFP evaluation factors;
  • Taking into account proponent experience and financial capability;
  • Building on the recent consultation process by requiring community engagement sessions and council deputations during the RFP phase;
  • Providing greater municipal control over land use and siting, with the OPA continuing “to reflect government policy priorities and set baseline land use”; and
  • Adopting “minimum community acceptance criteria”, which extend beyond environmental or regulatory requirements to instead focus on acceptable standards for a project in a community.

The commencement and the exact content of the renewable procurement process for large renewable energy projects will be issued via a Minister’s Directive at a later date following completion of the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan review (which is slated for release later this month).

Parker Gallant on Ontario’s Energy Ministry: aiding the fortunes of…Quebec


No, no, don’t confuse me with the facts!

Endorsing fallacies, avoiding realities—Ontario’s Ministry of Energy
Global Adjustment charge jumps from $800 million to $6.5 billion in four years
Watch out Ontario, Quebecis targeting our industry!  That’s the message one gets from the announcement by Premier Pauline Marois that Quebec will use Hydro Quebec’s surplus power to attract job-creating industries to Quebec.  An article in the October 8, 2013 edition of the Financial Post states Hydro Quebec will set aside 50 terawatt (TWh) hours for that purpose.  To put that in perspective, 50 TWh represents 35% of Ontario’s total power demand (141.3 TWh) in 2012, or enough to power five million average Ontario households.
So what is Ontario doing to stave off this aggressive push from Quebec?  Well, since being named Premier, Kathleen Wynne has overseen the Ministry of Natural Resources issue renewable energy approvals for about 811 megawatts (MW) of industrial-scale wind power.  Three of those, including a Samsung contract (Armow Wind for 180 MW), occurred in just the last two weeks!  Her government also announced October 10, 2013 that they will scrap the plan to build 2,000 MW of new nuclear.  That 2,000 MW was part of the Long-Term Energy Plan issued by Brad Duguid in late 2010 when he was Energy Minister.
Here is what Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli had to say about abandoning the new nuclear build:  We’re in a comfortable (electricity generation) surplus position at this time and it’s not advisable to make the major investments in new nuclear. Some time in the future we might be looking at it.”
To put that into perspective, it would take approximately 7,000 MW of industrial wind turbines to produce the equivalent power of the proposed 2,000 MW of nuclear.  That 7,000 MW would entail the erection of almost 3,500 turbines spread throughout the province, producing power at 29% of their rated capacity.   That same 7,000 MW of wind would produce power 80% of the time when we don’t need it—the middle of the night, during the spring freshet, and in the fall when our demand for power is the lowest.  And, when we don’t need the power we will often pay the wind companies to not produce power. We will also require other power sources to back up those turbines (now expensive gas plants, two of which were moved at a cost of over $1 billion ) so Ontario ratepayers will pay twice for any power we may need.  
So what will this cost us?
A report from the Ontario Power Authority (that no longer appears on their website) pegged the Global Adjustment Mechanism (GAM) for the 12 months ended January 31, 2009 at $800 million.  Fast forward just four years to January 31, 2013 and the total GAM had jumped to $6.5 billion for the comparable 12 months.  The GAM looks sure to hit the $8 billion mark by the end of January 2014. That GAM pot principally reflects renewable energy costs along with money spent on getting Ontarians to conserve.
Looking at what the cost of 2,000 MW of new nuclear might be to the Ontario ratepayers and  using the original estimate of $26 billion, you get a capital cost of $43.4 million per TWh (assuming a 40-year lifespan).  That includes a fuel cost of 6.3 million per TWh.  For those who like to equate that to a kilowatt hour (kWh) the cost (without Operations, Maintenance and Administration [OMA]) would be 4.43 cents per kWh and 8.3 cents per kWh when OMA is included both less than recently announced average (8.88 cents) time-of-use (TOU) prices set for the next six months.
Now compare that to the cost of a TWh from wind turbines and assume they will produce at 29% of their rated capacity.   At 11.5 cents per kWh the cost to produce the same power jumps to $115 million per TWh (plus another 20% cost of living increases) without adding in the costs of back-up power from gas turbines, the spilling of clean hydro or “steaming off” nuclear power from Bruce.  The back-up alone adds over $80 million per TWh bringing the cost per kWh to 20 cents. 
So how do Ontario’s electricity rates for large industrial customers compare with Quebec?  According to Hydro Quebecenergy costs in Montreal at $100 would cost $223 in Toronto and $90 in Winnipeg. 
It may be time for Premier Wynne and Minister Chiarelli to do a reality check.  Why didn’t they simply announce that Ontario doesn’t need more electricity production from wind, solar and nuclear “due to our comfortable surplus position” instead of the fallacy that we need more wind? 
We certainly don’tneed electricity generation that will complete the process of making Ontario the most expensive place to operate energy intensive industry in all of North America.  Stop the spin, stop the fallacy that wind can replace nuclear!
Parker Gallant,
October 21, 2013