We won’t take this anymore: rally organizer

Here from today’s Sunmedia papers is a story on the planned Food Bank donation effort and rally, October 19, in southwestern Ontario. The rally is being organized by residents of Middlesex, Lambton Shores, Plympton Wyoming and Bluewater.

PROTEST

Anti-turbine activists taking protest to Hwy. 402 for mass rally Saturday 18

By John Miner, Paul Morden, QMIAgency

(QMI Agency file photo)
(QMI Agency file photo)

The road to Ontario’s wind turbine industry — heralded by many, hated by others — goes through Southwestern Ontario.
Now, anti-turbine activists plan to grind traffic to a halt on a stretch of one of the region’s busiest highways, Hwy. 402, with a mass rally next Saturday as they ratchet up their protest against Ontario’s growing number of wind farms.
“We can’t take this anymore — we won’t take this anymore,” vowed Esther Wrightman, an anti-turbine activist and member of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group.
Organizers are asking people to bring their tractors, pickup trucks, front-end loaders and signs to the protest that’s expected to start in the morning at the 402’s Forest on-ramp and continue to Strathroy.
Protesters are working with the OPP to ensure the rally is carried out safely, said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, an umbrella group for those opposed to wind turbines.
The protest will snake through an area of Lambton County slated for wind farm development, the heart of a region that’s become Ground Zero in the wind battle in Ontario. Many of Ontario’s industrial wind turbines are located in Southwestern Ontario, the rapid growth of which — and lack of local control over where they can be built — helped cost the ruling Ontario Liberals seats in the region in the 2011 election.
Since then, nearly one in five Ontario municipalities — including dozens in the Southwest — has joined a list of so-called “unwilling hosts” for the energy mega-projects.
The Liberals have ignored the growing ranks of unwilling communities, said Enniskillen Township Mayor Kevin Marriott, who led the charge behind the unwilling host movement.
“If they don’t soon recognize that, I think they’re making a huge mistake,” he said.
“It’s like they have blinders on and they want to hope that it goes away.”
The protest is symbolic of the frustration people feel, said Wilson.
“In the last five business days, three more big wind projects have been approved . . . They (the provincial government) are saying one thing and doing another.”
Conservative MPPs Lisa Thompson, Monte McNaughton and Lisa McLeod are expected to speak once the rally reaches Strathroy.
A series of new large-scale wind farms are scheduled to be operational in Southwestern Ontario by the winter of 2015, including the 40-megawatt Adelaide Wind Project, South Kent Wind Project (270 MW), Grand Bend Wind Farm (100 MW), Cedar Point Wind Farm (100 MW), Goshen Wind Energy Centre (102 MW), Jericho Wind Energy Centre (150 MW), and the K2 Wind Project (270 MW).
– With files by Kelly Pedro, QMI Agency

Do some good and send a message in SW Ontario October 19

The residents of Middlesex, Lambton Shores, Plympton Wyoming and Bluewater are asking for donations to the local Food Bank, and for a demonstration of support at a special rally, next Saturday, October 19. Here is the notice:

RURAL ONTARIO
Send a message that Ontario is
NOT A WILLING HOST TO WIND TURBINES
We want your tractors, your pick up trucks, your front end loaders, your signs, your voice
And
Youropposition
To the Liberal government’s destruction of our communities
You
ARE INVITED TO JOIN
The rural residents of Middlesex, Lambton Shores, Adelaide Township, Plympton Wyoming and Bluewater
 On
Saturday, October 19
For the
Ontario is not a willing host,
RALLY
Help us to shut down
provincial highway402
to show
 the Ontario Liberal government that rural Ontario is
Nota willing host to wind power development
The rally begins at:10 am beginning at the Forest on-ramp to the 402, and travels to Strathroy where we will rally to hear speeches from our elected officials.
We will assemble at Michigan Line at 9:30am for a 10:00 am Start time
Please follow the link below for directions:
PLEASE BRING A CANNED FOOD ITEM TO DONATE TO THE LOCAL FOOD BANK

Ensure that your vehicle is capable of travelling at 20km,
Make sure that your vehicle or tractor is decked out with a message to Premier Kathleen Wynne and her provincial government:
ONTARIO IS NOT A WILLING HOST

Armow approval: councillor “angry”

Armow Wind Project Approved

Thursday, October 10, 2013 6:00 AM by John Divinski, Bayshore News
Councillor Faubert calls it a sad day that has left her depressed and angry.
MP3 - click to open

click to open MP3 version
or click the play button to listen now.

(Kincardine) – The Armow Wind Project has been approved by the province.
Kincardine councillors found out about it, just before Wednesday’s meeting and some are not happy.
Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Renewable Holdings, developers of the Armow Wind Project, got the green light late Wednesday afternoon from the Ontario Environment ministry.
The approval allows the project to consist of 92 industrial turbines which is a reduction from the 98 they had planned.
Mayor Larry Kraemer says personally, he’s not really for or against the turbines but he knows there will be controversy over the provincial decision but realistically, it wasn’t unexpected.
Kraemer says the municipality will now work closely with the Armow people to make sure Kincardine’s wind development policies are adhered to and that both sides honour the spirit of the agreement.
Kincardine councillor Jacqueline Faubert was not so diplomatic in her reaction calling it a sad day that has left her depressed and angry.
Faubert says the provincial government defends its billion-dollar move of two gas-fired electricity plants because they didn’t want to put them in a community that would not welcome them.
Yet Kincardine and Bruce County have declared themselves unwilling hosts to industrial turbines but the developments continue.
There’s been no comment from the wind farm developer but last August the company indicated that if approval came in the Fall, they’d like to start construction of the turbines next year.
Under terms of the approval, Armow has three-years to construct the turbines, many of which will be located near the Kincardine Airport, which has created controversy in the past.

Tom Adams on wind and solar: none of this is working

From today’s Financial Post, Tom Adams and Kathy Hamilton on the latest Big Ideas for renewable power in Ontario.

Ontario’s latest electricity scheme: Pumped energy storage

For ratepayers, none of this is working. Wind and solar are not just unreliable. Ratepayers pay unaffordable prices for their chaotic output. Adding the cost of storage puts ratepayers in double jeopardy.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg 
 

As the Ontario government’s $1-billion gas plant relocation scandal slips into history, the province’s electricity ratepayers should not assume that the era of big-ticket rate-boosting power projects of questionable value is a thing of the past. Now comes the “Smart Grid” and a host of other projects.

  Smart Grid is the new fad taking over power industry policy everywhere — it’s a flexible concept that gives utilities, contractors and governments room to justify ratepayer spending on “Smart Meters,” electric cars, power line automation and the new hot idea of electricity storage.

None of these ideas comes cheap, including pumped electricity storage, a plan making its way through the province’s electric industrial complex. Pumped storage was traditionally used where excess low-cost electricity was available during low-usage periods. The economic logic was that cheap excess power justified the cost of recapturing a portion of the excess for later use.
  Ontario Power Generation operates a pumped storage facility near Niagara, built when Ontario anticipated excess nuclear production. Although it wastes one unit of electricity for each unit finally delivered, the storage system reserves some of the nightly water flow over Niagara for daytime use. This time-shifting optimizes power production by the main generators, while maintaining the scenic daytime water flow over Niagara Falls as required under international agreement. If this were stand-alone pumped storage, ratepayers would fare better with it closed.
   But a new pumped storage proposal is under active deliberation around the eastern Ontario village of Marmora. The proposal comes from Northland Power for a stand-alone, 400-megawatt pumped storage facility at the abandoned Marmoraton Mine, on property owned by Aecon Construction. Project cost: Somewhere between $660-million and $700-million.
  The Marmora project was endorsed by local council members without public notice. With local people in the dark, Northland Power announced it was “very excited to have the support of the people of Marmora.”
 …

Read the full article here.

St Columban ERT highlights: Denton Miller testimony

Denton Miller, trained in electrical engineering, testified last Friday at the St Columban ERT hearing.  He appeared to be well rehearsed, with answers narrowly focused on specifics of the questions asked.   Highlights:
Low Frequency Noise/Infrasound

There were a number of questions related to low frequency noise.  In particular, there was one question whether the MOE could measure low frequency noise which received a positive response.  It took further questioning to confirm that the Regional staff was not trained in these measures so they did not actually measure low frequency noise, even though their equipment could make these measurements.  It was interesting that infrasound was never mentioned either in the questions or in Miller’s answers. 
MOE Measurement of Turbine Noise
Apparently, the microphones used by the MOE to measure noise are only capable of measuring sound levels down to 6.3 Hz.  
This is a key limitation in measuring wind turbine noise as the problem noise relates to the sound pressure waves created the blade passes the tower.  Tracking of turbine noise with the proper equipment shows a sound spike at 0.72 Hz which matches the frequency of the blade passing the tower.    This sound is not going to be captured by the MOE microphones as it is below the frequencies that they can be read.  These sound pressure waves can exceed 40 dBs will not be heard by the human ear but can trigger responses in the human body.  (Note that this is not dBA as use of the a-weighting scale averages out the cyclical peaks and reduces the noise level.)
Miller may have avoided discussing these issues as all questions were about low frequency noise and he might well term (correctly) that these levels were actually infrasound, not low frequency noise.    (Analysis: Going forward, the questions have to include both types of sound.  While the MOE microphones are capable of capturing audible sound, they are not capturing all turbine noise output.)
Modeling in Winter vs. Summer
People living near turbines report that noise in worse in the winter but Miller’s explanation of the modeling explained that it is worse in the summer.  The argument was that wind shear is a problem in the summer but not present in the winter.  (Analysis: A Google search of wind shear indicates that it can be linked to temperature inversions which occur when cold air underlies warmer air at higher altitudes, i.e., when a cold front passes.  It also happens when overnight radiative cooling of surface air results in a nocturnal temperature inversion that is dissipated after sunrise by warming of air near the ground.)
 For wind turbine blade design this is an issue as the blades have to be able to deal with differing pressures along the length of the blade.  Wind turbine companies are also saying that the blade makes a noise as it passes through this layer.
An inversion also acts like a lid, for example, creating smog but also affecting sound propagation.  If a occurs at ground level, the sound wave can get totally reflected from the warmer upper layer and therefore travels much farther than normal. This is noticeable, for example,  in areas around airports, when the sound of aircraft taking off and landing often can be heard at greater distances around dawn than at other times of day.
The assumption that wind shear does not exist in the winter seems to be false.  It is critical to the MOE noise model as it allows them to avoid using lower surface absorption coefficients that would increase the noise levels at surrounding homes.  Miller testified that using winter ground conditions would increase the noise levels by 2 to 3 dBA.
Estimating Errors in the Model Output
Miller was questioned about the estimating error in the output from the noise model which in the case of the St Columban noise reports was stated as 1.5%. Considering the potential for underestimating noise by 1.5% would place a house reported to be at 38dBA at 42 dBA which is over the limit. 
Miller stated that as they were being conservative on the input factors, they did not have to consider the potential for higher errors.
(Analysis: All statistical models have confidence intervals around the results and to ignore them is just bad science.  To make the argument, you would need to have an expert on the model but I am certain that he would argue that you have to consider the potential for noise up to the upper limit on the confidence interval.)

St Columban ERT testimony highlights: Dr David Michaud


Dr. David Michaud at the St. Columban ERT Hearing
“Knowledge gaps on noise, infrasound”
   Dr. Michaud testified that there was a ‘knowledge gap’ in respect to low frequency noise emitted by wind turbines.  International standard used to assess noise do not consider low frequency noise as they do not deal with sound 31.5Hz. 

  Dr. Michaud also stated that the knowledge gaps relative to both audible and low frequency noise from wind turbines were sufficient to qualify for Health Canada funding. He stated that to receive funding, a project had to deal with a knowledge gap be of sufficient importance to Health Canada that addressing it is a priority.  In the Federal government’s view, wind turbine noise fell into this category.
  Dr. Michaud confirmed that Health Canada has received a number of complaints referring to low frequency noise but these complaints were not accompanied by data documenting the level of low frequency noise being experienced.
   The Health Canada study includes both a questionnaire to assess people’s response to wind turbine noise but also full time monitoring of noise, including low frequency sounds, at various distances from wind turbines.  Dr. Michaud was not able to specifically identify the equipment being used but did confirm that it was specialized equipment designed to measure low frequency noise.
   The Health Canada study is still on track to release its findings in late 2014.  This will include raw results plus preliminary assessments of the data which will then be subject to a peer-review process.

Samsung’s giant Armow project approved, councillor angry

Bayshore news:

Armow Wind Project Approved

Thursday, October 10, 2013 6:00 AM by John Divinski
Councillor Faubert calls it a sad day that has left her depressed and angry.
MP3 - click to open

click to open MP3 version
or click the play button to listen now.

(Kincardine) -The Armow Wind Project has been approved by the province.

Kincardine councillors found out about it, just before Wednesday’s meeting and some are not happy.

Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Renewable Holdings, developers of the Armow Wind Project, got the green light late Wednesday afternoon from the Ontario Environment ministry.

The approval allows the project to consist of 92 industrial turbines which is a reduction from the 98 they had planned.

Mayor Larry Kraemer says personally, he’s not really for or against the turbines but he knows there will be controversy over the provincial decision but realistically, it wasn’t unexpected.

Kraemer says the municipality will now work closely with the Armow people to make sure Kincardine’s wind development policies are adhered to and that both sides honour the spirit of the agreement.

Kincardine councillor Jacqueline Faubert was not so diplomatic in her reaction calling it a sad day that has left her depressed and angry.

Faubert says the provincial government defends its billion-dollar move of two gas-fired electricity plants because they didn’t want to put them in a community that would not welcome them.

Yet Kincardine and Bruce County have declared themselves unwilling hosts to industrial turbines but the developments continue.

There’s been no comment from the wind farm developer but last August the company indicated that if approval came in the Fall, they’d like to start construction of the turbines next year.

Under terms of the approval, Armow has three-years to construct the turbines, many of which will be located near the Kincardine Airport, which has created controversy in the past.

Highlights from St Columban ERT: infrasound is real (we knew that)

Dr. David Michaud at the St. Columban ERT Hearing

“Knowledge gaps on noise, infrasound”

 

   Dr. Michaud testified that there was a ‘knowledge gap’ in respect to low frequency noise emitted by wind turbines.  International standard used to assess noise do not consider low frequency noise as they do not deal with sound 31.5Hz.

 

  Dr. Michaud also stated that the knowledge gaps relative to both audible and low frequency noise from wind turbines were sufficient to qualify for Health Canada funding. He stated that to receive funding, a project had to deal with a knowledge gap be of sufficient importance to Health Canada that addressing it is a priority.  In the Federal government’s view, wind turbine noise fell into this category.

  Dr. Michaud confirmed that Health Canada has received a number of complaints referring to low frequency noise but these complaints were not accompanied by data documenting the level of low frequency noise being experienced.

   The Health Canada study includes both a questionnaire to assess people’s response to wind turbine noise but also full time monitoring of noise, including low frequency sounds, at various distances from wind turbines.  Dr. Michaud was not able to specifically identify the equipment being used but did confirm that it was specialized equipment designed to measure low frequency noise.

   The Health Canada study is still on track to release its findings in late 2014.  This will include raw results plus preliminary assessments of the data which will then be subject to a peer-review process.