Conserving power in Ontario: who’s really saving?

Energy Minister Chiarelli: spending and saving
Energy Minister Chiarelli: spending and saving

Conservation is a MUSH[y] subject in Ontario

My recent article about “conservation” provided some detail on the presumed consumption of electricity in 2013 by the 4.6 million residential ratepayers in the province.  The estimate was that this rate class consumed 45.5 terawatts (TWh) or 32.3% of total Ontario demand, which IESO reported was 140.7 TWH.  While that is an estimate it at least can be compared to estimates from previous years as in the Yearbook of Electricity Distributors on the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) website back to 2005.   All the other data on the Yearbook site is grouped by “consumption” i.e., “General Service: 50 kWh to 4,999 kWh per month, Large: over 5,000 kWh per month”.  Presumably all the government entities from Ministries to Crown Corporations are included in those two groups, so comparing the success or failure of the public sector versus the private sector on “conservation” is impossible.

I set about trying to determine what each sector consumed recognizing the principal ones were:  large industrial clients (referred to as Class A ratepayers), small and mid-sized commercial enterprises (manufacturers, food processors, retail outlets, service companies, etc.), Municipalities, Universities (and colleges), Schools and Hospitals (referred to as the MUSH group), large government crown corps, (OPG, Hydro One, LCBO, OLG, IO, etc.), the Ministry of Justice (court houses, etc.), the OPP and the Ministry offices of Public Health, Transportation (GO Transit, Metrolinx, etc.),  Environment, Natural Resources, etc.

The objective was to determine how effective those groups have been at “conservation” compared to the 4.6 residential ratepayers, but finding information on them proved a hopeless endeavour.  The information  is scattered.  For example, a report in January 2008 prepared for IESO indicated  “Municipalities” consumed 6.6 TWh or 4.3% of Ontario’s consumption, but no other data is available to determine current or past consumption.  Likewise, data is missing for all of the other sectors except for the occasional snippet!  For example, a testimonial on OPA’s saveonenergy website claims Bradford High School reduced consumption by 84,000 kWh (19% of annual usage) through a lighting retrofit, meaning they consumed about 450 MWh.  If one extrapolates the Bradford example to the reported 913 secondary schools in Ontario this group consumed 4.1 TWh but again there is no way to measure that against prior consumption or to determine whether the estimate is even close to actual consumption.

No information on electricity usage in the 3,978 elementary schools could be found.   As for universities, a 17-page report entitled Ontario Universities: Going Greener Report 2011, authored by the Council of Ontario Universities, is a disgrace to higher learning and would be marked by every professor as a fail!  For example, contracting with Bullfrog Power by some universities is seen as a “conservation” initiative.

The search failed to turn up any meaningful data on electricity consumption by hospitals, the OPP, the Ministry of Justice or the big Crown Corporations.

Perhaps the OEB should enlist those “smart meters” and the “smart grid” to generate data that show the public how well government entities are doing on their “conservation” targets.

Reports a rehash

In desperation, I felt a read of the December 5, 2013 OEB’s Conservation and Demand Management Report-2012 Results might provide answers, but that turned out to be a rehash of CDM reports submitted by the 73 local distribution companies who either brag about exceeding conservation targets or make excuses for why they missed them.  It does have claims about Annual Savings such as 2012 “Net Peak Demand Savings” (KW) which totaled 253,086 KW.  It also has a section on “2012 CDM Spending” ($136,211,152) so you can determine the cost of saving a KW of capacity by category.

One example is the “Industrial Program” which produced Net Peak Demand Savings of 75,144 KW at a cost of $10,726,749.  Cost per peak KW saved was $142.75 ($10,726,749/75,144KW = $142.75).  To put that savings per KW in perspective, the U.S. EIA on a chart claims the full capital cost of a KW of on-shore wind capacity is $2,213/KW so the money spent per KW on the “Industrial Program” is equal to the wind turbine operating for 16 years reputedly providing a 16:1 payback.  If discounted for how many kWh wind produced at the wrong time of the day/year (80%) at 29% of capacity, however, that ratio would reduce to less than a 1:1 ratio.  Another example is the Business Program: spending was $89 million to save 98,217 KW of Net Peak Demand Savings at a cost of $907.43/KW.  This is a much higher cost to us ratepayers; it is equivalent to the full capital costs per KW to erect a combined cycle gas plant which would produce power for a minimum of two decades.  That ratio would prove to be about 1:1/20th or, for every dollar spent on conservation, the capital cost savings would be a nickel!

The worst example

The worst example however is related to the Home Assistance Program which cost $6,963.15/KW—more than it would cost to build a nuclear plant ($5,530/KW) that would operate for up to 60 years at an all-in annual cost of $93.28/KW, producing about 8,000 kWh (just over a penny per kWh) every year for those 60 years.

Didn’t Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli and others like Environmental Defence tell us “Conservation provides significant economic and environmental benefits; for every $1 invested in energy efficiency, Ontario has avoided about $2 in costs to the electricity system.”   If they were actually spending the money on “energy efficiency” instead of schemes that avoid a cost/benefit equation, I might be sold but they’re not. Instead the bureaucracy simply throws money at every hair-brained idea crossing their path.

Time for Minister Chiarelli to take a refresher math course and for the Auditor General to have a serious look at our “Conservation” spending, which is scheduled to cost us $483 million in 2014 alone, and has cost Ontario’s ratepayers in excess of $4 billion since 2004.

©Parker Gallant,

September 25, 2014

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Wind Concerns Ontario policy.

 

Ontario: insult to injury over the environment

The Ontario government published a news release today in which it claimed it is helping communities “restore” the environment, and also that complaints to its “Spills Line” are being responded to and resolved.

This is a cruel joke for those Ontario communities watching the destruction of the landscape, the altering of waterways and killing of wildlife for the sake of highly invasive wind power generation facilities. Ontario residents are told that if they have a concern about excessive noise they are to call the Ministry of the Environment Spills Line. Those who do, are less than satisfied with the response. The reports from the community on the noise from turbines is NOT included in the Ministry’s annual report on calls made to the Spills Line. There is no transparency or accountability—this has been made clear in various Environmental Review Tribunals, where Environment staff have actually testified that if the computer modelling supplied by the power developer says it “isn’t possible” for a turbine to make noise above a certain level, then they don’t even check the complaint.

Worse, the legislation has been written in such a way that noise complaints will never result in government action.

Here is the news release:

Helping Communities Restore and Protect the Environment

Ontario Supporting Community-based Environmental Projects

Ontario is using penalties collected from environmental violations to fund 12 community projects to restore and protect the environment.

Projects include restoring river banks by planting native trees and plants, protecting ecosystems from invasive species and undertaking environmental health assessments.

The Ontario Community Environment Fund supports environmental improvement projects in the watershed where a violation happened. Environmental penalties are issued to industries that have spilled a contaminant into the environment or that did not comply with regulatory requirements.

Protecting our watersheds is good for the environment and good for the economy and is a key part of the government’s economic plan to invest in people, create jobs, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Applications are now being accepted for the next round of Ontario Community Environment Fund grants. Applications for funding will be accepted until November 5, 2014.
  • In 2013, $113,781.20 was collected and added to the Ontario Community Environment Fund.
  • Eligible groups can apply for more than $161,208 available across 15 communities where penalties were collected.

Quotes

Glen R. Murray

“The Ontario Community Environment Fund invests in communities. It builds capacity for our schools, municipalities, conservation authorities, First Nations and Métis communities to take action to improve the environment in areas where a spill or violation has happened.”

Glen R. Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Contact the Ministry here.

Reports may be filed with the Ill Wind Reporting website here.

Road construction Manitoulin Island (courtesy Ray Beaudry)
Road construction Manitoulin Island (courtesy Ray Beaudry)

Clean air day for Ontario means cleaned out wallets for ratepayers

Ontario’s cleanest day: too bad it cost you

The heading on Cold Air energy blogger Scott Luft‘s article read:  “September 20th: Ontario electricity’s cleanest day in my lifetime.”   He was talking about the fact that emissions from the electricity sector in Ontario produced almost no emissions last Saturday.  Why? Low demand meant clean nuclear, clean hydro and clean wind produced more than enough power to satisfy the 13,593 MW average Ontario demand for electricity, as reported by IESO in their Daily Market Summary.

Here are the details: on September 20th, nuclear produced about 270,000 MWh, hydro 82,000 MWh and wind over 40,000 MWh.  Taken together, they produced about 81,000 excess MWh of power which Ontario simply exported.  Ontario was also busy steaming off Bruce nuclear power, and probably spilling hydro and paying those gas plants for sitting idle.   It’s obvious Ontario didn’t need that 40,000 MW of wind but with the “first to the grid” rights of wind and solar, IESO was obliged to accept it.

As it turned out the hourly Ontario electricity price or HOEP performed badly on September 20th and averaged .82 cents per MWh or .00082 cents per kWh.  So, Ontario’s ratepayers were paying wind generators $135.00 per MWh while IESO were busy selling it off to our neighbours in NY and Michigan for .82 cents meaning (without counting in the steamed-off Bruce nuclear, the gas plants $500 per MW of capacity for idling, non-utility generators or NUG-contracted utilities for curtailment, solar generators, etc.) we were losing $134.18 for every MWh of power that those wind turbines produced.

What that means to you is, the 81,000 MWh we sold to our neighbours cost each of Ontario’s 4.5 million ratepayers as our Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, might say, a large “Timmies” coffee and a donut!  Please don’t stop your conservation efforts, however, as the Ontario Liberal government would like us to do this more often!

Ontario: truly a great neighbour!

©Parker Gallant

September 23, 2014

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

Note: Neither Wind Concerns Ontario nor author Parker Gallant is opposed to conservation in power use—it would just be nice if Ontario had an electricity policy that made sense and provided affordable, reliable power for all.

How to spend $4.7 billion ratepayer dollars

$4.7 billion? I'll read it later--the Sens are playing
$4.7 billion? I’ll read it later–the Sens are playing

A Liberal cost/benefit plan or, how to “plan” to spend $4.7 billion ratepayer dollars

Give Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli a nice pie (chart) and he will be happy.  He gave his blessing to the proposed OPA Business Plan to spend $4.2 billion ratepayer dollars—all nicely pictured in a pie chart that doesn’t include spending $483 million on “conservation” initiatives.

The plan was submitted Friday January 24, 2014 and was approved by Chiarelli on Tuesday, January 29, 2012.  Guess he worked over the weekend studying the chart?  Figure 2 (the chart) in the Plan provides a breakdown of planned 2014 electricity spending on those “generation charges of $4,242 million” plus another chart laying out the $483 million to be spent on conservation.

OPA Business Plan Figure 2.
OPA Business Plan Figure 2.

 

Green is for clean-23% ($975.6 million);  Blue is for Renewable-32% ($1,357.4 million) and puce is for nuclear-45% (1,909 million)!  The Chart as noted represents $4,242 million ratepayer dollars to be spent in 2014.

The chart from the 2014−2016 OPA Business Plan was filed with the OEB, as file number EB-2013-0326.  The OPA’s budget for their operational expenditures ($60.3 million) was also included in the submission and approved by the OEB December 19, 2013.  The 40-page submission uses buzz words rather than actual economic analysis or a cost-benefit study.  For example, you will find “partner” or  partnership and partners 57 times, “initiatives” 55 times, “ensure” 22 times, “cost-effective” 20 times,  “communication” 24 times, and “solution” 21 times.

The last of 12 listed as “most significant initiatives” is this:  “continuing efforts to further reduce expenses and the cost impact of operations on electricity consumers.”  So “cost impact” on electricity consumers is at the bottom of the heap. Not likely to change with the Liberal majority government.

You also find the OPA’s “Vision” statement in the Plan which is:  “Leading Ontario in the development of North America’s most reliable, cost-effective and sustainable electricity system.”   The vision is certainly leading Ontario, but in the direction of being the most expensive electricity system in North America.  We just need to pass California and New York City and we will have achieved the goal!

The Business Plan also says the OPA will challenge us residential ratepayers to increase our conservation.  How, you ask?   The Plan suggests the OPA will do this: “Two other initiatives of strategic value are a pay-for-performance conservation model and a social benchmarking pilot. This pilot aims to cost-effectively reduce residential electricity consumption by providing residents with information-based tools that allow the comparison of one home’s energy performance to that of another home or group of homes. Results from the social benchmarking pilot will be analyzed and used for recommending next steps on developing such a program across the province.”

What? They are now going to shame Ontario electricity customers by applying the “trained seal” approach and presumably award “pay-for-performance” to those who train us?  Set communities against one another?

This is some “business plan.”

The OPA commits to spending $4.7 billion ratepayer dollars and gets the blessing of the Minister without a single question!   Life is good when Chiarelli is your boss and there are 4.5 million ratepayers to pick up the tab.

©Parker Gallant

September 18, 2014

 

Views expressed are those of the author.

Atikokan conversion converts ratepayer cash to emissions

 

What's a few trucks?
What’s a few trucks? And trees that don’t grow back for 40 years? It’s GREEN!

The September 10, 2014 press release from the Ontario didn’t quite put it the way this headline does, but if you look behind the PR slogan, “A New Era of Cleaner Air in Ontario” it is obvious! The conversion of the Atikokan coal plant to biomass was complete, went the news story, but the real news is, it will cost us ratepayers a lot and will not save the planet. Why? It is going to emit lots of carbon when it actually runs and produces some electricity.

For background a visit to Renewable Energy World and an article about the conversion process a year ago tells a lot about the project. The article tells you how much the anticipated percentage of production will be, compared to its 200 MW capacity (10% to 12%), the tonnes of wood pellets to be stored (10,000), annual purchase of pellets (90,000 tonnes; one of the chosen suppliers has a contract to supply DRAX with 400,000 tonnes of pellets annually from their Wawa facility), thermal efficiency (close to coal in the mid 30s), the conversion cost ($170 million), and the term of its power purchase agreement (PPA) with the OPA (10 years) with the added information that the latter covers both the conversion and fuel costs (one assumes that it will also cover the costs of operations, maintenance and administration [OMA] of the 70 permanent workers).

In order to calculate how the Atikokan plant will burden ratepayers to produce 1 kilowatt of power, we need to make some basic assumptions in respect to the calculations, but the following are on the conservative side.

  • The converted plant will operate at 10% of capacity thereby producing 175,200 MWh (megawatt hours) annually calculated as 200 MW X 20% X 8760 hours = 175,200 MWh
  • At 10% capacity the plant will use 38,000 tonnes of wood pellets annually at a cost of $200 per tonne meaning annual costs of 38,000 X $200 = $7.6 million.
  • The conversion costs of $170 million will be amortized over the 10 years of the OPA contract meaning (on a straight line basis) an annualized cost of $17 million.
  • The cost of the 70 employees will average $100K per annum (all-in with pension and benefits) calculated as 70 X $100,000 = $7 million.
  • The foregoing represents total annual costs of $34,600,000 to produce 175,200 MWh creating a cost per MWh of $197.49 per MWh or 19.7 cents per kWh (kilowatt hour).  The math is simply the total cost of $34,600,000/175,200 = $197.39.

There’s more: pellet delivery will require 10 trucks per day within a 200 kilometer radius, five days per week, to bring those 90,000 tonnes to the converted plant.  One of those plants is located in Thunder Bay a distance just under the 200 kilometer radius.  How is that going to produce “Cleaner Air in Ontario” as suggested by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli?

The other distorted fact about biomass is that 2.5 tonnes of wood  is required to produce 1 tonne of pellets and requires considerable energy to both grind and produce the pellets.  They also are less efficient (lower efficiency ratings than all fossil fuels) and produce more CO2 than bituminous coal.  The reason biomass is regarded as “renewable” is that the trees cut to produce the pellets (or wood chips) may eventually grow back—it just takes 40 years or so!

A website, Partnerships for Policy Integrity put it succinctly by asking this question:  “Is biomass “Worse than coal?  Yes, if you’re interested in reducing carbon dioxide emissions anytime in the next 40 years.”

So, what’s the real news story? Our Ontario Liberal government has caused OPG to plunge into further debt, increased our electricity bills and created more emissions than we had before the conversion. The truth is there behind the doublespeak about cleaner air.

©Parker Gallant,

September 15, 2014

 

The opinions expressed are those of the author.

 

 

 

Farmers Forum on Wind farms: farmers were lied to

Not as advertised
Not as advertised

Wind turbine woes

September 2014, Farmers Forum

Farmers Forum surveyed a big chunk of Wolfe Island residents and found that 75 per cent approve of or are indifferent toward the 86 wind turbines they’ve been living with for five years.

There are only two wind turbine projects in Eastern Ontario–one in Wolfe Island and one near Brinston, south of Ottawa. But Wolfe Island, surrounded by the St. Lawrence River at one end and Lake Ontario at the other, is a captive crowd. We easily surveyed 200 of the 1,400 residents lining up for the Kingston ferry or working in the hamlet of Marysville.

With such a high proportion of residents surveyed–one in seven–we captured a fairly good picture of how people feel about those gigantic white gosal posts with their three imposing blades. Of course, having a visual of a turbine makes a huge difference. On many properties on the 29-kilometer long island, you can’t even see the turbines.* From other vantage points, you can see more than 10.

We found that money makes a difference. Those landowners (many of them farmers) hosting one or more turbines, are delighted with the $10,000 to $14,000 they earn each year per turbine just to look at them. The wind turbine company hands over another $100,000 to the island annually. Improvements to the local outdoor rink are one of the many benefits. It’s like getting paid twice for having the good luck of living at the right place on the right island at the right time.

Not surprisingly, wind power companies in other areas of the province are now offering “hush” money to Ontarians living near a proposed wind turbine project. As I’ve said before, if a company wants to pay me $14,000 a year to put a wind turbine on my property, I’d move the garage in order to accommodate them. Change their mind and offer the turbine to my neighbour and suddenly that turbine doesn’t look so good. It’s kind of an eyesore and doesn’t it affect bird migration? Could this be the health issues that we hear about or am I just sick at the thought that I just lost $280,000 of free money over 20 years? I think I know the answer. But when you offer to cut me in on the monetary benefits of my neighbour’s turbine, I’m suddenly all sunshine and happy thoughts.

This is not to say there aren’t honest-to-goodness health risks. Farmers Forum has no reason to disbelieve those survey respondents who complain of low-level noise when the wind changes direction.

We’re losing $24,000 an hour on wind

This brings me to my only real beef against wind power. As happy as I thought I would be to have a turbine, I don’t want  one.

They are the biggest money losers in the history of the province. Not for Wolfe Islanders or anyone else who gets a wind turbine contract. But for everyone else forced to pay an electricity bill. Electricity costs have already risen 12.5 per cent each year for the past five years. There are more than 1,000 operating wind turbines and another more than 4,000 to go up in the province. Ontario’s auditor general says we can expect another 40 per cent price hike over the next few years in our electricity bills. By 2018, every Ontario family will be paying an extra $636 per year to go green. And why? So the province can claim to be the first green province or state in North America? Big deal.

Wind turbines are incredibly inefficient. In a major report last year, the Fraser Institute noted that 80 per cent of the power generated by wind turbines occur when Ontario doesn’t need the power. So, while the province pays 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, it often resells is for 2.5 cents south of the border. The report, Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, observed that data from the Independent Electricity System Operator show Ontario loses, on average, $24,000 per operating hour on wind power sales. Numerous companies, including Kelloggs and Heinz, have closed plants because Ontario companies pay more for power than any other jurisdiction in North America.

Not “green”

To make matters worse, a wind turbine can contain more than 200 tonnes of steel and Chinese factories need the mining of even more tonnes of coal and iron to make them. Writes David Hughes in his book Carbon Shift, “A windmill could spin until it falls apart and never generate as much energy as was invested in building it.”

So, you can’t even call wind turbines green energy. It’s appalling that farmers have been lied to about the benefits. We’re wasting billions on a phoney cause.

Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at editor@farmersforum.com

WCO editor’s note: Although Farmers Forum was clear on the limitations of their survey they missed several key points: one, by surveying only people at the ferry dock and in a coffee shop, they may have missed people who stay on the island all day, but more important, as the Island has turbines on one half and none on the other, it would have been absolutely critical to define where the survey respondents actually live. They didn’t. Another key factor in any survey of community residents living with turbines is the fact that many turbine contracts force landowners to sign a non-disclosure agreement—in other words, if they have anything negative to say about the turbines, they can’t talk.

Environmental group calls for “far” offshore wind farms: admission of failure, WCO says

Toronto Harbour next?
Far out, man: but still no proper analysis being done

John Miner, London Free Press, September 11, 2014

Ontario will miss a huge opportunity to create jobs and protect the environment if it doesn’t embrace building wind farms in the Great Lakes, an environmental group is arguing.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is calling for construction of “far-offshore” wind farms that will be out of sight and out of hearing distance of the mainland.

The group, which represents 6,000 doctors and members of the public, estimates offshore wind farms would generate a minimum of $10 billion of investment from the private sector.

Gideon Forman, the group’s executive director, said the U.S. is looking seriously at offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes.

“It would be a shame to let that technology-driven leadership opportunity pass Ontarians by,” Forman said.

Ontario put a moratorium on offshore wind farms in the run up to the 2011 provincial election.

Last week, the province invited tenders for two studies on offshore wind farms — one on the impact of sound from the turbines and the other on decommissioning a wind farm in the lake.

But the Environment Ministry said there are no plans to go ahead with such wind farms until there is scientific evidence that projects can be developed in a way that protects both human health and the environment.

Forman maintains far-offshore wind farms would be a source of healthy, low-carbon energy and avoid the controversy surrounding wind farms on land that some consider an eyesore.

Wind farms on water would have another advantage over ones on land. The dynamics of wind over water makes power available throughout the day when electricity demand peaks, Forman said.

The Ontario citizens’ group that has led the fight against wind farms on land isn’t enthused about wind farms in the lakes either.

Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, said there are grave concerns about installing wind turbines in the Great Lakes, especially Huron and Superior, where weather is severe.

Turbines would be an added danger to navigation, she said.

“We repeat our call for cost-benefit analysis, options analysis, and impact analysis for wind power in general,” Wilson said.

Read the full story and comments here.

Editor’s note: Our full remarks sent to the London Free Press were as follows:

The push by CAPE for “far offshore turbines” is an admission that there are serious problems with the way Ontario has forced wind power generation facilities onshore in Ontario–and we’re not talking about “esthetic” concerns, but rather, real experiences with the noise and low-frequency noise these power generating machines produce, and harm to the natural environment such as that being caused to birds, bats and other forms of wildlife.

Again, in Ontario, the Energy Minister has said we are in a situation of power supply surplus to our needs; we question why we would engage in further expense for power generation, which would also have the effect of increasing Ontario ratepayer’s electricity bills even higher.

As to “far” offshore, we repeat our call for cost-benefit analysis, options analysis, and impact analysis for wind power in general. There are grave concerns about the installation of wind turbines in the Great Lakes, especially Huron and Superior where weather is very severe—turbines would be an added danger to navigation in these waters. And for Erie, which is so shallow, what would the effects be on the fish, and on the birds that fly over the lake during periods of migration?
This sort of analysis has never been done in Ontario. People deserve to have a proper business case study done, including an assessment of all impacts, before there is further investment in wind power, either on- or offshore.

Jane Wilson
President
Wind Concerns Ontario

ERT wind farm testimony: Environment officials not doing their job

WAINFLEET WIND ENERGY INC.

 

 

Here is a report from Loretta Shields on testimony given at the appeal of the HAF wind power project by Vineland Power (IPC Energy); the hearings began on Monday this week.

For those of you that were not able to make it, Ministry officials from Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and also the Ministry of Natural Resources  were questioned and cross examined during the last two days.  A representative with the Environmental Assessment firm was also cross examined today.  Here is the damning testimony that we learned:

1.  The Ministry of Environment does not verify set back distances of the wind turbines.  They trust the wind proponent (but the turbines did not meet the required set back distances!)

2.  The Ministry of Natural Resources does not verify either the presence or absence of natural features.  For example, the size of woodlands were inaccurate in the Natural Heritage assessment report and no one at the MNR verified this.  They are not careful to review the relevant documents and corresponding versions of those documents.

3.  The Tribunal Chair identified training gaps with the environmental assessor that authored the Natural Heritage Assessment report.

So we have a problem with training, verification, process control with both Ministries and the environmental assessment firm.

Please email the ministries and show your concern.  If you have property within 120 meters of either a proposed industrial wind turbine, collector line or transmission line, please let them know that we learned that there are verification issues, training issues and process control issues.  Demand that they review the NRWC project in relation to your property to determine whether significant natural features exist and require mitigation measures.  If you live within the HAF project location, demand that they review the project in its entirety.  The HAF Renewable Energy Approval documents now lack the required integrity to provide the people in our Community with assurances that other components of the project were investigated in accordance with the REA Regulation. If you don’t live within 120 meters, please write to voice your concerns. Because once this is approved, it is a tougher battle, and time is running out!

This is so NOT right.  This is NOT how civil servants serve the people in our Community.  This is NOT how a Ministry protects our natural features.

Please help with this fight. If you could write/email in the next day or two, it would be so much appreciated.

1.  Eric Boysen, Renewable Energy Director, Ministry of Natural Resources eric.boysen@ontario.ca

2.  Agatha Garcia-Wright, Director, Renewable Energy Approvals, agatha.garcia-wright@ontario.ca

3.  Copy:  Andre Marin, Ombudsman for Ontario info@ombudsman.on.ca

4.  Copy:  Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner for Ontario  commissioner@eco.on.ca

Ontario seeking bids on offshore wind farm noise study

Toronto Harbour next?
Toronto Harbour next?

Just prior to the 2011 Ontario election, the Dalton McGuinty government announced a “moratorium” on offshore wind development. It was widely thought this move was to stave off any criticism (and lost votes) from Toronto, the Ontario Liberal stronghold, as there was significant opposition to a project proposed off the Scarborough area, where lake views are prized.

Now, it’s 2014, and the Liberals have a majority and four years ahead in power.

Last Friday, a request for proposal for a noise impact study for offshore wind “farms” was posted on MERX here.

Details here:

Technical Evaluation to Predict Offshore Wind Farm Noise Impacts in Ontario

Detailed Description
This Request for Proposals is an invitation to prospective proponents to submit proposals for the Technical Evaluation of Sound Propagation Modelling Methodologies to Predict Offshore Wind Farm Noise Impacts in Ontario.

Scope of Work
The Preferred Proponent will be required to conduct a technical evaluation of sound propagation modelling methodologies to predict Offshore Wind Farm noise impacts in Ontario (the “Study”), and create a report about the Study to the satisfaction of and for approval by the Ministry (the “Study Report”). The scope of work to be performed by the Preferred Proponent includes:

(i) Conducting a literature review and consulting technical and government specialists;

(ii) Preparing and submitting the Study Report based on the literature review and consultation;

(iii) Providing the chapters of the Study Report to the Ministry in draft form for review, comment and approval by the Ministry, and revising the chapters and final Study Report to the satisfaction of the Ministry; and,

(iv) Participating in kick-off meeting/teleconference and periodic teleconferences with Ministry staff as required.

Field measurements, validation testing and/or the purchase of Offshore Models are outside the scope of this study.

Note that this is essentially a literature review; actual noise measurement is “outside the scope.”

It is also likely only related to audible noise: low frequency noise has not been mentioned in the study scope.

Offshore wind power generation projects have been proposed for several areas in Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. Concerns about such development range from worries about noise, damage to the lake beds, especially in Erie where the toxic substances have settled, and for property values of adjacent properties.