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.
Several bylaws drafted by Dutton/Dunwich to counter the anticipated impact of industrial wind turbines have been referred to legal counsel for review before final adoption.
Council voted Wednesday for two readings only on bylaws designed to limit light flicker and noise generated by turbines.
One bylaw seeks to regulate noise from industrial wind turbines. The other is aimed at controlling shadow light flicker from a turbine.
The preamble to the bylaw defines it as: “Being a bylaw to prohibit shadow flicker from any source including, but not limited to, industrial wind turbines …”
Coun. Dan McKillop said the municipality should get clarification on certain points before it proceeds with final adoption and implementation of the bylaws.
McKillop suggested it would be better to spend the time having the bylaws reviewed to make sure Dutton/Dunwich is in sound legal position before they are passed into law.
First and second reading of the bylaws was passed unanimously on recorded votes for each.
One other building bylaw regulating permits and fees for construction of buildings, etc, specifically stated issuance of permits also applied to industrial wind turbines. That clause should be referred to legal counsel for review, McKillop pointed out.
Both light flicker and noise have been targetted as potential byproducts of industrial wind turbine operation.
Invenergy has aplied to erect wind turbines in Dutton/Duwnich and is awaiting approval.
Ontario’s Green Energy Act limits what steps municipalities can take to control wind turbines.
THE “ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT AMHERST ISLAND” HAS LAUNCHED AN APPEAL AGAINST THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO ALLOW 26 WIND TURBINES TO BE BUILT ON THE ISLAND. A PRELIMINARY HEARING BEGAN TODAY — TO HEAR REQUESTS FROM OTHER GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO WISH TO SPEAK AT THE UPCOMING TRIBUNAL. NEWSWATCH’S JONNA SEMPLE EXPLAINS.
GATHERED IN THE ST. JOHN’S CHURCH HALL IN BATH MEMBERS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW TRIBUNAL HEAR FROM THOSE WHO WANT TO SPEAK AT THE UPCOMING APPEAL HEARING.
THE ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT AMHERST ISLAND HAS LAUNCHED AN APPEAL OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT’S APPROVAL OF WINDLECTRIC’S TURBINE ENERGY PROJECT.
WE’RE QUITE CONFIDENT THAT THE PROJECT HAS BEEN DISIGNED TO MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS AND THAT IN THE COURSE OF THIS PROCEEDING IT WILL BE DETERMINED THAT THE PROJECT DOESN’T MEET THE TESTS UNDER THE ERT HERE.”
TODAY 3 GROUPS AND 1 INDIVIDUAL RECEIVED PERMISSION TO MAKE STATEMENTS WHEN THE APPEAL PROCESS GETS UNDERWAY LATER THIS YEAR.
“THE CONSERVATION AUTHORITY HAS NOT TAKEN AN OVERALL POSITION ON THE AMHERST ISLAND WIND ENERGY PROJECT. IT HAS CONSISTENTLY RAISED CONCERNS WITH RESPECT TO OWL HABITAT ON AMHERST ISLAND.”
THE KINGSTON FIELD NATURALISTS ARE ALSO PLANNING TO SPEAK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS THE TURBINES COULD HAVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND BIRDS. ONE MOTHER WAS ALSO GIVEN PERMISSION TO SPEAK ABOUT HER WORRIES OVER THE CONSTRUCTION HAPPENING TOO CLOSE TO AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
“THE GOVERNMENT ACKNOWLEDGES THE CEMENT PLANT WILL BE RELEASING CONTAINMENTS TO THE ATMOSPHERE SURROUNDING THE PLANT, WHICH IS INCLUSIVE OF THE SCHOOL. SO THAT’S SULFUR-DIOXIDE, CARBON-DIOXIDE, YOU KNOW THINGS WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM.”
“DESPITE THE APPEAL AND THE CONCERNS SOME HAVE ON THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF THE PROJECT – THE PROJECT MANAGER BEHIND THE WIND TURBINES REMAINS OPTIMISTIC.”
“OUR EXPECTATION IS THAT THE E.R.T. WILL FIND IN THE PROJECT’S FAVOUR AND UPHOLD THE PERMIT AND WE’LL START CONSTRUCTION IN EARNEST FOLLOWING THAT IN THE SPRING AND BE COMPLETE BY EARLY 2017.”
A THIRD GROUP WILL BE SPEAKING IN FAVOUR OF THE PROJECT AT THE HEARING. THE CITIZENS OF AMHERST ISLAND FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IS A GROUP OF ABOUT 120 PEOPLE, MOST WILL HOST A WIND TURBINE ON THEIR PROPERTIES. WITNESS STATEMENTS AT THE TRIBUNAL WILL TAKE PLACE THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER. THE APPEAL PROCESS IS SET TO WRAP UP AT THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY. JS CKWSNEWSWATCH
The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is concerned that the wind farm near Stayner proposed by WPD could have an “economic impact,” on the Collingwood Regional Airport.
In a letter obtained by simcoe.com from Mohsen Keyvani, supervisor of team 5 of the environmental approvals branch for the MOECC, sent to Khlaire Parre, director of renewable energy approvals for WPD Canada, the ministry is calling on the company to complete an “economic impact analysis,” by Nov. 9. In his letter, Keyvani said the MOECC expects the analysis to include input and engagement from the Collingwood Regional Airport.
“The MOECC is concerned about the project’s potential economic impacts on the Collingwood Regional Airport resulting from the operational impacts that Transport Canada has indicated will occur at the airport,” Keyvani wrote. “In its comments to the MOECC, Transport Canada has indicated that in order to maintain aviation safety at the airport, if the project were to be implemented, it will be necessary to raise the limits of the instrument approach procedures which may result in impacts on aerodrome operations at the airport.”
This letter came on the heels of one sent by Transport Canada to the MOECC in November 2014.
“In conclusion, based on the information reviewed, it appears there would likely be an operational impact on both the Collingwood and Stayner aerodromes,” wrote Joseph Szwalek, regional director of civil aviation, for the Ontario Region of Transport Canada to Hayley Berlin, manager of service integration environmental approvals access for MOECC. “There are aerodromes in Canada where obstacles are located in proximity to runways, and depending on their location, have continued operation with the establishment of specific procedures, and the marking, lighting and publication of these obstacles. However, it should be noted that such mitigation can result in a decrease in the usability of the Collingwood and Stayner aerodromes. The Department also wishes to emphasize that it is critical that planning and coordination of the siting of obstacles be conducted in conjunction with an aerodrome operator at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Mississauga-based WPD Canada has submitted a proposal to construct eight wind turbines on private property bound by Airport Road, County Road 91, Nottawasaga Concession 6 and Nottawasaga Sideroad 18-19.
The project was accepted as complete by the MOECC in December 2013 but WPD is still waiting on approval.
Kevin Surrette, WPD spokesperson, told Simcoe.com the company has filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto to force the government’s hand.
“They have a service window of six months, once the applications have been deemed complete,” he said. “Obviously, we’d like them to approve it, but at this point we’re just saying ‘please make a decision about our application.’ They’re performing their due diligence to make sure all the information is correct and the applications are good.”
Surrett says the company’s analysis shows both the airport and the wind project could “co-exist.”
“Throughout the project, we’ve engaged an aviation safety expert, we have more than 35 years experience working with Transport Canada, with NAV Canada,” he said. “He did an analysis of our project and the Collingwood airport and he concluded that both our project and the airport could safely co-exist.”
T. Boone Pickens speaking about energy at a town-hall meeting in 2008. The oil and gas tycoon has brought a claim against Ontario for $700 million in damages related to bids that his wind power company, Mesa Power, lost in wind power auctions.CreditLarry W. Smith/Getty Images
T. Boone Pickens made billions drilling foroiland gas and squaring off in bare-knuckled corporate takeover bouts.
Now the 87-year-old tycoon is embroiled in what may be the last big battle of his career. Only this one is aimed thousands of miles north of his Texas home. And it is over wind power.
It is an unusual fight for the former wildcatter. Mr. Pickens is using his rights under theNorth American Free Trade Agreementto bring claims against the Canadian province of Ontario. And a Florida company that has provoked his ire is one that is usually on the same side as Mr. Pickens when it comes to regulation and politics — in particular, in helpingJeb Bushget elected president.
Like other investors who have challenged governments, Mr. Pickens has taken his dispute to an international court. He is seeking $700 million in damages for future losses related to bids that his wind power company, Mesa Power, lost in wind power auctions in Ontario.
Mr. Pickens and Mesa Power contend that the Florida company, NextEra, was granted exclusive access through private meetings with important government officials that ultimately tilted the bidding in its favor.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) reported their semi-annual bad news via the News Release that always contains depressing announcements about upcoming rate increases. Couched in words meant to assuage the reader, is this statement: “The price is increasing by approximately $4.42 per month on the ‘Electricity’ line, and about 3.4% on the total bill, for a household that consumes 800 kWh per month.”
The OEB doesn’t issue a press release when your local distribution company increases their rates, part of the “total bill,” so that reference is meaningless.
If you look at the actual price rise from November 1, 2014 to November 1, 2015 the increase is considerably more than 3.4%. In fact the increase on the charge for the “Electricity” line is 12.8% excluding the HST applied on that increase. The charge for electricity for the “household that consumes 800 kWh per month” increased by a total of $130.31, not the $53.04 that the OEB infers. Even using the “average” RPP (regulated price plan) posted on their site and comparing November 1, 2014 to November 1, 2015, you get an increase of 12.5%!
Costs from renewables are one-third of the increase
Looking further that what’s in the OEB News Release, we find that they attribute the increase as follows: “Increased costs from Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) nuclear and hydro-electric power plants make up about 40% of this increase. Costs from renewable generation sources are another driver, representing about one-third of the increase.” I emphasized the last sentence as it doesn’t reflect certain facts about renewable generation (principally wind and solar), including the need to pay OPG for spilled (unused) hydro power, payments to gas plants to idle (ensuring power is available when the wind dies down or the clouds cover the skies), or directions to complete marginal generation (Mattagami’s project cost was $2.6 billion) which produces power when it’s not needed, in the Spring and Fall periods when Ontario’s demand is low.
Millions lost in one day
You need only look back to October 13, 2015, a windy day when the industrial wind turbines were cranking out unneeded power. The reported 3,450 MW of wind capacity was spitting out an average of 2,200 MW per hour, at a cost for the whole day of $6.5 million. Ontario was busy exporting 2,228 MW every hour that day, being paid 1.8 cents a kWh and at the same time, paying wind developers an average of 12.3 cents per kWh—we lost more than $5.5 million. That’s just one day!
Now if the OEB were really transparent, they would bring these issues to the forefront.At a minimum, the people who write news releases for the OEB should also be required to take some remedial math courses!
Ontario electricity customers should demand that the Ontario Energy Board, whose mission is to “regulate prices in the public interest,” demonstrate factual reporting and provide consumers with the truth about rate increases.
Source unknown, published by Bon Echo Residents Against Turbines
In the last few weeks, there have been several stories centered around the wind energy proposal our company, NextEra Energy Canada submitted into Ontario’s Request for Proposal for Large Renewable Energy Projects (RFP | LRP). While we certainly understand that the proposal of a large, new project in a community will foster debate, it is important that this debate be undertaken using facts.
BEARAT and their public relations consultant John Laforet have continuously shown a pattern of ignoring several important facts. The first is a complaint issued to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the community vibrancy fund agreement we entered into with the Township of Addington Highlands. This, and all other similar agreements we have entered into with other municipalities, have been thoroughly reviewed and approved by each municipality’s respective legal counsel as well as ours. In short, these are perfectly legal documents that are compliant with U.S. and Canadian laws.
Mr. Laforet later states that we ran afoul of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) prohibited communications rules when negotiating, or attempting to negotiate, a community vibrancy agreement with municipal governments and that such agreements are new to the Province. Neither statement could be further from the truth. The IESO encourages proponents to meet and discuss proposed projects with local municipalities. In fact, the IESO prioritized projects that had entered into agreements with municipalities. Mr. Laforet’s assertion that these agreements are “not legal” in Ontario is simply not accurate.
While we have not been provided with a copy of either of their complaints to the IESO or the Department of Justice, we are confident that our actions are entirely within the bounds of law and the rules of the IESO’s procurement and will stand up to any scrutiny. To imply otherwise is disingenuous.
In last Thursday’s (Oct 1) article, Mr. Laforet makes a variety of inaccurate assertions. He suggests that our original Northpoint II Wind proposal spanned two townships and identified two grid connection points, and that our ultimate submission to the IESO was smaller. While it is true that our proposed project boundary shrunk from our initial proposal, Mr. Laforet is incorrect in noting that this is somehow in contravention of the IESO’s rules. Quite the contrary, the IESO’s rules specifically allow for proponents to reduce the size and scope of the project during the pre-bid process.
We understand that a community will discuss and debate projects like our proposed Northpoint I and Northpoint II wind projects, but it’s important that these discussions are fact based.
Wind Power: a source not available when needed is of little value.
Sarnia Observer, October 10, 2015
Regarding the letter “Wind power among the lowest for emissions” (Sarnia Observer, Oct. 6 [Editor’s note: by Gary Zavitz of CanWEA-sponsored Friends of Wind]), the author repeats a number of misconceptions about wind turbines.
The author’s assertions that a doubling of C02 emissions from 2016 – 2032 are “spurious accusations” and are based on “one weekend’s extreme imbalance of supply and demand” are incorrect.
Based on an hour-by-hour analysis of the generation and demand in 2011, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) predicted that the displacement of nuclear by wind, solar and natural gas would dramatically increase C02 emissions. In 2012, the OSPE requested that the Ministry of Energy undertake an independent analysis to confirm their findings. The doubling of emissions from Ontario’s electricity sector from 2016 to 2032 was the finding by the Ministry of Energy and published as an appendix in their December 2013 Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP).
Regarding the World Nuclear Association assertion that wind and hydro have the lowest green-house gas emissions:
The WNA data is correct but taken out of context by the author who has ignored the main point in my earlier letter; wind turbines are not operated in isolation and must be evaluated as part of our electrical grid. Because wind is not dependable, it requires a backup source from natural gas with its carbon emissions. Therefore wind with natural gas backup, given preferential access to the grid, has a much greater carbon footprint when it displaces nuclear or hydro for base load demand.
The author’s assertions that wind is “predictable and functions effectively as a base load source of power” and that wind is a “distributed” source that doesn’t act as a “single 900 MW” wind turbine are incorrect.
According to data from Natural Resources Canada, wind occurs in large wind fronts that typically cross Ontario within two-hour windows. When there is lots of wind, it is everywhere in Ontario, when there is no wind, there is none anywhere in Ontario. This effectively means Ontario’s entire wind fleet of distributed wind turbines can be considered to be one single large wind turbine of 7,500 MW capacity (by 2022). In 2011 when OSPE did its analysis, wind production across the entire wind fleet dropped below 10 per cent design capacity 20 times that year for more than 24 hours. On one occasion wind generation dropped below 10 per cent of its design capacity for more than 72 hours. Typically on the hottest summer days, when demand peaks, wind contributes less than 15 per cent of its design capacity.
The Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) recent 18-month outlook, published in September 2015, confirms the OSPE analysis. The IESO estimates that the installed wind capacity of 3209 MW, (as of Aug. 14, 2015), will produce only 404 MW during peak periods. So, during the next 18 months, about 12.6 per cent of the installed wind capacity will be available during peak load periods.
Because wind is not dependable, it is not an effective base load source of power, it is a “displacement energy source” – it displaces the backup source, typically natural gas, hydroelectric and flexible nuclear capacity. Its greatest value, in terms of C02 reduction, would occur if it displaced coal. When Ontario got rid of coal generators, it also got rid of the best reason to deploy wind turbines.
The author’s assertion that energy storage systems “are developing quickly and continue to reduce the issue of intermittency” is premature. Storage costs are dropping but are still far too prohibitive to be deployed at grid scale.
The author’s assertion that for wind-generated electricity “the costs are what you see and what you pay for is the power generated” is simply not true. For example eight per cent of wind generation (0.4 TWh), was curtailed (shut off) in 2014. The costs of curtailment include: payment to the wind developers to not produce electricity that is not needed; plus costs to curtail nuclear and spill hydro on windy days when demand was low and wind production received preferential access to the grid. All of these additional costs for wind were included in the global adjustment charge rather than in their contract per kWh rate. Transparent? Hardly.
The author’s assertion that “no one has any reliable idea what it will cost to refurbish or dismantle them (nuclear reactors)” is incorrect. In Canada, we have completely refurbished five nuclear units at three stations (Pickering, Pt. Lepreau and Bruce) for a 20 to 30-year life extension and six units at two stations (Pickering and Bruce) for a partial life extension. Those costs are known exactly. Also, there have been several nuclear facilities decommissioned and dismantled in other parts of the world and have provided data that can be used to estimate a complete decommissioning of a large nuclear unit here in Canada.
The author also states: “Maybe nuclear reactors will be more flexible in the future, able to deliver electricity when needed and the price of the electricity they generate will be reasonably close to wind.”
The Bruce nuclear reactors already have flexible capacity; in the 12 months ending on Sept. 30, 2015, the reactors were de-rated, nominally 300 MW each time, a total of 563 times, to give wind turbines their preferential access to the grid.
To imply that nuclear-sourced electricity has a higher cost than wind sources is disingenuous. According to the Ontario Energy Board, the cost of electricity from existing facilities, in cents/kWh, including curtailment for the period May – November 2015 was 5.6 for hydro, 6.6 for nuclear, and 12.5 for wind.
To imply that nuclear does not produce electricity when needed, in the face of wind’s inability to supply any more than 12.6 per cent of its capacity during peak hours, and nuclear’s ability to supply 100 per cent of its capacity whenever needed, is especially disingenuous.
A source that is not available when needed is of little value. A source that is frequently available when not needed, and that increases the overall C02 emissions, is even worse, it’s a liability.
I wish to thank Paul Acchione, past president of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and one of the key authors of the OSPE report, for providing me with invaluable assistance with interpreting the technical details of the OSPE’s analysis and report.
Editor’s note: The author also wishes to thank Parker Gallant for his assistance in preparing the letter
Finch- Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will not intervene to quash proposed wind turbine projects currently being evaluated for the Township of North Stormont and the Municipality of South Dundas, despite her earlier stated position that communities not wanting such developments shouldn’t be forced to receive them.
The councils of both municipalities have declared themselves unwilling hosts to wind projects in recent months.
But the premier, in reply to a question posed by The AgriNews at the International Plowing Match September 22, made clear that she won’t veto the projects in officially unwilling communities.
“We’ve been clear, it’s not a veto… but what we are seeing is that there is a much more collaborative process going on between proponents and municipalities,” said Wynne, explaining that her government does put “an emphasis on the municipality being willing.”*
Said the premier, “You will know that the process, as it has been changed by our government, is that now there is much more weighting toward the municipality. In terms of procurement, there is much more of an emphasis on the municipality being willing, we have already changed the process, and I think that has changed the way turbines are sited.”**
Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal then jumped in to highlight how the Wynne government has imposed restrictions on the siting of solar projects. …
“I never use the term solar farms because it’s the wrong term to use, they are solar generating entities.”***
*False. Municipal support is just one factor in the bid process. Proponents simply find other strong sources of points such as First Nation support, or a lower bid price.
**This is false. Municipalities in the 2015 bid process often DIDN’T EVEN KNOW where turbines were to be located, and the proponents were not obligated to provide that information or anything else such as environmental impact studies, before being asked to say yes or no.
***So wind “farms” are now “wind power generating entities”?
The Turnbull government has appointed an academic and company director with strong ties to climate and renewables research as its new “wind commissioner”, in a move the clean energy industry says should help return the wind energy debate to “sensible”.
Andrew Dyer serves on the boards of Climateworks Australia and the Monash University sustainability unit. The government says his primary role will be to “refer complaints about windfarms to relevant state authorities” – which are already responsible for dealing with them.
The wind commissioner was promised by the former prime minister Tony Abbott in response to a Coalition and crossbench-dominated Senate committee report into the alleged health effects of windfarms. The senators demanded moves against wind energy in return for their essential votes on changes to the renewable energy target, which went beyond the deal the government had struck with Labor.
The Clean Energy Council’s chief executive, Kane Thornton, said he hoped Dyer’s appointment – and appointments to a new scientific committee on wind – would “return a more sensible tone to the debate, which had entered some strange territory during the recent Senate inquiry into windfarms.
“We expect that these new appointments will help to blow away some of the conspiracy theories about windfarms that have been championed by a small number of federal senators over the last few years.”
Dyer serves on multiple boards including Climateworks – a body that aims to facilitate substantial reductions in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years – and the Monash University sustainability institute. The institute brings together academics from all disciplines to tackle “climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises”, as well as the question of how the Australian economy can become carbon neutral.
Dyer will sit in Hunt’s federal environment department. His role does not appear to involve determining the veracity of any complaints but rather passing them on to the state authorities and collating scientific information.
When Abbott pledged to appoint a wind commissioner, he told the radio announcer Alan Jones he found windfarms visually awful, agreed that they might have “potential health impacts” and said the deal on the renewable energy target was designed to reduce their numbers as much as the current Senate would allow.
“What we did recently in the Senate was to reduce, Alan, capital R-E-D-U-C-E, the number of these things that we are going to get in the future … I frankly would have liked to have reduced the number a lot more but we got the best deal we could out of the Senate and if we hadn’t had a deal, Alan, we would have been stuck with even more of these things …
The Australian Conservation Foundation’s chief executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said it was “sad to see the federal government continuing to contribute uncertainty to Australia’s burgeoning clean energy industry.
“There have been no less than eight studies conducted at the federal level in the last five years into wind energy and every single one has found no evidence of wind farms making people sick.”
In other news, the government also appointed the first independent science committee:
The government has also appointed an independent scientific committee to conduct research into potential medical impacts of turbines which will be headed by acoustician and RMIT Adjunct Professor Jon Davy. The other members are:
Associate Professor Simon Carlile, Head of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Medical Science, University of Sydney and Senior Director of Research at the Starkey Hearing Research Centre, University of California Berkeley, USA.
Clinical Professor David Hillman, Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Perth, WA.
Dr Kym Burgemeister, Acoustics Associate Principal, Arup.