2016 a year of bad planning and government mismanagement in Ontario: Wind Concerns Ontario

WCO vice-president Parker Gallant and president Jane Wilson speak on Ontario’s mismanaged electricity sector, energy poverty, wind turbine noise regulation, and what’s ahead for 2017

Wind Concerns Ontario

YEAR-END INTERVIEW

 

Q:You’ve been telling people about the impact of renewables, specifically wind power, on Ontario’s electricity or hydro bills. How much of our electricity bills is due to the wind power/renewables program in Ontario?

Parker Gallant: I recently reviewed the cost of wind and solar generation relative to its contribution to Ontario’s demand for electricity and its impact on our electricity costs is shocking. Wind and solar in the first six months of 2016 delivered 8% of our generated power and represented 35% of the Global Adjustment which appears set to average over $1 billion per month. That represents a cost of over 36 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh), including the hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP).

Parker Gallant at a recent event in Kanata, Ontario: shocking mismanagement. [Photo: Metroland Media]
Parker Gallant at a recent event in Kanata, Ontario: shocking mismanagement. [Photo: Metroland Media]
Q: Parker, you’ve also been telling people about the Global Adjustment or GA, which is where a lot of charges are hidden. Do you think these charges should be detailed on our bills, or is that even possible?

Parker Gallant: While I believe in principle the GA should be revealed on our monthly bills, in practice, that would require reams of paper. How will the local distribution company explain how much you are billed for curtailed wind generation or the meteorological stations that measure the amount of curtailed wind that might have been generated? How to explain, say, the cost of spilled hydro or steamed off nuclear or the water fuel fee, or how to tell the ratepayer how much they are subsidizing the rates for large industrial clients, or what it is costing under the rural and remote rate plan (RRRP) that transports diesel fuel to remote First Nations, among dozens of other items included in our monthly bills?

Q: The Premier and Energy Minister are now saying that parts of their policies have been a “mistake” and that they need to get bills down. Wind Concerns is saying that canceling wind power contracts is necessary for that to happen. Can you explain? How much are the 2016 contracts worth?

Parker Gallant: Interesting they are now admitting a “mistake,” but when George Smitherman was Energy Minister he was provided with a long-term energy plan that had been carefully developed by “experts” within the crown agencies. He chose to cancel the plan and instead, impose one developed in conjunction with outsiders who were NOT experts. Previous Energy Ministers (Dwight Duncan comes to mind for his “smart meter” for every ratepayer) made mistakes, as did those who followed such as Brad Duguid and were roundly criticized by both the media and by ratepayers. The canceling of wind power projects not yet built or even contracted is only “step one” and will slow the climb in our bills. The current Minister, Glenn Thibeault has only suspended Large Renewable Procurement or LRP ll, and needs to cancel it, as well as LRP I and any of those contracts now past their agreed-to start date. There are ways to reduce costs almost immediately.

Jane Wilson: Wind Concerns Ontario prepared a detailed document for the IESO on the Long-Term Energy Plan, suggesting ways they could save $1.7 billion annually. That would have an immediate cost reduction impact.

Q: The Energy Minister says that now, Ontario is a “net exporter” of electricity like that’s a good thing. He claims we’re making money: is that true?

Parker Gallant: Being a “net exporter” of 16.8 terawatts (TWh) in 2015 is simply a demonstration of being a bad planner and manager of the system. If one adds the spilled hydro and curtailed wind to the net exports, the 21.2 TWh could have provided over half of all average Ontario households with power for a full year, yet we sold it 2.36 cents/kWh while we paid 10.14 cents/kWh for its generation. Ontario contracted for far too much intermittent and unreliable wind and solar power creating a domino effect the increased our costs of generation. Paradoxically, if Ontario ratepayers consumed more of the annual excess power (15.5% in 2015) it would help reduce our per kWh cost.

Q: What is WCO’s stance on climate change?

Jane Wilson: Our position is that everyone wants to do the right thing for the environment, whether that is preventing air pollution or using the most efficient forms of power generation — but that isn’t industrial-scale wind. For example, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers or OSPE says that the proliferation of large-scale wind will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, therefore not achieving the government’s stated goals. In the OSPE’s most recent report, they say “Wind generation offers less GHG reduction value in Ontario because base-load generation is already carbon-free and wind generation often displaces hydroelectric and nuclear base-load generation.”

Q: Why does the Ontario government continue to force wind turbines on communities that don’t want them?

Jane Wilson: The government is acting on an ideology that is not supported by fact and to do that, it erased communities’ right to local land-use planning with the Green Energy Act. We think that’s wrong, and are supporting the now 116 municipal governments that have demanded a return of that control and also that community support be mandatory for wind power contracts. There is a concern too about communities in the North where there may not be elected municipal governments, where contracts can be awarded for wind power projects that have a significant negative impact on the natural environment, for little or no benefit.

WCO worked with Ontario municipalities on the mandatory support resolution.

Q:Can the government really cancel wind power contracts? Can a new government cancel the subsidy programs?

Jane Wilson: Yes. There are clauses in the contracts under LRP I that are “off-ramps” in the case of cancellation, and which set out the financial steps needed to do that. For example, the contract with EDP for the “Nation Rise” project south of Ottawa in North Stormont, worth $430 million over 20 years, would cost $250,000 plus reimbursement for development costs that must be justified, to a maximum of $600,000. And yes, government can cancel subsidy programs. The LRP II, now “suspended”, should be cancelled outright.

The other opportunity is to cancel wind power projects that do not have a “Notice-to-Proceed”: this is straightforward. WCO has also suggested to the IESO that the government look seriously at all contracts and review them for opportunities to cancel. Even costly negotiated buy-outs will reduce hydro costs significantly, due to the high cost of disposing of surplus power.

Q: What is WCO doing to help people already living with wind turbines, and the noise they produce?

Jane Wilson: We support the public health investigation being done by the Huron County Health Unit, and hope that other municipalities will take similar action. We are also looking at how research can be done to help change the Ontario regulations on noise –which are not based on current science and in fact, are completely inadequate to protect health. We prepared a detailed document on how to revise noise enforcement regulations, another on how the approval process must be changed to protect health, and we submitted a document to the World Health Organization which is preparing global noise regulations for wind turbines. In short, we take every opportunity possible to explain the situation for people living in communities where wind turbines and their noise emissions have been forced, without consent, on the people of Ontario, with the goal of having regulations and processes changed.

Jane Wilson: Wind Concerns Ontario is not stopping [Photo: Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen]
Jane Wilson: Wind Concerns Ontario is not stopping [Photo: Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen]
Q: What’s ahead in 2017?

Jane Wilson: It’s a very different world for wind power now, than in 2009 when the Green Energy Act was passed. People are genuinely questioning the benefit of high-impact, large-scale wind power development, especially when there seem to be few, if any, benefits, and we are seeing the shocking results of the government’s complete mismanagement of the electricity sector such as lost jobs and rising energy poverty. We believe the government will have to take dramatic action if it is serious about getting electricity bills down. The fact that Ontario municipalities are speaking out on this issue and taking action will also have results, we believe. We are hoping for a complete halt to the ongoing damage of the government’s policies, and that there will be help for people already living with the noise and other impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines.

As for Wind Concerns Ontario, we are not stopping our work.

Comments

Eric Jelinski
Reply

The Green Energy and Economy Act of 2009 was supposed to create a carbon free economy in Ontario by shutting down all coal power plants in Ontario, and installing thousands of large wind turbines to provide the alternative zero carbon source of electricity.

In light of the above, and here we are 8 years later in 2017; why do we need to pay a carbon tax? It is reported that the carbon tax would be used to augment subsidies for more if the zero carbon technology, and that would create a second order effect of even more cost increases. Alternatively, some jurisdictions such as Australia have scrapped their carbon tax system. While, China and some other countries will not not be implementing any carbon taxes at all as their focus is on lowest cost of energy.

The entire premise for green energy has been to avert, at first; global warming. Once it was discovered that the earth temperature was not increasing, then the premise changed to preventing climate change. That is all too easy to say without any metrics such as how many tax dollars per unit change in +/-temperature? Nobody knows. However, the tax has been very arbitrarily set with no empathy for the homeowners, businesses, and/or pensioners and others having to decide between food, rent or warmth in their home. The protected ones will be those government union workers who have COLA clauses in their contracts. Welcome to the two tier society created by the Wynne and Trudeau governments.

To add insult upon insult, the cost of electricity wind and solar as determined by the Green Energy and Economy Act of 2009 is two to three times the costs of nuclear power that is zero carbon. Today we have a ballooning Global Adjustment of over one billion dollars that also needs to be paid off.

Auditor reports and various other financial reports indicate that we have already paid $37 billion too much for electricity. This points to serious, gross and untenable mismanagement of the energy portfolio.

There are three options;

1) the entire liberal cabinet needs to resign,

2) liberal back bench MPP’s need to develop some spine, a brain and the gonads to cross the floor, or

3) the lieutenant Governor needs to issue a writ to dissolve parliament.

http://www.windconcernsontario.ca/2016-a-year-of-bad-planning-and-government-mismanagement-in-ontario-wind-concerns-ontario/

Barbara
Reply

Cap-and-Trade is an example of introducing policy making at the sub-national/provincial level and then that provincial policy spreads/leads to national level which has now happened in Canada.

Sommer
Reply

Thank you for taking this year end opportunity to put together such a comprehensive list of reasons why we need to end this industrial wind turbine experiment in Ontario.
All readers need to take a look at the health symptoms caused by low frequency noise provided by Dr. Sarah Laurie and associates at the Waubra Foundation.
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/information/health-researchers/symptoms-clinical-framework/
Taking this information lightly is a serious oversight. Exposing people to LFN/infrasound radiation in their homes is a violation of their right to safety, security and pleasure of their homes.
People in Huron County are already reporting the symptoms listed by the Waubra Foundation NOW.

Barbara
Reply

For General Information if anyone is interested.

Congressional Research Service, April 10, 2014

‘Congress’s Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: A Sketch’

Read at:
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34114.pdf

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

http://strongbreezewind.com/

This website by our local coop boasts that Dutton Dunwich will be 100% powered by the 29 IWT located amongst the rural residents homes in Dutton Dunwich ….. it also says that this project will produce the equivalent power to the needs of 18000 homes….
Hmmmmmmmmmmm…………..
Some how that doesn’t add up….

Barbara
Reply

There are lies by omission as well!

Richard Mann
Reply

Re: Ongoing Investigation of turbine health impacts in Huron County.

I wrote the Huron County Health Board on December 5th. The letter is public, on my web page (http://www.cs.uwaterloo/~mannr) and pasted below.
————–
December 5, 2016

Erica Clark, PhD
Epidemiologist, Huron County Health Unit
77722B London Rd., RR #5
Clinton, ON N0M 1L0

Dear Erica Clark,

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me on Nov 29th.

I wanted to follow up with a summary of how I became involved in this issue, the direction and current status of my research, and my position on the issue of study of, and response to, the human health effects caused by exposure to Industrial wind turbines.

1: How I became involved.

I first became aware of this issue in May of 2013 after reading a paper by Carmen Krogh dealing with adverse health effects caused by Industrial Wind Turbines (link).

I came to believe that what was needed was a way to actually test consenting humans by exposing them to infrasound in a lab setting and to scientifically document the effects of this exposure.

2: Direction and current status of my research.

I started my research by working to develop the best infrasound recording method possible. In partnership with Professor John Vanderkooy, we developed a method of measuring infrasound from a single turbine, thereby isolating our results from the “clutter” of other turbines, wind noise, and other “pollutants”.

We published our work and our paper was accepted for presentation at Wind Turbine Noise 2015, INCE/EUROPE, in Glasgow, Scotland in April 2015 (link).

The next step was to design and build a method of producing infrasound in a lab setting. To be a useful research tool this infrasound needed to be identical to that produced by IWT’s.

This required the mathematical and computational research necessary to generate Sound Wave output to an exact duplicate of input data, namely actual turbine recordings previously captured.

This would finally allow others at the university, with appropriate medical training and ethics approval, to scientifically test and document the effects of infrasound produced by IWT’s on consenting humans.

I received university funding for this research from both the Department of Computer Science and the Office of Research in October 2015 which has allowed me to proceed.

My research over the next six months led to the building of prototype #1, a proof of concept device which was able to produce infrasound in a lab setting in the range produced by IWT’s, within a small test chamber.

The system consists of 3 main components: a controllable pressure source, a modulation device that is responsive to input commands, and measurement, analysis, and recording technology.

Prototype #2 is a fourfold scaled up chamber version of the proof of concept device and successfully produces infrasound in response to input commands. Prototype #2 is currently being used to refine design, data collection, and analysis.

Work is currently well along on version #3, a full scale chamber, capable of accommodating a human subject. This will finally allow others at the university with appropriate ethics approval and medical training to test the effect of infrasound on consenting human subjects.

3: My current position

I have kept up to date on the most recent scientific evidence on harm in humans and animals relative to IWT’s

There have also been many surveys and studies regarding human health effects related to Industrial Wind Turbine exposure. Sadly many of them have actually increased suffering by concluding that the subjects were imagining their symptoms, and by varying degrees, labeling them with the “It’s all in your head” designation.

It is also of note that while many people did agree to participate in these surveys and studies in the hope that their concerns would be heard, they were certainly captive participants by being forced to live in proximity to the turbines.

This leads me to my use of the word “ethics” and my beliefs regarding the study and information gathering of a captive group of humans who are currently living in proximity to potential health effects.

I remember during my first year of engineering we were told about an oath and ring ceremony that professional engineers take prior to receiving their accreditation.

These practices vary within different disciplines but two examples come readily to mind:

The National Society of Professional Engineers (USA) states “Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public”.

Professional Engineers Ontario states: “A practitioner shall, regard the practitioner’s duty to the public welfare as paramount”

I believe as scientists and researchers, while we were not actually required to pledge to such an oath, we certainly have a basic moral obligation when we choose to interact with people who are suffering.

At a minimum, this should be to clearly point out both the risks and benefits of interacting with us and to provide referrals to resources and other help related to their suffering. This should be the core principle of any such undertaking and certainly a legally mandated one by any board of health.

Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me and if I can be of any help going forward please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Richard Mann
Associate Professor
School of Computer Science
Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo

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