Rent rates for coastal properties in NC drop with wind turbine views: economic study

“…not a scenario for which respondents would be willing to pay more to rent a home with turbines in view …”

Image result for pictures north carolina beaches
Photo Destination 360.com

New York State University

Centre for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy

The Amenity Costs of Offshore Wind Farms: evidence from a choice experiment


Abstract:

We conduct a choice-experiment with individuals that recently rented a vacation property along the North Carolina coastline to assess the impacts of a utility-scale wind farm on their rental decisions.  Visualizations were presented to survey respondents that varied both the number of turbines and their proximity to shore.  Results indicate that there is not a scenario for which respondents would be willing to pay more to rent a home with turbines in view as compared to the baseline view with no turbines in sight. Further, there is a substantial portion of the survey population that would change their vacation destination if wind farms were placed within visual range of the beach.  The rental discounts required to attract the segment of the survey population most amenable to viewing wind farms still indicate that rental value losses of five percent or more are possible if a utility-scale wind farm is placed within eight miles of shore.

Download Document

 

 

Grey Highlands wind farm appeal begins in London

Onus of proof that there is no harm should be on the wind power developers, say appellants

London courtroom moments before the appeal began at 10 a.m., April 19th: seeking fairness
London courtroom moments before the appeal began at 10 a.m., April 19th: seeking fairness

News release from Grey Highlands Wind Concerns

WIND TURBINES NEVER PROVEN SAFE!

Municipality of Grey Highlands, April 18, 2016 – Lawyers for Gary Fohr will appear before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in London on Tuesday April 19, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. to argue an appeal of the Environmental Review Tribunal’s decision to affirm the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change’s decision to approve the Grey Highlands Clean Energy industrial wind turbine project in the Municipality.

Mr. Fohr is a resident of the Municipality of Grey Highlands and a member of the local advocacy group, Grey Highland Wind Concerns (GHWC). Falconers LLP of Toronto is representing Mr. Fohr.

GHWC’s appeal is based on the assertion that the Environmental Review Tribunal made an error in law that misinterpreted an earlier Superior court ruling. The Superior court ruling stated that the Tribunal must follow its statutory mandate and make a positive determination that a wind turbine project will not cause relevant harm prior to confirming the approval of the project. The Tribunal found that there is presently no scientific basis to prove that industrial wind turbine installations are safe for Ontario residents.

“The expert witnesses who testified at the ERT for the government and the wind company agreed under cross examination that there are no long term peer reviewed studies to prove that wind turbines are safe for citizens of Ontario living in the vicinity of the wind projects.” said Gary Fohr, the appellant in this appeal as well as the original ERT appeal.

Mr. Fohr is the president of the Brewster Lake Home Owner’s Association and a member of GHWC. “The Ontario government requires citizens to prove that wind turbines are harmful to human health and/or the environment yet the big wind companies and the Ministry are incapable of proving the safety of large industrial wind turbines for people or the environment. For example, drug companies are required to prove the safety of their products before releasing them to the public, yet the Ontario government does not hold the wind industry accountable for the safety of industrial turbines,” said Mr. Fohr.

Doug Dingeldein, a spokesperson for GHWC, agreed. “To date, the onus has been on citizens to provide proof of harm to human health and/or the environment. That’s an almost impossible hurdle for any citizen to overcome. We know from lots of anecdotal evidence that people are being harmed. If a Superior Court decision shifts the onus to establish safety onto the wind companies, then perhaps there will finally be some relief for embattled citizens and municipalities,” Mr. Dingeldein said.

The nine-turbine project will be located less than one kilometer from the community of Brewster Lake in the Municipality of Grey Highlands. The 130 residents in the community are concerned that the turbines will cause the same negative health impacts already experienced by citizens in other Ontario communities who live near industrial wind turbines.

Grey Highlands Wind Concerns

See related story here.

Wind power doesn’t work, says engineer. Get something that does.

Throwing billions of dollars at wind and solar factories isn’t going to lower greenhouse emissions effectively or efficiently

Jim McPherson, Special to the Sun

First posted: | Updated:

WSR_WSRturbineaircraft
(Postmedia Network FILE PHOTO)

Last month, despite continuing objections from hosting municipalities and numerous concerns expressed by the office of the Auditor General of Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s provincial government approved more renewable energy projects.

Last week, a wind power developer began legally clearing vegetation from a vast area of pristine wildlife in Prince Edward County, even though the Enviromental Review Tribunal (ERT) had ruled the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to endangered Blandings Turtles and Little Brown Bats.

On April 8, photographs of habitat destruction apparently prompted the ERT to order an “interim stay” on construction and a “remedial measures” hearing will now be scheduled.

Federal and provincial Liberal governments are on a “green energy” spending spree.

They recklessly tilt at climate change by funding unwanted and unneeded wind and solar projects that kill wildlife and harm humans.

They generate super-expensive, intermittent, electricity that is exported at huge losses.

A comparison to Florida is a sobering story.

In the past decade, while Ontario electricity rates nearly doubled, Florida’s rates declined by 10%.

There are no industrial wind farms in Florida, where the electricity utility is owned by the same corporation that destroyed an Ontario eagle’s nest for its wind energy project in that province.

Most of Florida is only a few meters above sea level, but wind turbines can’t save Florida from man-made global warming.

Industrial lobbyists perpetrate the global hoax that wind and solar “farms” are justified by our need to fight anthropogenic global warming. It’s just not true.

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers reports that, “adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions higher”, because they need backup from carbon-emitting gas plants.

Trudeau’s $10 billion climate change initiatives cannot change that fact.

Our governments have been duped by a global industry that wants our money now; even though there’s no way to store unneeded electricity.

Terrified by the global warming threat, citizens allow our governments to believe that wind energy can save us. But it can’t.

In desperation, Ontario keeps approving “renewable energy“ projects, while our federal government just sends money. Meanwhile the Trudeau Liberals ignore their responsibility to protect human health, endangered species, migrating wildlife and human rights.

Health Canada admits wind turbine noise creates community annoyance that can be harmful to health but refuses to regulate acoustic radiations from wind turbines.

Trudeau’s $10 billion climate change initiatives will not change that.

Ontario’s Auditor-General and municipal governments know “renewable” wind and solar energy is not affordable for taxpayers and ratepayers — we subsidize it through feed-in tariff contracts, federal grants, and now by Trudeau’s budgeted climate change initiatives.

Municipalities fear wind turbines will devastate tourism-dependent economies and devalue tax-generating properties. Trudeau’s $10 billion climate change initiatives cannot change that.

Two years ago, 90 Ontario municipalities declared themselves “not a willing host” for wind turbines.

This year, most of them called on the Wynne government not to publicly subsidize any more renewable energy projects.

Municipalities know turbines are not safe for human communities, just as they were not safe for millions of deceased wildlife.

We must reject the foolish fantasy of getting reliable, safe and affordable energy from unreliable, unsafe, and unaffordable wind and solar factories.

Trudeau should not give our money to the provinces for carbon pricing subsidies.

The provinces will waste it on schemes that drive electricity prices still higher, without reducing greenhouse gases.

Instead, Trudeau should challenge industry to develop affordable energy storage by 2020, just as John Kennedy challenged America to land on the moon by the end of his decade.

It would be better to invest $10 billion in the development of energy storage, so that our children might then be able to afford the intermittent energy available from the wind and the sun.

Our first priority must be to make energy storage affordable. Until then, we must stop devastating our wildlife habitat and our rural communities with expensive “green energy” factories that can’t reduce greenhouse gases. …

Wynne government: keeping truth in the dark (or disguised)

WEEKEND READING

 

Randall Denley writes in the Ottawa Citizen about the current ad campaign by Ontario Power Generation (started in advance of the latest increase announcement). Eliminating coal was done in the most expensive way possible, Denley says. But here’s the kick: with wind and solar needing backup by natural gas, Ontario is still producing greenhouse gases (we’ll produce more with wind and solar, Ontario’s engineers say) but it’s done by private companies, so the government’s hands are “clean.” Read the story here.

Community engagement in wind power siting is a myth, says columnist and veteran journalist Peter Epp in the current edition of Ontario Farmer.[Not available online]

Here is the column:

“Unwilling”or not, it’s a go

Peter Epp, for Ontario Farmer

The Ontario government is spouting fiction when it suggests that the renewable energy projects it approves are welcomed within the communities in which they are to be developed.

In the most recent round of approvals [WCO editor’s note: the projects are not “approved” they have contracts, but …] announced in early March, three of the five wind projects were approved for municipalities that have been consistent in their formal rejection of such projects, each of them adopting status as an “unwilling host.”

They include the Town of Lakeshore in Essex County, the Municipality of Dutton Dunwich in Elgin County, and the Municipality of North Stormont in Eastern Ontario. [Editor’s note: the Municipality of Nation also got a contract and is also an unwilling host.]

Yet Ontario Energy Minister Chiarelli continues to pretend that these projects  are welcomed. Earlier this year he said the government has changed the way in which it consults with communities, “and ensures that only the most cost-effective and locally supported projects get built.”

But that can’t be the case when 60 per cent of the most recent round of approved wind projects were awarded to jurisdictions that don’t want them.

Dutton Dunwich on the phone again? Warwick too? Kawartha Lakes? Prince Edward County? Aw geez...
Dutton Dunwich on the phone again? Warwick too? Kawartha Lakes? Prince Edward County? Aw geez…

Chiarelli used the same line on April 5 when his ministry announced it would be launching its next round of wind, solar and other renewable energy contract bids [procurement] this summer. A request for qualifications for 930 megawatts of renewable energy …is to be issued by August 1. The contracts for successful bidders are to be issued no later than May 1, 2018.

“By putting the emphasis on price and community support, the next phase of renewable energy procurement will save customers money by putting further downward pressure on electricity prices,” Chiarelli said in a press release.

Planning for renewable energy is in Toronto, and continues to reside there

This is again fiction. There has never been any emphasis on community support. When the Ontario Green Energy Act was approved in 2009, municipalities were purposely excluded from any participation in the approval process. Planning authority was concentrated in Toronto, and that authority continues to reside there.

The government did give a small concession to local governments three years ago, allowing them to contribute to the planning discussion, while suggesting that municipal support for a renewable energy project would contribute to its approval.

But at no time has the government ceded its real authority.

It still makes the final decision: even if that decision doesn’t have local support.

That Chiarelli would continue in this charade is curious, given the strong opposition that some municipalities continue to provide…Dutton Dunwich even held a referendum on wind farms, in which 84 per cent of its residents cited their opposition.

90 communities opposed–and they’re not going quietly

Like Dutton Dunwich, Warwick Township in Lambton County is one of almost 90 “unwilling hosts” in Ontario, and yet there are nine wind turbines within its boundaries. Its mayor on April 5 said it would continue to remind Chiarelli and his ministry that Warwick doesn’t want any more turbines.

“We were very strong sending that message during the last phase, and we’ll continue…”

 

Editor’s note: Last month North Frontenac passed a resolution demanding that municipal support be a mandatory requirement in the procurement process, not just a means for bidders to get more points and a higher price. Other municipalities are expected to join in.

Crusading Medical Officer of Health dismissed in Huron County

Dr Janice Owen was about to investigate the health impacts from wind turbine noise, under the responsibilities she has with the Health Protection Act. Now the mayor says, “we have parted ways”

Dr. Janice Owen

Dr Janice Owens: taking health protection seriously

London Free Press, April 15, 2016

John Miner

Huron County and its acting Medical Officer of Health have “parted ways,” the latest in a string of abrupt departures of senior officials from the county’s health unit.

Bluewater Mayor Tyler Hessel, chair of the Huron County Board of Health, confirmed Friday that Dr. Janice Owen was no longer in the position.

Owen was appointed a year ago.

In 2013, then Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nancy Cameron was dismissed by the board.

In 2008, the county fired the executive director of the health unit for ‘philosophical differences.’

Hessel declined to discuss reasons for Owen’s departure.

“We just parted ways, that’s all I can say,” Hessel said.

“Huron County Board of Health and Dr. Owen have now parted ways, but everything is going to continue moving forward as usual,” he said.

Owen could not be immediately reached for comment.

One of the health unit’s initiatives since her appointment has been a study of the possible health effects of wind farms in Huron County, which has some of the largest turbine installations in the province.

Hessel said Owen’s departure was unrelated to the wind farm issue and that work would be carried on by health unit staff.

 

Read the full story here.

Energy Minister claims power bill increases “flatlined”

flatline

Something is moribund, Parker Gallant says, but it’s the Minister’s handling of this portfolio that isn’t too healthy.

 

OEB rate increases are flatlined?

The Windsor Star on June 23, 2015 interviewed Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli; some of the comments from the article were very interesting.

Chiarelli said consumers have seen the last of sharp increases that averaged about six per cent annually over the last eight years. Starting next year, hydro rates for industrial users are expected to rise by 1.7 per cent — about the rate of inflation. Increases in rates for residential users will be “slightly higher,” he added and went on to note:  “There was a blip in rate pressures because of the investments that we made, but starting in 2016 that will be flatlined very significantly.”

Here we are in 2016 and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) just announced rate increases for the “electricity” line on our bills for the next six months commencing May 1, 2016.   Just prior to the announcement the OEB issued a release stating they had “redefined” what a “typical” residential customer uses and dropped it from 800 kWh per month to 750 kWh.  The effect of that “redefined” typical ratepayer reduces the monthly increase quoted in the press release.

Was intentional to support Energy Minister Chiarelli’s “flatlined” comment?

What the press release didn’t tell us was what “electricity” rates will actually increase.   As an example Off-peak rates will increase from 8.3 cents to 8.7 cents; a 4.8% increase for 6 months and a 9.6% increase annually.  Most households consume 67% of their electricity during the Off-peak hours so the rate increase for 67% of the “typical” bill increased by 9.6% not the 2.5% the press release pretended!  For Mid-peak the rate increase was 3.1% for the 6 months and for On-peak the increase of 0.5 cents was 2.9% for six months.

So, in Energy Minister Chiarelli’s math—the “blip” he referenced, and his apparent misunderstanding of the English language term “flatlined” has a connotation bordering on death as Merriam Webster defines it:  “to register on an electronic monitor as having no brain waves or heartbeat”.

There is a lot unsaid in the “flatlined” definition that ratepayers will no doubt consider as applicable to the mismanagement of the Energy portfolio, and the constant and incessant increases in their electricity bills every six months.

Minister Chiarelli recently announced he is seeking another 600 megawatts of industrial wind turbines that will no doubt continue the “flatlined” rate increases and add to the killing, harming and harassment of birds and bats and also result in more rural residents suffering from health effects caused by those industrial wind turbines.

Time for the Minister to stop the madness.

© Parker Gallant,

April 14, 2016

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

Energy Minister on the defensive over distant aboriginal support for wind farm

 

Community protest at Dutton Dunwich; the community says no, but people 1,000 km away get more say
Community protest at Dutton Dunwich; the community says no, but people 1,000 km away get more say

 

London Free Press, April 14, 2016

Ontario’s energy minister is making no apologies for a locally unwanted wind farm being built in Southwestern Ontario with the backing of remote communities more than 1,000 kilometres away.

“We believe that providing opportunities for aboriginal communities to become involved in renewable energy projects is a key component of the renewable procurement process, regardless of whether the project takes place on their territory or not,” a statement by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s office said.

Under a new competitive bidding process that was promoted as taking local sentiment into account, Chicago-based Invenergy won a contract to build the Strong Breeze wind farm in the Elgin County municipality of Dutton-Dunwich.

Eighty-four per cent of Dutton-Dunwich reidents who voted in a referendum last year opposed wind farm development.

But Invenergy partnered with six First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario — Fort Severn, Keewaywin, Deer Lake, North Spirit Lake, McDowell Lake and Poplar Hill — which boosted its bid in the intense competition for 16 renewable energy contracts. More than 100 bids were submitted.

“People are upset,” Jeff Yurek, Progressive Conservative MPP of Elgin-Middlesex-London said Wednesday after speaking to people in his riding.

“They assumed that it would be local groups that would be directly affected,” he said of the government’s policy of garnering First Nations support for the project.

Yurek said he believes the Liberal government is trying to divert attention from the fact it said municipalities would have a say on wind farms. “They ignored the wishes of the municipality.”

The new bidding system for the first time required companies to compete on price. Under the old system, companies were offered fixed rates for power.

But along with price, companies were awarded points if they could win the backing of landowners and the municipality and participation in the project by First Nations.

Local opponents of the wind farm said it was ludicrous for the remote communities to influence the decision to build in Elgin County. …

Read the full story here.

Plympton-Wyoming in court next week: prove wind turbines NOT harmful to health

Plympton-Wyoming citizens head to court next week

*Note change of date; venue remains the same

Tuesday, April 19th, 10:00 a.m.

Divisional Court, London, Ontario

Courthouse Address: 80 Dundas St. London, ON

Parking Address: 100 Queens Ave, London, ON

Your attendance is encouraged and appreciated.

 

Legal Summary:

In December 2014, The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (higher Court) in a ruling indicated that the Environmental Review Tribunal is required to engage in a two step analysis on appeals of wind turbine projects. While an Appellant is required to show that the project will cause harm (step 1), the Tribunal must also be satisfied that the project will NOT CAUSE harm (step 2).

Recent evidence that came out of the appeal of Gary Fohr showed that while the scientific evidence has been unable to conclusively demonstrate harm, the experts for the wind company and the government agreed that there is NO SCIENTIFIC DATA available to demonstrate that wind turbines do NOT CAUSE harm. The Fohr appeal has been joined with our appeal.  We, as well as the court, will have the benefit of the Fohr evidence at our appeal.

—————

The provincial government has recently approved more industrial wind projects into Ontario communities who were unwilling hosts.  More projects are slated for 2017.  On Monday, we have an opportunity to make a difference.

We appreciate your support, your attendance and your financial contributions. 

Your donations can be made:

  1. Online using Paypal or Credit Card www.wait-pw.ca
  2. Cheque made to WAIT-PW and mail to P.O. Box 219 Plympton-Wyoming, ON, N0N 1TO
  3. Deposit directly with Southwest Credit Union in Wyoming or Sarnia, ON

Distant indigenous peoples’ “support” of wind power project revealed

Some of the First Nations deemed to be in support of the Dutton Dunwich area wind power project by U.S. firm Invenergy are 1,000 km away—yet they are allowed to be in support of the project under the Wynne government process, for points toward a successful bid

MacDowell Lake is located in Ontario

McDowell Lake First Nation is north-west of Lake Superior … but able to help a U.S. firm get a southern Ontario wind power  contract

London Free Press, April 12, 2016

By John Miner

 First, they found out they’re getting giant wind turbines even though they didn’t want them.

Now, residents of a Southwestern Ontario township are learning the support of six Ontario First Nations communities — more than 1,000 kilometres away, some not even in the same time zone — helped give a Chicago-based energy giant an edge in its winning bid to build the unwanted wind farm.

One of the native communities is along Hudson Bay, the others in the province’s northwest near the Manitoba border.

It’s another sign that for all the changes Ontario has made to ensure the controversial projects aren’t imposed on areas that don’t want them, as they have been in parts of Southwestern Ontario, problems — and surprises — persist.

“It’s ludicrous for them to do something like that,” said Jamie Littlejohn, a spokesperson for Dutton/Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines.

Littlejohn heads a citizens’ group opposed to the project in Dutton-Dunwich Township, southwest of London.

Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek said he was “shocked” that communities so far away could influence an energy project in his riding, and he wants the ruling Liberals to shelve the wind farm.

“I don’t think it’s fair to residents of the municipality — it’s a huge loophole the government needs to close,” said the Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP.

Residents in Dutton-Dunwich, in rural Elgin County, are vehemently opposed to Invenergy LLC’s project.

Under Ontario’s new bidding system for wind-energy contracts, participation by a First Nation gives companies an extra edge.

Invenergy, which won one of the coveted contracts for its proposed Strong Breeze Wind Farm in Dutton-Dunwich, found its First Nation support — and investment — in Ontario’s northernmost community and remote reserves near the Manitoba boundary.

One of the First Nations communities participating in the project, McDowell Lake, has only 59 members. …

Read the full article here.

Out of sync: power demand and wind power in Ontario

…and Ontario electricity ratepayers pick up the tab, as last weekend’s $17-million demonstrates, says Parker Gallant

Wind trumps Darlington and ratepayers pick up the bill

The love affair the current Ontario government has for industrial wind turbines (IWTs) took a turn for the worse recently. Because wind power from turbines appears at high level in the Spring and Fall seasons (when demand for power is low), Ontario was forced to shut down a Darlington nuclear reactor with a rated capacity of 880 MW.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) claims that “wind curtailment” (or preventing wind power from reaching the grid when it’s not needed) helps to avoid nuclear shutdowns, the past weekend dispelled that notion. The shutdown of Darlington G 4 and the frequent steaming off at Bruce Nuclear is due to wind forecasts combined with low demand, and “first to the grid” rights given to IWTs via the Green Energy Act.

On April 9 and 10 wind turbines could have generated over 81,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of power, but IESO curtailed over 29,000 MWh on that typical “shoulder season” weekend in Ontario. Demand was low and averaged about 350,000 MWh over the two days.  As a result, export of power to Michigan, New York and elsewhere was about 77,000 MWh, or almost the full amount that wind would have generated without curtailment, and about half of what the Darlington unit could have provided.

Those surplus exported MWh generated revenue of $3.65/MWh on April 9 and a miserly 6.5 cents/MWh on the 10th producing revenue of about $144,000. That was for electricity billed to ratepayers at close to $120/MWh for a cost of about $9 million.  At the same time Ontario ratepayers were picking up the costs of that shut down Darlington unit, which added about $3 million to the weekend’s costs.

$12 million price tag for Ontario electricity customers

In short, Ontario ratepayers had their pockets picked for $12 million for power they didn’t need or demand.

Additionally ratepayers were paying gas plant generators over $5 million just to idle in case the wind stopped blowing or the sun disappeared behind the clouds. That’s a price tag of $17 million for power that wasn’t needed.

To sum up the weekend Ontario ratepayers were:

  • Subsidizing the sale of surplus electricity to our neighbours
  • Paying for the curtailment of wind generated electricity
  • Paying for power that a nuclear plant might have produced, and
  • Paying for gas plants to idle.

Ontario ratepayers’ energy demand and wind’s inability to deliver at the right time are becoming more and more out of sync. The cost to ratepayers keeps going up, without any visible benefit. Time for Minister Bob Chiarelli to stop hobnobbing with Big Wind lobbyist CanWEA and pay attention to his abysmal management of the Energy portfolio.

© Parker Gallant,

April 12, 2016

hornung-chiarelli-campbell

Left to right: CanWEA President Robert Hornung, The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Bruce Campbell, the President and CEO of Ontario’s Independent System Operator (IESO) at the CanWEA Spring Forum in Gatineau, QC, on April 5, 2016. Photo by Teckles Photo Inc.