Wind power benefits a myth, says Ontario citizen

Government claims that wind power helps the environment and creates jobs are false, says Brule Lake resident

What wind power is really all about: not the environment
What wind power is really all about: not the environment

Kingston Whig-Standard, April 10, 2016

Eliott Ferguson

PLEVNA — A Brule Lake resident is challenging some of the arguments the Ontario government is using to support its push to build more renewable energy projects.

Chris Albinson responded to Tuesday’s announcement by the Ontario government that it was launching the second phase of its Large Renewable Procurement.

Phase 2 of the Large Renewable Procurement program announced Tuesday called for up to 930 megawatts of green energy to be added to the province.

Contracts for Phase 1 of the program were offered in March and amounted to about 455 megawatts.

In the announcement, the government said green energy projects had created 42,000 jobs since 2003 and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Albinson said neither statements are true and the Liberal government’s Green Energy Act has hurt the province’s economy and increased the cost of electricity for residents and businesses.

“The Green Energy Act was a nice idea that has turned into an economic catastrophe through gross mismanagement and corruption,” he wrote in an email to The Whig-Standard.

Albinson said reports from the province’s auditor general show the expectations about the job creation, environmental benefit and economic value of the renewable energy projects in Ontario are greatly overestimated by the Liberal government.

“Any rational government would look at the facts and the auditor general report and stop the program,” he wrote. “In the bizarre thinking of this government, they are doubling the size of the disaster.”

In 2011, then Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter pointed out that while the Green Energy Act promised 40,000 jobs would be created by renewable energy products, most were short term and that estimate did not account for job losses in other sectors.

“However, about 30,000, or 75 per cent, of these jobs were expected to be construction jobs lasting only from one to three years,” McCarter wrote in his 2011 report.

Government estimates of green energy job creation also did not factor in job losses from other sectors of the economy because of higher electricity prices. …

Read the full story here.

 

No point measuring infrasound if province doesn’t care, says Kincardine councillor

New noise studies will show infrasound from wind power projects, but why spend money to protect residents when province doesn’t regulate low frequency noise, Laura Haight says.

Ostrich

560 CFOS News, April 11, 2016

At least one Kincardine Councillor thinks it may be time to put the lid on spending for wind turbine noise studies.

Laura Haight says the municipality has already done a study on acoustics in an area that will have turbines operating and another study is scheduled now that the turbines are operational.

Haight says it’s likely there will be more infrasound in the “after” study but it means nothing to the province.

She says the Ministry of Environment doesn’t consider infrasound in its approval process, so she questions why they should spend money to prove the issue.

Haight says with the municipality facing myriad capital projects and an infrastructure deficit, she wants to know when the turbine studies will come to an end.

The issue came up after Central Grey Bruce Wind Concerns Ontario spokesperson, Rachel Thompson, questioned the scientific criteria of a study done for Kincardine recently.

Thompson would like to see another study done with the correct Request for Proposal parameters being spelled out.

She says with a correctly-done study, it will put the province in a position not to ignore the results.

Staff will return with a report on the issue for Councillors to discuss at a future meeting of council.

Meanwhile, Council has given its support to a study of health problems being done in Huron County on residents living close to turbines.

Weekend reading: energy policy, Ontario, and more

A selection of articles from the week gone by.

When energy policy goes bad, Financial Post, April 7.

Canada can build pipelines and wind turbines to build public confidence: federal Minister of Natural Resources, Financial Post, April 6

Green energy in Germany: green is the new colour of “sleaze” Blog posting [Note we would like to post the original article but the international edition of Der Spiegel did not include it}

New evidence submitted in Prince Edward County on endangered turtles

The Environmental Review Tribunal accepted new evidence of harm to the natural environment in the form of aerial photos and a statement from a turtle expert

Hang on turtles! Somebody cares (not the Ministry of the Environment)
Hang on turtles! Somebody cares (not the Ministry of the Environment)

 

Save The South Shore, April 8, 2016

Late this afternoon the Environmental Review Tribunal granted a temporary stay of WPD’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA).  As a result of the stay all construction work at the project site has been brought to a halt.  The Tribunal will schedule a written hearing at a later date to decide on the merits of a more permanent stay.

This long-awaited decision is the outcome of a tremendous effort by Eric Gillespie and Priya Vittal, who have worked tirelessly around the clock since Wednesday when the Tribunal issued its reasons related to our previous stay motion.

In giving its reasons the Tribunal indicated that a further motion could be brought to the Tribunal should new evidence become available.  Thanks to the efforts of many individuals and above all our legal counsel, this new evidence was submitted this morning in the form of photographs showing the level of destruction, an affidavit from a Blanding’s turtle expert that turtles are out of hibernation and moving across the project, and letters from local and national groups including the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

We have many to thank for this welcome news including those who attended the Court of Appeal hearing in Toronto on Wednesday.  The concern and public engagement left an impression which may have reached out past the courtroom.

The good news is that WPD has been ordered to stop all construction at its project site.

In the meantime however our legal bills are growing.

Donations can be made by cheque or by PayPal on APPEC’s website www.appec.ca.  Please make cheques payable to the South Shore Appeal Fund and mail to the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, P. O. Box 173, Milford, ON K0K 2P0.

Regards,
Orville Walsh
President, APPEC

– See more at: http://savethesouthshore.org/details-regarding-the-stay-statement-by-orville-walsh/#sthash.tWBt30B7.IpiXaqVk.dpuf

 

Motion for stay in White Pines wind farm granted by ERT

Devastation in Prince Edward County as power developer proceeded with unauthorized construction activity this week[Photo: APPEC]
Devastation in Prince Edward County as power developer proceeded with unauthorized construction activity this week[Photo: APPEC]
April 8, 2016, 5:45 PM

Just a few moments ago, the Environmental Review Tribunal released its decision in the matter of a motion for a stay of construction activities by power developer WPD Canada.

The decision is as follows:

“The Tribunal grants APPEC’s motion for an interim stay of the REA until the resolution of APPEC’s motion for a stay, with reasons to follow.”

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) will have a statement soon.

 

 

No charges laid in wind farm methanol spill

Mehtanol spill on construction site [Photo: MCSEA]
Methanol spill on construction site: reported but the company says ‘it was vandals’ [Photo: MCSEA]
April 8, 2016

Community group the Manitoulin Coalition for Safe Energy Alternatives (MCSEA) has learned that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has not laid charges against a wind power developer after a methanol spill was reported on Manitoulin Island in 2014.

Chairman Ray Beaudry told Wind Concerns Ontario today that he followed up with MOECC Spills Investigator Angela Allen and was told that there was not enough proof to lay charges in connection with the spill at the work site for the McLean’s Mountain wind power project.

“I can’t believe it,” Beaudry told Wind Concerns.

“There was plenty of evidence at the site, but the developer claimed it was vandalism, or maybe someone using a snowmobile trail.

“It seems like with what’s happening in Prince Edward County this week [clearing vegetation in endangered Blandings turtle habitat, despite an ongoing appeal] these developers just get a pass on everything,” Beaudry said.

“I’m not sure what the public can do now when they see things damaging the environment like this.”

The original story carried in the Manitoulin Expositor on the toxic chemical spill may be found here.

 

Government lawyer derails citizen appeal to protect environment, endangered wildlife

Ministry of the Environment lawyer steps in as Prince Edward County citizens appealed for a stay of unauthorized construction activities in endangered turtle habitat

Massive clearing of vegetation in Prince Edward County wetland area. This project is still under appeal, but the developer has gone ahead
Massive clearing of vegetation in Prince Edward County wetland area. This project is still under appeal, but the developer has gone ahead [Photo: APPEC]
April 6, 2016, Picton, Ontario —

STATEMENT FROM ALLIANCE TO PROTECT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY (APPEC)

First and foremost our great thanks to everyone who responded to our call to attend the Court of Appeal hearing.  The courtroom was filled to capacity with no seats left empty.  The numbers left an impression on all present from the judge to the security guards who were curious about what case all the commotion was about.  It was a packed courtroom by anyones’ standards and we thank all of you who made this possible.  Our special thanks to Mayor Quaiff and Warren Howard of Wind Concerns Ontario. 
 
However the outcome of today’s hearing is not what we had hoped for.  On our arrival we had hoped that Justice Katherine van Rensburg would hear our appeal and our new evidence including aerial photography of the destruction that has occurred at the White Pines project site since WPD began clearing vegetation two days ago, as depicted in one photograph attached. 
 
Instead Sylvia Davis, lawyer for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, cited a ruling from over fifty years ago that only a panel of three judges could hear an appeal of this nature.  It became clear at that point that the motion would not be heard until after the legal matter of whether this was properly before the court had been dealt with, with a potentially unfavourable decision. Rather than spend considerable time and money on legal wrangling the decision was made to withdraw our motion for a stay on all physical activity at the White Pines project site.  The motion was withdrawn on consent of all parties and without costs.
We have received the written reasons from the Environmental Review Tribunal for its original refusal of our stay motion.  We will immediately be going to the Tribunal to once again request a stay.  As the saying goes when one door closes, another opens.  More information will follow soon.
 
Lastly, there is a short article on the Wind Concerns website with another photograph of the after-effects of vegetation clearing at www.windconcernsontario.ca
  
Regards,
Orville Walsh
President, APPEC

Wind power developer clears endangered wildlife habitat, without approval

ToughonNature
April 6—
On Monday April 4, wind power developer WPD Canada began clearing trees for turbine sites for the White Pines project in southern Prince Edward County. This work began in areas known to be habitat for the endangered Blandings Turtle; the power developer is continuing even though there are reports that milder weather has resulted in the turtles emerging early from their winter hibernation, and are at great risk.
 
This clearing work is also taking place despite the recent decision by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) to reverse the approval for the project on the grounds that it will cause serious and irreversible harm to the endangered Blandings Turtles. The ERT has not yet scheduled the next phase for the appeal process, which is hearings on remedy to the situation for the wildlife.
Until the Tribunal has reached a final decision, the power developer cannot have full approval to proceed with this project.
Please see the aerial photos provided by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC). APPEC will have a report shortly.
For more information on the legal fight, go to www.savethesouthshore.org
SSHore-3
SShoreDestruction-2

Ontario’s new wind power targets ‘insult’ to rural Ontario, Wind Concerns Ontario says

Ontario has a surplus of power, municipalities don’t want the power projects, but Ontario gives in to Big Wind

London Free Press, April 5, 2016

By John Miner

Just weeks after awarding controversial contracts for five wind farms, Ontario said Tuesday it’s opening bidding for double that amount of wind energy.

The government is also inviting bids from companies for solar, hydro and bio-energy projects.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said the move will save consumers money by putting more downward pressure on electricity prices.

In a statement, Chiarelli also said the province will put emphasis on community support for the projects.

Chiarelli and the government were criticized recently when contracts for wind farms were awarded for areas opposed to wind farm development, including Dutton-Dunwich in Southwestern Ontario where residents had voted 84 per cent against industrial wind farm development.

Several Ontario municipalities have recently passed resolutions demanding veto power over wind farm developments within their boundaries, but both Premier Kathleen Wynne and Deputy Premier Deb Mattews have said that won’t happen.

Ontario’s largest wind farms, and the largest number of the highrise-sized wind turbines, are located in Southwestern Ontario.

The last round of wind farm development was for 300 megawatts of wind power.

This time, Ontario has opened the bids for 600 megawatts of wind energy, along with 250 megawatts of solar, up to 50 megawatts of hydroelectricity and up to 30 megawatts of bioenergy.

The size of the procurement stunned wind farm opponents.

“This is just amazing,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of community groups fighting wind farm development.

“What can you say? They are selling off power at negative prices, we don’t need it. It is just throwing down the gauntlet to rural Ontario, it is so insulting.”

A report released last week by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator c(IESO) oncluded Ontario has enough electrical generation in place to cover the province’s needs for at least a decade.

“Clearly, they have bowed to pressure from the wind industry,” said Wilson.

The wind industry, for its part, celebrated Ontario’s announcement Tuesday.

“Ontario is Canada’s wind energy leader and understands the need to cost-effectively and reliably integrate more clean energy sources, like wind energy, into the electricity grid if it is going to meet its environmental and economic goals,” said CanWEA president Robert Hornung.

Mayor Randy Hope of Chatham-Kent, the one municipality that’sconsistently backed wind farm development and called for more, said the wind energy companies have been good corporate citizens.

The companies now contribute more than $2 million a year in taxes to the municipality, helping to pay for crucial infrastructure and services, Hope said in a statement.

The IESO is responsible for running the bidding process …

Read the full article here.

Ontario triples original wind power target for 2017, IESO announces

Community opposition rampant, municipalities demand more power in planning decisions, and Ontario has a surplus of power, but Wynne government opens bids for more intermittent, expensive wind power

Ontario Newsroom, April 5, 2016

 

Ontario Launching New Competition for Renewable Energy Projects
April 5, 2016 12:30 P.M.

Ministry of Energy

Ontario is continuing to secure a clean energy future by launching a second phase of the competitive Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process.

Working with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), a Request for Qualifications process will be issued by August 1, 2016 for 930 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from solar photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric and bioenergy sources, following engagement with stakeholders, municipalities and Indigenous communities.

The province will continue to ensure renewable energy procurement encourages the selection of projects with local support and competitive prices, as well as projects with First Nation and Métis participation. Based on the results of the first phase of the LRP (LRP I), it is expected that $3.3 billion in LRP costs will be removed relative to the 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) forecast, saving the typical residential electricity consumer an average of $1.67 per month on their electricity bill over the forecast period.

The next phase of the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) will ensure Ontario remains a global leader in clean energy development. Since 2003, Ontario’s clean energy initiatives have attracted billions of dollars in private sector investment and it is estimated that they have generated over 42,000 jobs in the clean technology sector. There are more than 30 solar and wind manufacturers operating in communities across the province.

Building a safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy system is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • The Large Renewable Procurement (LRP), which replaced the large Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, covers renewable energy projects generally larger than 500 kilowatts (kW) and was designed to strike a balance between community engagement and achieving value for ratepayers.
  • In March 2016, the IESO offered contracts to 16 successful LRP proponents, for a total of almost 455 MW of renewable energy capacity. Of the 16 projects that received contracts, 75 per cent received support from local municipalities.
  • For LRP Phase II, Ontario has set targets of up to 600 MW of wind, up to 250 MW of solar photovoltaic, up to 50 MW of hydroelectricity and up to 30 MW of bioenergy.
  • The IESO engagement process will include surveys, webinars and meetings with industry associations, municipal associations and Indigenous communities. Further engagement opportunities will take place during the LRP II RFQ and RFP phases.
  • Background Information
  • Results of Large Renewable Procurement I
  • Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan“Ontario is a North American leader in the development of renewable energy projects. By putting emphasis on price and community support, the next phase of renewable energy procurement will save consumers money by putting further downward pressure on electricity prices.”Minister of Energy