Bow Lake project could interfere with Environment Canada radar?
We keep waiting for wind power to run out of excuses. In Ontario, the government’s mantra is, wind is green, wind is good, and there are no negative effects—not damage to the environment, death to endangered species, or health problems for people–that are more important than wind power’s “overall benefit.”
But here’s another situation, like the airports, the produce growing operations, the schools, the homes, where wind power has the potential to interfere with operations that are for the public good.
Will Bow Lake wind farm interfere with Environment Canada? 3
Environment Canada has raised concerns that proposed wind towers on Bow Lake could severely block or contaminate Canada’s weather radar network.
The concern was raised in a report dating back to December 2012 that raised concern that the Bow Lake Wind Farm could contaminate the radar data at the Montreal River weather radar station.
In turn, that will impact forecasters at the Ontario Storm Predication Centre and the Aviation Forecast Centre, among others.
Environment Canada concludes that the Bow Lake Wind Project and the Montreal River weather radar will not be able to co-exist without negative impact on weather radar users.
The argument is expected to be raised at an Environmental Tribunal Hearing expected to start in early March into the appeal of the Bow Lake Wind Facility.
The tribunal’s scope is limited to issues that deal with the proposed farm causing serious harm to human health or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the national environment.
The 23-page report from Environment Canada was submitted to BluEarth Renewables Inc. as an official comment made during the 60 day public review period of the draft REA submission documents.
The report states that local weather forecasts and severe weather warnings will be affected.
“The Montreal River area is prone to lake-effect snow squalls. These narrow bands of weather are very shallow and the lowest radar scans, nearest to the ground, are used to track their evolution. If the low level data is contaminated, the radar would be unable to monitor the accumulation of show in regions beyond the wind farm,” the report states.
It states that the accurate weather reports in that area don’t only just impact the public, but also the Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Provincial Police, NAV Canada and the Department of National Defence, all of whom utilize weather forecasts and weather radar observations.
Environment Canada’s weather radar system includes 31 radars across Canada, 28 of which are owned and operated by Environment Canada, two by the Department of National Defence and one by McGill University.
Factors that can affect the quality of the data include wind turbine towers, buildings, trees, towers and terrain, all of which can block energy travelling to and from desired targets.
The blockage can result in the lost of meteorological information.