Audubon Society in the U.S. raises alarm about turbines and raptor kills

The National Audubon Society in the United States has begun a fund-raising campaign to help save the raptors being killed by wind power generation projects in the U.S.
  Here is a message from Audubon VP Government Relations, Michael Daulton.

The Wind Challenge

Properly-sited wind power is a critical part of America’s clean energy future, and an important part of our strategy for solving the threat of global warming. But wind turbines can be a real threat to eagles and other birds. The same windswept ridges raptors favor for soaring are also ideal places for electricity-generating wind farms. The tip of a giant turbine blade moves faster than 100 mph—much too fast for even an eagle eye to perceive. Thousands of hawks, eagles, and other migrating birds collide with wind turbines every year. The results are almost always fatal.

Audubon was among the first organizations to raise the alarm, and to work to find the right balance between the need for renewable energy and the need to protect amazing birds like the Swainson’s Hawk and the Golden Eagle. Bird-lovers like you have been actively engaged both on the ground and at the federal policy level to protect birds and keep eagles soaring.

  • Audubon experts played a key role on a 22-person federal advisory committee that spent three years developing the first-ever nationwide guidelines aimed at minimizing the threat of wind power to eagles and all other birds.
  • As you read this, an Audubon team in Washington D.C. is in active negotiations with the wind energy industry, the White House and key federal agencies to forge a permitting process directed solely at the conservation of eagles.

Meanwhile, Audubon members are leading the fight to oppose poorly-sited wind farms and to guide wind power away from vulnerable bird habitats. Local chapters, like Golden Gate Audubon in California, have won landmark victories for birds at places like Altamont Pass in central California and other sites where turbines put eagles and other raptors at risk. These are the real heroes of Audubon, who inspire me every day by making a real difference for birds like the Golden Eagle. 

We object to the idea that wind power generation is the answer to the need for power in anything but an industrial application, but we applaud the recognition of the serious and probably irreversible harm to the natural environment.
For more information, go to the website at: www.audubon.org

The Long-Term Energy Plan consultation in Sault St Marie: joke

The North has seemed to be weeping copiously, perhaps for the desecration of the Great Spirit Island which is currently being spiked with icons of greed energy.  Torrents of rain have torn out roads and flooded already sodden low areas. Public enthusiasm for the Long Term Energy Plan “engagement” in Sault Ste Marie was dampened, though not a complete washout.
http://www.saultstar.com/2013/09/10/states-of-emergency-called-in-outlying-municipalities-motorcyclist-dead

As per usual, invited stakeholders (listed below) enjoyed the opportunity for a sit down presentation, refreshments and round table discussion; the poster board community walk-through format, insultingly reminiscent of greed energy developers’ public cons in form and content, awaited the common folk despite advise to the contrary.  The Ministry of Energy team did graciously extend a last minute invitation to this loitering individual who was between an earlier appointment and hours of Wifi work in a lobby armchair.  The opportunity to observe and compare was not to be missed…

After a brief intro, presentation by the OPA and opportunity to mingle, the various labelled tables attracted participants eager to give input.  NUCLEAR had plenty of space.  Only Deucksoo Lee, of the Korean engineering firm KEPCO, was in conversation with the moderator; storm-delayed, Steven Jellich later joined us.  His affiliation with Union Gas inclined him to be a spoiler for nuclear, not wanting the evaluation of nuclear to be entirely lacking in consideration of emissions and concerned about expense of new build.

After a break the Renewables and transmission table filled, possibly with fewer vested interests because after introductions there was a lengthy pause when the moderator read from the “Making Choices” section on renewables the statement:
“Looking beyond 2018, what goal should Ontario set to ensure that non-hydro renewable energy continues to play an important role in meeting Ontario’s supply needs?”

This reporter, taking exception to the idea that the unreliables are playing an important role used Prince Wind Farm’s chronic inability to match peak production with Ontario’s demand as handy evidence that meeting Ontario’s supply needs with wind is wishful thinking.  Prince Township Reeve Ken Lamming interjected that windfarms are a waste of space, suggesting existing infrastructure should be refurbished or converted to gain supply efficiencies without more environmental damage.

The moderator’s claim of CO2 abatement benefits was rebuffed with the BENTEK Energy reports, the IESO rep at the table tried to suggest Ontario’s situation might be different…

The Deputy Energy Minister was at a simultaneously held LTEP meeting in Kenora so his assistant in attendance here was the target for an almost constant stream of objection to inadequacies, claims and statements from the Ministry Of Energy.  He became the focus of even more attention at the evening session when determined stewards of Lake Superior braved the flooding and washouts to make sure Ministry was hearing our concerns about increased fire risks, lack of performance bonds on decommissioning plans, lack of Democracy, lack of honest costing for the unreliables, the fallacy of jobs from wind farms…

EBR comments needed… as a representative of the Ministry of Energy said, while our objections and arguments will stay with them and influence their thinking while preparing recommendations and position papers for the Minister, their voice counts for much less than that of the voters – us.  


So please submit your comments to the EBR Registry Number: 011-9490, Title: Making Choices: Reviewing Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan
The comment period for this notice has been extended by 7 days to September 16, 2013, to allow for additional consultation.
To submit a comment online, go to http://tinyurl.com/l8lepsr
All comments on this proposal must be directed to:

Julie Green
0Senior Policy Advisor
Ministry of Energy
Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Policy
Strategic Policy Branch
880 Bay Street
2nd floor
Toronto Ontario
M7A 2C1
List of stakeholders invited to the Sault Ste Marie afternoon session:
Stephen Bieda: Sun Country Highways Ltd/Golden Horseshoe Electric Vehicle Association
Keith Clarida: Clarida’s
Tim Janzen: MET Energy Systems
Steven Jelich: Union Gas
Daniel Kaute: Environmental Waste International
Colin Kirkwood: Sault College
Dawn Lambe: Biomass Innovation Centre – Nipissing U
Ken Lamming: Prince Township
Tim Lavoie: Algoma POwer – Utilities- Distribution
Deucksoo Lee: KEPCO Engineering & Construction Company Inc.
Joe Maure: Ministry of Natural Resources
Jason Naccarato: Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre
Dominic Parrella: PUC Distribution Inc.
Lory Patteri: Town of Bruce Mines
Martin Pochtaruk: Helene Inc
Robert Reid: M-Sci Technologies Inc./Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce/Sault Ste Marie Economic Development Corp
Dan Richards: Algoma Power Inc – Utilities – Distribution
Trevor Sawchyn: Solar Logix Sault Ste Marie
Megan Smith: Ministry of Natural Resources
Alan Spacek: Town of Kapuskasing
Grant Taibossigai: M’Cheeging First Nation
Jim Tait: Great Lakes Power Transmission

Many thanks to those of you who braved the elements to attend the public evening session and share your concerns, objections and arguments with the representatives from the Ministry of Energy!


Co-operators Insurance Co responds re: grant for wind power project

You recall that it was announced last week, The Co-operators Insurance company’s Foundation gave a grant of $13,000 to a “co-operative” called Wintergreen, which is a partner in a wind power project at Ernestown, Ontario (near Kingston/Bath). 
We recognize this “co-operative” approach as a way to get more points with the Ontario government in its approval process for large-scale wind power projects; some WCO members have written to the Co-operators–which has a history of supporting rural communities in Canada–to express their disappointment in a grant going to a wind power project, when these projects are so disastrous for Ontario communities and residents.
This is the response that some Co-operators clients have received.
You can email the Co-operators at service@cooperators.ca 

Thank you for taking the time to communicate your concerns to us.
The Co-operators Co-operative Development Program (CDP) was established in 1992 to support emerging and expanding Canadian co-operatives and through the years has directed funding to innovative legally formed co-operatives in a wide variety of sectors, including car co-ops, organic farming co-ops, renewable energy co-ops, and many others. While we understand and respect the concerns raised by some about particular wind power projects, we do support renewable energy co-operatives as part of our mission of being a catalyst for a sustainable society, and renewable energy will help The Co-operators meet our goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2014.
All CDP decisions involve strict due diligence by both our staff and third-party experts to ensure we meet our goals of co-operative and community development. Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-operative is registered as a co-operative under the Co-operative Corporations Act. It is not a division of Horizon, but rather a community partner and co-investor in the Ernestown Wind Park project.
Wintergreen is an active member of the Ernestown Wind Park project, to which it brings increased community engagement. Wintergreen members play an active role in the decision-making of this project. The $13,000 in CDP funding to Wintergreen was approved to help it increase membership in the co-op and community engagement.
We appreciate hearing from our clients and want to thank you again for communicating your concerns.

Europe: massive unrest over electricity prices?

Brussels fears European ‘industrial massacre’ sparked by energy costs

Europe’s industry is being ravaged by exorbitant energy costs and an over-valued euro, blighting efforts to reverse years of global manufacturing decline.

Europe's industry is being ravaged by exorbitant energy costs and an over-valued euro, blighting efforts to reverse years of global manufacturing decline.
Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc. Photo: © Alamy
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

By , in Cernobbio, Italy
9:07PM BST 08 Sep 2013
“We face a systemic industrial massacre,” said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.
Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.
“I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide,” he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.
“The loss of competitiveness is frightening,” said Paulo Savona, head of Italy’s Fondo Interbancario. “When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy.”
A report by the American Chemistry Council said shale gas has given the US a “profound and sustained competitive advantage” in chemicals, plastics, and related industries. Consultants IHS also expect US chemical output to double by 2020, while Europe’s output will have fallen by a third. IHS said $250bn (£160bn) in extra US manufacturing will be added by shale in the next six years.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10295045/Brussels-fears-European-industrial-massacre-sparked-by-energy-costs.html?fb

S.W.E.A.R. asks for funding help for Charter Challenge

This message was sent to us for SWEAR (Safe Wind Energy for All Residents) which is supporting a challenge based on the Charter of Human Rights, and needs funding help. More information on the legal action can be found on the website for SWEAR, below.

Charter Challenge: unite the fight
With Julian Falconer, seasoned Constitutional lawyer with a positive record

Nothing to date has stopped the construction of Industrial Wind Turbines in our province even though many people have been fighting tirelessly for years.
  There is now a strong move to come together and UNITE THE FIGHT.
  The current Charter Challenge, with prominent human rights and constitutional lawyer Julian Falconer at the helm, is the rallying action.  Julian has a winning record.  If the funding is there, he will take this fight right to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary.
   If this Charter Challenge is successful it will set a precedent and will assist ALL appeals and legal challenges which follow.  Others can then raise the same issues and seek the same relief.  This action has the potential to shift the burden of proof from the need to prove serious harm to human health to the need to prove the possibility of harm, a much lower threshold.
   Success with this Charter Challenge is a win for everyone.  UNITE THE FIGHT.  Support the Charter Challenge now. 
   Go to www.swearontario.wix.com/swearontarioto donate or send a cheque payable to “SWEAR”, c/o Dave Hemingway, R.R.#2, Bayfield, ON N0M 1G0.
   All donations to SWEAR go directly to the Charter Challenge legal costs. All disbursement costs for fundraising (travel, copying, postage, hall rentals etc.) are paid for by concerned citizens.

Kawatha Lakes wind projects: throwing ‘silver’ around to pretend acceptance

We can’t reproduce this article for you, and can only offer a link to the publication The Kawartha Promoter, but this week’s edition has an excellent article on wind power developer (and sometime environmental consultant to the wind power development industry) M.K. Ince.
  Note the trend toward forming symbolic “co-operatives” like the Wintergreen Co-operative behind the Ernestown Windpark (that got them a grant from the Co-operators Insurance Foundation). It looks like community acceptance–but isn’t.
  Click on the link than page through to page 19.
http://issuu.com/thepromoter/docs/the_promoter_sept_6_2013/1?e=4874630/4744518

Without taxpayer money, wind doesn’t exist

Here from the blog North East Windmills is a view on wind power development in that part of the United States: slowed virtually to a halt.

Wind Installations Grind to a Halt With Zero Installed Nationwide in 2nd Quarter of 2013

July 31, 2013 by
Wind energy is collapsing
Wind energy is collapsing – zero installs in the 2nd quarter of 2013

We’ve been trying to point out just how bad the collapse of wind energy really is, but some of you might think we’ve only been showing you a few cherry picked facts, so here’s something for you to consider from the American Wind Energy Association, the wind energy trade group.

Only 1.6 megawatts (MW) of wind power were commissioned during the first half of the year and none at all during the second quarter

Zero installs in the second quarter!

Think about that, the BOOMING wind energy sector installed 1.6MW in the first quarter, that’s most likely a single wind turbine, and absolutely none in the second quarter. What does that say about the wind industry?

Without taxpayer money, wind energy doesn’t exist

The AWEA says they’re fine, things are “ramping up” and they blame the late extension of tax credits as the reason they were down so long. In other words, this huge “dead zone” with zero installs is what wind energy looks like without taxpayer money propping it up.
Countries around the world cutting back on wind, plants in the US closing, sales from the big manufacturers way down, and now, zero installs in the second quarter, it makes you think this rush to put a very wind friendly ordinance in place in communities like ours, is a last desperate grab by out of town developers for taxpayer money before the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expires for good.
It looks like wind energy advocates can’t handle the truth.
Just say NO! North East is our home, we live here. We can do better.

Report on ERT preliminary hearing on South Kent wind project

This report comes from the Chatham-Kent Wind Action group.

Report on the Preliminary ERT Hearing of Platinum Produce vs South Kent Wind
 
The second appeal of the South Kent Wind project began with a preliminary hearing in Blenheim yesterday (Sept 5). Robert Wright was the only tribunal judge presiding. Two lawyers (Bunting and Powell) were there to represent South Kent Wind, and at least 3 lawyers (Jacobs, Horner and ?) were there for the MOE as well as a representative or two for the minister of the Environment. The appellant, Platinum Produce, was represented by Graham Andrews (from the Gillespie firm).
   No one requested any status to present material or raise issues at the hearing.
   South Kent Wind began by seeking dismissal of the constitutional challenge raised by Platinum Produce as well as a complete dismissal of the hearing. This was echoed by the MOE who also said that the Tribunal was not the proper jurisdiction to raise constitutional issues.

   The proceedings continued as per normal while schedules, correspondence, etc were discussed… kind of like watching paint dry.
   Eventually Horner for the MOE began his argument regarding the need to strike the constitutional part of the challenge, that is– the right to life, liberty and security of person. His argument was that a company (Platinum Produce) has no direct standing to make such a claim, because it is a corporation, not a human.
Bunting for South Kent Wind continued with the same opinion that a corporation can’t raise a charter challenge.
   I’m not sure how things progressed after that as I had to leave. But here is a bit more background about the appeal…
   One of the turbines was originally located less than 550m from Platinum Produces’ permanent bunkhouse. This was not discovered until the last day of the first appeal of the project which took place about a year ago. South Kent Wind eventually moved 3 turbines and reduced the power rating on another in an effort to correct their mistake and meet the (inadequate) noise requirements for the bunkhouse. They had to reapply for approval which opened the door for Platinum Produce to file their appeal in an effort to protect the health and safety of its workers (some of which are migrants).
  BUT… what was the most revealing incident of the day came when I took a few photos. The leaseholders and at least one South Kent Wind employee in the audience, turned away!!!! Then they ran to the South Kent Wind lawyers to have the photos stifled. That really should tell you everything you need to know about the wind industry… those involved are guilty of harming others and don’t want their neighbours to know who they are.
Chatham-Kent Wind Action

Parker Gallant on wind power developers: in it for the MONEY


Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association(CanWEA), and former Policy and Communications Director and Program Change Director at the Pembina Institute, spins the tale that industrial wind turbines are all to do with “climate change.” His interviewin 2010 (published on June 23, 2010) after he left Pembina for CanWEA, supports that belief. 
   By November of that year, he had reflected on the issue of low frequency noise and submitted his opinionto the Ministry of the Environment as President of the 400-member CanWEA: “…CanWEA submits that the proposed requirement for infrasound or low frequency noise monitoring as a condition of the REA [Renewable Energy Approval] be removed.”
  Almost one year later (October 12, 2011) Hornung  admitted in a Global-TV interviewthat “wind turbine sound…can have potentially indirect health impacts.”
  Despite that revelation, Hornung abides by the wishes of his members (his job depends on it) and wrote in January 2012 that he was “extremely disappointed that the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has called for a suspension of wind energy development.” After the recent announcement by Energy Minister Chiarelli that a review of the Long-Term Energy Plan was to take place,   CanWEA released their views:  The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) will be an active participant in upcoming consultations to review and update Ontario’s long-term energy plan and will advocate for further growth of wind energy* in the province.
  The CEO of a CanWEA member corporation was interviewed on the BNN (Business News Network) September 3, 2013.  Capital Power Corporation CEO Brian Vaasjo was asked about the company’s “wind projects”; the host declared in his question that the “skeptics” view them as boondoggles.  The CEO’s response was direct; he didn’t mention either “global warming” or “climate change.” Instead he declared that wind turbine projects do not stand on their own in a merchant market place, but, they provide substantial cash flows for companies like ours.  He went on to cite the benefits of “government procurement processes” and to single out the Ontario FIT Programas an example.
Bruce Vaasjo, CEO, Capital Power: wind can’t stand on its own
   
This is exactly what the Ontario Auditor General said in his 2011 report when he noted that the Ontario government had not done a cost/benefit analysis in respect to the implementation of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act.  Vaasjo’s frank comment simply proves that if the government hands out “money for nothing” there will be a lineup at the doors of Queens Park and a group to lobby for the largesse!
   The time has come to close the vault door at Queens Park– it is empty, and the taxpayers and ratepayers of this province have no more to give in welfare for huge, well-capitalized corporations.
Parker Gallant
September 4, 2013
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily the policy of Wind Concerns Ontario.
*Editor’s note: wind “energy” is the wind itself; wind “power” is what is produced from it. But “energy” sounds so much nicer than big, noisy, industrial power machines, doesn’t it?

Port Elgin citizen turbine impact presentations on video

Although the wind turbine at Port Elgin erected by the Canadian Auto Workers  has only been in operation for a few months, complaints of health problems from the environmental noise and vibration produced by the wind generator started almost immediately.
  This is a 90-minute video with presentations from residents. What is shocking is that this turbine at 50 kW is relatively small compared to the 2-3 megawatt machines now being built and proposed for Ontario.
  The video is here; the first quarter-hour gives you plenty of useful, if depressing, information.