How the wind power industry made a fool out of Ontario

No cause for hilarity this April Fool’s Day. Noise complaints unanswered, wells contaminated, a huge job ahead to unwind the damage

Home in Huron County surrounded by turbines: no laughing matter [Photo Gary Moon]
April 1, 2019

It’s now almost a decade since Ontario passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, which opened the door to industrial-scale wind power developments throughout the province, and heralded ten years of environmental impact … for nothing.

In fact, the province had already approved a gigantic wind power project in Melancthon, and racked up hundreds of noise complaints before the Green Energy Act was passed — the government went ahead anyway.

Today, we have high electricity bills which are harming ordinary families and discouraging business investment; the government has records of thousands of complaints about wind turbine noise and vibration (mostly unresolved); there are 40 or more families in Chatham-Kent who trace the failure of their water wells to construction and operation of wind turbines on a fragile aquifer there; and, we are seeing the environmental impacts that were brought forward in citizen appeals of Renewable Energy Approvals now becoming reality.

Ontario citizens spent close to $10 million in after-tax dollars to protect their communities from the onslaught of large-scale wind power, according to a survey Wind Concerns Ontario did of our coalition members.

The Ontario wind power disaster should not have been a surprise.

Auditor General Jim McCarty chastised the McGuinty government for never having done a cost-benefit or impact study on the wind power program; subsequently, current Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk estimated that Ontario electricity customers overpaid for renewable energy by $9.2 billion.

Guaranteed to fail

The program to encourage large-scale wind power (the province had a choice back in 2004 onwards to go for small-scale power generation–that’s not what they chose, guided by wind lobbyists) was based on ideology and was criticized by such informed analysts as Michael Trebilcock, who said “This combination of irresponsibility and venality has produced a lethal brew of policies.”

Economics professor Ross McKitrick predicted, “If the goal [of the Green Energy Act] was to promote industry and create jobs, it is guaranteed to fail.”

And Tom Adams, who said, “Urban Ontario, including city-bound journalists, are largely unaware of the corrosive effects some wind developments are having on communities, neighbourhoods, even families. This is expropriation without compensation.”

The jobs never materialized, electricity bills went up, a new phrase “energy poverty” was coined, businesses closed or left, and families were forced to leave their homes because of unbearable noise.

Noise complaints are so prevalent in Huron County that the health unit launched a follow-up study (results will be published later this year). Preliminary data showed that 60% of the people participating in the follow-up were experiencing problems because of wind turbine noise.

Wind Concerns Ontario presented the government’s own noise complaint data as evidence at the appeal of the Nation Rise power project last summer; the approval was upheld regardless of citizen concerns about noise, and damage to a provincially designated “highly vulnerable aquifer.”

Meanwhile, reports of noise are investigated on behalf of the wind power operators by the same companies who prepared the original noise impact assessments for them; one such acoustics firm even boasts that it created the government’s noise assessment protocol.

The fox is not only in the hen house, he built it to ensure easy access.

As Ontario’s new government struggles with all this (Energy Minister Greg Rickford told the Legislature last week that this is a “very difficult” file), there is little to laugh about in Ontario today as the spring winds blow, and families face more sleepless nights.

 

 

Comments

Barbara
Reply

Has the renewable energy mandate been removed?

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

Not sure what you mean. The Green Energy Act is not gone; parts of it have been changed and moved, but it is inter-woven through many other pieces of legislation and has countless regulations, which must all be dealt with.

Barbara
Reply

A “required” percentage of renewable energy is/was part of the renewable energy or energy strategy/plan for Ontario? Is this still part of the energy “plan”?

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

No new energy plan has been released to our knowledge. However, the IESO says Ontario will have a “comfortable” supply of power for years.

Sommer
Reply

According to LFN and infrasound expert, Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira, the harm to the neurological system as well as to the vestibular system of nearby residents is both cumulative and irreversible. If these turbines are allowed to run the course of their 20 year contracts, we will have adult onset seizures and irreversible cardiovascular damage in innocent men, women and children who have not consented to being part of this dangerous experiment.
Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira has stated publicly that knowing what she now knows about the harm, she would not live within 20 km from a turbine!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXCZ3OyklrE

She describes her credentials in her introduction to experts in Slovenia in May of 2018. Who in Ontario has the credentials to discredit her work and her findings?
We already have at least four people in Ontario who have had medical tests to rule out typical causative factors for their frightening cardiac instability episodes. Ministers Elliot, Rickford and Philips and many other key people within this new government have been informed of this development and have not responded. They were initially informed in early October and have received notice of this several times since then.
This is a“very difficult” file indeed!

Sommer
Reply

Dr. Bruce Rapley from New Zealand has just published his latest book on sound waves from these turbines and in his introduction to this book he says,” I pray that this work will change the tide of greed and neglect.”

Sommer
Reply

BIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF LOW FREQUENCY SOUND

Also attached is a copy of the Press Release for the latest book by Dr Bruce Rapley, in case you missed the earlier email regarding his book :”Biological Consequences of Low Frequency Sound” . His book is available for purchase via the link provided below and will be sent from New Zealand . For those in Australia I also still have a couple of copies available for immediate postage or delivery if you contact me via email.

This book is a great resource to educate and gives a comprehensive insight into the effects of low frequency sound. Along with Bruce’s older book these 2 books supply a wealth of information that can be used in educating others.

http://www.smart-technologies.co.nz/books.html

Maks Zupan
Reply

Beside serious health and environmental problems ,the whole project was an engineering and financial disaster. Beside serious engineering concerns, I kept sending to Ms Wynne and her energy ministers such down to earth warnings:” Please use some common sense. The fully useful wind blows about 400 hours per year and the year has 8760 hours. Sometimes the wind does not blow for the whole week. Its small unpredictable contributions only destabilize the grid and do no good. Go to you backyard every day and see how often any useful wind blows …..etc etc Never replied. Their IQ must be in the fifties or the bribes were really massive. In the real life business world they would be put on trial.
Can anybody tell me what is the TOTAL cost ( for no benefit) of their disastrous decisions. 40 billion or so, probably more.

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