Take a drive through newly industrialized West Lincoln, letter writer says

Dec. 10/15Dear Editor:

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I invite you, and your readers in Niagara Region to take a drive through West Lincoln township and view the INDUSTRIAL wind turbines that are being installed there.  You will be awed by the size of these turbines, so much so, that you will never again call them “windmills”.

You do not need  a map:  just start at the Transmission Station just past Wellandport and follow the  orange stakes down Canborough, Port Davidson Road, Sixteen and Tober Road, Road 6, Twenty hwy, Road. 5 , Young Street, Walker Road, and Mountain View Road.  (The stakes can always be found opposite existing transmission lines).  These stakes are placed in the road allowance to mark  the location at which  the transmission poles will be placed.

You will also notice, on Canborough,  Port Davidson, Tober and many of the side roads, the construction of the connector lines, which are to be buried and  eventually,  bring the raw power from the turbines to the transformer station where they will be transformed into 230mw of power which will travel on the 115kw lines down the transmission lines.  Realize that all 77 turbines  will be connected by connector  lines. There will be miles of these lines criss-crossing along most of the county roads in  the township.  Plan your trip to include  Vaughn Road  to get a really good taste of the mess that the residents of these roads have to put up with, on a daily basis, knowing that the process will take until August 2016 at the earliest.

Notice I did not tell you where to find the turbines.  You will not be able to miss them.  From kms

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away you will see the activity.  If you want to see construction, visit Gee Road where the turbines are located close enough to the road for you to get a good look at what is happening at each and every turbine construction site. The security people can not prevent you from taking a good look from these two sites.

This past week a brand new interest has been added.  Drive  the proposed transmission line from the proposed Transformer station on Canbourgh and you will see bright green  florescent ribbons on just about every tree on the opposite side of  existing transmission lines.

Each and every tree that is marked is slated for demolition for  building of the transmission line.

The irony of it will almost make you laugh:  trees are natures best defense against climate change.  Trees produce CO2 which is Natures air purifier, and hundreds and hundreds of trees are being removed for a transmission line  which will produce Radon emissions and  stray voltage, as well.

Trees create an ecosystem to provide habitat and food for birds and other animals. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide from the air and release oxygen. One large tree can supply a days supply of oxygen for four people.

Our trees, and the health of our community is being sacrificed for Industrial Wind Turbines which are not efficient, not green, not economically feasible or affordable, not nature friendly and riffed with controversy.

After you have taken your drive in the (newly industrialized) countryside, can you still say that it is worth the sacrifice of rural Ontario for the “common good”. Does this Industrialization of rural Ontario  make any sense to you?  Please contact your municipal officials and the MOECC and express your opinions and concerns to them.

Comments

Gord Schneider
Reply

There’s an election coming up. That will be our chance to send this government into oblivion. I’m not sure, however, that I trust any other party in Ontario to listen to us. God help us.

sue muller
Reply

did you mean trees absorb Co2?

Pat Cusack
Reply

Yes, Sue, I think trees absorb C02 and because of the thoughtless, over-development of our planet, we are in the mess we are in today. I am absolutely gobsmacked at the stupidity of it all. Let’s get rid of all the @##$%^&* in power and replace them with common sense! P L E A S E.
Oh yes, and God help us all.

Barbara
Reply

A provincial election in 3 years and a federal election in 4 years. By that time Ontario will be finished the way things are progressing.

Businesses aren’t going to hang around waiting for the next elections.

Read about the employment situation in Alberta with the oil sector layoffs. Suicide rates are up in Alberta. The same thing happened in the Detroit area when the auto jobs were lost.

Remi
Reply

This letter makes no sense. These turbines are among the most efficient and silent in the world. The carbon dioxide which will not be absorbed by the cut trees is nothing compared to what will be saved thanks to the turbines.
Would you rather have coal or gas burners around? Or would you prefer stopping using electricity?

Tom
Reply

If you think that wind turbines can replace coal or gas fired plants you are very much mistaken and need to do your homework re power generation.
When you do you will find that our Co2 emissions will actually increase when the wind turbines go online and you will realize that wind turbines are a sick joke and our provincial government is lying to you.
Incidentally I’ve have 40+ yrs in various forms of power generation including wind farms – our government doesn’t have 40 hours between them

Robert
Reply

Remi, you redneck hillbilly, you don’t know what you’re talkin’ bout. Now our children have to stare at those machine. What if they get dizzy and vommit all over the car, whose gonna clean that up. Nobody cares about carbon, heck, look at the weather, its almost christmas and I don’t need to wear a jacket. Sounds pretty good to me.
Its time to fire up some real reliable energy. Bring back Nanticoke coal station! A few more years and I will be able to put Harper back in office, he’ll clean up this mess!!

Mike Jankowski
Reply

I humbly submit to you that having lived near a wind farm, they are often not silent.In fact, they emit noise which could be described as silent because much of its emission are sensed, but not heard.

Large Wind turbine noise emissions are an issue in some homes and to some people.

I used to be for them, but after a year and a half of serious new health issues, a year of medical diagnostic searching with specialists and nothing found, observations and good technical knowledge, I have started to and keep asking our leaders to get these things away from people. A hint in my case was site specific issues and a subtle, star wars light sabre wielding like pulsating noise and vibration present in our home when the turbines are upwind from our home and in time with the blade pass frequency of them.

If you should come to know this and still wish this upon my family or any other person, then I have no words for you.

Rural101
Reply

The comment in your last line conveys a misunderstanding of the interaction and interconnection between energy sources. Your statement presented a choice between renewables versus dirty fossil fuels. This is a false dichotomy. The case is not actually Either/Or (Either renewables Or fossil fuels). This is the myth that government and the renewables industries would like you to believe. Rather, than this paradigm, the true state of affairs is If/Then – if renewables, then fossil fuels. Renewables create the conditions for us to become ‘carbon-bound’ to fossil fuels.

Because renewables are intermittent, variable and unreliable and our society has come to expect the constant, invariable, and reliable delivery of electricity, we need moment by moment back-up energy sources to compensate for wind and solar’s variability and to maintain the stability of the grid supply. Hydro and nuclear (both non-carbon emitting energy sources) are just not fast enough to be able to ramp up and down moment by moment to compensate for the vagaries of wind and solar. Hence the more renewables we add on to the grid, the more we become dependent on fossil fuel back-up which has a fast response time (think of your gas stove). In Ontario this is gas. In other countries such as Australia and Germany which have gone into renewables big time, they are using coal as back-up. Germany is actually in the process of building new coal plants which will use the dirtier brown coal. UK is amassing diesel generators as back-up to prevent looming black-outs. So much for eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels!

In all fairness, wind should only be discussed in terms of a wind-gas combination. And in actual fact because of this necessary pairing, our emissions are increasing because of the manner in which the gas must be burned in open cycle fashion and constant ramping up and down to provide this flexible compensation. Figure 20 of the Ontario Government’s Long Term Energy Plan from 2013 states that over the next 10 years, CO2 emissions will increase. And, as noted below in Richard Mann’s summary, the Professional Engineers of Ontario also state that construction of more industrial wind turbines will increase CO2 emissions because of the gas backup that is required for the unreliable wind power.

So wind is actually a bad deal. It achieves none of our real goals to reduce GHG, it reduces many of our citizens to energy poverty, and it creates unnecessary billions of dollars of expenditures on our electricity bills as ratepayers. The only goal it seems to serve is to maintain Wynne’s green illusion and ideology.

Sommer
Reply

Thanks Rural 101 for your attempt to educate those who are still so unaware of these matters.
One needs to realize how few people in Canada have opted for advanced studies in the sciences and math that pertain to the energy issues we face. The statistics alarmed me when I last checked them.
No wonder so few people understand why opposition to these industrial scale turbines, from those who truly understand, is so strong .

RB
Reply

Whether you get an emissions benefit from wind depends on what its replacing. In Ontario its pretty clear wind is largely replacing hydro and nuclear and on rare occasions when it shows up at useful times, natural gas.
But if you look at the Long Term Energy Plan though, it shows a tripling of wind and solar with an actual increase in natural gas use. That’s because the only thing wind/solar is actually replacing in Ontario is emissions free nuclear.

Claudia
Reply

Dear letter writer,

I’ll assume both you and I agree that we need to increase our installed power capacity and that it would be great to do along better efficiency of our usage .

On the tree argument, do you have any numbers on average tree destruction by source of power? Since we agree we need more power I think your arguments should always compare a source to another one. Somehow I believe a power plant + transmission line or even flooding a river could kill more trees, God help those trees.

You say that wind turbines are not efficient, green, nor economically feasible or affordable. The latest wind power purchase contracts in Quebec have been issued at 0.06$/kWh. That’s equivalent to other power sources and cheaper than what you pay in Ontario. If it’s not economically feasible as you say, just let them go out of business.

You ask “does this industrialization of rural Ontario make any sense to you?” I ask you, what is your alternative? industrialize Manitoba or native reserves instead, put up a different source of power? It’s not clear.

To Tom in the comments, we appreciate your experience but sadly you make an appeal to irrelevant authority (read book of bad arguments for reference https://bookofbadarguments.com/?view=allpages). Your 40 years in the sector don’t necessarily give you reason. Statistics, research from reliable scientifics and such would, and I believe that you are in a good position to do so with all that experience.

I agree wind cannot fully replace coal but I believe it can replace part of it and that is what is happening here. I agree that it’s also hard to see change and see the turbines in our backyard but hey, remember some people were against electric posts and preferred not having electricity. In hindsight the posts are great.

RB
Reply

By your comment I’m not sure Claudia how familiar you are with Ontario’s actual generation situation. What has happened here is driven more by ideology and corporate collusion than any rational effective energy strategy.
The large amounts of low value wind that has been jammed onto the grid with 20 year ,high cost , must take contracts was, technically and economically stupid, unless you were in on the action.
The gov’t chose to tie municipalities hands, so unlike Germany for example we got large corporate owned projects with small setbacks and very small beer in terms of local benefit. The GTA on the other hand has been intentionally left as “renewable energy free zones”. Wind projects, either in industrial areas or off-shore in the GTA would have scuttled the GEA long ago. The gov’t knows rural On. has no political influence. We’re just a convenient development zone now.
Re. actual emissions reduction, which was supposed to be the reason for the mess we have, please read my response above to Remi.
Re. Quebec…two things at least are different there. They have lots of storable hydro which allows them to not get stuck giving erratic wind away, or paying to curtail, as On. must do. Also they have lots of remote ridge tops and shorelines that allow setbacks almost 3x Ontario’s. Still its a negative impact on natural areas with little emissions benefit.

Richard Mann
Reply

Wind and Solar are not reducing C02. Ontario’s own Engineering Society is telling us this. See the report, “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates.” Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), April 2015.
http://www.ospe.on.ca/…/2015_Presentation_Elec_Dilem.pdf

Page 15 of 23. “Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ?”

– Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.

– Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.

– Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.

– Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.

– When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear genera,on to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.

– Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.

– Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO 2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).

– In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

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