Windsor Star editorial on wind turbines: enough is enough

Wind turbines dot the landscape near Essex, Friday November 7,  2014.  (NICK BRANCACCIO/The Windsor Star)
Wind turbines in Essex County: Ontario’s blatantly pro-turbine process [Photo Windsor Star]
Windsor Star, August 4, 2015
Up to two dozen more wind turbines are being proposed again for an installation in the middle of Essex County, and critics can’t be blamed for being unenthusiastic about the new plan. GDP Suez Canada Inc. is behind the Blue Sky Wind Project, its second proposed wind farm for the same area.
The latest, slightly downsized proposal is to erect 20 to 25 turbines southwest of the Town of Essex. The installation would be roughly enclosed by a triangle formed by Walker Road on the west, South Malden Road on the southeast, and on the northeast by Highway 3 between Oldcastle and Essex.
A similar GDP Suez proposal for 27 turbines failed to win the support of the Town of Essex in 2012. But under Ontario’s blatantly pro-turbine approval process, that doesn’t necessarily end a project.
The Ontario government has suspended normal planning rules in the case of renewable energy projects, allowing proponents to trample local concerns all over the province. The Liberal government grudgingly began to allow more local input two years ago. But their attempt to mollify the critics still denies residents real veto power over unwanted projects.
After its last rebuff, GDP Suez said it was “determined” about the project. It’s opponents are, too. And this time they have an additional weapon at their disposal: cost.
Wind farm opponents invariably cite the alleged health effects caused by vibration and strobe effects. There is also alleged noise pollution. Finally, the visual impact of the looming machines is considered an imposition by many, and too many birds are said to be killed by the machines.
But isn’t the economic impact of wind turbines the issue of biggest concern to the most people? Turbines are a hugely expensive way to produce limited and unreliable power. The more that are approved, the higher everyone’s bills will be. They cause economic hardship and job losses. That should be reason enough to oppose adding two dozen more to the local grid.
Ontario’s controversial green energy schemes have saddled consumers and employers alike with growing bills, with little to show for them other than a questionable green pride on the part of the government of the day.
Wind farm owners are well rewarded for their investments, the farmer landlords a little less so. But consumers are stuck with paying hundreds of millions above market rates for the power produced, and one employer after another has cited rising rates as a reason they aren’t hiring. To add insult to injury, consumers are even forced to pay to dump wind power at a loss into the U.S. grid when it isn’t needed, because the contracts are so one-sided.
Essex County has embraced efforts to green the grid and accepted the installation of 170 turbines between Amherstburg and Tilbury. But if the main effect of them is merely higher power rates, perhaps enough is enough.
Comments are open.

What's your reaction?


  • John Vincent
    Posted August 5, 2015 10:07 am 0Likes

    Good grief, haven’t I written for years to forget about trying to stop the green energy bulldozer through claiming health effects. Although the effects may be quite true you’re not going to get backing from those not effected. I’ve proposed for years, the fight is on MONEY! every one in the province is effected by the financial effects of this nonsense. Now wonder of wonders its finally dawning on people with a perch to be heard from. The wonderouus new voice of the age, “every body, they’re expensive, lets fight them on money”…people you’re only waking up 10 years after the fact.
    You know the other thing I’ve been saying on this site that no one is listening too……. Green Energy is the energy future of Ontario. People are saying here and else where the Liberals and Chiarlis don’t have an energy plan. Wake up people, the plan is right in front of you. Coal is gone, Nukes are heading for the half century in age, hydraulics are being spilled for wind and solar, and Chiarlis is baragaining with Newfoundland for power from Muskrat Falls No new nukes will be built in this province because the public who don’t know them are scared to death of them, it takes at least 10 years from design to production normally, throw in the NIMBY factor and you have at least 20 years. They’re not going to be built. the current crop of nukes will be pushing 70 years by then,
    The Liberals are swamping rural Ontario with windmills and solar (over a thousand acres of solar on farm land in Marmora was nounced last night), these alll have to be matched by an equivalent amount of gas generation for back up.
    People, there is your electricty future in this provnce. Your not going to fight with the health issue, uintil some serious fighting is done on the economic side nothing will happen and we will continue to pay higher and higher rates to off shore owners and developers. That people is your new Ontario.
    Now let’s see how long it takes for some on with letters after their name and a perch to be heard from to clue in.

  • Barbara
    Posted August 5, 2015 1:50 pm 0Likes

    There are so many now on the renewable energy money bandwagon that makes it difficult to deal with this situation from an economic standpoint.
    There is plenty of money to be made trading renewable energy “paper” and loaning money.

  • Sommer
    Posted August 5, 2015 3:40 pm 0Likes

    It seems obvious to me that despite 10 years of exposing the economics, there hasn’t been a breakthrough yet.
    While it is absolutely important to push for a breakthrough and keep educating the urban voters in this province about the financial issues, it is worthwhile and necessary to expose every facet of this debacle.
    We’re all working together.
    A multi faceted opposition, relentlessly pushing for all government leaders to face reality and acknowledge the ‘on the ground’, ‘day to day’ negative impacts of industrial wind on real people in this province is finally getting the message through.
    I’m enormously grateful to people on each and every front, who have so generously worked to expose the truth.

    • Barbara
      Posted August 5, 2015 6:08 pm 0Likes

      Run the TSX only using renewable energy sources without any grid connections for backup?

  • Richard Mann
    Posted August 5, 2015 5:55 pm 0Likes

    Sommer. Well said. “Green Energy” is wrong on all fronts: economics, engineering, human health, nature, … Kudos to anyone who stands up and speaks out about this hypocrisy.

  • Barbara
    Posted August 5, 2015 9:50 pm 0Likes

    There must already be plenty of renewable energy options signed in Essex Co.
    If one developer doesn’t use their options they can be sold to another developer.

  • Tracy
    Posted August 9, 2015 5:37 pm 0Likes

    Their game is getting old.. Keep on pushing big wind, we’ll keep shoving. WE ARE THE REAL DEAL. We won’t back down.

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