Wind power developer records protesters in Prince Edward County

WPD’s slogan: “Wind has no limits.” Apparently, greed doesn’t either

MILFORD Ont., September 28, 2015—

As more than 300 residents of Prince Edward County gathered on Sunday to protest the assault on their community and the environment by two wind power projects (Ostrander Point and White Pines, both being appealed) Germany-based wind power developer wpd Canada recorded the event, including speeches given by various presenters.

“Shame on them,” says Paula Peel, secretary for the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC).

If the power developer’s presence recording people was meant as an intimidation tactic, it didn’t work, Peel says.

The organizers did a brisk business selling T-shirts and protest signs, she says. “If you didn’t come to the rally with a T-shirt or sign, it’s likely you left with one.”

“The one thing wpd will take away from our rally is that the fight is only just beginning.”

 

Contact APPEC and read more here.

Environment Minister cancels promised meeting with Mayor of Prince Edward County

ToughonNature

This news from Prince Edward County, where the Mayor has been very vocal protesting the approval of wpd Canada’s White Pines project, which will endanger birds and other wildlife, and affect the County’s tourism base. The approval came while the appeal of a power project at Ostrander Point is ongoing. Both that area, and the South Shore included in the White Pines project, are designated Important Bird Areas for migratory birds. Two weeks ago, an at-risk species specialist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry testified that he had recommended against giving a permit for the Ostrander Point project.

CountyLive, September 15, 2015

The provincial environment minister has reneged on a promise to meet with Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff – at least until the current Environmental Review Tribunal has concluded.

Speaking in person with Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), at Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference in August, “he gave his word we would meet within a couple of weeks,” said Quaiff. “His assistant Neville contacted my office and asked what specific questions I would ask at the arranged meeting so he could have the proper departments there in the room.”

In the letter, Murray stated that since the matter of the renewable energy approval for the White Pines industrial wind turbine project is before the ERT, “it would not be appropriate for me to comment on, or discuss this matter. I would, however, be pleased to meet with you after the Environmental Review Tribunal process has concluded to discuss my ministry’s work going forward.”

Quaiff wanted to discuss the Green Energy Act and how the County is already doing its part.

In his conversation at the AMO, Quaiff told Murray that “Prince Edward County has done its part on providing a net negative, which means that when the sun shines in PEC we produce more power than what we consume.”

Quaiff indicates he’s frustrated but will continue to persevere – as will the 89 communities that are now listed as unwilling hosts for wind turbines. (See below)

The ERT regarding Gilead Power’s nine turbines on Crown Land at Ostrander Point continues Sept. 23-25 in Demorestville. The ERT for the wpd White Pines 27-turbine project on private property in South Marysburgh and Athol and south shore, has been delayed to Nov. 2 in Wellington.

Wind power project divides community

500+ people gathered in Nation Twp to fight two wind power projects...and farm owner greed [Photo: Wind Concerns Ontario]
500+ people gathered in Nation Twp to fight two wind power projects…and farm owner greed [Photo: Wind Concerns Ontario]
Ontario Farmer, August 25, 2015

[Excerpted]

By Ian Cumming

Emotions were high the late afternoon of August 10 among the 200 or so folks who gathered outside the Nation Township Municipal Hall. They also lined the road beside, waving No Windmill signs, with most trucks and cars driving past honking support.

Doctors told mothers of ill children: you have to move if the turbines come

Two concerned mothers approached Ontario Farmer one the day before this protest, the other at the protest; one with an autistic son, the other with a daughter waiting for a heart transplant. Both said they were given medical advice that “we’ll have to move if the windmills come.”

The son, Michael, “who can hear a grasshopper deep in the grass that far away,” would be tormented beyond anyone’s comprehension, from the windmill swooshing sound that non-autistic people can barely sense, said his mother Susan, a former nurse. “When I drive by windmills I cry and choke with anger.”

Marc Bercier had windmills go up plus a substation on his land*, to the minimum sum of $95,000 per year for 20 years. A heck of an offer for a father who has two sons wanting to take over the operation.

“I’m pulling out of the windmill contract,” said Bercier recently. He detailed the venom that his family has faced for their decision to have windmills, including his elderly mother, when attending a public meeting the week before. [Editor: this was the huge meeting attended by 500+ people in St. Bernardin.] “I don’t want to put my family in that situation.”

The $22,000 he gets to keep as a down payment from EDF “wasn’t worth it,” said Bercier, “We value peace and family over money.” *

Even when he [Bercier] had gone public to Ontario Farmer (June 23) and other media this summer, detailing his contracts and the reasons for signing them, farmers who had done the same “attacked me, wanting me to keep quiet,” said Bercier.

Perhaps it was that self-imposed silence and the smoothness of the wind company EDF attempting a quick sales job for the community which contributed to the mounting opposition, said Bercier. “EDF didn’t do the real work with people.”

Phone call from the Liberal MPP

A last-minute pitch from EDF, which included offering to double the yearly stipend to the Nation Township from $150,000 to $300,000 per year on August 10, came the exact same day his council was meeting to reverse its earlier decisions to support the two projects [Editor: the writer fails to mention that there is a 150-MW project by EDF, and a 40-MW project by RES Canada being proposed] and declare itself an unwilling host, said Nation mayor Francois St. Amour. … The motion to reverse [Nation’s] earlier decision hadn’t even been on the agenda, but a call from local Liberal MPP Grant Crack to the mayor to deal with it, forced the issue ahead.

… [Developer EDF commented…] If people in the area have legitimate health concerns, we can certainly work with them and place the windmills so they are not affected, [Stephane Desdunes, director of development] said.

 

 

*Editor: you just don’t care about other people’s families and peace…

 

Ontario rejects wind farms: 90+ communities say NO

NEWS RELEASE

Wind Concerns Ontario

OTTAWA Aug. 11, 2015 /CNW/ – More than 90 communities have now declared themselves to be unwilling hosts to huge power generation projects using wind turbines. The municipality of Nation, east of Ottawa, yesterday reversed an earlier statement of support, and the Town of Essex declared it wants no more wind turbines.

“The Premier promised not to force power projects on communities,” says Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson. “But we still can’t say ‘no.’ Making the unwilling host declaration is a powerful statement to this government.”

Ontario citizens are increasingly aware that large-scale wind power brings potential environmental damage, harms wildlife, is linked to health impacts due to the noise and infrasound, and is causing electricity bills to climb beyond affordability.

Despite a surplus power supply and the high cost of renewables, Ontario is contracting for more wind power this year.

“The people of Ontario are saying ‘We’ve had enough,'” says Wilson. “The current procurement program should be abandoned immediately.”

www.windconcernsontario.ca

SOURCE  Wind Concerns Ontario

Wind power project rejected: the people of Nation speak

Council for the municipality of Nation, just east of Ottawa, met last evening and decided to reverse a motion of support for two wind power projects, in St Bernardin and St Isidore. Nation is now Not A Willing Host to wind power projects, making it the 90th community in Ontario to reject wind power proposals.

The community group Save The Nation/Sauvon La Nation held a huge public meeting last week, and revealed that council had passed the support motion with no public discussion or input.  The majority of residents are opposed to the power projects on the grounds that the potential for environmental damage is significant, and the impact on agriculture and the social fabric of the communities would be extensive.

“We are not for sale,” said Julie Leroux of Save The Nation in an interview.

EDF of France had claimed it has spent hundreds of thousands wooing the community, paying for hockey dinners and other events designed to sway farm owners to sign leases for the project.

See the story from CTV News here: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/residents-of-nation-east-of-ottawa-fight-wind-turbine-projects-1.2510730

Eastern Ontario wind farms: enjoy the horizon while you still can

 

From Farmers Forum, August 4, 2015

Community opposition to industrial-scale wind power mounting

Excerpt from “Eastern Limits” by Tom Van Dusen

I’m not sure what it is about North Stormont Township but wind power developers seem to love it.

Their calculations must have discovered more forceful winds than normal stirring the township. On the surface, though it seems no more or less windy than any other rural municipality.

In increasing numbers, developers have been wafting through the township looking for prime sites* to erect their industrial turbines. As in other communities where they’ve landed, their efforts have been the subject of increasing protests, petitions, and testy meetings.

Correctly gauging the way the wind is blowing on the issue, township council has just taken a stand against turbines and their proponents…for what that’s worth. With the provincial government relentlessly pushing wind power, it’s probably not worth much.**

Mayor Dennis Fife has explained that too many ratepayers are against wind projects for council to reasonably support them. Fife has expressed his personal opposition, claiming wind will never match nuclear power generation.

Typical of disgruntled ratepayers is Roger Villeneuve who worries that towers “much taller than any tree I’ve ever seen or will ever see” will soon dominate the local landscape.

…Council was helped along in its decision by Concerned Citizens of North Stormont which circulated an unwilling host petition, demanding that elected representatives back it at a meeting July 28. They did.

In explaining its opposition the citizens’ committee cited the loss of property values and prime agricultural land, increased hydro costs to cover wind power expansion, environmental impact on birds and bats, health issues related to pulsating noise and shadow flicker, and eventual decommissioning costs.

…Developers have been through all this before, in several other Ontario municipalities where they’ve landed. You see, they have carte blanche from the province under the Green Energy Act, trumping any local motions, opposing them. Projects are decided by the province’s Independent Electricity Service Operator [sic–it is “System” Operator] (IESO) with little regard for local concerns.***

…a growing number of wind power opponents are urging councils to use other tools at their disposal…one suggested option is refusing a bylaw to permit road access to turbine sites. ****

“Enjoy the natural horizon while there still is one,” says ratepayer Roger Villeneuve.

Wind Concerns Ontario notes:

* What they are looking for is willing landowners. Wind doesn’t really have much to do with it.

** The Not A Willing Host declaration stems directly from a statement by Premier Kathleen Wynne that she wouldn’t force wind power projects on communities that weren’t willing. Her failure to honour her word is underscored by the 89 (soon to be 90?) communities that have protested by municipal resolutions.

*** This is true but the failure of a developer to gain municipal support does not help them in a successful bid. Bids without community support are ranked lower.

**** This is not actually a valid option: several communities have tried this already and what happens is, the developer goes to the Ontario Energy Board which then grants permission to use road allowances. The municipality is then left without a road use agreement and possibility of compensation for the sometimes considerable damage to public roads.

 

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.

letters@windsorstar.com

Ontario Mayor says wind power process is extortion

wind turbines and lines

Lovely, aren’t they? Friendly, too. Extortion required for community support now in Ontario

 

“The process stinks,” mayor says of money offered by developers for municipal support

Petrolia Independent, July 29, 2015

Warwick Mayor Todd Case says the latest process to bid for wind energy projects amounts to extortion and his municipality won’t be part of it.

Four wind energy companies are in the process of bidding for industrial projects in Warwick, Brooke-Alvinston and Enniskillen. As part of the process, the companies are approaching municipalities to talk about what is going on and hoping to gain some form of support to improve their chances of approval.

Under the new process approved in June, companies receive bonus points for some forms of municipal approval. There is a form to say they have met with the municipal government which bears no points. If a company signs an Community Commitment Agreement with a municipality, it receives points which make the project more likely to be approved. Municipalities can also endorse projects; those projects are mostly likely to be approved.

Suncor Energy and NextEra, which are both preparing bids for projects in Warwick, are pressing the community to sign Community Commitment Agreements which include compensation for having the turbines in the community.

But Mayor Case says Warwick is not about to sign anything and shouldn’t be penalized financially because of it.

“The process, in my opinion, stinks,” he tells The Independent. “The province says it now gives municipalities a chance to weigh in but there are points for the companies if you sign (for compensation). That’s extortion in my point of view.”

Case says it is clear Warwick is not a willing host but because of the way the process is not structured, it can only get compensation for the projects if it helps the companies by signing the required forms making the project more likely.

“Wind turbine companies come in and say ‘sign on the dotted line if were approved you’ll get this huge amount of cash. If you don’t sign and we’re approved, you get nothing.”

So Case says Warwick is getting creative – and political – to point out the flaws in the new system. It’s had lawyers draft a letter which has been sent to the companies outlining what the municipality expects for compensation should the projects be approved. There is about $45,000 to reimburse the municipality for legal costs, $6,000 for every turbine they put up and flat fee of $200,000 among other things.

“They like to put things in front of us to sign…if you really want to talk the talk, walk the walk,” says Case. “We could sit back and do what were doing,…but let’s throw something back at these guys…this is what you’ll be paying if it’s approved against our wishes.

“If the process is going to disrespect our community we feel you should pay compensation anyway.”

So far, Case says one of the companies has refused to talk about the letter, the other has spoken to them but made no commitments.

The municipality is hoping to catch the province’s eye with the move hoping to change the process. “The Green Energy Act where everything is laid out and it’s mucked up.”

Case has asked for a meeting with the Energy Minister during the annual Association of Municipalities conference in mid-August. He’s just been told that won’t happen and he’ll be meeting with the parliamentary assistant instead.

“This is a big enough issue for rural Ontario right now, you’d think the minister would meet with us,” says Case. “We’ll take the meeting …but I’m totally disappointed of the total disrespect for rural Ontario.”

Wind farms controversial in Eastern Ontario

Is Big Wind going to win out over community concerns?

Is Big Wind going to win out over community concerns?

Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, July 27, 2015

Can communities say no to wind turbine installation? The answer, my friend, may be blowing in the wind.

The Township of North Stormont will hold a council session on Tuesday where they will be receiving a report from chief administrative officer Marc Chenier and community planner Amy Doyle on proposed renewable energy projects in the region.

Three companies presented their plans for energy projects in North Stormont at the council meeting on July 14. The proposals are available online via North Stormont’s council’s agendas. (https://oc-tns.vbiz.ca/index.php/s/8wArNG2DW9FqGOu)

EDF proposed a substation to funnel energy from a project in The Nation Municipality and have secured a lease with a landowner south of County Road 9.

Leader Resources is planning a 61 MW wind turbine operation on the east side of the township, around Crysler and Berwick. According to their proposal they will build no more than 21 turbines.

EDP is looking to build turbines on the west side of the township, proposing a 100 MW operation of 29-50 turbines. EDP will host a community meeting on Aug. 6 at the Finch Community Arena to meet with the public and discuss the large renewable procurement (LRP) process.

Council will have to decide whether or not to support the projects, however, they will have little say over whether or not the projects go through.

As noted in the report, townships can declare themselves unwilling hosts, while this has been perceived as opting out of having projects take place in the region, this is not how the application process works. Ontario’s Green Energy Act allows all decisions regarding the placement of renewable energy projects to be carried out at the provincial level of government. According to the report, municipalities have little to no say in whether or not they will have renewable energy projects in their region.

“Almost all of those who declared themselves as an unwilling host still received a renewable energy project (i.e. wind turbines),” the report reads.

The projects have received backlash from the community. When Crysler local Todd Brazeau got the notice about companies looking to put wind turbines in, he contacted his municipal council and MPP to protest.

“It seems like the community doesn’t have a say and the politicians aren’t being honest at all,” Brazeau said.

MPP Jim McDonell started a petition requesting “that the Ministry of the Environment revise the Green Energy Act to allow full public input and municipal approvals on all industrial wind farm developments.”

According to McDonell, the petition already has hundreds of signatures.

“People are upset,” McDonell said. “We don’t benefit from (these projects) in general.”

EDP Renewables has taken the brunt of the negative response from the community. Leaflets distributed with McDonell’s petition in May made specific mention of the plan to put in 29-50 turbines. EDP declined to answer questions regarding public response to their proposal.

North Stormont mayor Dennis Fife said that almost all of the township’s council are opposed to the installation of wind turbines, but noted declaring as an unwilling host will do nothing to stop the project, only cut down on the cents per kilawatt incentive for the renewable energy companies.

“I don’t think it is a good thing,” Fife said. “Wind will never replace nuclear.”

Twitter.com/BrentHolmes240

Kawartha Lakes wind farms: we will “fight them all”

Kawartha Lakes This Week

MANVERS TWP- You have to hand it to the people of Manvers Township. They don’t go down without a fight.

And, they plan to legally challenge two more wind farms planned for the area; one approved and another expected to be.

Manvers Wind Concerns (MWC), a group of residents opposed to mega-wind turbines planned in three locations in the area, led the charge to fight wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge project, which will see five turbines erected near Pontypool.

The Province approved that project in December of 2013 and MWC, the Buddhist Cham Shan Temple (which plans a four-Temple pilgrimage centre) and Cransley Home Farms Ltd. immediately appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal.

That process took most of 2014 but the Tribunal ruled against the appellants. They then appealed to the Ministry of Environment for a judicial review and are awaiting that decision.

The Sumac Ridge appeal was handled by environmental lawyer Eric Gillespie, with help from dozens of volunteers with expertise in many fields mounting an impressive case during the hearing.

Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble has been front and centre in the fight to keep the wind turbines out; especially since the City of Kawartha Lakes is also opposed to them.

On May 7, the Province approved Settlers Landing Nominee Ltd.’s wind farm, known as Settlers Landing Wind Park, also planned near Pontypool.

Capstone Infrastructure’s Snowy Ridge wind park is planned to be built near Bethany, although approval for that project has not been announced to date.

One of the opponents’ main objections to the mega-turbines is many are to be built on the Oak Ridges Moraine, and provincial legislation is already in place prohibiting building on such a sensitive environmental area.

Coun. Stauble confirmed the community plans to fight all of the planned projects in Manvers. In an email, she said,

“All local projects are being appealed. The community has rallied to appeal the most recent project, Settlers Landing, beside Pontypool and on the Oak Ridges Moraine and, if approved, Snowy Ridge, near two local schools and the community of Bethany.”

There will be a meeting about the Snowy Ridge project on June 16 at 7 p.m. at The Ranch Resort, 252 Ski Hill Rd. in Bethany.