For those of us who know the truth about industrial wind power generation–it is not “green”, it’s not “free”, and it can’t live up to any of the promises made about it–the sight of the industrial wind turbine in Toronto at Exhibition Place is a cruel joke. Thousands of people in Toronto pass by it every day and see it as innocuous, pretty even.
The truth about that one structure is a different story.
Here from Parker Gallant and the Financial Post, the true story of the Exhibition Place wind “mill.”
Ontario’s Power Trip: The Globe has gone with the wind
Parker Gallant Nov 8, 2011 – 9:35 AM ET | Last Updated: Nov 8, 2011 9:38 AM ET
The Globe and Mail declined to run the following letter to the editor from Parker Gallant:
Marcus Gee’s Nov. 2 article on the wind power in Toronto included the following statement: “A single wind turbine, championed by Jack Layton, the late NDP leader, has been operating for years at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Toronto Hydro says the impact on birds has been minimal and there is no evidence anyone’s health has been affected.”
Whether that single turbine has been beneficial to the Toronto Hydro customers is a question that was conveniently omitted. The facts speak for themselves. It has cost the taxpayers a lot of money! The following reference can be found in Toronto Hydro’s 2007 Annual Report, the last reference to be found in any subsequent Annual Reports.
“Renewables/Clean and Green Generation
TH Energy/WindShare wind turbine at Exhibition Place has produced approximately 4 million kWh of green energy since 2003”
So that single turbine that Toronto Hydro owns a big piece of has operated at 12.2 % of its rated capacity for the five years from 2003 to 2007 but questioning Toronto Hydro on the issue as to what has happened since 2007 gets no response. It hides behind the cloak of “confidentiality.”
The Exhibition Place turbine was championed by none other than Joyce McLean, current Director, Strategic Issues at Toronto Hydro, when she was engaged with TREC (Toronto Renewable Energy Association) pushing for the erection of the turbine. Ms McLean also sat as a Director and Chair of CanWEA (Canadian Wind Energy Association) and prior to that was active with Greenpeace. Jack Simpson, current VP, Generation on his posted Toronto Hydro bio, said he was an early advocate of green generation projects, responsible for the 750kW wind turbine at Exhibition Place and the 36kW photovoltaic system at 500 Commissioners St. in Toronto. So these two advocates of the turbine are in a position to deny their responsibility on the costs of their boondoogle by hiding behind the “confidentiality” issue burden the ratepayers with their misguided efforts to save the world!
If you vist the TREC website you will get an idea of how this entity would be unable to survive without handouts/grants from the Toronto taxpayer-owned Toronto Atmospheric Fund ($910,000), or the provincially owned Community Power Fund (amounts granted are undisclosed) and the provincially owned Trillium Foundation ($202,500). TREC also claim support from the Ontario Power Authority, City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, CanWEA, CanSIA, the Ministry of Environment and the Toronto District School Board, of whom most are taxpayer funded institutions.
It should be pointed out that the anemometers in Lake Ontario were partially funded by TAF who granted funds to Toronto Hydro for their erection. This waste of taxpayer funds is a blatant affront, along with the necessity of Toronto Hydro paying the legal fees for their current lawsuit against OMERS. This lawsuit was instituted because Toronto Hydro isn’t satisfied that its executives will have sufficient monies in retirement benefits, because OMERS restricts the “bonus” payments when calculating retirement benefits. This CEO earned over $700,000 in 2010 including a bonus that exceeded $300,000.
Parker Gallant is a retired bank executive who looked at his electricity bill and didn’t like what he saw.