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Archive for the ‘Industrial wind turbines’ Category

The news arrived on Monday that the appeal of the assessment on a Wolfe Island property owned by Ed and Gail Kenney had failed, and MPAC–Ontario’s assessment agency–declared there to be no effect on property value from the proximity of industrial wind turbines.

The Kenneys have several turbines within a kilometer of their waterfront property and 36 within several kilometers. They sought to have the assessment of their property reduced, which would mean a reduction in taxes.

Te reaction of a normal, sensible person would be that to claim NO effect on value is preposterous.

But there was a lot at stake here. Here are the facts of the case:

-the Kenneys represented themselves; on the other side, MPAC had a slew of expensive lawyers and the wind power developer hired similar talent for the township

-the Kenneys tried to call witnesses to attest to the environmental noise, i.e., a negative factor in the property value, but these witnesses such as Dr John Harrison, were disallowed

-if the Kenneys’ case had succeeded, it would have opened the floodgates to a torrent of assessment appeals, as hundreds of properties throughout war-torn Ontario are now seeing diminuition of property value. Therefore, it could NOT succeed.

The Kenneys say they are regrouping and considering their next steps, but at the Town Hall hosted by MPP Todd Smith in Picton recently, Mrs Kenney appealed to everyone to file an assessment appeal. At the least, such a flood of appeals would clog the system, but at best, someone, somewhere will succeed.

The truth is on our side.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

 

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Here from a recent edition of Ontario Farmer:

Dear Editor:

It was good to see Sylvia and John Wiggins suing the landowner over wind turbines. [The Wiggins are suing for over a million dollars in lost property value for their home and equestrian operation in the Clearview area, which will be next to three wind turbines.] My wife and I intend on doing the same if they are successful. These greedy landowners, with multiple land parcels, sign up for turbines but never near their own residences. These people are not really neighbours, nor friends.

Our property and residence will be devalued and our health and wellbeing may be plagued with endless ill effects. We were here first and should not have to be subject to this folly. If the Wiggins’ lawsuit succeeds, it will open the floodgates to a huge number of lawsuits.

These inefficient and not-needed turbines are an example of Toronto politicians running roughshod over rural Ontario. McGuinty has put us deeper in debt and has done more damage to rural Ontario than any other premier.

…Europe is currently stopping and/or cutting back on all wind and solar projects as they have proven to be uneconomical, unreliable, inefficient and too expensive, not at all what they were originally supposed to do.

Ray and Louise Brown, Mitchell’s Bay

Email us at northgowerwindactionactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Professional engineer Bruce Sharp has written an excellent summary of the wind power situation in Ontario, which appeared in the April 5th Financial Post. Well worth a read, Mr Sharp neatly summarizes the government’s green energy program as it has been executed and concludes that the cost to taxpayers is overwhelming.

Here is the story:

Power bill cover-up

Ontarians will pay $319 more per year for green energy soon — despite government denials

By Bruce Sharp

The Ontario green-energy ship is taking on water and yet one would never know it from how the captain is talking. On March 22, the provincial government announced the results of its highly anticipated feed-in tariff (FIT) review and the message from the bridge was “Everything’s fine … stay the course.”

In supporting this message, the current captain/Minister of Energy Chris Bentley made reference to how green energy accounts for only about 5% of the increase in electricity bills. The problem with such a statement is it begs many questions, including 5% of what, and over what period?
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A recent electricity price-increase forecast for 2012-16, filed with the Ontario Energy Board, helpfully provides answers, with wind and solar energy forecast to directly add $3.05-billion to annual provincial energy bills. Furthermore, if one makes conservative estimates for the costs required to integrate wind and solar, the added annual cost rises another $850-million. So, the additional annual cost for wind and solar will reach $3.9-billion by 2016, resulting in a residential bill increase of 3.17¢ per kilowatt hour or an annual $319 per household by 2016. In contrast to the current captain’s recent statement, this represents 54% of the total increase expected for 2012-16.

This number is a lot higher than 5%, so how did we get here?

The ship’s first captain — who long ago left the ship — allowed an external and somewhat self-interested group to craft the legislation that set Ontario electricity on a course for dangerous waters. At the time, the captain assured everyone that the Green Energy and Economy Act would increase bills by only 1% per year, while acknowledging that unit prices would rise significantly, so the only way for consumers to limit their increase would be to conserve. The problem is that in a business such as electricity, where most of the costs are fixed, uniformly reducing consumption leads to higher unit rates and largely unchanged bills. The only hope for conservers is that no one else will conserve and that they will be in the small minority.

Past and current captains alike have and continue to pull out a number of other life rafts that are full of holes. Here’s a few:

Renewables Replace Coal The Retire Coal movement started in the run-up to the 2003 election, when the Liberals matched the New Democrat Party’s promise to phase out Ontario’s coal-fired generating plants. To deal with this loss, the Ontario Power Authority procured over 7,000 megawatts of new, natural gas-fired generation, most of which is now in service. The Renewables Replace Coal argument has come up belatedly, as a way of justifying the runaway development of green energy, the associated gold rush and approaching high bill increases. Too bad wind and solar are none of what coal and natural gas are: firm, dispatchable and flexible. So, Ontario’s onslaught of renewable energy could not be coming at a worse time — just as uber-flexible coal is being replaced by flexible-but-less-so natural gas and as renewable energy provides too much power at the wrong times. One ugly result is that Ontario will be paying more and more to generators to not generate.

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Health savings Back in 2005, the Ontario government commissioned a study that claimed that replacing coal would result in annual health savings of $2.6-billion. The preferred option to generate these questionable savings was — you guessed it — natural gas and not renewables. And what made the claimed savings questionable? The study authors incorrectly concluded there was a statistical cause-and-effect relationship between coal-fired generation and respiratory deaths — a fact that hasn’t prevented rampant misuse of the study (see University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick’s work debunking this claim). On the off-chance the research was correct, now that coal-fired generation is down 85% from the study’s reference quantity, one would have expected that in his recent report Don Drummond would have talked about the supposed (pro-rated) annual health savings of $2.2-billion.

Green jobs Any projection that never changes is worthy of suspicion. From the introduction of the Green Energy and Economy Act, it has always been claimed that it will produce 50,000 green jobs. These jobs are largely to come from expensive wind and solar and with their 20-year contract lives, one would hope that these types of generation would then produce the lion’s share of the million person-years (50,000 jobs x 20 years) of employment Ontario should expect to see. Not so, according to studies done in 2011 for Canada’s wind and solar trade associations. Looking at the 2009-28 period, wind is to produce 73,000 person-years of employment while solar is to produce 85,000 person-years. Within these numbers, once the renewable energy gold rush ends around 2018, the combined ongoing employment drops to a measly 2,100 jobs. And before we leave the green-jobs topic, let’s not forget the jobs issue the government never discusses: the other jobs destroyed by high electricity prices.

Income from electricity exports Some see this as a good thing, but the fact that the quantity is growing and the sales are taking place at very low prices are both very negative factors. The increasing export quantity is a sign of excess supply — something that will only get worse over the next few years as Ontario adds huge quantities of wind, solar and other generation. The export sales also take place at prices that represent only pennies on the dollar relative to what was paid for the electricity. The current export price is under 2¢ per kWh and over the next five years is forecast to average under 3¢. So, if Ontario is buying at the respective prices of 13.5 and 44.3¢ per kWh and selling at small fractions of that, an increasing volume will only make matters worse.

In the end, Ontario will have expensive renewables that do not replace coal, do not deliver health savings, may cause a net job loss and that also contribute to a costly supply glut.

Who pays for all of this? Ontario electricity consumers in steerage. The upper decks, including offshore suppliers, far-flung and local project developers and investors, are all making out like bandits … and those setting Ontario’s course seem strangely indifferent to what’s happening on the lower decks.

Financial Post
Bruce Sharp is a professional engineer and 25-year veteran of the Ontario energy ­industry.

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Word is getting around: the very successful branding of wind power by the global wind power development industry as “clean” and “green” and “good” is finally giving over to some common sense.

Industrial-scale wind power is not good for the environment, it doesn’t save lives (if Ontario wanted to turn off its remaining coal plants because they are killing people, it could. Right now. Today.) and it is a job killer, not a job creator.

This week’s Manotick Messenger editorial by Jeff Morris puts Ontario’s push for wind power in the context of Ontario’s financial picture. “Aside from basic mismanagement,” Morris writes, “one of the black holes of tax money is the government’s wind energy program.

“As one Conservative politician told us this week, the wind energy situation is ‘like the government paying $100 for a loaf of bread, and buying unlimited loaves of bread, then turning around and boasting about how many bakery jobs they have created.’

“Simply put,” Morris concludes, “wind energy was a good idea, but it doesn’t work. It’s impractical. It’s too expensive. People don’t want it. Nobody can afford it.”

In our view, wind power (the wind itself is the energy which can be converted into power) at this scale was never a good idea: smaller scale applications work fine, but the colossal wind turbines at 400+ feet (what’s proposed for Ottawa is 600+ feet) are overkill, and do not belong in populated areas.

Mr Morris bemoans the state of Ontario’s finances but then says he doesn’t want an election. How are we going to get out of this mess if the McGuinty Liberals aren’t taught the only lesson they will ever understand? Total defeat at the polls.

Because the chances of them looking realistically at what they’ve done, and heeding the advice of Ontario’s own Auditor General and consultant Don Drummond, and deciding, Hey, we made a mistake, folks, sorry! are very very slim.

It is time for an election. Ontario simply cannot continue its downward slide under this government.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

P.S. We are often asked if the wind power generation project planned for the North Gower/Richmond area of Ottawa will affect Manotick. Yes. At 626 feet or 190 meters with flashing red lights, the wind power factory will certainly be visible from a great distance. Health effects are being observed due to the environmental noise the machines produce at distances as great as 5 km. And bear in mind, the 8-10 turbines proposed would be just the start. Wolfe Island was supposed to be 20, it’s now 86; Kincardine’s Arnow projects was 40, it’s now 90; Shelburne was supposed to be a few dozen, they now have over 100 with dozens more proposed.

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Ontario municipalities might be forgiven for overlooking one teensy negative aspect of industrial wind power generation facilities. It’s difficult to think 20 years down the road when the wind power developers and the Ontario government are putting photos of bucolic agricultural landscapes where dairy cattle graze right up to the base of a turbine (no houses in sight). There is no suggestion whatsoever of what the colossal structures might look like in a decade or so, when they are past their life span and nobody wants them any more.

All around the world, most notably in California and Hawaii, wind turbines stand rusting and rotorless, hideous scarred icons of greed.

It’s expensive to take them down. In South Branch, 30 minutes down the road from Ottawa/North Gower/Richmond, the wind power developer Prowind estimates that decommissioning costs for the 15 turbines will be in the region of $600,000. Or, said project manager Juan Anderson, perkily, “You can take them down yourself and get the value of the scrap!”

This is absurd for several reasons: first, the wind developers tend to be gone by the time the turbine structures are done with and second, there may be some value to the scrap, but not much, and any value there is could be offset by the horrendous costs of dealing with all the toxic elements such as the gallons and gallons of hydraulic fluids in the nacelle.

Wellington Times editor Rick Conroy relates the struggle in Prince Edward County to get Council to realize that decommissioning is a cost that could land on the municipality’s doorstep–and have to be paid for by the taxpayers. His column from the April 4th issue is valuable information on this and several other aspects of wind power generation.

The article is here: http://wellingtontimes.ca/takedown/

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Photo: abandoned wind turbines in Hawaii. There are more than 14,000 abandoned and derelict turbines in the United States alone.

http://denglerimages.photoshelter.com/image/I0000eLa6MrmyQqY

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The North Gower Wind Action Group supports the Private Member’s Bill being presented in the Ontario Legislature tomorrow, March 22.

The bill calls for an immediate cancellation of the Feed In Tariff or FIT program, a return of local land-use planning controls,  and a moratorium on all industrial wind projects.

Note that once again, taxpayer-supported environmental groups like Environmental Defence are framing this as “anti-environment” and urging MPPs to vote against it.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

 

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Important Protest against wind power subsidy by Ontario Citizens

April 3

The Ontario Feed In Tariff or FIT program has been responsible for unbridled industrial wind power development throughout Ontario. The results? Huge profits for wind power developers. And unreliable, inefficient and expensive wind power that Ontario doesn’t need, despoiled rural communities, dropping property values, diminished tourism potential and worst of all, serious health effects for some people in Ontario.

 

Now, the Wind Industry Barons are blowing into Toronto for the Ontario Feed In Tariff Forum April 3 & 4th  at the Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West.

 

ONTARIO CITIZENS WILL BE ON THE STREET TO TELL THEM FIT IS A “BAD FIT”
FOR ONTARIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Protest Date Tuesday, April 3rd

Time – gather at 11:30

Speakers – 12:00

Protest March 12:30

Place – Simcoe Park on Front Street, beside CBC building and opposite Metro Toronto Convention Centre

 

It is time to stand up for Ontario!

 People are coming from all parts of the province. Bring signs to identify where you are from. 

 

Arrange a bus or use public transit, subways, GO trains to Union Station.  See you there.

Directions: From the main lobby of Union Station (look for signs to railway and GOTrain station to get to main lobby), exit at Front Street, go west (left) on Front St. past York St. and Lower Simcoe St.  Simcoe Park is about 300 meters further west right next to the CBC building on the north side of Front St. 

For more details, check the Wind Concerns Ontario website at http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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