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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Duguid’

Rick Conroy, editor of the Wellington Times—one of Canada’s last independently operated newspapers—has been outspoken on the “green” energy move by the Ontario government. In one of his earlier columns he famously wrote that no industrial wind turbine in the world can “power a toaster on its own”—they all need back-up from a tarditional power source. In the case of Ontario, that’s natural gas.

But we digress. Here is Rick’s most recent column, from last Friday.

Unravelling

It was another tough week for Dalton McGuinty on the energy file. First the European Union jumped on board the effort to force the Ontario government to open its renewable energy market to international suppliers.

McGuinty understood all along that if his dream of wind turbines on every horizon and solar panels on every pasture was to take root, he needed to promise jobs. Lots of jobs. He would call them green jobs.

He understood as well that these jobs had to be more than just a few weeks of bolting together components manufactured somewhere else. So he tried to kickstart a provincial wind and solar component sector. He did this by restricting the amount of foreign content (both goods and services) that could go into projects under his government’s FIT (feed-in tariff) program. Under his decree 60 per cent of the content of a solar project must be made up of domestic products and services by next year—50 per cent for wind projects.

These restrictions were in direct violation of world trade organization (WTO) rules, and McGuinty knew it. But he gambled that by the time the court heard any appeal a homegrown industry would have developed— ready to compete toe to toe with the world.

It didn’t happen. Nervous about shifting ground rules and manic management of the energy file in general, investment capital largely stayed away. Frustrated by the lack of action McGuinty jumped into bed with Korean industrial giant Samsung—promising billions of taxpayer dollars if they would please, please build windmills and solar panels in Ontario.

Desperate people make bad deals. It will take hundreds of millions of dollars for the next government to unwind the province from this arrangement.

In the meantime, first Japan and now the EU have launched appeals to overturn McGuinty’s indefensible protectionist tactics. Appeals they will win. McGuinty is running out of time. This folly too, and the cost of defending it, will end up on your electricity bill.

But matters got worse last week in an Ontario Energy Board hearing when Hydro One asked the regulator for a six-month exemption from meeting deadlines for assessing and connecting small renewable-energy projects. Nearly all of these are small solar home and farm-based projects.

Currently the province has received nearly 35,000 applications for small renewable projects (10 kilowatts or less)—22,821 have received conditional offers. But only 6,780, or less than a third, have executed contracts—meaning they are generating electricity into the grid and earning revenue. Tens of thousands of folks have been left hanging. Many have spent $100,000 or more on solar panel installations believing they had a deal. But with each delay their prospects of ever getting connected to the grid grow dimmer.

They should not have been surprised.

The fundamental hurdle with solar and wind energy is that it is intermittent and cannot be harnessed. It is a supply source that cannot be turned up or down to match demand. Electricity cannot be stored in grid scale amounts—so it must be produced when it is needed.

Nothing in our 60-year-old electricity grid is designed or equipped to manage generating sources that are pumping out electricity at 100 per cent one moment, zero another and 33 per cent the next. It is a physical and technical hurdle that had to be addressed first—before we squandered families” nest eggs and added billions of wasted dollars onto our electricity bills.

Then this week we learned that McGuinty knew all along that the noise from industrial wind turbines would have adverse effects on residents nearby— even those 550 metres away as prescribed by the Green Energy Act. This fact was revealed in a memo between Ministry of Environment officials last spring (See page 14). The document only came to light as a result of a freedom of information request.

Bit by bit the blind ambition McGuinty brought to the energy file is unravelling at his feet. The bureaucrats who once acquiesced to the premier’s wishes despite their better judgment—are now sitting on their hands. They are waiting for the self-destruction to be complete—waiting for the electorate to deal with the McGuinty government in October.

The wacky decision-making may end in October but the bills for nearly a decade of mismanagement of Ontario’s electricity grid will pile up for years to come. McGuinty’s enduring legacy.

rick@wellingtontimes.ca

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and catch the latest Windyleak at http://windyleaks.com

 

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This is an editorial from the August 13th edition of The National Post. Wind doesn’t work. And, it’s taking Ontario farther down the path to total failure (did you know that Ontario’s current debt stands at more than $230 BILLION?)

Here is the post:

National Post editorial board: Ontario’s green dreams

  Aug 13, 2011 – 10:41 AM ET | Last Updated: Aug 12, 2011 4:45 PM ET

On Thursday, the European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization claiming that the huge subsidies Ontario is offering developers of alternate energy violate international trade rules. If the EU complaint is upheld, Ontario will have to abandon its Green Energy Act of 2009 — since green energy isn’t economically feasible on a large scale without some form of government subsidy, either in Ontario or anywhere else. By that time, the plan will have cost Ontario taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars.

Over the last 12 months, the Ontario Liberals already have had to abandon plans to build huge wind-power turbine farms in the Great Lakes, cancel construction of a natural gas-fired power plant in Oakville, and admit there is no practical way to connect to the provincial power grid all the solar panels they encouraged farmers and landowners to erect. That means the tens of millions of dollars they spent subsidizing the building of solar collectors was wasted — as were the tens of millions that private landowners invested with the promise of energy income when the government’s scheme was realized. (On Thursday, it was reported that Silfab Ontario, a solar-panel maker that’s just a few months old, already has a huge backlog of unbought panels and may have to lay off workers.)

Ironically, the Europeans have been as guilty of magical thinking on green energy as Ontarians — maybe more so. Notwithstanding their WTO complaint, the EU has supplied its own subsidies to wind, solar and bio fuel. However, their budgets ran out before Ontario’s did. So, at least in part, their complaint to the WTO is an attempt to beggar Ontario in the same way that their decades of free spending have already beggared them.

In responding to the EU challenge, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid insisted it was a sign of the Europeans’ envy. The EU, we are told, sees “the thousands of jobs being created here and the billions of dollars of investment flowing into Ontario.” But if such a fantasy were truly unfolding, then the industry would need no subsidies — and there wouldn’t be any EU complaint.

As Stéphane Dion showed us at the federal level, green dreams die hard. Mr. Duguid may realize the same lesson when the province’s election comes on October 6.

National Post

 
 

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Here, from today’s Ottawa Citizen, the truth about Ontario’s power supply and how we don’t need all the extra power we’re producing–we’re actually PAYING to give it away!!! And at the same time, the Ontario government is pushing through more wind projects: we don’t need them, they are causing irreparable harm to rural communities and to wildlife, and wind will NEVER replace coal power. In fact, it needs fossil-fuel backup to operate.

Here is the link, and the story: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Ontario+power+generators+shell+surplus+juice/5152855/story.html#Comments

Ontario power generators shell out $35M to get rid of surplus juice

 
 
 
By Don Butler, The Ottawa CitizenJuly 24, 2011
 
 
 

Workers talk outside of a steam generator casing used in nuclear power plants at Babcock & Wilcox Canada’s Cambridge, Ontario manufacturing plant.

Photograph by: Tim Fraser, Calgary Herald

OTTAWA — Ontario’s electricity generators have shelled out $35 million this year to get neighbouring jurisdictions to take surplus power off their hands and are helping to drive up the cost of power to consumers in the process.

According to the province’s Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO), electricity prices were negative — meaning sellers had to pay buyers in the U.S. or Quebec to take surplus electricity — a total of 95 hours in the first six months of this year.

That’s up sharply from the same period in 2010, when there were only 10 hours of negative prices at a cost of $4.2 million. However, it’s down from 2009, when there were 280 hours of negative prices in the first six months, and 351 for the year as a whole.

The number of negative hours spiked in 2009 because the economic recession and mild weather depressed demand while abnormally high water levels increased output at hydro plants, an IESO spokesperson said.

Now a new report by the C.D. Howe Institute is proposing a solution it says will save the system money: paying generators who operate under fixed-priced contracts to produce less power.

Set by supply and demand, wholesale prices in Ontario’s electricity market are updated every five minutes. In a normal market, suppliers would not produce power at low or negative prices, notes the C.D. Howe report.

But the one-time stick of negative pricing is now ineffective because so many Ontario generators are guaranteed fixed payments under long-term contracts, says the report. Until those contracts are renegotiated, generators should be paid to reduce their output if doing so would save money for the system as a whole.

“We need to go from the stick to the carrot,” said Benjamin Dachis, one of the report’s co-authors.

While negative prices were rare until recent years, they will become much more common as more wind and solar projects and two refurbished Bruce nuclear units come on line.

That will result in “periodic gluts of electricity over the coming years and higher costs for Ontario consumers,” warns the C.D. Howe report. In its latest 18-month outlook report in June, the IESO acknowledged that surplus baseload generation “remains an ongoing concern.”

“Next year is when it’s going to get really bad,” Dachis said. “The IESO is forecasting that the minimum daily demand is going to be below the baseline generation pretty much every week next spring and summer.”

Ottawa Citizen

dbutler@ottawacitizen.com

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
 
 
 
 
 
 There is a lot missing from the online version of the story: for example, energy consultant Tom Adams commented: the “irresponsibility” that created the contractual problems with non-utility power generators is continuing as the province signs long-term contracts at inflated prices with wind and solar energy producers. “We’re digging the hole deeper as we speak.”

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a group of citizens in the North Gower-Richmond-Kars area who are concerned about the impact of a proposed industrial wind power generation project on our community. We are a corporate member of Wind Concerns Ontario Inc., and a signatory to the North American Platform Against Wind.

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One of the most preposterous claims from the wind power generation lobby is that there is no effect on property values for neighbouring properties when a wind power generation project is built nearby. They still claim that even though in Ontario, there is a question on the Ontario Real Estate Association’s Seller’s Property Information Sheet or SPIS that asks about plans for wind energy development projects, in the same line as garbage dumps and quarries. Sounds like a positive influence on value to us!!

The question has to be asked then, what will the effect be for Ontario of the rolling decline of property values throughout this province due to wind turbine projects? In the case of North Gower, using the Luxemburger model (which is now thought to be conservative) the $20-million “green energy” project will actually cost the community $45 million in lost property value.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s a news story about a new study on property values, from the U.S. Note the property value effect is seen at a distance of THREE MILES. How is that going to work for Ontario’s future, Messrs McGuinty, Wilkinson, and Duguid and Mme Pupatello?

Study finds wind turbines can sometimes be tough on neighbors’ property values

Published: Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 9:31 AM Updated: Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 11:00 AM

By Charles McChesney / The Post-StandardThe Post-Standard

Stephen D. Cannerelli / The Post-StandardLarge wind turbines cover the hillside in the Madison County town of Stockbridge in 2010.

Potsdam, NY — Wind farms reduced the value of nearby real estate in two Northern New York counties, but not in a third.

Martin D. Heintzelman and Carrie M. Tuttle, of Clarkson University, studied 11,331 real estate transactions over nine years and found that the value of property near wind turbines dropped in Clinton and Franklin counties. But they found no impact in Lewis County.

The paper they produced, “Values in the Wind: A Hedonic Analysis of WindPower Facilities,” hasn’t been finalized, Heintzelman said, but an earlier version has been shared by opponents of wind farms. (Hedonic is a economic term referring to estimating value or utility).

A March version of the paper, distributed by opponents of a wind-farm proposal for Cape Vincent in Jefferson County, found an overall decrease in values among properties neighboring wind turbines in Clinton, Franklin and Lewis counties.

But Heintzelman said the research was reviewed, and combining the counties, it turned out, “was not a reasonable approach.”

The refined findings are, he said, “somewhat more nuanced.”

Heintzelman said past research, including a study of Madison County, showed wind farms had little or no impact on real estate values. But he found that hard to believe.

“Anytime you put a large industrial or manufacturing facility in someone’s backyard,” he said, there is bound to be some impact.

So he and Tuttle, a graduate student, statistically analyzed real estate data, mostly from the state Office of Real Property Services.

They found that placing a wind turbine a half mile from the average property in Franklin or Clinton counties would result in a loss of property value of $10,793 to $19,046. The impact drops off as properties become more distant, he said. At the distance of three miles, the impact is $2,500 to $9,800.

But Lewis County, with the 321-megawatt Maple Ridge Wind Farm, was different. “Lewis County does not see negative impacts,” Heintzelman said.

Asked whether the study’s findings hold lessons for communities weighing wind-power projects, Heintzelman said it could be worth considering how those who have wind turbines near, but not on, their property might be compensated if they see their real estate drop in value.

Other than that, he said, “Sadly, no, I don’t think I have any specific advice.”

Contact us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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News release from the Government of Ontario today:

June 21, 2011

McGuinty Government Builds Clean Energy Economy As Province Continues To Turn The Corner

Ontario’s shift toward clean, renewable energy is strengthening the province’s economy by attracting good jobs, investment and opportunities for Burlington-area families.

Siemens Canada recently made its first shipment of solar inverters for Ontario’s growing clean energy economy to two solar farms. The inverters manufactured at the company’s Burlington facility each year will enable solar projects in Ontario to produce enough electricity each year to power 32,000 homes. The company is on its way to creating 50 jobs as a result of this clean energy strategy.

Ontario is replacing dirty, coal-fired plants with cleaner sources of renewable energy like water, wind, solar and bio-energy. It’s part of the province’s plan to keep costs down for families today, while building a clean, modern and reliable electricity system for tomorrow.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act will create 50,000 clean energy jobs by the end of 2012. Over 13,000 jobs have already been created as a result of our plan.

QUOTES

“Ontario’s clean energy economy continues to grow, creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of dollars of investment for Ontarians. Our Long-Term Energy Plan is replacing dirty coal, while cleaning up the air we breathe and building a healthier future for generations to come.”

 – Brad Duguid
Minister of Energy

But.

Here is retired banker Parker Gallant’s critical review of the numbers. A very different story!

OK! Now let me get this straight, according to Duguid:

“The inverters manufactured at the company’s Burlington facility each year will enable solar projects in Ontario to produce enough electricity each year to power 32,000 homes. The company is on its way to creating 50 jobs as a result of this clean energy strategy.” According to standard consumption used by Duguid and the utility companies, the “average” consumer uses 800 kWh per months or 9.6 mWh per year. So, 32,000 homes would require a 35-MW electricity generating unit running at 100% capacity to produce the 300,000 mWh (35 X 8740 hours in a year) those households need. As solar only delivers approximately 13 % of its rated capacity, we would need 369 MWs of solar capacityto power those 32,000 households. The solar generators would earn an average (ground mounted 64.2 per kwh & roof mounted 80.2 per kwh = 144.4 cents / 2 = 72.2 cents) of $722 per MWh creating revenue of $216-million versus current average billing to consumers of about $80 per MWh which would represent a cost of $24-million.

So the subsidy to create the 50 jobs that Duguid claims is $192-million  ($216 -million less $24-million of current cost = $192-million) or $3.8million per job. Now that makes a lot of sense eh?

 

Our question: if you “continue to turn the corner” at some point aren’t you going in circles?

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Remember the showing of Windfall this Sunday at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower, 2 PM> $5 admission, limited seating.

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Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran writes about what the Ontario government is doing with taxpayers’ money in the interest of being “green” and creating a “clean” power source (except, we already had one, nuclear at about 50%, and hydro) that will also somehow miraculously create 50,000 jobs.

Note: a caller to CFRA yesterday asked, why isn’t the money going to help people do small-scale energy-saving or energy-producing projects at home? Point taken: small-scale solar and wind, also geo-thermal, could help conserve power but it is too expensive for most people…why not help with that?

Terence Corcoran: Ontario burns up more green cash

National Post

National Post

A massive solar energy project in Sarnia, Ont.

  February 24, 2011 – 7:46 pm

Ontario’s green jobs come at a cost of up to $207,000 each

North America’s only feed-in-tariff smokestack, a renewable energy program that burns money to generate electricity, announced fresh incinerations Thursday. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), a euphemism for the Liberal Cabinet of Premier Dalton McGuinty, said it has signed contracts worth $3-billion with suppliers of wind and solar power.

Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid, who issues all the Cabinet directives telling the power authority what do to, said new contracts with a handful of subsidy-seeking corporations are inspired by a higher authority. “There’s no doubt Ontario has stepped up to Obama’s challenge, and together we’ve become a global clean-energy powerhouse,” Mr. Duguid said.

Exactly what U.S. President Barack Obama has to do with squandering billions of Ontario taxpayers’ dollars wasn’t clear. The intent, likely, is to take the spotlight off the McGuinty government. This is Ontario’s second major allocation of wind and solar power contracts under its feed-in-tariff scheme. As a growing number of Ontario voters have come to appreciate, wind and solar power don’t come cheap.

For $3-billion, the OPA said Ontario electricity consumers will get four wind farms with a capacity of 615 megawatts (MW) and 40 solar power projects with a capacity of 257 MW. Total official capacity: 872 MW, assuming the winds blow and the sun shines. They don’t, most of the time, which reduces the actual output from those cash-burning operations to about 200 MW.

The economics of wind and solar are so bad that the power authority’s news releases tend to avoid getting too deep into the numbers. Assuming the new facilities do consistently produce 200 MW, that would be enough electricity to power 200,000 homes in the province. At $3-billion, that works out to a capital investment of $15,000 per home — a lot of sunk capital per home for electricity.

For about a third of the cost, say $1-billion, local energy companies could build a gas-fired generating station that would actually produce 872 MW of electricity. Gas plants require inputs — gas and labour — when operating. But even after factoring in operating costs, the price of electricity from gas is currently around 7.5¢ a kilowatt hour, a bargain compared with the prices Dalton McGuinty’s Cabinet has guaranteed to pay wind and solar operators: 13.5¢ a kWh to wind farms and 44.5¢ to solar plants.

To draw attention away from these numbers and their billion-dollar subsidy implications, the OPA and the government — and the giant corporations who aim to make a killing off these deals — prefer to talk up job numbers. “These projects,” said the OPA news release, “represent an estimated 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.”

What do 7,000 direct and indirect jobs mean? More important, what are Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers getting for the massive cash infusion into renewable power? Bruce Sharp, a consultant at Aegent Energy Advisors, did some rough estimates. “If you take the 7,000 direct and indirect jobs at face value and assume they are manufacturing and construction jobs with a duration of two years, then we have 14,000 man-years of such jobs,” Mr. Sharp said.

Another assumption is that the wind and solar operations require some ongoing manpower over the next 20 years. “I made some wild guesses and came up with an estimate of 650 ongoing operating and maintenance jobs, for a 20-year total of 13,000 man-years.” The total number of jobs, therefore, is about 27,000 man-years over 20 years.

Over that 20-year period, Mr. Sharp estimates, electricity ratepayers will be paying higher costs — or subsidies — worth somewhere between $4.1-billion and $5.6-billion. Average subsidy for each of the 27,000 man-years of work: between $152,000 and $207,000.

No account is taken of the jobs lost in the vast transfer of money from the pockets of ratepayers to the solar and wind industries. Overall, there are no employment gains in any of these artificial industries.

Also lost in the verbal dance of government officials are the national and international corporate interests who are cashing in on the green-energy bubble and the climate-change crusade. Companies like SkyPower Ltd., self-described as Canada’s leading solar-energy company. It landed 13 of the newly awarded Ontario solar projects, totalling 148 MW or about half the 257 MW of new capacity. At $6-million per MW, SkyPower is looking at investing about $800-million in the project.

SkyPower has a history that includes being a unit of the now defunct Lehman Brothers, the New York financial crisis leader that had a disproportionate interest in riding the climate-change bandwagon. After surviving that debacle, SkyPower emerged to find new backers, including Deutsche Bank, the German financial powerhouse that recently released a distorted report that misrepresented climate science, as a vehicle to promote its green lending apparatus.

Renewable energy may seem like an energy play to some, but it often looks more like a real estate game. One of the other contract winners was Penn Energy Renewables Ltd., subsidiary of a real estate company based in Pennsylvania. Deals are constantly being announced among companies, with large firms buying small solar operators. One reason may be the rapid write-offs allowed under tax laws for large companies that have the ability to write off against other income. Such write-offs can apparently raise the annual return on investment to as much as 22%.

Whatever the numbers, Ontario’s renewable energy tariffs are creating a business sector built on subsidies and on the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers. No real net jobs are being created, the costs are high and the impact on climate is too small to measure — so small that the government has never produced a carbon accounting.

…..

No account is made of the lost productivity when people become ill from the turbines, and no account is made of the lost property values.

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Please view other Eastern Ontario community group websites:

http://southbranchwindoppositiongroup.wordpress.com

http://sites.google.com/site/beckwithresponsiblewindaction/

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We are still reeling from the hypocrisy of Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s statements yesterday about Ontario’s power situation, rising electricity bills, and the Ontario government’s plans. The script seems to be following closely the recommendations of the Sussex Strategy Group which advised its “loose coalition” of corporate wind developers to focus on jobs.  People are willing to pay more for electricity the group said in a leaked communications strategy document, if they think it will result in more jobs and investment.

So what did Mr Duncan say? We refer to his appearance on TVOntario’s “The Agenda” the evening after his economic update. His mantra over and over was “cleaner air” and “more jobs”. He pointed to wind energy in particular and talked about “windmills”. The great thing about wind is, he said, after an initial investment once a windmill is “up and built you don’t have to pay for the wind.”

Absolute nonsense: the FIT rate for wind developers now is $0.13 per kilowatt hour, while consumers are being charged up to 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour. And solar is worse, with producers being paid 80 cents a kilowatt hour. Clearly, somebody is paying for something.

He spoke of a power utopia in which all energy is clean but it’s going to cost us a bit to get there. His 10% discount on electricity bills is to help “families be able to afford this transition.”

Ottawa’s Bob Chiarelli followed the playbook in more detail in an appearance on CBC radio’s Ottawa Morning. He said the McGuinty government plans to close ALL coal-fired power generation which is the “equivalent of getting 7 million cars off the road.” He mentioned jobs but kept coming back to health issues, and said Ontario needs cleaner air so people won’t be getting sick and kids won’t be having asthma attacks. “We’re asking the people to be partners in our investment.”

With multiple billions of dollars going to mostly foreign-owned corporate wind and solar developers, that is a significant investment. And one that’s not needed according to people like Tom Adams (former Energy Probe executive director) or Parker Gallant (a former banker) and a host of other experts. And the spectre of people getting sick and dying from “dirty coal”? Not true: Health Canada cannot find any connection between air pollution and hospitalizations for respiratory illness. Professor Ross McKitrick says that the true determinants of respiratory illness are income levels, and smoking.

Ontario’s own figures show that air pollution is on the decline in Ontario. Sources are pollution from the United States’ industry and coal-fired plants, and from Ontario’s own cars and trucks. So, the “equivalent of 7 million cars” being shut down isn’t actually going to take 7 million cars off the road…

The Ontario Power Authority was set to announce a new round of Feed-in Tariff contracts this week and is now saying “late November”. Now that the stage has been set with the ideas of clean air and lots of jobs (also not true), the announcement will like go ahead.

In the meantime, this from a letter from the Township of East Garafraxa in Ontario to Premier McGuinty, referring to the placement of turbines and the effect on that community: “Perhaps he [Energy Minister Brad Duguid] should talk to some of the residents who continue to report health implications and loss of property values and who live daily with the issues of the turbines and related transformers. Some of these people have lived their entire lives on these properties and now face moving to survive. The Province should listen to their concerns of sleep disturbance, dizziness, headaches, and a host of other symptoms, and study the health implications and financial implications to the residents and municipalities.” (Signed by Mayor Allen Taylor.)

We leave it to the pundits to analyze this further but we refer you to Wind Concerns Ontario http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

for further comments and stories.

To contact the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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