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Here’s a letter to the Editor of Ontario Farmer¬† (July 26, 2011) which reveals some facts about the construction of today’s gigantic, industrial-scale wind turbines. If you are able to catch the film Windfall anywhere too, this subject is well-covered in the film (Kawartha Lakes, Bayfield and Smithville in the next few weeks). Some people–including to so-called “environmental” groups–believe that industrial scale wind power generation is completely without problems, and is a “clean” resource.¬†They need to learn more.

Here is the letter:

Just how “green” and eco-friendly are industrial wind turbines?

Consider the reinforced concrete foiundation base used to anchor a turbine into the soil. A typical base can contain 250 to 650 cubic meters of concrete. The size of the base depends on the turbine height, the mass of the blades and gearing systems, and the foundation engineering requirements of the turbine.

A typical ready-mixed concrete truck holds eight to nine cubic meters each so that is a lot of truck loads to fill just one single base (30 loads minimum, 70 loads maximim). Each cubic meter of concrete typically has an average mass of 2,400 kg. Of that 2,400 kg, one can expect 355 kg will be cementing materials and the remanider will be water (130-150 kg), chemical admixtures (mass is negliglble) and aggregates (1,915 10 1,935 kg of stone and sand).

If wer suppose that the province were to follow through with their plans for 7,000 turbines in Ontario, that would require the following amounts of materals:

  • cement-621,250 tonnes to 1.615 million tonnes
  • water 262.5 million liters to 682.5 million liters
  • stone and sand- 1.636 million tonnes to 4.25 million tonnes

That is a staggering amount of resources.

All this material is extracted, mined, processed and transported using machinery that is either powered by ddiesel fuel, coal or electricity. Cement kilns are monster consumers of coal and natural gas. The bulldozers, crushers, screeners, trucks, railway cars and ships used to create and move this stuff all gobble countless thousands of liters of fuel.

The quarries needed to produce the cement and aggregates are stripped of their vegetation, and then they are rehabilitated (more fuel and energy).

Not to mention the construction roads and construction activity to access and develop all 7,000 industrial wind turbine sites, and the energy and efforts required to create a new electrical grid that is necessary to connect all 7,000 sites into the existing power supply grid.

…So, how “green” is all this going to be after all?

Replacing Ontario’s coal plants with industrial wind turbines substitutes one set of pollutants for another…is this protecting Ontario the way that [Environment] Minister Wilkinson would have us believe it is?

W. Dean Trentowsky, Mitchell, Ontario

Wind Turbines Under ConstructionBackbone Mountain, West Virginia. This was a forest-covered mountain top; the damage to the land will take decades to be reversed…if ever.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Please visit http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com and donate toward the important work being done there.

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