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Posts Tagged ‘farms and wind turbines’

A number of people may be checking this website out for the first time today or this weekend, so it’s an opportunity for a review.

Industrial wind turbines are huge machines designed to produce electricity from wind: they are NOT “wind mills” and the installations are not wind “farms” or “parks”. Wind turbines are not an agricultural use of the land and in fact are an “inharmonious use” when situated near homes. They do produce noise and vibration which has been shown to interfere with people’s ability to sleep, which in turn can cause health problems due to sleep deprivation and the general anxiety caused by the noise.

The industrial wind turbine development proposed by the corporate wind developer in the North Gower-Richmond area of Ontario is for 8-10 turbines. At 626-feet they will be taller than any others constructed in Ontario at present. The reason for the extreme height is that this area is NOT an area of high wind potential; in fact, according to the Canadian wind atlas, it is “marginal”. The corporate wind development company, Germany-based Prowind, has not divulged exact turbine locations as yet, but several are to be located between Malakoff and McCordick Roads, north of Roger Stevens, on land owned by one farm family. To view the project map, visit http://www.prowind.ca and click on Projects–> Marlborough. Several other projects are planned for the Ottawa area: Brinston (Spencerville), Beckwith (Appleton) and one near Boundary Road.  The 8-10 turbines are just the beginning: the town of Shelburne, Ontario started with 20, they now have 133, and 200 more are planned.

Here are the facts you need to know:

-corporate wind developers are here in Canada to take advantage of very generous subsidies offered by the government. If the subsidies were not there, these turbine developments would not be being built, as they make no financial sense. The subsidies are being paid for by you, the taxpayer and Hydro ratepayer.

-Wind energy is not “free”…the structures are very expensive to build and maintain. The only way they make sense is for government to subsidize them. Other countries, such as Spain and Germany, that have done this, have found their economies are worse off for having invested in wind.

-Jobs will not be created locally. There might be a few jobs during the construction process, but that is very short-term. Typically, corporate wind developers have their own crews to construct and maintain industrial wind turbines.

the corporate wind developers are in it for the money and do not have any stake in your health or the environment. Their claims that “coal is killing people” are false: most of Ontario’s air pollution is due to cars/trucks and industry and over 90% of Ontario’s air pollution comes from south of the border. Wind turbines will not change any of that, and in fact, wind turbines require energy to operate.

Wind doesn’t work. Wind-generated power is intermittent and unreliable, as well as being expensive and potentially damaging to the environment. On a recent day in Ontario when temperatures reached record-breaking highs, the demand for power was over 22,000 megawatts (MW)… wind power in Ontario produced just 17 MW. This morning, at 8 a.m., on a day when temperatures will reach 29 degrees, the 86 industrial wind turbines at Wolfe Island near Kingston, are producing ZERO electricity out of a capacity for 198 MW. (And zero is a negative, as they need power to keep turning, to keep their machinery in working order.)

-“Ontario needs food and farmers need money” is a reason given for farm owners leasing their land for industrial wind turbines. In fact, farm owners who lease land for turbines need to be very careful what they sign: the money given is relatively small, and pales in comparison with the terms of the leases in many cases. Farm owners are often not allowed to construct any new buildings on their property, they have given away easements for a variety of uses to the corporate wind developer, and if they die, the wind developer may have first right of refusal on the land. In other words, your property does not necessarily go to your heirs. Many farm owners in Ontario have signed such leases without consulting a lawyer and have lived to regret it. If there are noise complaints or reductions in property value to your “unwilling neighbours” farm owners can be subject to legal action for “nuisance” and loss of enjoyment of property. Why don’t you hear about this? Another condition in the leases typically is that farm owners are not allowed to discuss the terms of the lease with anyone.

-Despite industry-funded, shallow “research” reports which in Ontario to date have consisted only of reviews of specially chosen reports, there ARE health effects from the noise produced by industrial wind turbines. These health effects have already been documented in studies of the noise produced by heavy traffic etc.

-The industrial wind turbines are not necessarily “green” and “clean”. The construction process can be very damaging and the foundations for industrial wind turbines are significant. Moreover, the turbines can cause damage to the environment in terms of bird kills, bat kills, and interruption to the water table which affects local wells and water courses. A study of the turbines at Wolfe Island revealed that over 1200 bats were killed within 6 months. Why does that matter? Bats eat huge volumes of insects, insects that can be responsible for crop damage.

-Think your government will protect you? Think again: Ontario’s Green Energy Act was specifically designed to remove the powers of municipal governments to plan for developments related to “green” energy; they are now copletely unable to protect their citizens and their rights. At present, more than 50 municipalities in Ontario are protesting to the province. (Ottawa is not one. Councillor Glenn Brooks brought a motion forward which was defeated by Council.)

Learn more, read more. The goal of our group is to ensure that residents have access to information about industrial wind turbines. We have held two information meetings which were well attended, and published a number of ads in local papers.

Check back here for news of local interest and also look at

http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

http://www.windaction.org

http://www.windvigilance.com

Opinions may also be found at http://northgowerwindturbines.wordpress.com

To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group, please email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Donations toward our information campaign are welcome. Please email us and we can arrange to pick up your donation. Signs that say “STOP the wind turbines” and “Health studies before wind turbines” are available for $5 each.

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Once again, property owners in rural areas are finding that legal action is the only way to get redress for the situation they find themselves in, namely that the provincial government, corporate wind developers and landowners can plan industrial wind turbine projects which then affect the enjoyment of property, property values, and in many cases, people’s health due to sleep deprivation.

West Huron is the site of yet another legal action, another class action suit against the wind developer and the landowners who have leased their land for turbines.

Here is the basis on which the class action is going forward:

Our firm has been retained to commence a class action lawsuit against TTD Wind Project ULC, Twenty-two Degree Energy Corp. and landowners who erect wind turbines. This class action will ask the court for damages including but not limited to personal injuries due to health related problems, injury and/or loss of production of livestock, injurious affection, diminution in value of property and nuisance.

In Ontario, we do have another avenue which is the Ian Hanna challenge to the Green Energy Act, on the basis of the Precautionary Principle. A brochure and donation information is available at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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

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