Posts Tagged ‘John Wilkinson’

Here is the latest from retired investment banker Parker Gallant, on the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and its upcoming event…all paid for by Ontario taxpayers and electricity ratepayers. They are concerned that backlash against “green” energy projects and Ontario’s Feed In Tariff program might mean an end to the gravy train.

Here is the article, originally posted on the Wind Concerns Ontario website.

OSEA’s mini FIT

Posted on 11/12/2011 by MA

by Parker Gallant
The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association’s Executive Director, Kristopher Stevens on Monday morning will launch OSEA’s 3rd Annual Community Power Conference and glancing at the program one can detect a sense of concern. This is reflected in Steven’s message in the programme brochure which contains this reflective bon mot; “The green energy sector in Ontario has been threatened by uncertainty in recent months due to the provincial election and the highly anticipated Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) review. Developers, manufactures, government and investors are concerned about what may happen to the industry, their projects and businesses. Residents and communities are concerned whether clean air and water, newfound well paying jobs, local project ownership and hope, will be yanked from underneath them.  Ontario’s green energy sector is entering its next phase and it is yet unknown what this new chapter will look like and how industry participants and communities will operate in the new climate.”

There is lots in this claim by Stevens to take issue with, particular with the claim about the “residents and communities” concerns. How a change in the FIT program would affect our air or water or those reputed “well paying jobs and hope” is an incredible stretch of imagination on his behalf. Those “residents and communities” are concerned that their quickly growing electricity bills will drive them into energy poverty in order to support the visions expounded on by Stevens and his groupies.

It is noteworthy that some of the Conference’s previous sponsors have not reappeared this year however we can still find many taxpayer or ratepayer funded institutions that are front and centre as well as those institutions and companies benefiting from the Green Energy Act. Among the sponsors one finds, the Ontario Power Authority, the City of Toronto, York University, CMHC, the Community Power Fund, TREC (Exhibition wind turbine and recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the taxpayer owned Toronto Atmospheric Fund ), the World Wind Energy Association (who awarded former Energy Minister, George Smitherman with the “World Wind Energy” award in 2009) and Toronto Hydro. In the latter case we find this testimonal from Joyce McLean, Director, Strategic Issues on the Conference site: “As one of the early supporters of community power in Canada through our relationship with TREC/WindShare, Toronto Hydro appreciates the enthusiasm and energy needed to grow the community power sector in Ontario. We support OSEA’s efforts in leading the way.” Ms. McLean spent time with Greenpeace, as Chairperson and Director of CanWEA and was the founding Chair of the Community Power Fund (which dispenses grants provided by the OPA and paid for by ratepayers-they recently granted OSEA $125,000).

The “Keynote” sponsor of this conference is listed as the Ontario Power Authority and Colin Andersen, the CEO, is down as a “Keynote speaker” along with the newly appointed Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley. The ratepayer ultimately pays for the privilege of putting Mr. Andersen in this position as the sponsorship is part of the OPA’s budget.

The taxpayer is also paying for the sponsorship of CMHC and YorkUniversity, the latter a hotbed of environmentalists with a Faculty of Environmental Studies that numbers 41 Professors, Assistants and Associate Professors. Graduates of York include Kristopher Stevens and Brent Kopperson both of whom claim involvement in the creation of the Green Energy Act (Act). Kopperson is listed as a presenter/speaker at the conference as is Marion Fraser, yet another who also jointly claims responsibility for the Act’s creation. These speakers and more then half of the others scheduled as presenters/speakers are dependent on the largesse of the ratepayers and taxpayers of this province to ensure they maintain their jobs. Those jobs are designed to raise the price of electricity by pushing wind and solar generation.

The Conference program devotes most of the first day to pontificating on the election results and the potential impact on sustainable energy as well as the upcoming review of the FIT program.

The following excerpt from the program is an indication of the hand wringing going on; “ Election uncertainty has left champions of conservation and renewable energy, community and commercial developers, manufacturers, suppliers and investors wondering what’s next for Ontario?”

Looking at this from the perspective of a ratepayer; the “champions” in this session may now know what the 4.5 million ratepayers in the province have been going through since the Act was passed.

Who was our champion while the Conference attendees were using taxpayer and ratepayer funds to push their agenda forward while IWTs were springing up throughout the province damaging our health, killing wildlife and causing our electricity rates to jump by over 100%?

Perhaps it is now the ratepayers who have some hope, hope that the insanity of the Act will be discovered for what it is.

Parker Gallant,
November 11, 2011

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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But don’t take our word for it.

We could quote you the research studies that have been done–epidemiologist Dr Carl V. Phillips says there are enough of them that it is beyond a shadow of a doubt, and the World Health Organization has documented serious health effects from “environmental noise”—but let’s go to the Township of Amaranth in Ontario.

Almost six years ago now, the Township welcomed industrial wind turbines, believing the promises of jobs and green energy. They thought they were doing the right thing.

How’s that working for them? Not so well.

Here from a letter to the Minister of the Environment from Mayor Don McIver, the results of living with industrial wind turbines on one community.

“There is no question that the impact of wind turbines and the transformer that connects this power to the grid have negatively affected the health and wealth of neighbouring residents. The Council of the Township of Amaranth is opposed to any further wind turbine projects until the negative impacts of the current wind farm are corrected.”

Families have become ill and have had to leave their homes, the Mayor writes; efforts have been made to alleviate the noise and the low frequency sound, and have failed (we know there is no proper methodology to measure turbine noise–all the setbacks etc are based on “modelling”).

“The setbacks in the Green Energy Act are not sufficient to protect the health and wealth of neighbouring families. The 5 km setback in the lake directly invalidates the setback of 550 metres on land.”

Tha Mayor’s letter has never been answered.

For in-person accounts, go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/video-testamonies/

to see videos of Ontario residents who have been living next to industrial wind power generation facilities.

This is no joke.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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It’s been obvious for some time that the approvals process for industrial wind projects is a rubber stamp: there is NO oversight on the so-called environmental assessments that companies do for their applications for Renewable Energy…in fact, some of the consultants who do the environmental screening are themselves wind power developers, such as M.K. Ince.

But the corporate developers are now so emboldened by the government’s sweeping approvals of these huge industrial projects that they don’t let process delay them. For example, Kent Breeze went ahead even though there was an appeal before a tribunal; in fact by the time the decision was handed down, the project was pretty much built.

And now, in Prince Edward County, the Gilead project appears to have begun construction for its project proposed for Ostrander Point even though there is an application to the MInistry of Natural Resources for an exemption to “kill, maim and harrass” at least two endangered species. This past holiday weekend, brush hogging began in advance of access road contruction.

Nature Canada and other groups are opposed to this project because of the area’s standing as a globally important bird habitat.

Here is a posting from a colleague group, CSAGE.

MNR allows damaging pre-construction activity at Ostrander Point prior to MOE decision on Gilead wind project

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During the week of August 29, 2011 and continuing on the Labour Day long weekend, significant activity was reported at Ostrander Point, the proposed site of Gilead Power’s wind project.  Upon investigation, it was determined that a company called X-Tech Explosive Decontamination Inc. had established a work site there.

This company has been contracted by Defence Construction Canada, a Crown corporation, to survey for and remove any unexploded ordnance remaining from the site’s use for training  during World War II.  According to the contract, this activity is clearly in preparation for and support of construction activity for the wind energy facility.

We had been assured previously by both the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) that no work would be permitted on the site unless and until both the access road application and the Renewable Energy Application (REA) had been approved.  To date, there have been no such approvals.

MNR has issued a permit resulting in significant disturbance of the site by X-Tech, including the clearing of vegetation and the creation of parking areas , an administrative area, new roads and storage areas which are in addition to the locations where the proposed access road, turbines, transformer station and other parking lots are planned.

Neither Gilead’s draft construction plan nor MNR’s environmental assessment and categorization took into account these additional
disturbances.  The cumulative impacts to the Ostrander Point property continue to mount.

MNR and MOE are not following their own processes.   Both ministries are eroding further any remaining credibility they had regarding protection of the natural environment.

We believe that all disturbances on the site should be halted until a final decision has been made by MNR on the access road application and by MOE on the REA application.

We urge the community to call or write:

Orville Walsh, Chair
County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy


Ostrander Point, Prince Edward County, Ontario


E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca


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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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