Posts Tagged ‘Ottawa Citizen’

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


© 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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Good question.

Someone who saw the article in last Saturday’s May 21st edition of the Ottawa Citizen told us that he was not clear on exactly where the industrial wind turbines proposed for the area are going to go. The company’s map shows only “study areas” which are vague and—the company says—not up to date. The impression many people have is that the turbines will be quite a distance west of where most people live.

This is not correct. There is at least one proposed for south of Pollock Road just west of Fourth Line, and two between Fourth Line Road and Third Line, just north of the unused portion of Phelan Road.

With medical research coming in that shows health effects are being experienced within 3 km of industrial wind turbine installations (Nissenbaum, publication TBA), that means there is the potential for people to be disturbed by this particular array of turbines. Professor John Harrison, retired from Queen’s University, told us on viewing the map when he visited here for an information session that there was potential for “turbulence” as a rsult of the turbines proposed in North Gower, and he added, “There is no need to put these things on top of people.”

Dr Hazel Lynn, quoted in the Citizen article, said that the health effects from turbines are “consistent across the world.”

Will they make noise? A representative of the wind power generation facility company was interviewed by Mark Sutcliffe in 2010 and asked that question. The answer? “Of course they will: they’re power plants.”

To contact us, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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In today’s Ottawa Citizen, a perfect summary of the whole drive to industrial wind power development in Ontario.

Please read!


You can reach the North Gower Wind Action Group at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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When it comes to the politics of energy generation in this country, it seems that when people come to learn the facts, they are quite surprised to find out things are not what they seem. Or as we’re being told by government.

Interesting article in Renaissance, the magazine for retired teachers in Ontario about people participating in community causes. Pat Foster who lives in the Grey Highlands area says she was initially supportive of wind energy development but then had to face the cold hard facts where her own neighbour leased land for two industrial wind turbines. She discovered the impact on communities such as Melancthon (which has recently called for a halt as the number of turbines could approach 200) and is now asking, “Are wind turbines safe, efficient and economical?” Foster says that her rural community is now “in chaos” over the issue of wind development and she is trying to inform people so they can make up their own minds. For herself, she says, “We do need green energy, but wind is not the best choice!”

Another high profile turnaround, is Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, who admits he thought nuclear was an environmental bogeyman, but today recognizes it is is the most economical, safe, efficient, and effective way to produce power. His opinion piece in CanWest papers can be read here:


Last, another turnaround: two Essex councillors, who were very active in getting wind turbines approved for a land-based development, were shocked when the wind developer announced a 700-turbine development for Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. “It scares the living hell out of us,” said Councillor Randy Voakes, for himself and Councillor Paul Innes. Mr Innes, it is reported, lives on Lake St. Clair.

For daily news, visit http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com and for scientific information, http://www.windvigilance.com

and for local opinion, http://northgowerwindturbines.wordpress.com

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February 23rd, The Ottawa Citizen ran an editorial called “Seeing the wind” in which every popular notion about wind development is listed. Trouble is, none of them are correct.

Wind power is clean energy. No, it isn’t: the manufacturing and construction process for industrial wind turbines is significant, and huge amounts of fuel are required to transport the gigantic turbine parts. And, the turbines require power to run. In the “Wind Energy: the case of Denmark” study prepared by CEPOS in 2009, it was noted that in that country, which has had wind turbines for 20 years, ” wind power … saves neither fossil fuel consumption nor CO2 emissions.”

That’s a fact.

Ontario’s wind turbines are already in places where most people never see them. What? That would be nice if it were true, but it isn’t. In Melancthon there are over 100 turbines (soon to be almost 200) and the same for Amaranth. Turbines as far as the eye can see. Chatham-Kent? Hundreds and hundreds of turbines within kilometers of 6,000 people. North Gower? As many as 10 626-foot turbines within kilometers of hundeds of people and just over 3 km from a school. The turbines should be north of Superior where there is plenty of wind and no people but they’re not. Why? the transmission lines aren’t there but they are in the south of Ontario, which is also where all the people are.

That’s a fact.

New wind farms in Ontario will create long-term opportunities for manufacturers to supply them–and replace some of the jobs that the auto industry can no longer provide. Nonsense. The jobs created will be very few in number, and the subsidization means Ontario taxpayers are handing out more than $200,000 for each new job. Again from CEPOS in Denmark: “creating additional employment in one sector through subsidies will detract labor from other sectors, resulting in no increase in net employment.”

That’s a fact.

We’re unsure as to why the Citizen ran this editorial when their own columnist Randall Denley has gone on record with the truth about the wind development business in Ontario, which he says is more of the same “branch plant mentality” which does not foster innovation and long-term job or economic growth in Ontario.

For more information go to


and take special note of Michael Trebilcock’s column on wind development in Ontario.

Sorry to those who are only on dial-up: there is a binder of information at the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, and the Library also has high-speed Internet (wireless, too!).

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

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