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Posts Tagged ‘property values wind turbines’

Try as they might, the industrial wind developers can’t seem to get people to believe that their giant, noise-producing machines don’t have any effect on property value. Both the Canadian and the U.S. wind development lobby groups have commissioned deeply flawed studies to prove there is no effect, but the public isn’t buying it.

This week, a landmark case in Ontario, where a retired couple, on their own save for their real estate agent, is going head-to-head with MPAC over the assessment on their house on Wolfe Island. The island, as you may know, now has 86 industrial wind turbines—the people there were told there would be about 20. The Kenneys had retired to Wolfe Island, hoping for a few years on the formerly beautiful island (it looks like a power plant now–oh wait, that’s exactly what it is), hoping for the value of their property to increase modestly, providing them with some more money for later years in their retirement.

Not to be.

This story comes on the heels of the report of five homes in the Ripley area being purchased by the corporate wind developer, which claimed that some people just can’t adapt to “change” and that perhaps because their view of their favourite “apple tree” has been lost, they are selling out. Insulting … and ridiculous.

Here is the story from the Whig-Standard.

http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3109128

By the way, in case you are swayed by the arguments that such sacrifices are necessary for job creation, and for air quality in Ontario, two facts: 1. only 3 jobs were created on Wolfe Island and the net result of the wind power generation project has been a decline in the Island’s economy; and 2. Ontario has very good air quality—what persists comes from south of the border and from CARS. That said, today, May 5th, air quality is “good to moderate” in Ontario, including Toronto which is “very good.” http://www.airqualityontario.com/reports/summary.cfm

The North Gower Wind Action Group Inc. is a community group in the North Gower-south Richmond area of Ottawa, where an industrial wind power generation project has been proposed. We are a corporate member of Wind Concerns Ontario Inc. Contact us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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In ads in The Ottawa Citizen and in this week’s Manotick Messenger, the City has invited people in Ottawa’s rural villages to participate in its rural review process and attend workshops. Meetings are planned for: Ashton, Munster and Fallowfield; Kars and Burritt’s Rapids; Manotick; Greely; Osgoode; Metcalfe; and, Vernon, Kenmore and Marionville.

North Gower is not on the list. Why? Because a Community Design Plan was already developed, with plenty of input from the community, and it was approved by Ottawa City Council in January 2008. The plan may be found on the City’s website at:

http://www.ottawa.ca/city_hall/ottawa2020/official_plan/vol_2c/north_gower/index_en.html

The problem: a few months after that, Germany-based Prowind Canada appears with a proposal for industrial wind turbines for the North Gower area. Although the explanation is that the turbines (626-foot/190-meter tall structures to generate power from wind energy) will be far away from the actual village, the truth in subsequent years is a bit different: in fact, several of the turbines will be not far from the village boundary, and quite close to many homes in a North Gower subdivision. (What is “quite close”? Since many jurisdictions in Europe are now using a 2-km setback, the turbines will be within 2 km of many homes in North Gower and Richmond.)

Pegged at $20 million, and with industrial structures that will be seen–and experienced– at a distance, this is easily the largest development project ever for North Gower/south Richmond. And yet, it’s not in the Community Design Plan. Industrialization of the area was anticipated and planned for, to be located near the 416 and Roger Stevens.

So, the Community Design Plan is not to be revisited until 2013, but today we have a curious situation: a $20-million industrial power generation project is proposed for the area, but not even contemplated in the current design plan. Is that appropriate? Especially with reports of health effects, reduced property values and abandoned homes in areas where they already have industrial wind turbines?

Questions? Comments? The City is asking for feedback: “Get ready to talk about your village at the workshop.” According to the City’s notices, the telephone number is 613-580-2424 extensions 23463 or 43011, or you may send a fax to 613-580-2459, or email the Planning and Growth Management Department at the City of Ottawa, at plan@ottawa.ca

(Of course, the Green Energy Act supercedes 21 pieces of legislation in this province and has removed the ability of municipalities to plan for renewable energy projects, but that hasn’t stopped more than SEVENTY Ontario municipalities from taking steps to protect their residents: they’re asking for a moratorium on industrial wind development and they are taking what steps they can such as withholding building permits, establishing their own setbacks from turbines, and promising to enforce local noise bylaws.)

“Time to talk about your village”? Indeed it is.

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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People attending out April 2010 information session will recall speaker Chris Luxemburger of the Brampton area (he is now President of the Brampton Real Estate Board). Chris revealed the results of his study of the effect of industrial wind turbine developments on property values and concluded: they are like garbage dumps and quarries and serve as a negative influence on value.

We have been wondering why the Ontario Real Estate Association has not been communicating about the issue of turbines and property values; turns out the membership has asked them to, and now they are. This is from Chris’ blog a few days ago.

http://cluxemburger.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/orea-to-take-a-stance-on-windmills

The new form may require sellers to disclose knowledge of a wind turbine development (This was already on the Sellers Information sheet, but was not mandatory.)

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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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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Here is a report on the Kent Breeze renewable energy application appeal, occuring in Ontario next week.

‘David and Goliath’ Legal Challenge Underway Against the Global Wind Industry

We call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions.

The international wind industry will face one of its biggest challenges beginning on February 1, 2011.  Canada will be at the centre of a legal battle of global proportions.  In response to a recent approval of an industrial wind development, an appeal has been submitted to a Tribunal (ERT). The appeal is based chiefly on the issue of serious harm to human health from noise and low frequency sound. The appeal raises other issues such as the government’s apparently admitted inability to predict, measure, or assess noise levels.

A compelling and unprecedented witness list has been assembled on all sides. This appears to be the largest single gathering of internationally renowned experts that has taken place on these issues.  In all more than 20 experts and specialists in medicine, human health, acoustics and government will be appearing.

The project is owned by Suncor Energy Inc. an “integrated energy company” strategically focused on developing Canada’s oil sands.  Suncor’s reported assets at December 31, 2009 were $69,746,000,000.

Suncor’s obvious financial means together with an apparent limitless cash supply for the government of Ontario indicate the resources our opponents have at their disposal.

Therefore, we call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions.

What is at stake is nothing less than the future of wind development around the world.

The litany of half-truths and misinformation from wind lobbyists denying the adverse health effects of wind turbines must come to an end. Financial support is what is needed now to fight this case.

We have assembled a staggering amount of evidence and an extraordinary array of international witnesses. The appellants will be calling experts from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.  They include:

  • Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, M.D., USA
  • Dr. Robert Thorne, PhD, Health Sciences and Acoustics, Australia
  • Richard James, INCE ,Acoustician, USA
  • Dr. Christopher Hanning, M.D., FRCA, MRCS, LRCP,  Sleep Specialist, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Robert McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S., Canada
  • Dr. Arline Bronzaft, PhD, Noise and Health Specialist, USA
  • Dr. Jeffery Aramini, PhD, Epidemiologist, Canada
  • Dr. Carl V. Phillips, PhD, M.P.P., Epidemiology and Public Policy, USA
  • Dr. Daniel Shepherd, PhD, Noise and Health Specialist, New Zealand

The government and proponent are also bringing many experts. 

Gather up your wind action groups and get involved in raising funds for this internationally ground-breaking legal challenge! We all win if we win this precedent setting case.

To donate to the legal costs for this case:

Douglas Desmond, In Trust

Indicate that the funds are for the “Kent-Breeze Appeal”.

Address:

Douglas Desmond, Barrister & Solicitor
PO Box 129,
27 Main St. E
Ridgetown, Ontario, N0P 2C0
Phone: 1-888-674-1955

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Finally, Tim Hudak of the PCs is saying something direct about the Green Energy Act, and what he’ll do about it. From today’s Welland Tribune:

Hudak promises change on wind

Posted 5 hours ago

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak says he’ll change the province’s Green Energy Act to give local councils the option to decide the location of commercial wind turbines in their municipalities.

“That’s the way it’s always been traditionally in our province, but Dalton McGuinty has stripped that away and is trying to make all of the decisions from Queen’s Park. That’s wrong and as premier I would restore the decision-making ability of local municipalities to have their say on these projects,” Hudak said during a brief stop at Grey-Bruce Farmers’ Week in Elmwood.

Hudak said he’s concerned about the impact some of the McGuinty government’s energy policies are having on the long-term cost of electricity, in particular an agreement to heavily subsidize South Korea-based technology giant Samsung Corporation to build components for the wind and solar energy industry in Ontario and for export.

“Dalton McGuinty signed some pie in the sky scheme for multimillion subsidies to Samsung Corporation — a foreign based corporation to build wind/solar farms at exorbitant rates,” Hudak said during and interview in Elmwood.

“Any kid knows you can’t run a lemonade stand by paying 84 cents for lemons and try to sell the lemonade for a nickel. It doesn’t add up, but that’s what Dalton McGuinty is doing with our hydro policy and its driving up bills,” he added.

Bill Walker, the PC candidate chosen to replace Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch in next year’s provincial election, echoed some of the views of his party leader.

“Where wind farms are located should be up to local councils. That I will fight very strongly for . . . I’ve heard people complain all over the place. They say their hydro bills are climbing every time you turn around. The government has lost touch with the local people,” Walker said.

“I want to do my part to turn that around and get Ontario to again become the economic engine that it can be.”

On the question of removing the HST from some products and services, Hudak said his party has set up a website, http://www.haveyoursayOntario.ca, that is seeking suggestions from Ontario residents about where a Conservative government could adjust or remove the sales tax.

Hudak said he’s open to suggestions for how to mitigate the effects of the tax, whether it’s removing it from certain goods and services or lowering it by one or two percentage points.

“Basically all options are on the table. We want to hear from people what’s going to help them the most, to spend on their priorities and not Dalton McGuinty’s,” he said.

The opposition leader told a few dozen farmers gathered at tThursday’s event that his government would implement farm subsidy programs for the agricultural industry in Ontario.

“It is the backbone of so many ridings in Ontario, including my own, where agriculture is the Number 1 industry. That’s why I said that among my priorities are to support supply management 100% for the commodities that have it and for those that don’t let’s move forward with a business risk management program that is going to encourage long-term investment and help pass the family farm on to the next generation in good shape,” Hudak said.

Hudak promised to promote a grown-in-Ontario food policy if the Conservatives form the next government.

“Public institutions buy a lot of food, whether it’s our schools, long-term care homes, hospitals, even our prisons. If we supported local products and our agricultural sector we would make a difference and set a good example for the major chains to follow by supporting our locally produced food products,” he said.

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Here is a letter to the Editor at South Coast Today on the topic of insurance liability for the turbine neighbours, involuntary or otherwise.

We already checked with a major Canadian insurer about this issue and were told that as long as a homeowner doesn’t have a turbine actually on his or her property, there are no issues. We beg to differ, but believe this will become an issue in the fullness of time. Clearly, though, landowners who have leased property for turbine installations, and waived the 550-meter setback, will be having discussions with their insurers, and doubtless, increased insurance rates. Might be worth checking that voluminous contract again, too, to see where the liability rests.

Note too, the ski hill operator in Thunder Bay whose insurance policy was going to be cancelled by his insurer due to safety concerns (ice throw, blade failure, etc.).

Here is the letter:

LETTER: Turbine neighbors must consider insurance rates

//

December 28, 2010 8:30 AM

Turbine neighbors must consider insurance rates

Many cities and towns in Massachusetts are allowing commercial wind turbines by special permit within hundreds of feet of residential homes. In some cases, these turbines are as high as the Statue of Liberty.

Setbacks are new to residential home owners, as well as your insurance company. The insurance companies currently set rates for distance to fire hydrants, distance to fire stations, residential rates, commercial rates, flood rates, single family, two family, etc.

If you called your insurance agent today about commercial wind turbines, it would have no idea what you are talking about in regard to rate increases/changes.

Residential insurance rates are a valid consideration, and one that ought to be examined, especially by homeowners who will be directly affected by the turbines, which will include living within the blade throw, ice throw, fire, lightning, environmental spill hazards, etc.

Since this setback issue is new for the insurance companies, actuaries for the insurance companies will be figuring out the exposure to commercial wind turbines only after they are installed in your neighborhoods.

As the state moves forward, Massachusetts residents within the commercial wind turbine zone should be advised how to insure against a commercial wind turbine and tower.

Frank Haggerty

Mattapoisett

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101228/OPINION/12280348

Contact us: northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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