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Posts Tagged ‘Prowind’

For those who think Europe is the haven for wind power generation done well, and where citizens are happy with the beautiful turbines spinning happily in the breeze, this will be a shock: people are sick, the landscape is ruined, and property values (and lives) devastated.

This short video comes from Russia Today via Facebook; thanks to Esther Wrightman and the Middlesex-Lambton group for calling attention to it.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703983162949836

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Ottawa Wind Concerns

Back in May, after the decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the case of Wiggins et al vs wpd, we wrote to the Mayor of the City of Ottawa to inform him of the importance of the Court’s decision: that it was acceptable for property owners who live as neighbours to property being leased for industrial-scale wind turbines to sue for property value loss and nuisance at the time of approval of a wind power project (i.e., they do not have to wait until the power project is built), and that the Court accepted that property value loss had already occurred simply with the announcement of the power project near Clearview Ontario, on the order of 22-50 percent.

The effect of the proposed wind power project in North Gower-Richmond will be significant, we wrote , in terms of the potential danger to health (also acknowledged by…

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We just visited Prowind’s website for an update—there is none, there never is–and were delighted to see the little sidebar of facts about wind power is still there. Cute little factoids pop up like, Wind power development  increases by 30% every two years.

Here are some facts of our own.

Wind power generation efficiency declines by 2 percent a year; by the end of the 20-year contract, the turbines are producing next to nothing, unless they have undergone expensive replacement of the nacelle and the blades.

Wind power efficiency is about 24 percent; solar is about 13, and nuclear is about 80 percent for 40 years. However, wind power developers typically peg the efficiency rate much higher. Algonquin Power, for example, claims an efficiency rate of 37 percent for some of its projects, and depicts a straight line rate of efficiency throughout the 20-years of its contract for government/taxpayer subsidies. This is not illegal; it’s up to investors to do their own research and discover the pie-in-the-sky claims.

Each large-scale wind turbine contains over a ton of “rare earth,” a material that is being mined in China with disastrous environmental consequences, and which is causing people to be made ill. At the end of the life of a large-scale wind turbine, the rare earth and all the toxic hydraulic fluids in the nacelle must be disposed of as toxic waste. With Ontario heading for more than 6,000 of these machines, where are we going to put all that stuff.

Wind turbines leak oil: just Google that and see the photos of the brown-streaked turbine towers.

Wind power developers claim that farm owners can farm right up to the turbines and can treat it just like a “very big tree,” said one company. The most of Ontario’s valuable farmland that is being used is 2 acres, they say. Not so: farm owners are finding out that despite the contract terms, as many as 12 acres of land are being used up, for access roads and equipment.

North American insurance companies are starting to have to explain to people who have leased land for large-scale turbines that they are no longer insured for property insurance or third-party liability. The risk is too great and, the insurance companies say, the property owners have no control over who’s coming on their land and when, so–no insurance! Specialty insurers will probably take over, at much greater premium costs.

The taxpayer-paid subsidy for the average large-scale wind turbine in Ontario si about $500,000 per turbine, per year. In return, the people of Ontario are getting: higher electricity bills, the bill for the transmission lines being built to service the wind power, the bill for power not to be produced when we don’t need it, lowered property values, dead birds and bats, and reduced attractiveness of some of Ontario’s most beautiful landscapes.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Excellent article by Justin Sadler in yesterday’s Ottawa Sun. Mr Sadler quite rightly reviews comments by the Auditor General on the issue of Ontario’s renewable energy policy–there was never a business case made for the policy, no estimates of whether wind power would ever accomplish what was promised for it, and that claims of job creation are just not true.

Read the article here, and then vote in the poll if it remains open.

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/05/26/turbine-tussle-whips-up

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Donations toward our work and information packages for government at all levels, gratefully accepted

PO Box 3, North Gower ON   K0A 2T0

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We’re hearing that the wind power generation project for the North Gower-Richmond area of the City of Ottawa is “on hold.”

This is not quite true: at the moment, as the Ontario government’s Feed In Tariff or FIT program has been revised, all projects without a FIT contract and that are proposed for more that 500 kW, must reapply for a contract. That said, the date of their original proposal stands.

So, as we understand it, Prowind has to reapply for a FIT contract.

That’s not really “on hold,” they’re just waiting for the next step in the process.

What would be wonderful, of course, is that the company would see that the community does not want this project, that there are all kinds of liability from locating giant, noise-producing wind power generators so near to hundreds of homes, and abandon the idea.

But when there are millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidy to be had, as is the case with the Ontario government’s FIT program ($500,000 per turbine, per year) the only word in Prowind’s mind is: profit.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Please check the maps in our documents and links page to see what the Marlborough wind project in North Gower-Richmond looks like, in terms of impact on the community.

One map shows the 2-km impact; this is based on the recent announcement by the Society for Wind Vigilance–a group of international scientists and health care professionals–that a 2-km setback is the MINIMUM for health and safety.

The other map shows the impact out to 3.2 km on property values.  This is based on the 40% AVERAGE property value loss determined by U.S. real estate appraiser Michael McCann.

If you live in North Gower-Richmond, be sure to be sitting down before you look at the maps.

And then remember that then-president of Prowind Cathy Weston wrote to a news paper last year that “wind farms” have the effect of protecting agricultural land from further housing development. No kidding.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Ontario municipalities might be forgiven for overlooking one teensy negative aspect of industrial wind power generation facilities. It’s difficult to think 20 years down the road when the wind power developers and the Ontario government are putting photos of bucolic agricultural landscapes where dairy cattle graze right up to the base of a turbine (no houses in sight). There is no suggestion whatsoever of what the colossal structures might look like in a decade or so, when they are past their life span and nobody wants them any more.

All around the world, most notably in California and Hawaii, wind turbines stand rusting and rotorless, hideous scarred icons of greed.

It’s expensive to take them down. In South Branch, 30 minutes down the road from Ottawa/North Gower/Richmond, the wind power developer Prowind estimates that decommissioning costs for the 15 turbines will be in the region of $600,000. Or, said project manager Juan Anderson, perkily, “You can take them down yourself and get the value of the scrap!”

This is absurd for several reasons: first, the wind developers tend to be gone by the time the turbine structures are done with and second, there may be some value to the scrap, but not much, and any value there is could be offset by the horrendous costs of dealing with all the toxic elements such as the gallons and gallons of hydraulic fluids in the nacelle.

Wellington Times editor Rick Conroy relates the struggle in Prince Edward County to get Council to realize that decommissioning is a cost that could land on the municipality’s doorstep–and have to be paid for by the taxpayers. His column from the April 4th issue is valuable information on this and several other aspects of wind power generation.

The article is here: http://wellingtontimes.ca/takedown/

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Photo: abandoned wind turbines in Hawaii. There are more than 14,000 abandoned and derelict turbines in the United States alone.

http://denglerimages.photoshelter.com/image/I0000eLa6MrmyQqY

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At the meeting in South Branch last evening, Prowind’s new president made his first appearance, at least in Eastern Ontario, and for Prowind. Jeffrey Segal was formerly vice-president of development and construction with Gengrowth. He is a resident of downtown Toronto, and lives within a kilometer of the iconic (and useless) wind turbine at Exhibition Place. (750kW compared to 2 MW or more; 299 feet, compared to 626 for the proposed South Branch and North Gower turbines)

Although the community in South Branch had requested an open Question and Answer format for this, the second-last public meeting for the 30-MW project, the day before, Prowind demanded that all questions be submitted in writing (e-mail accepted) by noon the day of the meeting. As it happened, questions were accepted from the floor, but no discussion or rebuttal of Prowind’s answers was permitted. A limited form of “community engagement” to be sure.

Some of Prowind’s answers to the questions.

-Health effects: there won’t be any because Ontario’s regulations are safe. (Environmental Review Tribunal found otherwise and recommended more research, and examination of Ontario’s regulations.)

-Property values: no effect. (Incorrect.)

-“annoyance” is personal. (Incorrect. The medical definition of “annoyance” is stress that can range to the severe, causing indirect health problems.)

-setbacks in other jurisdictions “political” (Incorrect. Australia moved to 2 km after a Senate inquiry into health effects)

The new president has had experience with wind power generation projects in the Chatham-Kent and Essex areas of Ontario, and claimed that people there “love them.” Interesting then that the Environmental Review Tribunal took place in Chatham-Kent, that another legal action is taking place by a family who say they have been made ill by Suncor’s Kent Breeze project there. And that there is a citizens’ group protesting wind power projects http://maynardrehab.com/ckwag.org/

The real problem in all this is that our provincial government is allowing this to continue apace. At the same time as it is crowing about the safety afforded by its new regulations under the Green Energy Act, a project in Grand Valley was allowed to proceed under the old rules, in 2011!

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and check out http://www.windconcernsontario.net for ongoing news stories and authoritative papers and presentations.

Donations to our efforts welcome.

 

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From the last edition of Ontario Farmer, Tom van Dusen’s Eastern Limits column, excerpted here.

Powerful people

Power of the People seems to have played a crucial role in the minority Liberal government outcome of the provincial election. Power of the anti-wind people, that is.

An advocacy group called Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) says it targeted 10 ridings where existing or planned wind farms have become controversial, with an eye to defeating sitting Liberal members who supported the projects, or to getting opposition candidates elected where vacancies existed due to retirement.

It’s hard to know if WCO should get all the credit…but, in fact, Grits were shut out of those ridings.

Some prominent rural Liberals who backed wind and solar energy bit the dust on election day, including two former OMAFRA ministers, Carol Mitchell, who held the post in the last government, and Leona Dombrowsky, the province’s most recent education minister. Both went down to spectacular defeat. Also blown out of his riding was the pre-election environment minister, John Wilkinson, also an outspoken supporter of his government’s green energy policy which offered some subsidies and high energy generation payments to wind and solar power entrepreneurs.

…At the east end of the province, it looks like turbine opponents helped elect Tory Jim McDonell in Stormont-Dundas-South Glegarry which had been vacated by Liberal MPP Jim Brownell. McDonell’s stock seemed to go up after he called upon Dalton McGuinty to stop the proposed South Branch Wind Farm at Brinston before it got to the construction phase. A collection of 14 turbines, South Branch has been promoted by Prowind Canada dating back to 2008. Over the intervening years, there have been scores of meetings and studies about the impact of the project.

For WCO, Prowind is similar to all industrial turbine installations: the advocacy group claims they all threaten human and animal health, habitat, and property values as well as cause noise and aesthetic concerns.

WCO says it set its sights on toppling Liberal candidates because the government “denied science” indicating turbines could be harmful, and refused to accept “local democracy” by pushing forward with turbine projects against the will of residents.

The anti-wind turbine lobby appears to have registered a big blow to the McGuinty Grits. Retaining only a few of the lost 10 seats would have made a difference between majority and the premier’s so-called “major minority”. … the WCO campaign proves resoundingly that taxpayers can have an impact on voting day even if it’s not the ultimate outcome of defeating a government.

“The Liberals have an opportunity to change their course during this minority parliament, act on our concerns and put the interests of people ahead of special interests behind the industrial wind lobby which cost them their majority,” WCO gloated in a news release.

… There’s nothing wrong with modestly encouraging development of new energy sources. However, the last Liberal government seemed to want to make it happen right now at whatever cost, and damn any side effects such as the potential health hazard.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Communities in Scotland have rejected a proposal for a wind “farm” on the basis of the height of the proposed industrial wind turbines, and the effect the project would have on the community and the landscape. The proposed turbines would have been 150 meters high, which one community member said would have created a “monstrous eyesore” on the landscape.

The Prowind proposed industrial wind power generation project for North Gower (also for the Spencerville/Shanly and Beckwith Township areas) has wind turbines structures that would be 190 meters or 626 feet high. Due to topography, the structures, we are advised, would be visible from Arnprior.

So, never mind the noise and the vibration–which are considerable–and the effect on property values, WHY do we need to put these huge structures so close to people’s homes?

Here is the story, and the link: http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/09/20/council-rejects-plans-for-scotlands-tallest-windfarm/ Note the wind business manipulating the spin by referring to lost jobs and the economy…

Council rejects plans for Scotland’s tallest windfarm  

Credit:  stv.tv 20 September 2011 ~~

Proposals to build 23 turbines, each 150m high, have been thrown out after protests by locals.

Plans for a 23-turbine windfarm near Inverness have been turned down by Highland Council.

The proposed development would have seen the construction of Scotland’s tallest wind turbines, each measuring 149m with a blade-span of 100m.

But Highland Council turned down the application following a visit to the site on Blairmore Estate, near Kiltarlity and Abriachan.

During the visit, campaigners opposed to the development flew a large red blimp at the site to illustrate the visual impact on the area.

Despite 428 representations being made in favour of the farm, as opposed to 330 against, the Council’s planning committee made the decision to reject the plans on Tuesday.

One of the objections came from Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Terry Butcher.

The ex-Rangers and England defender, who now lives in Abriachan, said the development would have created “a monstrous eyesore within one kilometre of the loveliest walks in Scotland”.

He added: “A great deal of hard work has been undertaken by the Abriachan Forest Trust to create a wonderful sporting and educational environment adjacent to the Great Glen Way, which would then contract dramatically with 23 of the biggest wind turbines in Britain.”

Renewable energy firm Druim Ba said the windfarm would create up to 55 jobs and £7.7m of community benefits at a time of public-sector cuts and rising unemployment.

But objectors included four community councils – Kiltarlity, Inverness West, Glenurquhart and Kilmorack.

Lyndsey Ward, who lives at nearby Beauly, said: “This was a really inappropriate development for this area. It is a really vibrant community. This would have devastated and dominated the area.”

She said the exercise with the blimp had been carried out in April, adding: “People were horrified – they couldn’t believe how far away you could see it.

“It could be seen from Dores, the Black Isle and Beauly Braes. That was just a blimp on a cable. You have to imagine what it would be like with a blade with a 100-metre span on a tower.”

A spokeswoman for Druim Ba said there had been no objections from other statutory bodies including Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

She added: “Furthermore, no objections were raised from other important statutory consultees, including VisitScotland, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Historic Scotland and RSPB.

“At a time of public sector cuts and growing unemployment, particularly among young people, the rejection of the project is a serious loss for people and businesses in the Highland region.”

It is understood the company is now considering an appeal to the Scottish Government.

 

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Please attend our next information session, Wednesday September 28th at the Client Services Centre in North Gower, 7 p.m. The theme is “Standup! Be a messenger for change!” Speakers are economist Bob Lyman, writer Dan Scharf, and Wind Concerns ONtario president John Laforet.

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