The Blade|By:Steve Pollack|August 11, 2018
Proposed Icebreaker wind project is not what it seems
It is hard to know where to start dissecting the slick spin-doctoringrecently published in The Blade’s Op-Ed pages by LEEDCo, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., which wants to erect North America’s first freshwater offshore wind-turbines in central Lake Erie off Cleveland.
So-doing would reach far beyond the scope of a newspaper “op-ed.” Beth Nagusky, LEEDCo’s director of sustainable development, is a master at cherrypicking and parading obscure statements as a fait-accompli. Her contentions about the goodness of the proposed six-unit Icebreaker Wind power-generation project, some seven miles offshore, lie between premature and erroneous.
They are a masterful act of dissembling, distraction, distortion, and deception. Perhaps “MisLEEDCo” would more appropriate.
Ms. Nagusky has posited that Icebreaker’s towering turbines would kill few birds and bats, a claim that simply does not hold up under scrutiny. This is shown clearly for anyone who assesses it thoughtfully.
LEEDCo is betting on the glitter of such buzz-words as “economic impact, jobs, and clean energy” to substantiate its stance that somehow the pre-construction research on Icebreaker’s impact is all said and done and we can gleefully ride off into a lovely green-energy future. Wrong.
It claims that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the project a low risk to birds and bats. Wrong again. The Service ruled that the project only posed a low risk to a few particular endangered species. It rejected the initial Icebreaker environmental assessment (EA), citing several insufficiencies in regard to birds and bats. The final EA has yet to be filed. No one, including LEEDCo, has seen it yet.
Among other unsettled issues, the required technology to monitor post-construction bird and bat mortality simply does not exist. And additional studies, including meaningful radar studies of migrations through the turbine zone, should be mandatory.
In its sugarcoating, LEEDCo ignores saying that the initial six units are just the tip of the iceberg. If the Ohio Power Siting Board and related agencies give the green light, this project opens a Pandora’s Box to hundreds or thousands more turbines on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Any negative impacts would be magnified by orders of magnitude.
The state of New York has issued a moratorium on offshore wind for just such considerations, as has the province of Ontario, which alone has put 1,250 proposed offshore Erie wind turbines “on hold” while it assesses Icebreaker deliberations. Do you think that the giant Fred Olsen Renewables, of Oslo, Norway, would bother with building just six units here? The big money lies in hundreds. A proposed “buildout” after Icebreaker may run to 1,600 turbines.
So this really is not just six little old turbines and a few dead birds and bats. The migratory pathway and wintering grounds of millions of birds, and migratory bats as well, lie in the paths of a potential phalanx of towering 500-foot rotors. Out of sight, out of mind, is no justification.
LEEDCo is counting on the public not bothering with facts. Ms. Nagusky singled out Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) for its criticism of poor, incomplete science that LEEDCo’s hired-gun consultants have proffered about unknown and likely devastating impacts of arrays of offshore turbines. This in the heart of what the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International has declared a Globally Important Bird Area.
The Ohio Power Siting Board staff has attached a daunting list of conditions to its preliminary analysis. Last October, contrary to LEEDCo pretentions, the USF&WS argued that a still-unapproved environmental assessment is insufficient. Instead a more serious, detailed, environmental impact statement should be drawn. Yet LEEDCo proselytizes incorrectly that a waffling preliminary assessment means that Icebreaker is clean and green.
BSBO’s analysis has been dogged over many months. Its conservation committee includes a professional engineer, an environmental law attorney, and no less than three lifetime professional wildlife and fisheries biologists. Contentions down Cleveland-way that the anti-LEEDCo campaign is an animal of the beleaguered coal industry is just another distraction. The project needs to stand on its own scientific merits, not smoke-and-mirrors……
This project should be stayed unless or until it can assure minimal wildlife impacts based on the most rigorous science. The public should thoughtfully educate itself on the project before forming opinion. Icebreaker is the first small wave in a floodtide. Read the record, not just a “windustry” spin-doctor’s selective fantasizing.
Nation Rise project will create noise, health problems: WCO president to Tribunal
(C) ONTARIO FARMER
July 31, 2018
Report by Tom van Dusen
Finch, Ontario — Sitting demurely and speaking quietly, on July 24 the volunteer president of Wind Concerns Ontario blasted the provincial government approach to monitoring industrial wind turbines, accusing it of ignoring complaints about noise, health and other issues, or deferring them with no subsequent action.
Jane Wilson made her comments while presenting as a witness during an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into the Nation Rise wind power project planned for Stormont County. The hearing is scheduled to continue through August 2.
Currently engaged in the approval process, the project is sponsored by EDP Renewables Canada and calls for installation of some 33 turbines in North Stormont farm country delivering a total of 100 megawatts of power that, opponents observe, the province doesn’t need.
Headed by local resident Margaret Benke, opponents were hopeful the new Doug Ford government would cancel Nation Rise just as it did the White Pines wind project in Prince Edward County. But that didn’t happen and opponents’ legal fees and other expenses are up to $20,000. Benke noted that, with Ford in place, Nation Rise isn’t likely to proceed and yet opposing residents are still on the hook for costs.
Government not enforcing the law
A registered nurse, Wilson said Wind Concerns represents a coalition of more than 30 community groups across Ontario.
She emphasized that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change–renamed Environment, Conservation and Parks — has pledged to protect the environment and human health from any turbine side effects.
She cited former Environment Minister Glen Murray congratulating his officials for responding quickly to complaints and enforcing the law. However, Wilson’s review of incident reports obtained through Access to Information indicated the ministry doesn’t respond to all complaints and “does not, therefore, enforce the law.”
No answer to that
Total number of incident reports filed with the ministry between 2006 and 2016 was 4,574, Wilson told Maureen Cartier-Whitney, chair of the one-person panel. Records showed that in more than 50 per cent of formal complaints, there was no ministry response. Another 30 per cent were deferred. “In fact, only one percent received priority response.”
While he asked for some clarification, Paul McCulloch of the ministry’s Legal Services Branch, didn’t dispute Wilson’s basic facts. Representing EDP, lawyer . Grant Worden also offered no challenges to Wilson.
The repetitive nature of various complaints suggests, Wilson continue, that wind power developers are failing to live up to the terms of their approvals by allowing conditions triggering adverse effects including on health, to continue.
“Documented health effects include headache, sleep deprivation, annoyance, and ringing or pressure sensation in the head and ears. Most disturbing was the fact that these health effects were reported many times, and also among children.”
Wilson indicated that 39 per cent of 2006-2016 incident reports referred explicitly to sleep disturbance which is generally blamed for a myriad of diseases and disorders.
“Given the thousands of unresolved noise complaints in Ontario, and given Health Canada results of adverse health effects at distances of 550 metres to 1 km, it is reasonable to question whether the Nation Rise power project will not also engender community reports of excessive noise and adverse effects.”
To help support the appeal, which is bringing forward issues never presented to the ERT before, please send a cheque to Concerned Citizens of North Stormont, c/o Wind Concerns Ontario, PO Box 509, 250 Wellington main Street, Wellington ON K0K 3L0
Article Credit: Wind Concerns Ontario
About: Nation Rise Wind
OP ED: Who deserves fairness and equity?
By Gary Mooney|The Times|July 25, 2018
Since 2007, County groups and individuals have been fighting wind turbine projects in PEC on environmental, human health, cultural heritage and economic grounds. We are grateful that the PC government has taken decisive action to cancel wpd Canada’s White Pines wind project.
In a recent open letter to Premier Ford, Dr. Hartmut Brosamle, CEO of wpd AG, asks for reconsideration of the government’s decision to cancel White Pines, because the cancellation is causing the company “serious damage through no fault of its own”. Some comments are appropriate regarding fault.
wpd Canada and, by extension, its German parent wpd AG, have exhibited major failings or faults with regard to their pursuit of the White Pines wind project:
wpd originally chose a location that is the last stretch of undeveloped land on Lake Ontario, on a major bird migration route, much of it within an Important Bird Area. This area is home to multiple endangered species, including Blanding’s turtle and little brown bat. As well, the South Shore is an area of significant cultural heritage value, dating back to UEL days.
wpd instructed its sales agents to sign up landowners to host wind turbines secretly, with no notice to the community, and required those landowners to agree to nondisclosure of contract terms.
wpd hired consultants who provided it with incomplete and flawed reports to legitimize the project, especially with regard to environmental issues and cultural heritage concerns. Citizens’ groups and individuals had to hire their own lawyers and consultants and launch appeals costing about $700,000 to present the other side.
wpd ignored the results of a 2012 plebiscite in South Marysburgh Ward, where the project is located. Ninety per cent of those who voted (turnout similar to that for municipal elections) rejected wind turbines in their ward.
wpd never engaged in a real two-way dialogue with the community; instead it proceeded most of the time as if the County was unpopulated.
wpd ignored the position of PEC Council, which declared itself in 2013 to be an unwilling host to wind turbines.
BREACH OF CONTRACT
wpd failed to deliver 75 per cent of the contracted capacity required by its FIT contract, and failed to meet contract deadlines.
wpd underestimated the resolve of local groups to protect County residents, the natural environment and cultural heritage, and the many County residents who funded their efforts.
wpd ignored the fact of a coming provincial election and an anticipated change of government to one opposing the Green Energy Act and wind turbine projects.
wpd made a reckless decision to proceed with construction of the downsized project without final approval by IESO. Wpd is the author of its own misfortune.
Via the Green Energy Act, the Liberal government suspended democracy as regards renewable energy development and, for nine years, completely ignored the wishes of citizens and municipalities. The PC government was elected in part because of its willingness to listen to the people.
Despite all of the failings listed above, Dr. Brosalme asks for “fairness and equity” for wpd. How many such failings are necessary to disqualify wpd from reconsideration of the government’s decision: only one? maybe three? even all ten?
We in the County have been seeking fairness and equity regarding wind turbine projects for more than a decade, involving many thousands of hours of volunteer time. It’s the government’s choice, and we are grateful that it has made a choice “for the people”.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the strong support that Todd Smith has provided to our community and our cause since he became MPP in 2011. It’s been good to know that he’s had our back at Queen’s Park.
Country Live|Turbine project terminated in Prince Edward County|July 25,2018
With Royal Assent received Wednesday for Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act 2018, wpd’s nine industrial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County is terminated.
“If members opposite wonder why I don’t fear contractual chill, it’s because the proponent in this case has never honoured its agreements with the government of Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Government Affairs, in the legislature. “This project deserves to die. It deserves to die exactly as it should die today – publicly and in front of the whole province.”
Smith told thte legislature the company has been building non-stop since the middle of June, even after the government announced its intentions to legislatively terminate the project on July 10.
“They’ve had construction crews working over the weekend and trucks heading into the county at all hours to try and complete construction before this Legislature can conclude its work on Bill 2…. And they are nine white elephants. They will do nothing to help this province fight climate change—absolutely nothing. Their total capacity now, after previously being 60 megawatts, is down to about 18 megawatts of power.”
He also noted recent ministry charges over violations. “Finally, it was just a couple of weeks ago that the major multinational corporation developing the project was charged not once, not twice, but three times by the province’s Ministry of Environment for multiple violations. That’s because, under the renewable energy approval, to protect endangered species in the area, they’re not supposed to be constructing after May 1.”
The act, retroactive to July 10, terminates permits and revokes approvals, including the Feed-in-Tarriff contract and Renewable Energy Approval issued in July 2015. It requires decommissioning and to “maintain the lands in a clean and safe condition”.
Smith said it’s been seven long years, but he’s glad to be able to have accomplished this feat.
“It certainly seemed like the deck was stacked against us at times,” he said. “Apparently, construction has now stopped. The legislation requires the company to dismantle and return the property to its original state.”
“Despite “extreme fire hazard” conditions and a region-wide fire ban, a number of workers say crews continued to blast rock and use heavy machinery that had set off several small fires earlier last week. The workers asked CBC News to withhold their names out of fear of losing their jobs.
But on Wednesday, things got out of control.”
Massive Ontario forest fire sparked by wind farm construction during extreme fire ban, workers allege
· CBC News ·
Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is investigating whether construction crews building a major wind-turbine project on the eastern shores of Georgian Bay amidst tinder-dry conditions caused a forest fire that is now devouring more than 5,600 hectares of land.
The fire started last Wednesday on Henvey Inlet First Nation at the site of the province’s largest wind project, where crews are blasting rock and clearing land to erect dozens of wind turbines.
Despite “extreme fire hazard” conditions and a region-wide fire ban, a number of workers say crews continued to blast rock and use heavy machinery that had set off several small fires earlier last week. The workers asked CBC News to withhold their names out of fear of losing their jobs.
But on Wednesday, things got out of control.
“We heard on two-way radios that there was an Argo [an all-terrain vehicle] that broke down in the bush where the fire began,” one worker said.
“During the week, as we proceeded through work, there were fires that started up from our machines … little fires,” he said. “But this one started and it was too big for [workers] to control. And it got out of hand and it turned into devastation.”
“I think that the job should be shut down,” he said. “I think those that knew the consequence of this [and] just kept going and ignored the problem at hand … should be held responsible for this.”
Living with Industrial Scale Turbines and the disturbances each night has impacted my capabilities. I have noticed many negative changes in my cognitive functions and handlings each day: Without a doubt related to sleep deprivation that includes the numerous sleep disturbances nightly.
Infrasound triggers the brain to be ‘awake.’ Does this mean our brains that are influenced by infrasound and low frequency waves are not able to do their night repairs and storage?
July 2018-Testimony from a resident adversely impacted by Industrial Wind Turbines adjacent to their home.
What Does Your Brain Do When you Sleep?
“Sleep deprivation is more deadly than food deprivation.”
“Tens of billions in tax subsidies have failed to make “green” energy the steady source of power promised. And now, for instance, Germany’s subsidies for wind power are coming to an end, so as many as 20% of German wind turbines will have to be decommissioned each year with nowhere to dispose of the 30-metre concrete bases or the huge turbine blades.”
Lorne Gunter|Toronto Sun|July 21, 2018
Ontario releases list of cancelled renewable projects.
The following lists are the projects identified for wind-down. The projects on these lists are Large Renewable Projects that have not achieved their Key Development Milestones, and Feed-In Tariff projects that have not received Notice To Proceed.
For further information, please contact the Independent Electricity System Operator at www.ieso.ca.
Complete list of cancelled projects: Newsroom Ontario