Re. West Lincoln will get $9.2M wind turbine boost, March 18:
Do not be surprised if the residents of West Lincoln are not ecstatic about receiving $9.2M. Sure, it sounds like a lot of money, but remember it is paid in yearly installments of only $460,000.
It will take 20 years before the money is all in.
When you consider that 44 turbines will be installed, for which the wind proponent expects to make 1M a year, which means $880,000,000 in 20 years, and the lease land owners expect receive a yearly installment of $50,000 for each turbine, equaling $1M, it sort of makes 9.2M paid to West Lincoln small change for the imposition of this project on our community.
Primary seven pupils at a Derry primary school have been presented with copies of a new educational book written by a local teacher.
Pauline Davison’s “Tommy the Turbine,” which was presented recently to pupils at Eglinton Primary School (pictured) tells the story of the journey of a little wind turbine from his home in Canada, to his new life in the beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland.
Tommy feels a little nervous as he makes his journey from Belfast port, and through the countryside…
NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso noted that further research is needed to explore the relationships between wind farms and human health.
“Existing research in this area is of poor quality and targeted funding is warranted to support high quality, independent research on this issue.
“To address this, we need well designed studies conducted by excellent researchers in Australian conditions.
“These grants directly support the Australian Government’s commitment to determine any actual or potential effects of wind farms,” Professor Kelso said.
NHMRC funded research at the Flinders University of South Australia will explore relationships between noise from wind farms and effects such as annoyances and reduced sleep and quality of life.
Research at the University of New South Wales will investigate the broader social and environmental circumstances that may influence the health of people living near wind farms.
The outcomes of this research will assist in developing policy and public health recommendations regarding wind turbine development and operations in Australia.
Professor Kelso said it was important to note that the funding will support only high quality, well designed research proposals.
“NHMRC supports only the most outstanding research. Each application for this funding underwent the same stringent independent review process we apply to all NHMRC grant applications,” Professor Kelso said.
These grants are awarded in response to the 2015 Targeted Call for Research into Wind Farms and Human Health, following the release of the NHMRC Statement: Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health.
Information relating to the individual grants is available on the NHMRC website – nhmrc.gov.au
The costs may be high and the need questionable, but Ontarians signed up to buy a lot more renewable power last week when Ontario’s Independent Power System Operator (IESO) announced the results of the province’s latest procurement. The new deal brings “low prices” for new wind and solar generation, says Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.
No, not “low” like Ontario’s dysfunctional market price for electricity, which was less than two cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh) over half of all hours in 2015. And not “low” like the average 1.2 cents/kWh rate that electricity bound for New York and Michigan has sold for this year. When the Ontario government says “low,” it means seven to fourteen times as much as that, with the IESO reporting the weighted-average price of the new wind power at 8.6 cents/kWh and new solar at 15.7 cents/kWh.
But the effective cost to consumers for the new power, taking into account the portion of the total output that Ontario consumers will actually use, will be much higher than the costs the government quotes in its press releases.
WLGWAG President Mike Jankoski states Council has “sold us out.”
Council signs $9.2M community fund agreement
The Township of West Lincoln is set to benefit from construction of industrial wind turbines to the tune of $9.2 million.
Last week, during a special council meeting, township council voted in favour of entering into an agreement with FWRN LP (formerly Niagara Region Wind Corp.) to secure funding for the community as a result of the construction of turbines.
The agreement with FWRN LP will see the township receive roughly $460,000 a year over the 20-year lifespan of the project, equating to roughly $9.2 million. The funds will be used at council’s discretion for community improvement projects in four areas: stewardship initiatives, expenditures relating to development and construction of recreational facilities, expenditures for improvement of community and protective services (i.e. police, fire, EMS, health care), and roads and public infrastructure. Funds may also be used for community-related activities as agreed upon between the two parties.
Mayor Doug Joyner said Wednesday that it was not a decision council made lightly.
“It has been a difficult and long journey and I commend members of council and township staff for their dedication and persistence in dealing with this very contentious issue and for taking this important step forward,” Joyner said.
The previous term of council rejected a similar proposal from the project’s original proponents, NRWC. Council rejected what NRWC pitched as a community vibrancy fund in 2013 shortly after declaring itself an unwilling host to industrial wind turbines. Joyner said the township is still an unwilling host and accepting the community fund doesn’t change that.
They’re industrial-looking monoliths, currently equipped with pulleys to hoist the power lines into place when a 230-megawatt industrial wind farm is completed in rural west Niagara this summer.
The poles are being erected along 45 kms of quiet country roads feeding into wind turbines located in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Lincoln.
And hundreds of trees, including some that are more than 100 years old are being chopped down to clear the way for them.
There’s no other way to put it. Those poles are ugly.
Even typical wooden telephone poles would have been preferable. They would have better suited the rural setting.
But the poles that are being erected are a blight on the countryside, devaluing property and infuriating property owners – some of whom have watched helplessly as hundreds of old growth trees have been chopped down to accommodate them.
There must have been alternatives.
In a few cases, the township has managed to preserve some of the trees that were marked for chopping. But far more trees were felled than saved.
In Lincoln, Mayor Sandra Easton said there was some tree trimming done as part of the project, but to her knowledge no 150-year-old healthy oak trees were chopped down.
Instead, she said Niagara Region Wind Farm buried its major transmission lines underground.
5 wind contracts totalling 299.5 MW, with a weighted average price of $85.94/MWh and an approximate weighted price range of $64.50 to $105.50/MWh
Large Renewable Procurement
The Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) is a competitive process for procuring large renewable energy projects generally larger than 500 kilowatts.
The LRP is an important component of Ontario’s ongoing commitment to building a cleaner and more sustainable energy system, and represents a key step in the province’s 2025 target for renewable energy to comprise about half of Ontario’s installed capacity. Targets for the first procurement included up to 300 MW of wind, 140 MW of solar, 50 MW of bioenergy and 75 MW of waterpower.
The IESO has completed its evaluation of the 103 proposals received in response to the LRP I RFP and has offered 16 LRP I contracts to successful proponents.
The 16 contracts offered represent 454.885 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity. This capacity contributes to the achievement of the province’s renewable energy targets. The results include:
5 wind contracts totalling 299.5 MW, with a weighted average price of $85.94/MWh and an approximate weighted price range of $64.50 to $105.50/MWh;
7 solar contracts totalling 139.885 MW, with a weighted average price of $156.67/MWh and an approximate weighted price range of $141.50 to $178.50/MWh; and
4 hydroelectric contracts totalling 15.5 MW, with a weighted average price of $175.92/MWh and an approximate weighted price range of $173.50 to $177.00/MWh
Of these, 13 projects (336.8 MW) include participation from one or more Aboriginal communities, including five with more than 50 percent Aboriginal participation. Additionally, more than 75 percent of the successful proposals had received support from local municipalities, and more than 60 percent had support from abutting landowners.
Andy Koopal frowned as he looked down at the freshly cut metre-wide tree trunk, recalling the majestic oak that it once supported.
“That tree was over 150 years old,” he said. “It was a perfect healthy tree. There was no need for it.”
He said the tree – likely a sapling when Canada became a country – was one of eight old growth oaks that border his 10 hectares of farmland on Concession 6 in Wellandport, near Side Road 42.
When the Fort Erie resident drove into Wainfleet recently, he said he was shocked to see that all of the trees were cut down and removed.
“I came by here Saturday. Then I saw the damage they did,” he said.
Along with Koopal’s trees, likely hundreds more were cut throughout rural west Niagara to make room for transmission lines feeding into new industrial wind turbines being built near by Niagara Region Wind Farm, said Wainfleet’s engineering manager Richard Nan.
The company is building a 230 Megawatt industrial wind farm, with wind turbines located in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Lincoln.
Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said Koopal is one of several residents who have contacted the town concerned about the tree cutting.
Jeffs said the loss of trees “has really changed the landscape out that way.”
“People out there have been calling us and saying they don’t like it and they’re concerned especially with the removal of the trees,” she said. “I know we had some residents call a few weeks back because they’d taken down a whole whack of trees. It’s been ongoing.”
The Huron County Health Unit is launching an investigation into reported health effects from wind turbines.
This is in response to feedback from a number of Huron County residents reporting negative health impacts from living close to Industrial Wind Turbines.
East Huron resident Gerry Ryan was part of the group that made a presentation of health concerns to the Health Unit last week and he says they were well received by health officials.
“We presented 26 health impact statements, they ranged from sleeplessness to headaches to migraines, bloody noses, heart palpitations right across the board,” says Ryan.
The Health Unit investigation will happen in two phases, the first being the launch of an online survey in May to collect information on the number of complaints and/or concerns from residents.
Ryan and his colleagues are ecstatic that somebody is at least doing something to address the many concerns of numerous residents in Huron County.
“There absolutely is noise but there is also what’s known as infrasound. Nobody, the Ontario Government, the wind industry is doing anything about the infrasound and they knew it was going to cause problems,” adds Ryan.
Infrasound is sound that is more often felt rather than heard.
Ryan notes that Phase 2 of the Health Unit investigation may involve actual acoustic testing both inside and outside of affected homes.