Wind Industry in trouble in Niagara Region and beyond

house surrounded by wind turbinesI’m seriously worried that our region will miss out on a significant economic opportunity if the Ontario government doesn’t stick to its renewable energy targets.” – Tom Rankin, CEO, Rankin Construction, Niagara, Ontario”

All together now let’s raise a glass of cheer and send them all packing!  The Harm the wind industry has inflicted fails to generate any sympathy over their current wails of woes.  Niagara Wind came online in October 2016 and already MOECC is being called out to measure noise emissions and  multiple complaints  demanding investigation, representing a new wave of families and individuals who are finding their health adversely impacted by wind turbines. Yet project operators and industry continue to turn a deaf ear, heckle and belittle impacted residents and no meaningful action taken to relieve suffering of wind power’s making.

Turbines continued to be allowed to kill wildlife and fragment sensitive environmental habitats with the protections of legislated government statutes. Yet its is expected the ratepayers paying for this sorry state of affairs are expected to be worried about the wind industry’s economic well- being?   Sorry no go.   If wind power wants to survive as a viable renewable and be “sustainable” it is beyond time to clean up the mess and deal with the realities of your spinning Industrial turbine generators.

Responding to the rising heat of political wildfire,  wind proponents in the Niagara region have banded together and created yet another lobby group. The following commentary beats false tones on the PR drum extolling claimed wind power virtues and benefits.  READ AT:

Niagara, Ontario Employers Fight to Protect Jobs and a Clean, Affordable Energy Supply

I’m seriously worried that our region will miss out on a significant economic opportunity if the Ontario government doesn’t stick to its renewable energy targets.” – Tom Rankin, CEO, Rankin Construction, Niagara, Ontario

Rankin Construction, Pumpcrete Join Province-Wide Coalition to Promote Renewable Energy and Protect Jobs in our Region

A Call-Out to the Ontario government from the Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario

Posted November 17th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario – Local business leaders Tom Rankin and Ken Williams called on the Ontario government (this November 16th_ to protect local jobs by ensuring that renewable energy remains a vital part of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan.renewable-energy

Rankin, CEO of Rankin Construction on Martindale Road, and Williams, President of Pumpcrete on Progress Street, will be representing the newly formed Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario (REAO) at Ministry of Energy led consultations tonight at the Holiday Inn on Ontario Street in St. Catharines.

Together, Rankin Construction and Pumpcrete employ over 700 hundred people in the St. Catharines and Niagara Falls region.

Rankin and Williams will be making the following points to government officials:

1) Renewable energy helps to stabilize long-term energy costs.

2) Ontarians support renewable energy by wide margins, and are in favour of increased investment in renewable energy technologies.

3) Investment in renewable energy technology has resulted in the creation good paying jobs in the Niagara region. Since 2012, renewable energy has created over 1000 jobs in the region, and increased the regions employment capacity by a minimum of three hundred thousand working hours. This new work has a positive economic impact for the province and the municipalities that host renewable energy sites.

4) As Ontario moves toward the implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan, there is a projected increase in demand for energy and Ontario will need to meet this increase in a cost effective and carbon neutral way.

5) Ontario must stick to the target of 50 per cent renewables by 2025 if it is to maintain its place as a world leader in renewable energy in the face of stiff international competition from China and India.

6) Renewable energy is now as cost effective as other sources of energy. It is not the reason Ontarians have been facing higher hydro rates.


Rankin construction has been located in St. Catharines since 1978 and I’m seriously worried that our region will miss out on a significant economic opportunity if the Ontario government doesn’t stick to its renewable energy targets.  Ontarians need clean and affordable energy and the people of St. Catharines need more well-paying jobs. Renewable energy needs to be at the core of the provincial Long-Term Energy Plan.”Tom Rankin – CEO, Rankin Construction

“Renewable energy like wind is now equal in cost to traditional energy sources.  India and China are investing billions of dollars into renewable energy industries. We can’t afford to lose any more ground.”Ken Williams – President, Pumpcrete

Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario:

The Renewable Energy Alliance of Ontario is a broad coalition of employers, labour and industry groups dedicated to working with the Ontario government to ensure renewable energy continues to play a vital role in Ontario’s energy mix.  At present membership includes the following organizations:

  • The International Union of Operating Engineers
  • The Laborers’ International Union of North America
  • The Ontario Crane Rental Association
  • The Canadian Wind Energy Association
  • The Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario
  • Rankin Construction
  • Pumpcrete
  • Surespan Wind Energy



Heat or Eat- Green Energy Benefits Few

energy-povertty-2016“Soaring hydro costs have become an Achilles heel for the Liberal government, which took a costly plunge into green energy in 2009 and has been raked over the coals by the auditor general for ignoring its own energy planners and saddling consumers with billions of dollars above market prices for power.”


High hydro costs sending Ontarians to food banks, report says

By John Miner, The London Free Press

Rising power bills — not just lack of good jobs and high food prices — are forcing hundreds of thousands of Ontarians to turn to food banks, a new report by a food bank umbrella group warns.

In yet another sign of the crisis caused for many in the province by soaring electricity rates, the Ontario Association of Food Banks says the fallout is putting the squeeze on the basic needs of many.

“If people have to choose between keeping the lights on and going hungry, they go without food,”

Carolyn Stewart, executive director of the association, said ahead of Monday’s release of the group’s Hunger Report 2016…


Green Energy Act No real fixes Ahead

wrong-way“Premier Wynne’s “mistake” will continue to drive up our bills for some time. If she pays any attention to the dreamy musings of Environmental Defence and their ilk in the drive for 100% renewables, those heart-wrenching stories will become a daily occurrence.”

November 25, 2016;  Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives  

A recent press release from Environmental Defence announced the launch of yet another effort to “green” Ontario via an organization formed by the usual cadre of environmental non-government organizations (ENGO).

This one, the 100% RE or Renewable Energy, pushes the insanity of suggesting Ontario’s “next energy plan should empower citizens and communities to join the global movement toward 100 per cent renewable energy.” It suggests Ontario “should follow the lead of communities, such as Oxford County, that are transitioning to clean and healthy 100 per cent renewable energy”.

It is apparent that the people at Environmental Defence — the same ENGO that was a participant in the creation of the Green Energy Act — somehow believe they are superior energy planners than those with qualifications. Beyond Environmental Defence, the 100%RE group includes the usual suspects such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina, Greenpeace, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Physicians for the Environment, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and several lesser known names, including the Toronto Environmental Alliance and TREC. The latter were responsible for the Toronto Exhibition Place wind turbine used by countless Ontario Liberals as a photo-op but which generates almost no usable power and whose control now rests in the hands of Toronto Hydro. TREC have placed a plaque at the base of the turbine with the names of the people who invested in the turbine and have no hope of ever seeing a return on their money.  One of the names on the plaque is Dianne Saxe, the current Environmental Commissioner.  (It appears supporting industrial-scale wind turbines that kill birds and bats did not deter the Ontario Liberal government from appointing Ms. Saxe as commissioner of the environment.)

Now, with Premier Wynne’s recent mea culpa at the Ontario Liberal Party convention when she referred to Ontario citizens having to choose between heating their house or buying food, one has to wonder:  exactly why did it take her so long to admit to her mistake?  Maybe it’s because the Ontario media has recently noted rising electricity bills are causing energy poverty; the hard-luck stories in print and on TV are often heart-wrenching.  Those stories, and the relentless arrival of the monthly hydro bill, has had a lot to do with recent polling results showing that 67% disapprove of the job Premier Wynne is doing.

One of the obvious “mistakes” Premier Wynne made was not paying attention. When she was confronted by communities back in August 2013 declaring themselves “unwilling hosts” to industrial wind turbine developments, her response, as reported in the Ottawa Citizen, was to shrug it off: “Wynne has asked the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to raise awareness in communities slated for the turbine projects about the benefits of hosting, including the financial gains that can come from being power generators in a cash-strapped economy.”

Was she so naive that she didn’t realize those “financial gains” would come from the pockets of average households, and that OSEA claimed responsibility for developing the Green Energy Act that had a role in rising electricity bills?

Her announcement on the repeal of the 8% provincial portion of the HST is at best comparable to sticking her finger in a dike to stop the flood.  It has apparently slipped her mind she was part of the team that placed the tax on our energy bills, while simultaneously blessing a 10% rebate known as the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.

The net gain to households from those actions was a 2% reduction, at the same time as the Ontario Energy Board was approving rate increases for both the electricity and distribution lines on our bills that were multiples of the 2% net gain from the Liberal government actions.

The upcoming plan to add a “cap and trade” tax to households will quickly negate the latest 8% reduction.  On top of the new tax, Ontario Power Generation, which generates about 60% of the power we consume in the province, has submitted a rate application to the OEB that could add $63 to the average bill.

Premier Wynne’s “mistake” will continue to drive up our bills for some time. If she pays any attention to the dreamy musings of Environmental Defence and their ilk in the drive for 100% renewables, those heart-wrenching stories will become a daily occurrence.

Creating the Green Energy Act based on faulty ideology, and with no comprehensive cost-benefit analysis in place was a big mistake — one that remains fundamentally not corrected.


The Green Energy Act is Undemocratic


rights-and-responsibiltiesMayor Higgins of North Frontenac has petitioned in Ontario court to be an intervenor in the Judicial Review (JR) application filed by CCSAGE Naturally Green (over the approval granted for the White Pines project in Prince Edward County). Green Energy Act removes Municipal government’s authorities over the placement and operations of renewable energy projects.  Renewable Energy projects and installation of wind turbines have devastated rural communities in a manner that urban areas are not subject to.

The purpose of the JR is to ask Ontario Superior Court questions of law about the burden imposed, processes followed, biases and Constitutionality surrounding the Green Energy Act (GEA). The GEA is the legislation that creates Renewable Energy Approvals required to authorize wind projects. GEA:

“The JR has the potential to help protect all rural Ontario from the continued onslaught of these industrial machines. If you are an organization, coalition or individual anywhere in Ontario who has suffered as a result of actual or threatened installation of turbine projects, you may be able to assist in one of two ways. One, by applying to the Court for status as an Intervenor for which a lawyer is required for those incorporated, and, two, by providing us with an affidavit containing information not otherwise already dealt with”.


Mayor Higgins Motion for Intervener Status





Environmental Risk Assessment of Water Sources due to wind project

sneddon-law-windWind development includes risk of contamination to water sources. In Scotland planning conditions are to be reviewed in a public hearing for the proposed Sneddon Law Community Wind. The project has appealed to discharge conditions meant to be protective of water sources for its wind power complex.

Sneddon Law Community Wind Project details can be reviewed here:

An environmental risk assessment hearing was prompted by information contained in the recently published Sneddon Law WF Private Water Supply Risk Assessment (PWS RA):

Dr.Rachel Connor who is Chair Moscow and Waterside Community Council outlines concerns and background in a letter which can be read at the following link:

The public has until 21st December 2016 to submit comments.
Send to the Case Officer: Colin Bell

The full case can be viewed at Case No PPA-190-2058 and at





Faces of Energy Poverty

a-crying-lady“Our children are our world and they’ve always been well cared for and loved,” said Carol. “But here we are, feeling scared and horrified because this could happen to us.”

Terrified, Carol and her husband do all they can to remain strong for their family.

I usually wait till the kids are in bed and I know they’re asleep,” Carol said. “Then I cry, because I try to be as positive as I can for them.”

Wealth is not only measured in money but what resources you can access to create a safe home for your family and children. Electricity is an essential service in a cold climate country like Canada. Rates in Ontario are out of control and an increasing number of homes are now in default and cannot pay their bills. Without electricity furnaces don’t heat, food isn’t kept safe for consumption in cooled refrigerators, water pumps don’t bring water to a home, sump pumps in basements sit idle allowing water to seep in resulting in mold and structural damage.  What has fuelled the crisis of today?

The tipping point has its roots in the Green Energy Act of 2009 which included the institution of a cryptic entity called the Global Adjustment.  This mechanism is used for recovering differences in costs such as introducing renewables generation systems and the priority access to the grid given for wind and solar. It includes the cost of the contracts held with renewable generators which are paying above market rates for electricity, selling electricity at a loss for out- of- sync demand generation and a growing frequency of payments for curtailment.

Consequences for political decisions made surrounding energy policies are personal. Having your electricity cut off  for non- payment is a nightmare but it is also a measure our society. How do we protect the vulnerable and what will be done?

Cancelling wind contracts would save billions in costs and would be for the greater good.

Read more about Carol’s family at: Hydro One leaves family of 6  without electricity for months:


Ontario’s Hydro Crisis

MacKay Cartoons published Hamilton Spectator Nov.22.2016

Ontario’s energy policy is generating anger and attracting media attention as rates spiral out of control and residents face the heart wrenching dilemma of whether to heat or eat. Energy poverty that the Premier acknowledges is her government’s mistake but fails to take action to correct.   A good place to start is to cancel wind power generation contracts and stop construction of any wind project not yet built. It is never too late to do the right thing.

Robyn Urback · Columnist · CBC News  November 23, 2016

Wynne has recognized her ‘oopsies’ and is asking for Ontarians’ patience and trust to fix the problem

“Aside from the repeated, incessant warnings — there was no warning.

Ontario’s energy costs have spiraled out of control. Consumers are struggling to pay their hydro bills and still have enough money left to buy a ticket to one of the premier’s cash-for-access fundraisers.

Who — with the exception of everyone — could have foreseen that wasting billions of dollars on cancelled gas plants, paying way above market value for green energy contracts, producing too much energy and selling it to other jurisdictions at a loss, and investing in smart meters that didn’t actually do what they were supposed to do would translate into skyrocketing electricity bills for everyday Ontarians?

Why didn’t someone — besides the auditor general, both opposition parties and various economic expertssay something?

‘My mistake’

Now Ontario finds itself in a mess of its own making, locked in unsustainable contracts and a looming cap-and-trade scheme that will make hydro bills even more expensive, all while some Ontario families have “had to choose between paying the electricity bill and buying food or paying rent,” according to Premier Kathleen Wynne. Thanks, guys.

“Our government made a mistake. It was my mistake. And I’m going to do my best to fix it,” Wynne admitted in a rare moment of contrition during her address to her party’s annual general meeting this past weekend.

“In the weeks and the months ahead, we are going to find more ways to lower rates and reduce the burden on consumers,” she added…”


Wind Turbine Investigation


Huron County Health Unit is hosting an information session about the Wind Turbine Investigation.  Please attend & RSVP.

WHEN:    December 6th, 2016

TIME:       7-8:30 pm

WHERE:  Huron County Health Unit- 77722B London Road,  N0M1L0 Clinton

Residents of Huron County are invited to an information session hosted by the Huron County Health Unit. The session is about the upcoming investigation related to reported human health concerns associated with residential proximity to industrial wind turbines. There will be information on the investigation survey, and time for residents’ questions. Please let us know if you plan to attend at 519.482.3416 (Dial 0 to speak to receptionist).


Ocotillo Wind Turbine 126 Collapse

November 21, 2016  turbine 126 suffered a catastrophic structural collapse as documented in photos shared on Facebook. Ocotillo Wind Energy consists of 112- 2.37 MW Siemens  wind turbines. The project was built on California public lands by Pattern Energy and began commercial operations in 2013.  It is now 3 years and the project continues to demonstrate ongoing structural and operational issues for this ill conceived facility.

The project responded with the following statement:

“Ocotillo Wind

On November 21, 2016, one of the turbines at the Ocotillo Wind facility fell within the designated setback zone surrounding the turbine’s base. No one was injured in the incident. We are working closely with the turbine manufacturer, Siemens, to identify the root cause of the failure and a full investigation is currently underway. Relevant authorities have also been notified.

Our first priority is the safety of our employees, contractors, neighbors and the environment. We are taking this issue very seriously and will communicate more information as it becomes available.

Pattern Energy is proud to be part of the Imperial Valley. Our Ocotillo Wind facility is an investment in the region that is creating many economic benefits, including jobs and substantial growth in the property tax base.

The facility supports local initiatives through the Ocotillo Wind Community Benefits Program, which established the Ocotillo Wind Community Fund, Ocotillo Wind Education Fund and Ocotillo Wind Imperial Valley Fund, and is administered by the Imperial Valley Community Foundation. Sign up here to receive updates about the community benefits program and facility news.

Pattern Energy is focused on being a responsible community partner by respecting the land, its resources and the people of the Imperial Valley. The Ocotillo Wind facility is located on public lands administered by the BLM, with a small portion on lands under the jurisdiction of Imperial County. The permanent footprint is approximately 120 acres, which is less than 1% of the total project area, allowing the overwhelming majority of the project land to be preserved in its natural state and allowing the project infrastructure to be sited in areas that do not directly impact cultural resources.”


It’s not a migration it’s an obstacle course


The work of cartoonist Adrian Raeside illustrates some of the cumulative harmful impacts from human activities to migrating avian species that use the global flyways.  Habitat loss, avoidance and mortalities are direct adverse impacts arising from the installation of wind power generating facilities.  Killing the natural world one spin at a time.

Enjoy his work at: