Former London banker Alexander Pohl worked for years for one of the world’s greenest banks. Idealistically driven he financed big wind and solar farms genuinely convinced he was making the world a better place.
Gradually he woke up to the fact that today’s green is actually an ego-driven, corrupt, and broken system. He gave up banking and emigrated with his family to his little forest paradise in remote, northern Sweden. The dream was to get back to Nature, start an eco-farm and put as much distance as he could between his family and the industrialization of nature.
Until….. A wind park was planned at the gates of his paradise garden.
Documentarian Poels and Alexander Pohl are taking the journey together…. to ask questions and unravel the green wonderland to its true core …
Shortsighted planning has often resulted in the creation of problem industries that adversely affect public health and quality of life, compromise aesthetics, and degrado community character. Industrial WEFs are not exempt from those problems, and careful siting and protections are of paramount importance, This local Law will contribute to this effort
A WEF may be a significant source of noise and vibration for the community. These can have negative health impacts on nearby residents, particularly in quiet rural areas. These can also negatively affect the quiet enjoyment of the area, properties, and quality of life of residents. According to various medical experts and the World Health Organization, the infrasound component of such noise can be the most problematic
Renewable energy’s Achilles heel is variability and intermittency. Electricity is generated in the wrong place and at the wrong time. The latest push is to use of battery storage to overcome these fundemental flaws. Southern Ontario is part of this global push and Parker Gallant gives his opinion about claims of cost savings.
It appears, those who monetarily benefited from the GEA imposed on Ontario’s ratepayers by the McGuinty led Ontario Liberal Party in 2009 are back seeking more ratepayer dollars.
NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) have teamed up in an effort to obtain a contract from IESO. The latter, SNGRDC already have a significant portfolio of investments in 13 wind and solar projects including the 230 MW Niagara Regional Wind Farm. NRStor was founded by Annette Verschuren, former CEO of Home Depot and NRStor’s claim to fame is “energy storage” and as such they received several contracts from the OPA (absorbed by IESO) under the GEA. A former senior executive of IESO, Kim Warren is one of the three members of their Board of Directors and he presumably still has some pull within IESO.
It should be obvious that both SNGRDC and NRStor have benefited greatly from the contracts they received from the IESO to the detriment of Ontario’s households and businesses of all sizes and sectors—but they want more!
NRStor appear to be a Tesla agent in Canada and it is probable the project currently in the planning stages will use Tesla’s “Megapack” battery storage for the jointly owned “Oneida Energy Storage Project” (OES) which is a proposed 250MW/1000MWh storage facility.
Driving up Electricity Costs with our Tax Dollars
The OES is not the only “energy storage” project in the early stages as TC Energy, who sold their Ontario gas plants to OPG last year are also in the process of seeking a contract to create a “pumped storage” 1000 MW unit in Meaford, Ontario using water from Georgian Bay. Needless to say, the locals in and around the chosen site are fighting hard to preserve the local landscape and the affected area of Georgian Bay! In TC Energy’s case one should suspect they are trying desperately to obtain “carbon credits” to help offset the upcoming rising costs of both the “carbon tax” and the “clean fuel standard” (another tax) the Justin Trudeau Government has undertaken. Those taxes may make TC uncompetitive with other global energy companies.
The opportunity to make money in the “OES” case is twofold in that they will purchase power when the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) is low and sell it back either at a contracted price or when the HOEP is higher during high demand hours. One assumes they also want “carbon credits” they can sell to others for additional revenue.
Insofar as the two partners of the OES are concerned it looks to be simply a means to obtain more ratepayer dollars! In NRStor’s case the benefit will accrue to their new New York owners, Blackstone Energy Partners who purchased them in the spring of 2020 and is itself a subsidiary of Blackstone with $571 billion in assets under management.
Examining the Project Overview suggests in addition to the promise to save us ratepayers $760 million the energy storage project will also result in a “4.1 Million tonne reduction in CO2”. Not sure how buying surplus energy in Ontario that is basically emissions free will save those 4.1 million tonnes but if they say it’s a perfect solution, we should suspect both politicians and public bureaucrats will be swayed by those claims. One wonders if the politicians and bureaucrats recall the words of George Smitherman, former Ontario Minister of Energy when he told us the GEA would only raise electricity rates by 1% and it would create 50,000 jobs! His claims were praised by many ENGO at that time. Ontario’s ratepayers are well aware neither promise came to pass!
It is evident already that politicians and bureaucrats are excited about the OES project. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities had the CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank) sign an MOU with OES and shouted out: “Renewable energy projects in partnership with Indigenous communities – like the Oneida Energy Storage project with the CIB, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and NRStor – are a great example of how our economy will growin the future and how forward-looking investments can help Canadians achieve their economic and environmental goals,” One should assume the Minister and the bureaucrats at the CIB did not bother to determine the emissions required to manufacture the batteries nor the cost of recycling them!
It also appears from the “Project Review” that perhaps some politicians and bureaucrats in Ontario have also endorsed the project as Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs issued the following statement: “Ontario is uniquely positioned to take advantage of energy storage solutions and I congratulate the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, NRStor and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank on this important project milestone today.” To top that off IESO receives many laudatory mentions in the OES review suggesting their plan to secure a contract will be an easy one with the help of Kim Warren’s inside knowledge.
For some reason the review uses 2017 data which is now quite dated. It also notes; “Ontario’s Auditor General has confirmed using forecast data from the IESO that the province is expected to continue to experience on average 2.8 TWh of Surplus Baseload Generation (SBG) per year from 2022-2032”. Bearing the foregoing in mind, one wonders why adding storage of that surplus, storing it for several hours and then selling it back at a price higher than purchased will somehow save us overburdened ratepayers $760 million? Buy low, sell high, appears to represent an additional cost to ratepayers while rewarding OES!
The OES appears to be simply another Trojan Horse* that will serve to further undermine the Ontario economy!
* The Trojan Horse is a story from the Trojan War about the subterfuge the Greeks used to enter the independent city of Troy and win the war.
On Jan. 12, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency to address issues of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Doug Ford stated the government is following the advice of the chief medical officer of health for the province, Dr. David Williams.
In North Stormont, the Nation Rise Wind project, comprising 29 3.44-megawatt Enercon wind turbines, is being constructed and it is anticipated they will become operational soon.
People in our community and beyond believe the Province of Ontario should not be permitting a project such as this, given our understanding of the adverse effects expected to result by operating industrial wind turbines in residential neighbourhoods.
We continue to advocate the project should be terminated and the disastrous wind-energy program of Ontario and the harm it has caused to people should be investigated in a public inquiry format.
I wrote to Williams about this and received his email reply on Nov. 26, 2020. He wrote:
“Studies show some people find the sound level of wind turbines annoying.”
In correspondence to a local physician in October 2019, our local medical officer of health, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, wrote: “wind turbine noise is a “nuisance…”
In Canada, no business should be permitted to disturb the peace and security of our homes and threaten and injure the people in our communities.
A medical officer of health should be trying to prevent these adverse health outcomes; instead ours are ignoring and downplaying the disaster about to hit. This causes a loss of confidence about the advice these public health officers provide to the leadership of the Ontario government
Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliott need the people of Ontario to buy in to their pandemic program and the restrictions they are attempting to impose.
As long as these politicians continue to overlook the bad advice they get about industrial wind turbines, they are less likely to achieve the support of the people of Ontario
Lawyer Alan Whitely wrote to the Ontario government in July 2020, in an effort to affect modernization of the justice system. The goal was to improve access to justice for the people. The Green Energy Act was used as an example and recommendations were given to prevent this from happening again. He received no response from the Government. Even though the Green Energy Act was repealed in 2019 the consequences and impacts of renewable energy projects continue to divide Ontario.
Whiteley, A.,Dumbrille, A., & Hirsch, J. (2021). Access to Justice: Recommended Reforms to the Ontario Justice System Using the Green Energy Act as an Example. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.91001
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING FOR PLANNING MATTERS Get involved with your input. The Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/Environmental Committee will hold a Public Meeting in accordance with the Planning Act where the matter(s) below will be considered. The meeting will take place:
VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING DATE: December 22nd, 2020 DATE: Monday, January 11th, 2021 TIME: 6:30 – 8 PM TIME: 6:30PM LOCATION: ZOOM Meeting* LOCATION: ZOOM Meeting* *Please see below for further details on how to participate on Zoom or through an alternative method
About the Planning Application: File No. and Name: 1701-005-19 – Township of West Lincoln – Renewable Energy Policies The Township of West Lincoln has commenced an Official Plan Amendment process to create new Official Plan policies regarding Renewable Energy Policies within the Township. The Green Energy and Green Economy Act was first approved in 2009 by the Provincial Government and placed the approval and authority for all Green Energy applications at the Provincial level. Local land use planning policies were over ridden by that act. The current government has now repealed most of this previous legislation resulting in the need for local renewable energy land use planning policy again.
Staff is proposing the Township of West Lincoln Official Plan be amended by adding Section 13.4 to the consolidated Township of West Lincoln Official Plan. The amendment proposes that if a renewable energy system is being installed for the benefit of one house or one property and less than 10 KW then no amendment to the Official Plan is required and only regulations of the Zoning By-law would apply. Also, if a renewable energy system is being installed for the benefit of one house or one property and is greater than 10KW then this would require an Official Plan Amendment. The current Zoning provisions will be updated to implement this proposed policy change. A copy of the draft policy can be found on the Township’s website by searching the File name and number.
If you have any questions about this application, please contact the following planner:
Name: Brian Treble, Director of Planning and Building Call: 905-957-5138
How to have your comments heard: Due to COVID-19, the Township will be hosting public meetings via ZOOM, an online video-conferencing system.
We will also be hosting a virtual open house via ZOOM on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. To register for the Virtual Open Houses, please contact the Township Planning Department.
Please submit your written comments by 4 PM Tuesday January 5th, 2021 to have them included in Staff’s report for the application in advance of the January 11th, 2021 Public Meeting.
If you submit comments after this date, they will not be included in Staff’s report. Please ensure all comments have been submitted prior to Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 4pm. The comments will instead then be read into the public record during the meeting.
While residents are encouraged to make written submissions to the committee, members of the public will also be able to provide verbal comments at Committee and Council through Zoom.
Please contact the Township Clerk by email at email@example.com or by phone at 905-957-3346, ext 5136 to register to speak at the meeting and you will be provided a link.
Please state the date of the meeting and the file number you wish to address. If you are not able to access ZOOM through a computer, there is an option to call into the meeting through phone numbers and a code provided.
If you wish to participate and cannot access the meeting through Zoom through a computer or by calling in, please notify the Clerk and all efforts will be made to accommodate your needs. To register for the Virtual Open House, please contact the Township Planning Department.
Important information about making a submission
~If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/Environmental Committee before a by-law is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Council of the Township of West Lincoln to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
~If a person or public body does not make oral submission at a public meeting, or make written submissions to the Township of West Lincoln Planning/Building/Environmental Committee before a by-law is passed, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal unless, in the opinion of the Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds to do so.
~Individuals who make written submissions with respect to a Planning Act application should be aware that their submission and any personal information in their correspondence will become part of the public record and made available to the Applicant, Committee and Council.
For more information The documents and background material for this application can be made available by contacting West Lincoln’s Planning Department at: Phone: 905-957-3346 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.westlincoln.ca
Copies of the Staff Report will be available Friday January 8th, 2021 after 4 PM on the Township’s website.
If you would like to be notified of Township Council’s decision with respect to any planning application, you must make a written request (specifying which file number) to: Joanne Scime, Clerk Phone: 905-957-3346 E-mail: email@example.com Dated: December 10th, 2020
Planning and Development Department 318 Canborough St. P.O. Box 400 Smithville, ON, L0R 2A0 T: 905-957-3346 • F: 905-957-3219 www.westlincoln.ca
“The larger point is that a decline in the performance of offshore turbines due to ageing at a rate of 4.5% per year means that the effective economic life of such turbines is little more than 15 years. Power prices and operational arrangements after that period will have a very small effect on the decision to invest or not to invest in offshore generation.”
“As is often the custom in Ontario on hot humid summer days, most of the IWT (industrial wind turbines) took the day off so the 4,800 MW of capacity they have was virtually silent. Had they operated at 100% of capacity they would have delivered 115,000 MWh but instead they only managed to puff out 7,440 MWh and had 400 MWh curtailed (at 11 PM) meaning they operated at a level of capacity of 6.8% including the curtailed MWh. As the morning broke at hour 9 AM they generated 8 MWh or 0.017% of capacity. Fortunately, we didn’t need their power as nuclear, hydro and gas easily supplied our needs throughout the day even though total market demand reached 22,641 MWh and Ontario demand peaked at 19,342 MWh or 402,000 MWh for the full day. Our net exports were north of 45,000 MWh which earned us ratepayers only about $750,000 while costing us close to $7 million.”