Category Archives: Cost Benefit

Lake Erie ecosystem under threat by off shore wind turbines

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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.

RELATED: Turbines are part of a clean energy future for northern Ohio

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.

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Fairness for the people

turbine tallOP 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:

WRONG LOCATION
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.

SECRET DEALS
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.

BIASED CONSULTANTS
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.

PLEBISCITE
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.

NO ENGAGEMENT
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.

COUNTY COUNCIL
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.

UNDERESTIMATION
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.

PROVINCIAL ELECTION
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.

RECKLESS DECISION
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.

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Turbine Project Terminated

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Residents may see be seeing turbine sections leaving the County aftetr Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act received Royal Assent in the Ontario Legislature Wednesday. –  Irv Collier photo

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.”

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Why on Earth?

“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.”

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Niagara Wind- Enercon Industrial Wind Turbine Construction 2015

Lorne Gunter|Toronto Sun|July 21, 2018

GUNTER: Why on earth is Trudeau still so committed to the failing carbon tax?

List of Cancelled Renewable Energy Contracts

Ontario windOntario releases list of cancelled renewable projects.

Contracts

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

Winds of Change- Contracts Cancelled

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News Release

Ontario to Cancel Energy Contracts to Bring Hydro Bills Down

July 13, 2018

Keeping election promise will save $790 million to help lower electricity bills

TORONTO — Ontario ratepayers will benefit from $790 million in savings thanks to the Government of Ontario’s decision to cancel and wind down 758 renewable energy contracts, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford announced today.

“We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses,” said Rickford in making the announcement. “In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise.”

All of the cancelled projects have not reached project development milestones. Terminating the projects at this early stage will maximize benefits for ratepayers.

Rickford also confirmed that the government intends to introduce a legislative amendment that, if passed, will protect hydro consumers from any costs incurred from the cancellation. Even after all costs are accounted for, ratepayers can expect to benefit from $790 million in savings from this one decision.

“For 15 years, Ontario families and businesses have been forced to pay inflated hydro prices, so the government could spend on unnecessary and expensive energy schemes,” said Rickford. “Those days are over.”

CONTACTS

Natasha Demetriades
Communications Branch
416-327-3855
natasha.demetriades@ontario.ca

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
http://www.ontario.ca

Source: Ontario Newsroom

Cancel the White Pines Project

News Release

Ontario’s Government for the People Shares Top Legislative Priorities for Upcoming Sitting

July 10, 2018

Protecting York University students and repealing cap-and-trade carbon tax to top new government’s agenda

TORONTO — Upon the resumption of the legislature, the people of Ontario can expect to see urgent action to protect York University students from the ongoing labour dispute and repeal Ontario’s cap-and-trade carbon tax law from the books, Minister of Government and Consumer Services and Government House Leader Todd Smith announced today.

“We have decided to recall the house because it is clear there are areas of public interest that require urgent attention,” said Smith. “The people of Ontario cannot afford to wait, and they won’t have to.”

Smith singled out three priority areas where the government intends to introduce urgent legislation that will:

  • Protect the students at York University and their families by ensuring that the ongoing labour dispute is quickly and fairly resolved
  • Strike Ontario’s cap-and-trade carbon tax law from the books so that a future government would not impose another cap-and-trade carbon tax under the law
  • Cancel the White Pines Wind Project, effective today, which received notice to proceed during the election period before the government had a chance to make any decision on the project for the benefit of the people of Prince Edward County

“These three priorities send a clear and serious message about what you can expect from our government,” said Smith. “We are prepared to act. And we will always put the best interests of the people first.”

Source:  News Ontario July 10, 2018

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Blanding’s Turtle

7 Steps to Repeal Green Energy Act

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Mother’s Against Wind Turbines Inc. (MAWTI), is calling for an immediate moratorium on the operations of current wind energy facilities in the province and the cessation of approvals of future projects. We have prepared the following brief which has been delivered to the Premier Doug Ford, as well as mailed to all MPP’s with a portfolio and a mailed copy was also sent to each MPP that is an assistant to a minister with a portfolio.

Please consider our document and distribute as you determine.

7 Steps to Repeal Ontario’s Green Energy Act 2009- MAWTI

New Government & Renewable Energy Contracts

 

NO DDOWT
Opposition to wind power generation facilities placed in rural communities played a role in the June 2018 election for Provincial Government

Ontario has elected a new Provincial Government and what lies ahead for the energy sector is sure to be an interesting play of policy decisions based on election promises and market realities.  Many opinions are being expressed as to what if will mean for contracts for renewable energy projects , including those powered by wind.

The link  below outlines an analysis of what may lay ahead.

What the new Doug Ford Government means for the Energy Sector – A detailed analysis, July 2018

PC Party Election Platform on Energy

Premier Doug Ford ran and won on a platform labeled For the People: A Plan for Ontario. The platform set out Ford’s energy plan, in its entirety, as follows:

We will:

  • Clean up the Hydro Mess and fire the board of Hydro One and its $6-million-dollar CEO. Our first act will be to end the Liberal practice of making millionaires from your hydro bills!
  • Stop sweetheart deals by scrapping the Green Energy Act.
  • Cut hydro rates by 12% for families, farmers, and small businesses by:
    • Returning Hydro One dividend payments to families.
    • Stopping the Liberal practice of burying the price tag for conservation programs in your hydro bills and instead pay for these programs out of general government revenue.
    • Cancel energy contracts that are in the pre-construction phase and re-negotiate other energy contracts.
    • Declare a moratorium on new energy contracts.
  • Eliminate enormous salaries at Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One.
  • Stabilize industrial hydro rates through a package of aggressive reforms.

What this will cost:

  • Hydro One Dividend – $300-$400 million per year.

  • Moving Conservation Programs to Tax Base – $433 million per year.

Canada Keep your Hands off Our Pension Dollars!

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Credit: Andre Coyne| National Post| June 29, 2018

Andrew Coyne: Liberals, keep your moralizing mitts off our Canada Pension Plan

McKenna’s tweet was just the usual non-stop, 24-hour moralizing we’ve come to expect from the primly ideological fanatics in this increasingly ridiculous government

It’s probably nothing. It was just a tweet, after all.

But when the federal environment minister, Catherine McKenna, posted her approval of a recent Canada Pension Plan Investment Board decision, it caused a little flutter of alarm among those who follow these things.

“Now, this is something that Canadians can be proud of,” she cheered, linking to a story about the CPPIB’s plans to invest more than $3 billion in green energy projects, “as it prepares for the global transition to a lower-carbon economy.”

Ministers of the Crown do not normally comment on CPP investment decisions, approvingly or otherwise, and with good reason. Though the federal and provincial governments set the broad terms of the plan’s operations — how much it collects in “contributions” from employers and employees, etc — the CPPIB, which is responsible for investing the $356 billion accumulated in the CPP Fund, is supposed to operate at arm’s length from all of them.

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