Category Archives: Destruction from turbines

Niagara Wind Open House

On Thursday, June 15, 2017  Niagara Wind held an open house to celebrate the inauguration of its 77 industrial (3MW Enercon) wind turbine project located in West Lincoln, Haldimand and Niagara region.  The following is a write up from a member of the community who attended with her impressions and opinions.

IMG_2776

For sake of anonymity, I will use false names for anyone I speak of in this write up.

It should be noted that the true inauguration celebration happened at approximately 1pm and as noted in Niagara This Week, all the bigwigs in suits were bused in attendance for this champagne shindig.

“Representatives from Boralex, Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation all defended wind power and their new farm that straddles Haldimand County and the Niagara Region.”

WAI_JUN22LowbanksWindpAH1___Super_Portrait

Michael Weidemann, executive vice president of ENERCON Canada standing outside of the company’s recent project in Lowbanks. The Niagara Region Wind Farm is a joint partnership with ENERCON, Boralex and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. – Alexandra Heck/ Metroland – Photo from Niagara This Week.

Here is a local write up from a local media company.

https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/7375757-ceos-address-wind-concerns-at-farm-unveiling/

Here is my write up:

I arrived at the gates of hell, sorry, I mean gates to the property where the event was held on Bird Road, Lowbanks, Ontario shortly after 4pm.

June 2017 118
911 signage for multitude of wind turbines in bushes at the roadside

I stopped and talked to Linda from MAWTi for a quick moment before entering the property.  Her infant was napping in the stroller and I asked how the 1pm shindig went and we discussed a few things before I carried on.  Linda was holding a nice big sign, specific to the design of the Enercon Turbines that infest our rural routes and in many cases, our backyards and as always, she is fierce in her stance against the projects despite the extreme heat, humidity and sun.

So attendees to this event had to drive quite the distance through the agricultural farmed land to the designated parking area by the temporary white tents and out near the turbines.  I was greeted by ‘security’ before getting to the parking and tent area.  Really?  Security?  Is this necessary?  For some reason, the community attendees were required to purchase a ticket(s) online ($0).  Anyways, Mr. Security didn’t ask for my ticket, just told me where to park because ‘its about to get real busy.’
I said ‘Oh ya? Whys that?’
He replied with ‘I just think it’s going to get super busy, people want to come and see these turbines.’ I replied with a bit of a sarcastic tone ‘most of us get to see them every single day, like it or not’ and I put my window up drove to park.

There was one big white tent with tables set up inside, a bar that clearly had the champagne cleared out, but residents were privy to chilled water and pop.  Inside the tent situated at one end were the typical large displays with descriptive images of the internal mechanics of the project Enercon E-101 turbines, stats and facts and various pamphlets touting the good of the wind industry.  I pretended like I haven’t seen all this before and snapped a picture.  Internally I felt like a moron because anyone who is interested in Industrial Wind Turbines for any reason, knows about the guts so I passed on any further photo ops.June 2017 107

I took a pamphlet from CanWea titled, “The Secret Is Out, Wind Is In. Building a stronger, cleaner and affordable energy system.”  I grumbled under my breath, ‘Gawd, this shit is thick’ and an elderly man I hadn’t noticed beside me snickered and nodded his head. I winked and quickly scooted away before I felt obligated to engage in conversation.  canwea

The pamphlet, if it is to spout the reality of Renewables, should read, The Secret Is Out, Wind Is RAMMED In. Building the most unreliable, intermittent power grid, wiping out ecological systems far and wide, dividing communities, harming humans and creating wide spread energy poverty in Ontario.  That is what it should read.  The TRUTH.

So then I began my stroll to the other end of the tent.  This tent was huge!  Obviously there was a need for this large tent to house all the leaseholders, stakeholders and investors and surely it must be challenging to squeeze that much corruption into one tent.

Fred from Boralex noticed me and walked over and we said our courteous hellos.  We chatted for a brief few more minutes about this and that, but as usual I was eager to jumped into question mode.  There are some mechanics I don’t understand and want to understand better.

I asked ‘are the converters are under the ground?’
Fred replied no they are in the turbines themselves.
Me, not fully understanding how can a converter be INSIDE the turbine did my squinty face and I asked ‘so under the turbine?’
Fred said do you want to go in the turbine I can explain better.  Off we went to the turbine. Fred, Roger and myself.

June 2017 114
Enercon  E101 3 MW wind turbine- Niagara Wind Project

Before I got to the turbine I could hear this high pitch screaming.  I knew I was in for it with these triggered ears and head of mine, but in I went because curiosity always gets the better of me. It is so loud with this high pitched frequency that I cannot relate it to anything else I have ever experienced before.  It could be like tinnitus in 4D.  Anyways, in I went.  WOW!  Not going to lie, very impressive!  (Impressive minus the high pitched screaming that is).  We talked for a bit about what was inside and how it all works and fans etc. and guess what.  They have an elevator to get to the top.  Yup.  An elevator.

Don’t quote me on this, but if I understood correctly the high pitched screaming is because they convert from AC to DC then back from DC to AC.  It is the switching of something at a very rapid pace that makes the high pitched noise and does the converting inside the converters that really are inside the turbine.  So this converting back and forth, as I was told, was the most perfect energy (Hz I believe) wave that is created.  Picture a hand moving in a up and down in a perfect wave motion <– as per Fred with Boralex.

Up Close to Live Grid Input
This photo is of the computer board inside the Turbine.  It is ‘live’ so the numbers are changing accordingly.  Interesting to me is they tout the 3.0MW turbines, yet their measurement for live power is in kW.  The Electrical energy of 5125.397 MWh is from commencement with the Grid, Nov 2, 2016.  Operating hours is the same, since commencement with the Grid.

As we continued to converse with others joining in on the conversation, an eager graduate who proudly just graduated his 4 year program at Mohawk almost bounced over, blonde trendy hair flopping all over as he runs his hands through it, whips his clipboard out from under his arm, fully armed with his resume and credentials from school and boldly interrupted our conversation.  He wanted a job in the wind industry.  BADLY.  I took the opportunity to move on and Fred continued his conversation with this very eager new graduate.

I made my way back to the tent.  I wanted to see what was on the computer screens and to see if there was a presentation.  I asked the young lady there, very nice young lady, if there was a presentation put on later.  Nope.  No presentation, just a slide show of photos of during and after construction of the project.  Nothing worth sticking around for.

On my way back to my truck I noticed a GAS generator.  Ok, best photo OP of the day.  A gas generator used to run the computers for the slide show.  The irony was not lost on me.

June 2017 117
Best Photo Op of the Day: Gas Generator used to power the slide show of wind turbine facility .

When I was leaving I saw the eager graduate at his vehicle.  I stopped and asked him about his program at Mohawk.  I wanted to know if he was serious about Wind and what he knew.  He clearly is in over his head.  It was shocking to me that after 4 years he hadn’t a clue about the simplest thing,  such as The Grid app on a smartphone or a reasonable ‘educated’ response to any questions I asked him.  I asked why the wind industry and he said it fascinated him the most.  I slide into our conversation that you will not be a very liked person within the communities and could cause conflicts between friend and family.
He said ‘my dad and his friends have already yelled at me several times for it.’
I responded with ‘it isn’t the yelling that should concern you; it is WHY they are yelling.  What are they trying telling you? What aren’t you listening too?’
Then I told him Wind Industry will die one day.
He seriously thought I was crazy, I could tell, meanwhile I KNOW he is.  ALL the energy needs of the world?  Ok, buddy, refund in your education should be first on your list.

I asked ‘do you have a smart phone?’
‘Yes”
I asked ‘do you follow any of the grid apps?’ He actually responded with ‘what is that.’  If ever there was a time to smack my forehead in disbelief then would of been an appropriate time.
I asked ‘do you have Google?’
He said ‘yes, I use it.’
I responded with ‘Google wind turbines and do some homework before you settle into the wind industry.’

We talked for a few more minutes and it became more and more obvious to me, and apparent to him that he really didn’t know squat.  I suggested he talk to rural route residents on both sides of the fence.  Talk to people who are slammed with energy poverty.  He inquired on what energy poverty was.  Spending 4 years in a renewables program and no idea with energy poverty is.  Again I encouraged Google, the local news and worldwide news.  We discussed other renewable options ‘taught’ in his 4 year program such as hydro, geothermal and solar.  He (reluctantly) admitted the majority of his program focused on solar and wind, because Geothermal and Hydro weren’t our future.  Boy would I love to get my hands on that program.  He is a young kid, 24 yrs old tops and has no idea that there is a grid app and spent 4 years in the renewable energy program and to boot he PAID for that education.  I showed him my app and what was being contributed to the grid live.

June 2017 120

Snapshot of my grid app on my phone.  It was a pretty remarkable day with West Lincoln NRWF pumping it to the grid.  Good thing I didn’t depend on this 230MW, $1 Billion wind farm to use my toaster this particular day. (was not a current day photo)

He looked confused and said ‘OK, thanks for sharing that.’

I strongly urged him  ‘seriously do yourself a favor and do as most responsible adults would, research your desired field and look into wind and its many complex problems associated with it.’

He said with so much excitement and enthusiasm, ‘look at these,’ both hands held out, one with a water bottle in it and his blonde hair flopping around in the wind.  ‘They are huge and incredibly technical and generate so much energy to your home every day.’

I dropped the f-bomb and said tell your dad he has more yelling to do, I have to go.

I left the scene.  Yes, scene.  I feel like it wasn’t real and entirely staged.  There were maybe 2 dozen tops when I was there.  People brought their small children and there was a great mix of people of various ages.

Now, it is time for reflection.

Open house.  It is slightly interesting but predictable, that the entire community wasn’t invited to the inauguration.  There wasn’t even a great attempt at getting the word out that there was an open house with left over, sun exposed heated gooey cheese, bread and non-alcoholic beverages for the left over community.

If the people I communicate with almost daily didn’t share the info, I wouldn’t of been informed of this event.  Which also raises an eyebrow, as I am suppose to be on the list of event notifications with Niagara Region Wind Farm.

There wasn’t even a wee bit of an attempt to ooohhh and ahhhh us with a small guided presentation, touting the benefits of the wind farm, the project completion, what this means for the community, how many jobs they (didn’t) create and so forth.  No attempt to dazzle us, the left over community, with a show of any sort.  We don’t matter.  Clearly.

The designation of this champagne shindig was for those who profit financially.  Stakeholders.  Upper Management. Leaseholders.

Left out of the 1pm champagne inauguration is all the community members who are forced to live with these monstrous jolly green giants.  Our choices revoked, our voices silenced and in too many cases, family units shattered.  Our health can be adversely impacted, with families forced from their homes, permanently or to seek temporary relief.   All the rate payers for electricity who are forced to subsidize an embellished industry, were left out of this celebration that they felt was appropriate to have in our backyards.  All of us were left out of the celebrations.

This was not an accident.  This is a Wind Industry, excelling with the support of the Liberal government, decimating rural route Ontario on our dime.

My wounds are salted.

I have been working on this write up for a few days.  I was rattled by the photo below.  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  I stared at it and over the last few days, looked at it several times.  It took me some time to actually grasp and process this picture.  It became apparent that I needed to acknowledge there are people actually celebrating with champagne around the corner from our once treasured home, while my family and my personal life has been inverted.

WAI_JUN22LowbanksWindpAH3___Super_Portrait
This is not my photo, this is from Niagara News This Week.

This picture right here.  This picture brought it full circle for me and flooded my soul with a wave of raw emotions.  These people are truly proud, celebrating the very same project that has devastated lives.  Destroyed lives.  Causing harm to family members and collapsing family units.  Is causing physical harm to people. Is causing harm to the environment.  Is forcing families from their homes.  This project, this celebration, is also a contributor to the highest rates of electricity in North America.  Energy poverty is forefront.  A top news chart.  These projects are costing ratepayers BILLIONS of extra money.

All of these champagne celebrating guests have hijacked my family of our rights to prosper, to enjoy our home and property, our right to health and protection and have subscribed to the removal of our rights, both under the Charter and in the Constitutional Act.  This is no small feat.  This is no small crime.  This is a methodical conquering of the removal of many rights for everyone.  You are not exempt from this wind industry corruption because you have your champagne glass in hand.  You just haven’t felt the true wrath of your ill informed decisions.  Yet here we have my neighbors celebrating with a corrupt industry, champagne filled glasses held high, in honor of all the mayhem forced into many people’s lives.

The ill placement of Industrial Wind Turbines has stolen our future.

Excuse me while I fill a glass with champagne to celebrate.

**Some photos compliments of Niagara News This Week

Source: Sandy Journalized

Nothing Brings a Community Together Like Wind Energy

To The Editor:

Not many things bring together a community like an Industrial Wind Energy Installation. In Illinois, the Concerned Citizens for the Future of Clinton and DeKalb Counties have banned together to fight Industrial Wind. Their lawyers took NextEra and the wind industry’s parade of “experts” to task in sworn testimony.

In Michigan’s Thumb, their “Wind Capital” has their own group of citizens calling themselves the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition who helped to discover that townships could call for a referendum vote on whether or not they wanted any more wind energy. 12 townships, 12 votes, 12 times the answer was a resounding NO.

Vermont is working on enacting a much stricter IWT noise ordinance as well as setbacks 10x the height of the turbine. Minnesota has a similar bill in the works.

Oklahoma ended its wind subsidies early because of the overwhelming cost of Industrial Wind. Their former Governor Frank Keating released a statement saying that he regrets his part in funding Industrial Wind.

There are over 300 groups that have been formed for the singular reason of opposing Industrial Wind in North America alone. Europe and Australia have many groups of their own. They are people who may have thought that Industrial Wind was good or at least benign until they educated themselves, or where educated by their close proximity to turbines. There is well over a decade of testimonials, documentation, expert witness accounts and research into the negative impacts of Industrial Wind. The wind industry also has come up with its own testimonials, documentation, expert witness accounts and research that seeks to reframe or refute all the opposition’s evidence just as tobacco companies have done. Why are these negative impacts still listed within their contracts if there are not major problems?

People like to say that landowners can do whatever they want to on their own land but you know that is not true. If what you are doing (or not doing) negatively impacts your neighbor whether it be the length of your grass or the number of vehicles in your yard, it is not allowed. In our townships where the wind development is being proposed only a few people were willing to sign over land where they actually live. 4-5 people alone were responsible for signing over of the land for the proposed installation. That leaves 100s of people directly impacted but left with no choice to opt out.

Lastly people equate turbines with CAFOs. If they are allowed to annoy neighbors then Industrial Wind should get the same right is how the thinking goes. Our Planning and Zoning Board asked for mile setbacks for IWT, same as CAFOs but the wind companies said that they would leave. Our Supervisors shortened the setback to bring in revenue. Their first consideration needed to be people impacted, not the money to be made. Though industry supported with tax money is like cutting off the top foot of a blanket and sewing to the bottom to make it longer.

(signed) Janna Swanson

Coalition for Rural Property Rights

Ayrshire, IA

Published June 15, 2017 Emmetsburg News

ridgesrenotrenewble

Windlectric Fails to bully Council over Amherst Island Wind

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Loyalist Township Council Resists Bullying By Algonquin Power
Stella, May 30, 2017

The Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) applauds Loyalist Township Council’s decision to defer approval of Windlectric’s Operations Plan for the Amherst Island wind turbine project. Council resisted pressure from Algonquin Power to approve a Plan that in Windlectric’s own words, anticipates “Structural failure of lsland roads”.

On May 29, 2017, Mr. Jeff Norman, Chief Development Officer for Algonquin Power wrote:

“Due to the differences separating Windlectric and the Township, Windlectric can see no basis on which arbitration can be avoided on some of the issues identified in the Staff Report. Accordingly, Windlectric will have no choice but to commence arbitration proceedings under Part X of the RUA (Roads Use Agreement) if the OP (Operations Plan) is not approved by Council on May 29, 2017.”

APAI congratulates Council for choosing the public interest over Windlectric’s business interests by deferring at its May 29th meeting the Operations Plan pending receipt of:
a. legally supported definition of the extent of the Township’s road allowance, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township;
b. the confirmation that the width and capacity of the Township’s road allowances will support the construction and related detours as outlined in the Operations Plan, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township; and
c. that the issues noted by G.D. Jewell [Loyalist Township’s engineering consultant] be addressed to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township.

In its submissions to Council, APAI emphasized that:
• the fifth version of Operations Plan finally acknowledged that the lsland roads do not have the load bearing capacity to support the heavy equipment required for the wind turbine project and that structural failure of lsland roads is anticipated in section 2.6 titled “Potential Road Failure”. APAI asserted that it was inconceivable that Windlectric expected Council to approve a Plan that anticipates the total failure of roads on Amherst lsland, putting lives and the environment at risk.
• Windlectric’s Plan also fails to comply with commitments made to the Environmental Review Tribunal as Windlectric now plans to widen all haul routes to 6 m. This is totally contrary to the three minor and temporary widenings on which the ERT based its decision.
• the Operations Plan should be amended to place the onus on
Windlectric to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval Conditions of Approval, all federal, provincial, municipal laws, and commitments made before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
Windlectric’s Marine Logistics Plan fails to demonstrate how 24 barge trips per day crossing the ferry path can possibly be safe. According to the Operations Plan, two barges carrying fuel, hazardous materials, heavy equipment, turbine parts and personnel will cross the ferry path twenty four times per day from September to April.

APAI’s submission also addressed a long list of significant and very troubling matters including resolution of the important and complex issue of forced roads, the lack of baseline testing of residents’ wells for water quality and rate of flow, and Windlectric’s request for a blanket exemption to the Township Noise Bylaw.

The Amherst Island Wind Project has already caused a major power outage on the lsland, a fuel spill, and a water emergency in Prince Edward County. Consequently, it is reasonable that Council insist on absolute compliance without exception to protect the public and the environment.

APAI commends the expertise, tenacity and due diligence of Township staff and congratulates Council for standing firm in the face of bullying by Algonquin Power until the Operations Plan addresses all outstanding issues.

Contact: Michèle Le Lay
President, Association to Protect Amherst Island
protectai@kos.net

SOURCE (emphasis and links added)Association to Protect Amherst Island

“Windlectric’s proposed haul route on South Shore for heavy equipment, turbine parts and concrete trucks – 10,322 trucks! The scene by Peggie’s house this morning Monday May 29. Windlectric says roads will fail and has finally discovered what Islanders have known all along: Island roads do not have the load bearing capacity for an industrial turbine project.
Be careful out there: South Shore is closed by Bruce and Andrea’s. South Shore to the east is being pounded by waves and the eroded bank may collapse”  FaceBook, May 29, 2017   Caption on photos corrected:  Road damage shown due to high water levels 

Victory! Turtle Power Rules!

blandings-on-forest-floorWhite Pines Wind (WPD) proposed to be located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County has been dealt a severe blow by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The decision from the “remedies hearing”  dealt with issues surrounding the findings of the Tribunal that serious and irreversible harm to the environment to the endangered Blanding’s Turtles, Little Brown Bat and other species at risk would result from the project’s activities.  WPD never the less began land clearing construction in sensitive wetland habitats and continued just days prior to the ruling being rendered.

Photos via APPEC

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Removal of 18 of 29 turbines leaves lingering questions if the wind project remains financially viable.  The residents of Prince Edward County and world wide can only hope that this is a final and fatal blow to the White Pine Wind that will result in halting the invasion of industrial wind turbine generators.

DECISION
[166] Under s. 145.2.1(4)(c) of the EPA, the Tribunal alters the decision of the Director by amending Renewable Energy Approval No. 2344-9R6RWR as follows:
1. Adding the following conditions to the REA:
i. Condition J7.1. The Company shall implement the Mitigation Plan for Operation of the White Pines Energy Project, dated July 21, 2016 prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd., including:
1. Implement the monitoring and mitigation measures as
outlined in Table 2 of the Mitigation Plan;
2. Adjust cut-in speed to 5.5 m/s between sunset and sunrise
from May 1 to September 30 at all turbines for the operating
life of the Project; and
3. In the event of a mortality of a bat species that is a species
at risk, successively increase the operational mitigation as
detailed in Table 2 of the Mitigation Plan.
ii. Condition L2. Further, the Company shall implement the additional
avoidance and mitigation measures as outlined in the report
“Additional Avoidance and Mitigation Measures to Minimize
Potential Impacts to Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)”,
prepared by Natural Resources Solutions Inc., dated July 22, 2016,
65 15-068
including implementation of the mitigation measures described in Tables 2-1 to 2-5 and 4-1 of that report.
2. Removing from the REA the turbines proposed to be accessed by upgraded municipal secondary and tertiary road segments and intersections in Blanding’s turtle habitat, as identified in Figure 2.2 of the report “Additional Avoidance and Mitigation Measures to Minimize Potential Impacts to Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)”, prepared
by Natural Resources Solutions Inc., dated July 22, 2016, specifically Turbines 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.
Renewable Energy Approval Altered

15-068 HIRSCH V. ONTARIO (MOECC)

The WPD White Pines Wind decision can be read here:

15-071 WPD WHITE PINES WIND INC. V ONTARIO (MOECC)

White Pines Wind (WPD)

Turbines 12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 are removed from  the project.

white pines wind

 

 

 

Shut them down! Turbines Exceed Noise Regulations

Ontario has had years to respond to the knowledge that industrial wind turbines are exceeding noise limits. Regulations that the wind industry lobbied for.

In Huron-Bruce county residents continue to battle government to enforce existing regulations to protect and preserve health from intrusive noise of industrial wind turbines.  The document below is just one example of many submitted to Ontario from adversely impacted residents:

The pressure continues to mount on the MOECC (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change). The turbines are emitting noise above regulated limits with tonal qualities. Ontario on their own admission and as on the public record- will use the ‘law’ to enforce protections.  Do the right thing.

SHUT DOWN THE TURBINES NOW!

Tests Find Some Huron Bruce Turbines Exceed Noise Regulations

The MPP for Huron Bruce has called on the province to shut down all industrial wind turbines that fail to comply with noise regulations.

Lisa Thompson says test results released April 7 indicate that the noise levels of turbines near two Huron Bruce residences exceed Ministry of Environment noise guidelines.

The results also acknowledged the possibility that tonal noises are being produced.

However, instead of agreeing to shut down the turbines, Environment Minister Glen Murray claimed the law is being enforced and complaints are being dealt with quickly.

“It has taken two years get these results. The next round of testing could take at least another year and a half,” says Thompson. “I don’t know what this minister thinks quick means, but suffering for three and a half years before anything gets done doesn’t sound quick to me.”

“The Black and Stachura families as well as other families across Ontario have been suffering for far too long from the impacts of IWTs which were built too close to their homes.” said Thompson. “The Minister needs to acknowledge the test results and once and for all do right by the people of Ontario affected by industrial wind turbines.”

She calls on the Minister to acknowledge the test results, and do the right thing.

READ AT: http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2017/04/12/tests-find-huron-bruce-turbines-exceed-noise-regulations/

Origins & migratory patterns of bats killed by wind turbines in southern Alberta

alberta wind

Origins and migratory patterns of bats killed by wind turbines in southern Alberta: evidence from stable isotopes

Author:  Baerwald, Erin Baerwald, Erin;Patterson, Bill Patterson, Bill; and Barclay, Robert Barclay, Robert

Abstract: Large numbers of migratory bats are killed every autumn at wind energy facilities in North America. While this may be troubling from a population perspective, these fatalities provide an opportunity to learn more about bat migration and the origins and summer distributions of migratory bats by using endogenous markers. Such markers include stable isotope values, which have been used to answer questions about ecological systems, such as trophic levels and food webs, and the origins and migratory routes of animals. To estimate the origins of migratory bats, we determined nitrogen (δ¹⁵N), carbon (δ¹³C), and hydrogen (δ²H) stable isotope values of fur (δ¹⁵Nf, δ¹³Cf, δ²Hf, respectively) from hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) and silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans) killed at a wind energy facility in southern Alberta, Canada. We determined that mean isotope values varied among species, year, sex, and age class. δ¹³Cf and δ²Hf values indicated that silver-haired bats likely originated in the boreal forest, farther north and/or at higher elevations than the aspen parkland-like habitat suggested by the isotope values of hoary bats. IsoMAP analysis indicated that bat fatalities may have originated from a large catchment area potentially hundreds of kilometers away. Our data provide further evidence for a migration route along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains that is used by bats from across Alberta and beyond, and suggest that fatalities at a single wind energy site have the potential to have far-reaching ecological and population consequences.

E. F. BAERWALD, W. P. PATTERSON, and R. M. R. BARCLAY

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Saskatchewan Isotope Laboratory, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Ecosphere 5(9):118. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES13-00380.1

Download original document: “Origins and migratory patterns of bats killed by wind turbines in southern Alberta: evidence from stable isotopes”

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Source: National Wind Watch

PHOTO BELOW: University of Calgary bat researchers Cori Lausen, left, and Erin Baerwald, perform a bat carcass search at a wind energy site in Southern Alberta.

READ MEDIA ARTICLE: Bat deaths at wind farms need more study, expert says SHEILA PRATT, EDMONTON JOURNAL 11.19.2014

bat alberta edmonton.jpg
Researchers from Calgary University

 

 

 

Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility: Wrong from the start

ocotillo nightThe Lesson: This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.

Desert Report March 2017 – Parke and Linda Ewing

The Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (OWEF)1 is an utility scale project placed on 12,436 acres near Ocotillo, California, of which 10,151 acres are public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Let’s not forget the towns of Ocotillo and NoMirage. Not huge towns, but home to 266 residents who chose the solitude, the quietness, and the beauty of the ever-changing seasons. Much of this beauty, along with the ecosystem, has been sacrificed.

This wind energy facility now consists of 112 Siemens 2.3-108 MW Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT), which means each IWT was rated to produce 2.3 Megawatts (MW), and the blade swept area is 108 meters in diameter (354.331’). At a later date, the rating was increased to 2.7 MW per tower, very likely to meet the minimum installed capacity required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) if San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is to meet their mandated renewable energy requirements.

The nacelle, which houses moving and support components such as the gearbox, generator, and main shaft, sits on top of a round tapered steel tower 80m (262.467’) above the ground. The 173’ long blades are held in place at a hub which is attached to the end of the nacelle. The total height of the wind turbine when a blade is in the 12 o’clock position is about 438’. The base of the tower is 15’ in diameter and houses the inverter and control equipment. Two cooling fans are placed outside of the base under the entry stairway, and the transformer is placed on the ground next to the base. More data can be found at Wikipedia2 and at the Siemens’ link3. All these links are posted in the “Notes” section online at http://www.desertreport.org.

ocotilloPublic Involvement

How did this happen? Initially, when we first heard about this project, we were told by Pattern Energy officials and by project documentation that we, the residents, would not be impacted by the turbine facility because it would be located five miles away from the Ocotillo Community. Five miles? That’s an acceptable distance. My wife and I now have turbines that reside one-half a mile from our house and with most less than one mile from the community on all sides.

There were so many maps presented during the different meetings with the various Imperial County departments that confusion ran rampant when someone asked which map represented the location of the turbines for this project. During a scoping meeting, a meeting designed to gain input from every single entity, person, department, or facility that may be impacted by this project, the residents were not allowed to speak. Instead, we were instructed to write our questions on a post card, and they would be addressed at a later time. When?

Ground Disturbances

Now let’s talk about the turbine access roads. Initial discussions and documentation indicated that these roads would be thirty-six feet wide and then narrowed to sixteen feet once the project was complete. In addition there would be an additional fifteen feet on either one side or both sides for the electrical collection lines from each turbine. Some roads ended up being up to 113 feet wide. The disturbance caused to Native American sites and to wildlife has been recorded many times4.5.

Many homeowners have felt the need to purchase flood insurance, in the middle of the desert. Residents feel that Pattern Energy was allowed to change the drainage patterns that will affect the alluvial fans, causing flooding by diversion of rain runoff. Construction of forty-two miles of access roads and an additional eighty-two miles of collection lines has stripped the water absorbing desert crust, creating the potential for flooding in areas that have been safe in past years.

Initial Wind Estimates

The next indiscretion that made itself Somewhere on this map is a community now surrounded by industrial project. known were the wind values. The wind values were incorrectly stated – records were from the Desert View Tower located ten miles up the Interstate Highway grade from Ocotillo and approximately another 2500 feet higher than the desert valley where the project is located. How were they allowed to use those numbers? Three years of data have shown that these turbines are not generating the power that was projected.

Production Shortfall

During the permitting process, differing estimate were given for the energy production of the facility depending upon who made the estimate and for whom they were intended. Ultimately Patten Energy stated that the OWEF would have a capacity factor of 34% (meaning that over time it would produce 34% of its maximum rated output at full sunlight) and that it would produce 2673 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy in its first three years. In fact, the actual capacity factor during this period was 21%, and the total energy produced was 1438 GWh, far below the projected figures. This was in spite of receiving $115,890,946 dollars from the Department of Energy’s 1603 Cash Grant Program6 in lieu of the Production Tax Credits and $110,000,000 from the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission7.

During the BLM scoping period for the project, many comments were submitted. The majority of these were in opposition to the OWEF. Comments that favored the facility were mostly based on the jobs and economic benefits that the facility would provide. A small minority of the comments favored the facility because of the sustainable renewable energy benefits. Those claims were based on the “Installed Capacity,” which is the maximum power which the facility can generate at full daytime sunlight, and an expected capacity factor of 34%. Ocotillo Wind, as stated previously, has fallen far short of predictions.

Current electricity generation for the residents of California relies on a mix of energy production technologies including: coal (7.7%), natural gas (41.9%), nuclear (13.9%), other renewables (13.7%), hydroelectric (10.8%), and others (12.0%). Based on nearly 204,000 GWh of net power generation in California in 2010, the average annual production of 479 GWh by the Ocotillo facility represents only 0.2 percent of California’s total. It is reasonable to wonder if the negative consequences of the project can be justified by this small contribution.

Mechanical failures

The OWEF has been plagued by mechanical problems. On May 16, 2013, a 173’ long wind turbine blade was thrown off of Turbine 156. The cause was determined to be a fiberglass root segment curing problem. Ten wind turbine blades were ultimately replaced at Ocotillo Wind. Many people familiar with the facility believe that the blade problem was due to the “fast tracking” of the facility to enable Ocotillo Express LLC to complete the project by the end of 2012, so they could qualify for the 1603 Cash Grant offered by the Department of Energy.

On January 15, 2015, Turbine 110 had a major fire. The cause of the fire was never revealed. The entire turbine was eventually replaced. The turbine did not generate power for nine months.

On November 21, 2016, Turbine 126 collapsed entirely. It was later confirmed to have been caused by a turbine blade striking the side of the tower. According to the Ocotillo Wind website, a shear stiffener inside of the blade was found to have failed. The Ocotillo Wind website8 stated that the turbine actually collapsed “in the Designated Safe Zone.” There are easily twelve wind turbine sites where BLM designated trails fall within that so-called designated safe zone. Potentially, a person could be killed under any of the Ocotillo Wind Turbines since the entire area is open to
the public.

The OWEF has been plagued with oil leaks. The residents of Ocotillo have counted over seventy turbines with oil leaks at towers and countless hydraulic oil leaks on the blades, many of them considered to be significant by the Imperial County Environmental Task Force. Additionally failures of yaw drives (which orient the blades into the wind) have caused problems. Eight gearboxes have been replaced since the facility became 100% operational along with hundreds of yaw drives.

ocitillo 1013925_544090075648796_475568349_n1Visual Blight

The bright red blinking lights of Ocotillo Wind are required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and can be seen from the southern portion of the Salton Sea, over seventy miles away. Nobody lives in the desert to view wind turbine lights blinking in unison all night long. Pattern Energy promised the community a lighting control system which would be radar activated only when aircraft were present. The Laufer System9 was approved by the FAA in January of 2016. Pattern constructed the whole first phase of Ocotillo Wind consisting of ninety-four turbines in a record 6 1/2 months, but it has been over a year, and the very irritating red lights still shine.

Death in the Airocitillo-1-1038x576.png

Many birds have been struck by the wind turbine blades, and bats lungs have exploded as they fly near the turbines. A carcass survey between 10/05/14 and 09/22/15, obtained by a FOIA request, indicated that sixty-nine birds and bats were found on the agreed upon survey sites, under or near the wind turbines. Every wind turbine site on the facility was not searched every day. We can assume that scavengers consumed many of the carcasses prior to the survey. Bird kills don’t appear to be a huge problem in Ocotillo, but we all hate the killing of any wildlife.

The once numerous Red Tailed Hawks have disappeared. Were they killed by spinning wind turbine blades? There were once so many jackrabbits that it was overwhelming. Now there are no jackrabbits, and the coyotes have also disappeared completely. The last time we saw one, it was skinny and sickly looking, almost certainly for lack of food. The ecosystem is gone.

The Lesson

This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.

Desert Report Spring 2017:

Tree Cutting Penalty. A Licence to Kill?

Cedar-Point-Trees-cut-3-1024x768.jpg
Site of unauthorized clear cutting that occurred during construction of Cedar Wind. Lambton County, Ontario

Taking down trees even those under provincial protection is occurring in multiple wind projects and punitive fines are less than a tap on the wrist for offenders.  Cedar Wind construction removed trees and the cost was a mere pittance.

Niagara Wind destroyed well over 7 000 trees including individual trees  estimated to be centuries old including tree species at risk.

1297813168809_ORIGINAL
Old growth tree one of many removed for Niagara Wind. West Lincoln, Ontario

Presentation on trees removed  at Niagara Wind:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1widGvicaK-VA1XXB4xC1OBtMlWopYG281sa94LKdktY/edit#slide=id.p3

WPD Wild Turkey Road
Clear cutting for wind development on ecological sensitive and protected Oak Ridges Moraines (head waters location supplying greater Toronto area)

 

Lambton landowner handed $6,000 fine in high- profile woodlot clearing case

By: Barbara Simpson  Sarnia Observer  Published: February 15, 2017

If trees are illegally cut in a woodlot and a fine of a few thousand dollars is handed out, is that enough to deter a landowner from clear-cutting again?

That’s the question several Lambton County politicians are raising after learning the details of the penalty the county leveled at a landowner for removing more trees than permitted during the construction of a Cedar Point wind turbine in 2015.

The high-profile case of clear-cutting – which involved an acre of trees in Lambton Shores – resulted in a fine of $6,000 for the private landowner. That amount was paid in full to the county in early 2016.

While mistakes are bound to happen, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said Wednesday the dollar amount of the penalty was not “punitive.”

“In James Bond, they say it’s a licence to kill. This is a licence to cut.”

READ AT: http://www.theobserver.ca/2017/02/15/lambton-landowner-handed-6000-fine-in-high-profile-woodlot-clearing-case

Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Reports, with Summary- Ontario, Canada

Posted on 01/24/2017 by

Below is a summary Maureen kindly assembled from all of the reports retrieved through the FOI. Have a good hard look at the numbers per project. Individually, these projects have got off scot free – they have never been challenged, never been questioned, never been charged, or even slapped on the wrist for these astounding kills. Dan tallied the actual raptor deaths on the right hand side, as many raptor deaths were ignored as “incidental” – not killed at the right time/place…more on that later. There is much more to glean from these reports – please share what you gather. This is a draft that will be added to and amended as we go.

Click here to download and view in full screen

Follow link to see all of bird and bat kill reports: http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2017/01/24/wind-turbine-bird-bat-mortality-reports-with-summary-ontario-canada/

 

Cape Breton wind turbine snaps in half

cape-breton-turbine-collapse-2016Nova Scotia Power and wind turbine maker Vestas trying to determine cause

By Anjuli Patil, CBC News

Nova Scotia Power is investigating why one of its wind turbines snapped in half Tuesday night in Grand Étang, Cape Breton.

There was a severe wind warning Tuesday night, but it’s unclear if that had anything to do with the break. The power utility said it is still trying to determine the root cause.

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said peak wind gusts of 164 km/h were reported at the Grand Étang weather station between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. this morning.

Nova Scotia Power said no one was at the site at the time and no one was injured.

The 50-metre tall wind turbine was made by Denmark-based Vestas.

It was built in 2002 and was one of the first in Nova Scotia with a single 660-kilowatt Vestas turbine.

Nova Scotia Power said the model is the only one of its kind in the province.

READ AT: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/grand-etang-wind-turbine-snaps-1.3921256