Ford dismissed criticism that his Progressive Conservatives are wasting public money, telling a news conference that the cancellation of 750 contracts signed by the previous Liberal government will save cash.
“I’m so proud of that,” Ford said of his decision. “I’m proud that we actually saved the taxpayers $790 million when we cancelled those terrible, terrible, terrible wind turbines that really for the last 15 years have destroyed our energy file.”
Later Thursday, Ford went further in defending the cancelled contracts, saying “if we had the chance to get rid of all the wind mills we would.”
CPP might be ‘buying into a lawsuit’ through Pattern Energy acquisition, says lawyer
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) might be “buying into a lawsuit” by acquiring U.S.-based renewable energy company Pattern Energy, according to a lawyer representing Chatham-Kent residents whose lawsuit against the Ontario government — as well as three wind turbine companies, including Pattern Energy — was dismissed earlier this year.
Pattern Energy announced in early November that it had entered into a $6.1 billion agreement with the CPPIB that would see the federal pension plan’s investment arm acquire the renewable energy company.
“It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “What if alternative energy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? That’s the provocative question explored in the documentary “Planet of the Humans,” which is backed and promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore and directed by one of his longtime collaborators. It premiered last week at his Traverse City Film Festival.
The film, which does not yet have distribution, is a low-budget but piercing examination of what the filmmakers say are the false promises of the environmental movement and why we’re still “addicted” to fossil fuels. Director Jeff Gibbs takes on electric cars, solar panels, windmills, biomass, biofuel, leading environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club, and even figures from Al Gore and Van Jones, who served as Barack Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, to 350.org leader Bill McKibben, a leading environmentalist and advocate for grassroots climate change movements.
Gibbs, who produced Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” didn’t set out to take on the environmental movement. He said he wanted to know why things weren’t getting better. But when he started pulling on the thread, he and Moore said they were shocked to find how inextricably entangled alternative energy is with coal and natural gas, since they say everything from wind turbines to electric car charging stations are tethered to the grid, and even how the Koch brothers are tied to solar panel production through their glass production business.
“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”
Both know the film is going to be a “tough pill to swallow.” It was a difficult eye-opener for them as well……
Although the findings will be disheartening, both Gibbs and Moore say they hope that it inspires people to reset and start thinking differently.”
“Now we can begin to come up with the right solutions that might make a difference … The film doesn’t have the answers but it will get us asking a better set of questions,” Gibbs said. “I really do trust that when millions of people are discussing an issue, answers will emerge … This is what we do as humans, we solve problems, but we’ve got to have the right questions.”
End of life for the Pickering wind turbine. Ironically its demise serves as a metaphor for illusions peddled that wind turbines are a viable means for on demand electricity generation. Waiting for the winds to be just right (not too fast or slow, or no wind) turbines fueled by the wind produce out of sync with demand. It is also plagued by generation that is variable and intermittent in nature. Introducing wind powered generation creates increased need for fossil fuels (usually gas) for back- up generation capacity that can be there when needed. Turbines have an eye watering, otitic throbbing 20 years or less operational life cycle.
Later this year, Pickering residents will see a change as they stroll along the Waterfront Trail at Alex Robertson Park. Ontario Power Generation’s wind turbine has reached its end of life and will soon be dismantled.
While the turbine has produced clean, renewable energy for many years, it’s important that we make smart investment decisions that will return good value for Ontario. And because the cost to replace the turbine’s older parts is too high, and leaving the turbine in place but not operating would present a safety concern, we’ve made the decision to move forward with dismantling it.
Did you know?
The turbine has operated for almost 20 years
At full power, it could produce enough energy to power about 330 homes
While located beside the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, it’s actually operated and maintained by our Niagara Operations team
Once work begins it will take about two weeks to dismantle the wind turbine. We’ll publish the date here once it’s been determined.
Recent article published in the Hamilton Spectator about Ontario’s electricity generation sources has generated lively feed back and thought provoking comments.
Published Hamilton Spectator|May 3, 2019
Afterthoughts pulls together reaction to specific Hamilton Spectator stories. These opinion submissions follow the April 30, 2019 feature Who’s powering Hamilton?
Afterthoughts: Not all power generation created equal
Wind turbines and solar are intermittent energy sources that only produce power when the wind blows or the sun shines
From Catherine Mitchell:
Your article failed to mention that not all energy generation is created equal. Because the industrial wind turbines and solar are intermittent energy sources that only produce power when the wind blows or the sun shines, they only produce a portion of the name plate capacity.
Industrial wind turbines produce 28 per cent of the name plate capacity. (It’s a bit like putting a one-titted cow on the dairy production line or buying seed with a 28 per cent germination rate.) Solar is worse with 13 per cent production of name plate capacity.
The downside of renewable energy is that “non-polluting” wind energy is culpable for air pollution (gas plants on standby and smelting), ground water contamination (toxic effluent and ground disturbance), electromagnetic pollution, noise pollution (infrasound), radioactive waste (rare earth mining), and toxic waste” (Each blade made of fiberglass produces 6 tons of toxic waste). In addition to the loss of habitat created by the huge footprint required for installation of industrial wind turbines and solar fields.
We are currently under utilizing our hydro energy production to accommodate wind and solar. So the question becomes if we under utilize hydro to accommodate wind and solar — is any of the flooding being caused because water is being held back? The dam is a man-made restriction so blaming ‘climate change’ may not be the correct answer.
For example — the Ottawa River is one of the most highly regulated rivers in Canada, with over 50 major dams and hydroelectric generating stations scattered throughout its tributaries and mainstem. If you count all the smaller water control dams in the river system, there are hundreds of dams throughout the watershed.
The Ottawa River and its tributaries flow right into the St. Lawrence and the spring run-off often causes flooding with a particular affect on Quebec towns and cities. The amount of water is all controlled by the Saunders dam and is the responsibility of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. Because water is held back it also causes flooding in many parts of Ontario.
I am not sure the people experiencing the recent flooding care if it is a result of mismanagement by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authorities or underutilizing hydro energy, either way this could be a man-made disaster.
Aftermath of giant wind turbine explosion filmed by drone close up
Rumble / Creative Visuals – Giant wind turbines have been springing up on horizons all over North America for the past decade. They have been around much longer than this, but they are becoming more commonplace as we seek an alternative to fossil fuel and nuclear power. Still controversial, these turbines present a viable way for power to be derived from wind, a completely renewable resource with no end. Opponents to wind power are concerned over appearance, health concerns, costs, effects on land value, and the affect on humans and animals that live in close proximity. Those in favor of harnessing wind power point to the obvious problems associated with other power sources. The debate rages on and we have yet to fully investigate both sides of the argument.
Similarly, people stand divided on the aesthetics of giant wind turbines. Some see them as majestic structures that are magnificent to behold. Others see them as an eyesore among the natural features of the landscape. But regardless of one’s opinion, there is no denying that their sheer size and structure is a marvel of engineering and technology. To look up at something that towers more than 400 feet above us, creates a sense of awe and wonder. The cost to erect such a turbine is approximately four million dollars. The blades alone cost almost one million dollars and they weigh a staggering 12,000 pounds. They are made with layers of fiberglass pressed together in a long construction process that requires extreme precision. Yet, these massive blades are designed to spin and generate electricity from wind.
This giant wind turbine was erected almost three years ago between Pontypool and Bethany, two small towns in southern Ontario. They are much like many other wind turbines that have been erected, but there is one big difference here. In April of 2019, one of the blades on this one exploded, sending huge sheets and chunks of fiberglass shrapnel raining down. Other sections hung precariously, fluttering in the wind. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined. A drone was sent up near the tower to film the blade close up, producing this video that gives us a rare and fascinating look at the damaged blade and the pieces that hang from the hub. The wind turbine has been shut down for obvious safety reasons to await repair. The cost to dismantle and replace this turbine will also be staggering.
Ironically, the drone that was filming this disaster experienced an unexplained loss of control and it came in contact with the turbine tower, resulting in it making a high speed descent to the concrete below. The drone was completely smashed in the incident, but the footage that was recorded prior to the crash was recovered.
I often get this question: “Why have people vacated their homes, or are feeling sick, around windmills in Brown County”. This is not a unique scenario. Very large industrial-scale wind turbines placed irresponsibly close to families’ home have similar impacts worldwide. The impacts do not discriminate between young or old, rich or poor. Some people are more susceptible to the negative impacts (one consistent correlation is people who are sensitive to motion sickness).
This German video does a pretty good job describing the issue. Please note that the turbines in this video are MUCH smaller and less impactful than the 8 Duke Energy wind turbines in Glenmore that were unanimously declared a Human Health Hazard by the Brown County Government Board of Health.
Duke’s turbines in Brown County are among the largest in the country placed among the closest to homes. They are 493 feet tall and have 2.5 Megawatt generators (One megawatt = 1,000 kilowatts = 1,000,000 watts). You will also note that the turbines in this German video are over 700 meters (over 2,100 feet) from homes – the turbines in Glenmore are as close as 1,100 feet from homes.
Wisconsin Public Service (owned by We Energies) purchases the power from this project and it is regulated by the Town of Glenmore who apparently refuses to enforce the clear and protective language in their own ordinance and conditional use permit. Families are living away from the homes they still own; residents who can not move away have submitted affidavits attesting to the fact that they continue to feel severely ill when around the spinning turbines; and little is being done to bring any relief.
It breaks my heart to hear callous comments from well intentioned people that have not experienced the impacts in these homes first hand or even taken the time to talk with the impacted residents. The question I ask these people who don’t understand is why would people make this up. People do not leave the homes they still own and maintain for no reason. They do not want to sleep and do homework in their basements because it is the only place in their homes where they can get a little relief. They do not enjoy coming forward only to be the subject of ridicule and voluntarily devaluing their homes. The symptoms our neighbors express are shared world wide.
Even those profiting from renting land to wind developers have sued them because of claims of the unlivable conditions around the turbines. This is a social justice issue – Shirley Wind in Glenmore is arguably one of the most studied wind farms in the country and ample evidence is known on the conditions around these particular turbines. If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to call or write me – I can direct you to those that can provide the answers and have first hand experience. Hope some of this information is of value.
Thank you for reading this long post.
Steve Deslaurie, Brown County Supervisor
April 5, 2019
The Green Energy Act is far from being repealed in Ontario. The Charter Challenge led by CCSAGE continues on with the recent filing of a Notice of Application to proceed filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.