Category Archives: Green Energy

Wind Turbines Killing thousands of birds and bats

By John Miner, The London Free Press

Wind turbines are killing bats, including ones on the endangered species list, at nearly double the rate set as acceptable by the Ontario government, the latest monitoring report indicates.bat-killed-by-wind-turbine-blades

Bats are being killed in Ontario at the rate of 18.5 per turbine, resulting in an estimated 42,656 bat fatalities in Ontario between May 1 and October 31, 2015, according to the report released by Bird Studies Canada, a bird conservation organization.

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources has set 10 bat deaths per turbine as the threshold at which the mortalities are considered significant and warrant action.

The bats being killed by turbines in Ontario include the little brown bat, tri-coloured bat, eastern small footed bat, and northern long-eared bat, all on the endangered species list.

The Birds Studies Canada report draws its information from a database that is a joint initiative of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Bird Studies Canada.

Brock Fenton, an expert in the behaviour and ecology of bats and professor in Western University’s department of biology, said the bat deaths are a concern.

Bat populations across North America have been plunging with the emergence of a fungal disease called white nose syndrome.

Birds are taking less of a hit from wind turbines, according to the report, with an estimated 14,144 non-raptors killed by wind turbines and 462 raptor fatalities between May 1 and October 31 in 2015.

The report noted that some wind farms have moved to reduce bat mortalities by cutting their turbine speeds from dawn to dusk in the late summer and early fall.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Wind Energy Association said the association is concerned about reports that are based on limited data that have the effect of boosting estimates.

In response, CanWea is developing its own system that will be released this fall that is designed to improve existing and proposed bat regulations, said Brandy Giannetta, CanWea’s Ontario regional director.

“It aims to achieve this in part by enhancing knowledge of the existing data in order to drive science-based policy decisions and also by providing avoidance, minimization, and mitigation options that we hope operators and regulators alike will find useful in conservation efforts,” Giannetta said in an email.

Wind Concerns Ontario, a coalition of provincial groups opposed to wind farm development, said it is concerned that birds and, significantly, bats are being killed in numbers that were not forecast by either the Ontario government or the wind power developers.

“The population of the Little Brown Bat in particular is now at 5-10 per cent of its historical levels, so, as the Environmental Review Tribunal stated in the White Pines decision in Prince Edward County, even a few deaths will have a serious impact on the species as a whole. And we know for a certainty that bats are killed by wind turbines,” Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, said.

It is critical to understand that wind power projects shouldn’t be approved without a full and objective assessment of all factors in any given location. The government’s push for wind power has to be balanced with the continuing need to protect the natural environment, Wilson said….

READ MORE:  http://www.lfpress.com/2016/07/20/wind-turbines-killing-tens-of-thousands-of-bats-including-many-on-the-endangered-species-list

A Populist Revolt Against Wind? It’s Happening

“With each oversized, out-of-scale, in-your-face wind project presented, scores of people join the not-so-quiet ‘war on wind’ raging nationwide…. While Big Media and Big Wind are busy forcing the vision they want, communities are taking aggressive action to limit wind’s negative impacts and will ultimately lead to far fewer projects being built.”

Lisa Linowes – June 27, 2016

A journalist recently contacted windaction.org with questions about Colorado’s latest wind project sponsored by utility giant, Xcel Energy. The 600 MW, 300 turbine, $1.04 billion Rush Creek wind ‘farm’, if built, will span 150 square miles of Colorado’s sensitive eastern grasslands. To deliver the energy to market, Xcel must also construct a 90-mile 345 kv transmission line along a 150-foot wide right-of-way. The project is massive by any measure and the largest considered by the state. Yet, according to the reporter, no one local has raised any concerns which explains the call. Even the reporter — a freelancer from New Jersey where just five turbines (9 MW) spin — admitted having no idea wind had issues.

And why would anyone …?

Big media coverage is dominated by feel-good stories of cheap renewables (and now, apparently, cheap storage) overtaking coal and nuclear. The press, prodded by industry mouthpieces, never misses an opportunity to advocate for federal and state subsidies and their sister mandates that spur green ‘investment’ and leave the public believing that a world of all renewables, all the time is almost here. 

Nice vision, but far from real. In fact, with each oversized, out-of-scale, in-your-face wind project presented, scores of people join the not-so-quiet “war on wind” raging nationwide. For proof, just look at a few of the news stories from the last 45 days:

1)    In Indiana, a judge ruled Rush County’s decision to impose larger safety setback distances on the Flat Rock wind facility (180 MW) was reasonable to protect health and preserve property values. The decision is likely to end the project. Another suit pending in Fayette Circuit Court against a NextEra project argues the decommissioning plan violates county regulations. And in Henry County, the Planning Commission denied two applications to erect meteorological towers used for measuring wind speed and direction. The towers are the first step in siting a wind project. Each vote to deny was met with applause and a standing ovation from the public.

2)    Blowback over wind turbines impairing military operations prompted the North Carolina state senate to pass a bill restricting turbine sites. State leaders recognized the importance of protecting the economic benefits derived from hosting military bases, including thousands of jobs. Local benefits delivered by wind pale in comparison. Similar concerns are being raised in New York and Texas, where the Texas legislature is also considering a bill to protect military base missions.

3)    A proposal to erect 2-dozen turbines standing up to 660-feet tall in Cumberland County, Tennessee has outraged residents and caught the attention of Senator Lamar Alexander, Congresswoman Diane Black, State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) and Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), all of whom are united in their opposition to the project. Senator Bailey highlighted one of the many failings of the proposal when he wrote “The wind turbine project proposed for Cumberland County would take us in the wrong direction for economic development in the Upper Cumberland. Tourism is over a $17 billion industry in Tennessee and it would be a step backwards to mar our scenic beauty with unsightly turbines.”

4)    Wyoming’s Joint Revenue Committee has asked its staff to draft two bills that would increase taxes on wind, including one that would require wind developers to transfer a portion of the federal wind production tax credit to state coffers. When Converse County commissioner, Jim Willox, insisted the severance tax on oil and gas can’t be compared to a tax on wind since the fossil industry removes (severs) non-renewable products from the ground and are forever lost, State Senator Cale Case snapped back that wind turbines destroyed viewsheds. “With wind, that viewshed is lost forever. It is severed,” he said. Talk of taxing wind has delayed the outlandish 1,000 turbine, 3,000 MW Chokecherry Sierra Madre. [1]

5)    In Vermont, the electorate is inflamed over the visual, environmental and health impacts of the spinning towers. Governor Peter Shumlin has been described as one who “loves wind turbines and hates the people who live next to them.” He is leaving office this year to the delight of many. At least three of the candidates vying for his seat – Bruce Lisman, Peter Galbraith, Brooke Paige  – are openly running on a ‘NO Wind’ platform.

We could go on describing the intense fights now happening in New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts … you get the picture. But don’t expect big media to notice. After all, these fights don’t fit the national narrative honed by the wind industry that up-plays the image of turbines operating in concert with man and nature and downplays, or flatly denies the harms. While big media and big wind are busy forcing the vision they want, communities are taking aggressive action to limit wind’s negative impacts and will ultimately lead to far fewer projects being built.

[1] The State of Wyoming is the only state that imposes a wind energy tax which equates to $1 per MWh.

 

Letters to Premier Wynne

On June 1, OSPE sent a letter to Premier Wynne imploring the government to consult with engineers before implementing its cap-and-trade program. On June 14, OSPE received a response from the Premier that appeared to be a form letter intended for critics of the Climate Change Action Plan. The Premier’s response did not address OSPE’s main concern that the government does not consult with engineers before implementing policy.

So yesterday, OSPE sent a second letter to Kathleen Wynne:

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READ AT:  https://blog.ospe.on.ca/advocacy/letters-premier-wynne/

Gridmonsters attack!

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In his April 26 Letter to the Editor, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli wrote that “for the first time the cost of producing electricity from wind is below the average cost of producing electricity in Ontario.”

Using this Orwellian “doublespeak”, Chiarelli failed to mention that under his 20-year “Feed-in Tariff” (FIT) contracts, we pay wind energy corporations much more, not less, than the rates we pay for each kilowatt of the hydro, nuclear or gas-generated electricity that wind energy replaces.

In addition, in Ontario, most wind and solar energy is generated when not needed.

In fact, wind and solar “farms” have become troublesome “gridmonsters”.

They are uncontrollable, cruel and unreasonably costly.

Gridmonsters have a licence not only to kill, but also to bill.

Enabled by Ontario’s Green Energy Act , they drive up electricity prices while ravaging rural neighbourhoods and wildlife.

They are malignant tumours attached to our electricity grid.

They will continue to force electricity rates to rise unless we act now to bring them under rigorous control.

When gridmonsters were in their infant stage, we were able to store their fluctuating output in rechargeable batteries for later use in electric cars or household power.

But they have grown much too big for batteries, and they keep growing because governments keep feeding them subsidies.

Gridmonsters were created by huge wind and solar corporations that lobbied governments for subsidies that guaranteed ongoing profits.

That was the beginning of the scam, to which governments and citizens succumbed because of our fear of climate change.

But unlike other energy sources, the sun and the wind cannot be turned on and off when demand fluctuates.

On dark and still nights, gridmonsters lurk in rural fields.DSCN3152

Then, when the sun shines or the wind blows, they invade power transmission lines.

With government permission, they replace cheaper electricity from hydroelectric power, nuclear, or gas plants. Electricity rates then rise.

When the wind dies or when the sun is obscured, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) routinely fires up recently-added backup natural gas power plants.

Rates routinely rise again.

Whenever we can’t find consumers for this unneeded electricity, we pay solar and wind energy producers to not produce power. Rates rise more!

Gridmonsters keep metastasizing. Ontario is exporting more and more excess green energy to Quebec or Michigan, at a loss of millions more dollars every month.

Rates keep rising.

Amazingly, the Ontario government recently invited proposals for even more subsidized, unneeded and unreliable wind factories and solar farms.

In his April 26 letter to the editor, Chiarelli tries to make us believe that subsidized “renewable energy is now a level playing field with other forms of generation!”

To what end?

We now know gridmonsters cannot fight climate change. Ontario’s professional engineers report wind and solar factories are actually causing an increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

The federal government is an accomplice.

It budgets our tax money to support the proliferation of provincial green energy fantasies.

It ignores its responsibility to protect endangered and migrating wildlife from habitat destruction and migration hazards, and to protect humans from unhealthy turbine noise.

It ignores its duty to safeguard Charter rights of rural citizens seeking quiet enjoyment of their homes.

Rural municipal governments know that wind and solar factories damage local economies and tourism.

They realize gridmonsters are hazardous to humans and wildlife, drive up electricity prices, devastate neighbourhoods, depress property values and erode municipal tax bases.

Provincial and federal governments do not care about local constituents, endangered and migrating wildlife and electricity prices.

Rural municipal governments do care.

They need to regain their authority to manage energy-related industrial developments in their own back yards.

If we can’t consume the energy generated by gridmonsters at the moment it’s produced, we need to store it, or get rid of it affordably.

It would probably be better to get rid of the politicians and the legislation that caused this problem.

One way or another, we must put a stop to the gridmonster scam.

McPherson is a retired professional engineer, now living in Tweed, where there are no industrial wind turbines

READ AT: http://www.torontosun.com/2016/05/07/gridmonsters-attack

Wacky World of Ontario Energy Policy.

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About 80 per cent of energy generated by wind turbines in Ontario gets sold ‘at a massive loss’ to the U.S., a University of Guelph professor said. (Matt Young/Associated Press)

There’s not much point in investing in heavy blankets and wool sweaters to tame your hydro bill, because in Ontario, no matter how much electricity you conserve you’ll still end up paying higher rates.

Why? Well, you have the provincial government, and its push for more green energy, to thank.

A balmy winter created a shortfall for the province’s electrical utilities, something the Ontario Energy Board will bridge with a rate hike on May 1 — a response to our collective conservation effort that’s likely to happen again, critics say.

While it may seem counterintuitive to pay more in order to use less, Brady Yauch, the executive director of the Consumer Policy Institute, says the province promised high rates to several sustainable energy providers following the Green Air Act in 2009.

Fixed costs

Those rates contribute to the electricity industry’s fixed costs — and that means those costs stay steady regardless of how much energy people are using.

“This is the wacky world of Ontario electricity policy,” Yauch told CBC’s Metro Morning. “This province has overbuilt the electricity sector significantly and it has to pass on those costs.”

For the average household bill, the latest rate hike translates into a jump of $3 a month, according to the Ontario Energy Board’s figures — or roughly 2.5 per cent for homes that use 750 kilowatt hours each month.

Utilities have some leeway if rate increases are connected to a drop in energy consumption, Yauch said, largely because they’re operating in a framework that was first set up by provincial legislation……

READ MORE @ CBC News:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/electricity-ontario-1.3538157

Annoyance is an adverse health effect

To:
Malcolm S. Lock, MD., M.P.H.
(A) Medical Officer of Health
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
malcolm.lock@hnhu.org
Copy:
Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health
c/o Chair, Mr. Charlie Luke
Charlie.Luke@norfolkcounty.ca
Ms Stephana Johnston
Ontario, Canada
stephjohnston519@gmail.com
February 25, 2015
Dear Dr. Lock,

Re: Response to your November 20, 2014 letter to Ms Johnston

Ms Johnston has asked that I respond to your letter of November 20, 2014. She requests that a copy of this letter be provided to the Chair and the Members of the Board of Health.

Personal disclosure: I declare no potential conflicts of interest and have received no financial support with respect to the research and authorship of this commentary.

This letter is public and may be shared.

I met Ms Johnston for the first time on April 22, 2009, during the Standing Committee on General Government, Green Energy and Economy Act, 2009 hearings. I have been in touch with Ms Johnston since that time and am aware of her circumstances. In my opinion since early 2009 Ms Johnston has explored every avenue available to her, including contacting your office, to find a remedy to her circumstances which are associated with the operation of
the wind projects in her vicinity.

There is sufficient evidence that some, including Ms Johnston are negatively affected by industrial wind energy facilities. Examples of reported adverse health effects include chronic and high annoyance, chronic sleep disturbance, stress-related health impacts and reduced quality of life.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12 In some cases families reporting adverse health effects  have abandoned their homes, been billeted away from their homes or hired legal counsel to successfully reach a financial agreement with the wind energy developer.13

Peer reviewed and published references, testimony under oath, and/or disclosure evidence and/or witness statements, authoritative documents and other references such as those briefly
summarized in this letter have acknowledged adverse health effects.

A brief bio and summary of the peer reviewed articles and conference papers for which I am an author / co-author is provided at the end of this letter.

Assurances of Health Protection

In a communication dated pre-Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA 2009), the former Minister of Environment of Ontario, John Gerretsen states the MOE is committed to siting and operation of facilities in a manner that is protective of human health and that it is an offence to violate a condition set out in a CofA (Certificate of Approval): [excerpt] Continue reading Annoyance is an adverse health effect

Loretta Sheild’s Testimony at the NRWC Environmental Appeal – Wainfleet

MAWT Inc. would like to thank Loretta for all the hard work she has put into this fight.  She truly is an advocate and a voice for the natural beauty, ecosystems and wildlife of West Lincoln and area that is being threatened by the NRWC Project.  She has most definitely done her homework and if there was anyone in that room today that was an “expert” on the topic it was her, regardless of what the proponents lawyers say.  🙂  

Hi everyone,

I testified at the ERT today in Wainfleet.  My presentation is attached if you are interested in the details.  There are 4 sub issues.  These include concerns for migratory butterfly stopover areas, encroachment on provincially significant wetlands, inadequate mitigation measures for woodlands and red mulberry.  There are so many other issues. For example, there is no evidence to show that winter raptor transects were conducted within the interior of the woodlands.  62 permits are required by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.  These are still pending.   There are 20 industrial wind turbines proposed in Blanding’s turtle habitat in Lowbanks, all on private property.  There are many properties within this habitat where ‘alternative investigations – ie roadside surveys” were allowed.  The MNR is allowing this to proceed. If anyone would like more information, please feel free to contact me.

I want to thank you all for helping me learn about the many birds and raptors during the past few years.  If there is a silver lining here, it is the wonderful people I have met, and the greater appreciation I have for the beautiful world we live in.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Loretta Shield’s

Industrial Wind Turbines: Why the Battle is Worth the Fight

1297643875683_ORIGINAL (1)Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. has launched an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) against the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOE) and the Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC).   The NRWC has been granted approval by the Ministry of the Environment to construct 77 industrial wind turbines in West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Haldimand County.   These IWT’s are the largest turbines to be placed on land in North America with the smallest set back. They will generate more empty homes, hospital expenses and higher electricity bills.

Many in the reading audience may be bored with this news, or resigned to the results when little people battle huge corporations or the government, but this battle is worth fighting because more and more red flags are going up on the field. Continue reading Industrial Wind Turbines: Why the Battle is Worth the Fight

Wind turbines like ‘nightmare neighbours’ but law ‘rigged,’ court told

The Canadian Press - Shawn Drennan, part of a four-family fight against Ontario's wind-turbine legislation, is seen outside court in London, Ont., on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
The Canadian Press – Shawn Drennan, part of a four-family fight against Ontario’s wind-turbine legislation, is seen outside court in London, Ont., on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

The Canadian Press – Shawn Drennan, part of a four-family fight against Ontario’s wind-turbine legislation, is seen outside court in London, Ont., on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin PerkelWind turbines are like new neighbours who might drive you to distraction and out of your home because you have no legal way to deal with the situation, a packed Ontario court heard Monday.

In submissions to Divisional Court, a lawyer for four families fighting large-scale wind-energy projects compared the turbines to a neighbour who is always noisy and in your face.

“This neighbour never once ruptured your eardrums but that neighbour slowly drives you crazy,” Julian Falconer told the court.

“These turbines are those nightmare neighbours.”

The families are trying to get the court to declare provincial legislation related to the approvals of large-scale wind farms unconstitutional.

In essence, they argue, the legislation makes it impossible to scuttle a project on the basis of potential health impacts.

“The priority is to get the turbines up come hell or high water and that’s what they do,” Falconer said.

read more: By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press, Nov 17 2014