On the road and traveling the message far and wide.
On the road and traveling the message far and wide.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The project has been on the horizon for a decade and a half: six wind turbines erected in Lake Erie, in the first freshwater wind project in North America.
But fervor over the issue is revving up now among boaters, as the developer, the nonprofit Lake Erie Energy Development Co., works through stipulations with the state.
The Lake Erie Marine Trades Association — made up of boat dealers, clubs and other enthusiasts — opposes the $126 million, 20.7-megawatt project dubbed Icebreaker, planned for 8 miles north of Cleveland. So does the nonprofit Lake Erie Foundation.
Both LEEDCo. and its opponents point to hundreds of pages of documents they say prove their points.
The fight is not so much over the six turbines up for state approval right now – but for the wind farm it could precipitate: thousands of spinning blades the Lake Erie Foundation fears will desecrate Lake Erie.
LEEDCo. CEO Lorry Wagner says there are “currently no plans” for more turbines. “You can have all the dreams and aspirations you want, but until you climb that first hill and see what’s out there, you better focus on that first hill.”
But Icebreaker is a pilot project, with a $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. LEEDCo. has partnered with Norway-based Fred Olsen Renewables, and its website says “we can build an industry and supply chain in Northeast Ohio that will creation 8,000 new good paying jobs and pump nearly $14 billion into our economy by 2030… as the industry grows here.”
An expansion would require more studies and more approvals.
Said foundation board member John Lipaj: “You cannot treat this as a six-turbine stand-alone project. We have to be realistic and treat it for what it is.”……
Boating Industry|April 9, 2019
The Michigan Boating Industries Association, along with environmental groups, boating associations, and property owners are urging boaters to raise their voice in opposition of the proposed Icebreaker wind power turbines in Lake Erie.
Nicki Polan, executive director of MBIA says: “MBIA is not opposed to alternative sources of energy. But, regarding wind farms in our Great Lakes, we find far too many unanswered questions and documented risks to the health and aesthetics of these unique and often times fragile bodies of water. We stand opposed to plans such as the one being considered in Ohio now and we encourage all boaters and boating businesses to join us in communicating this to Ohio.”
Michigan borders on four of the five Great Lakes including a large portion of Lake Erie. Many Michigan residents’ boat on Lake Erie, and many Michigan businesses and citizens live and work along its shores.
Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh water, and 20% of that is coming from the Great Lakes.
“Building wind turbines in Lake Erie will threaten clean water, boating access, one of the world’s best perch and walleye fisheries, bird migration, the safety and health of coastal residents, and so much more,” said Polan.
The initial goal of the Icebreaker plan is to place 6 wind turbines, with a final goal of 1,200 wind turbines in Lake Erie, costing an estimated $24 billion.
“Wind power has proved to be very high cost with low return,” said MBIA Board Member Jim Coburn of Coburn & Associated in Macomb, Mich. “Many wind turbine projects in the U.S. and overseas have been abandoned because of this. Why this is even being considered in our Great Lakes is beyond me.”
The case against turbines is extensive, including the fact that exploding and burning turbines can be commonplace. Each turbine contains over 400 gallons of industrial lubricants in their gearboxes.Gearbox seals are known to fail and will leak oil into the waters below. But when they burn there is no way to reach and extinguish them. As the 300-foot turbine blades burn, they create toxic emissions polluting the air and waters below.
Source: Boating Industry
“A wind turbine located at northern Hokkaido, Japan with a high risk of bird strikes was monitored using a webcam surveillance system that was activated during the daytime every day from December 2013 to March 2014, which was the wintering season for the white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). A collision carcass of the white-tailed sea eagle was observed at the wind turbine on January 29, 2014 at 15:00. On analysis of the recorded data, we found that the moment of the collision was captured by both cameras.”
Turbine strike of White-tailed Eagle January 29, 2014
(Video 13 seconds length)
Unser Dorf hat Zukunft? Oder werden unsere Dörfer zerstört?/Our village has a future? Or are our villages destroyed?
(Video 4:59 minutes)
Wind industry in damage control over avian deaths and significant adverse environmental impacts of avoidance of essential ecosystems such as migration corridors. Reading spin below it begs many questions least is how do dead raptors, birds and bats killed by wind turbines “learn”?
For a sobering reading of industry generated reports (self counted and self reported) of avian kills at wind facilities submitted to a voluntary data base please review: Bird Study Canada
Journal for the Energy Transition|March 5, 2019|
Many migrating birds have learned to avoid potentially deadly wind turbines, but this behaviour equals a loss of habitat for the animals, researcher Ana Teresa Marques and others write in the Journal of Animal Ecology. “Soaring birds are among the most affected groups with alarming fatality rates by collision with wind turbines and an escalating occupation of their migratory corridors,” the researchers write. They equipped 130 migrating black kites with tracking devices to trace their travel routes at the migratory bottleneck of the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco — an area that is crucial for many bird species and which is also used for wind power production — and found that the animals fly about 700 metres around the turbines, effectively reducing the area available for the birds to migrate by up to 14 percent. “Authorities should recognise this further impact of wind energy production and establish new regulations that protect soaring habitat,” the researchers write.
Wind power in Germany has seen increasing resistance in recent years not least due to its possible negative effects on wildlife. Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) recently said that more attention had to be given to the impact of renewable power development on habitats and species. “An ecologically sound renewable roll-out is possible,” BfN president Beate Jessel said. Environmental NGO Nabu estimates about 100,000 birds in the country could be killed by rotor blades each year. To put this figure into perspective: Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) says that about 18 million birds in Germany die every year by crashing into windows.
Griffon Vulture hit by wind turbine in Crete (Video Duration: 5 minutes 54 seconds)
Wind turbines cause functional habitat loss for migratory soaring birdsFirst published: 14 February 2019
Wind energy production has expanded to meet climate change mitigation goals, but negative impacts of wind turbines have been reported on wildlife. Soaring birds are among the most affected groups with alarming fatality rates by collision with wind turbines and an escalating occupation of their migratory corridors. These birds have been described as changing their flight trajectories to avoid wind turbines, but this behaviour may lead to functional habitat loss, as suitable soaring areas in the proximity of wind turbines will likely be underused.
We modelled the displacement effect of wind turbines on black kites (Milvus migrans) tracked by GPS. We also evaluated the impact of this effect at the scale of the landscape by estimating how much suitable soaring area was lost to wind turbines.
We used state‐of‐the‐art tracking devices to monitor the movements of 130 black kites in an area populated by wind turbines, at the migratory bottleneck of the Strait of Gibraltar. Landscape use by birds was mapped from GPS data using dynamic Brownian bridge movement models, and generalized additive mixed modelling was used to estimate the effect of wind turbine proximity on bird use while accounting for orographic and thermal uplift availability.
We found that areas up to approximately 674 m away from the turbines were less used than expected given their uplift potential. Within that distance threshold, bird use decreased with the proximity to wind turbines. We estimated that the footprint of wind turbines affected 3%–14% of the areas suitable for soaring in our study area.
We present evidence that the impacts of wind energy industry on soaring birds are greater than previously acknowledged. In addition to the commonly reported fatalities, the avoidance of turbines by soaring birds causes habitat losses in their movement corridors. Authorities should recognize this further impact of wind energy production and establish new regulations that protect soaring habitat. We also showed that soaring habitat for birds can be modelled at a fine scale using publicly available data. Such an approach can be used to plan low‐impact placement of turbines in new wind energy developments.
Massive blaze sparked by off road construction for Henvey Wind that occurred in July 2018 linked to vehicle used for Pattern Energy project.
BREAKING NEWS: Ontario fire investigators clear wind developer Pattern Energy and workers on Henvey Inlet wind farm, after off road construction vehicle ignited 11,000 hecatare blaze that destroyed large chunk of French River provincial park last summer. @CBCNews @CBCSudbury pic.twitter.com/Hi7lKWQxsx
— dave seglins (@cbcdaveseglins) February 22, 2019
|Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry|
Investigation into Parry Sound Wildland Fire Concludes
February 22, 2019 2:00 P.M.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has completed its extensive investigation into the Parry Sound 33 wildland fire.
The ministry’s team of investigators found that the fire originated at the location of a disabled vehicle in a remote area of Henvey Inlet. Assistance was sought from a forensic fire expert.
While the investigation was able to determine the origin of the fire, no provincial offence under the Forest Fires Prevention Act was found to have been committed.
Source: News Ontario
|Justine Lewkowicz Minister’s Office
Justine.firstname.lastname@example.orgMedia Desk Communications Services Branch
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LOUIS PIN Updated: September 28, 2018|London Free Press
Frustrated by what they say are thousands of unreported bird and bat deaths, activists are calling for the new provincial government to take a closer look at the hundreds of wind turbines that dot rural Ontario.
These conservationists want the Environment Ministry to scrutinize what they say are flawed environmental assessments on the province’s existing turbines, saying the huge industrial windmills are responsible for tens of thousands of bird and bat deaths across Ontario each year
These deaths, they say, are not counted properly.
Part of that could be chalked up to Ontario’s regulations: large turbines can tower more than 150 metres high but the province only requires inspectors, when counting bird and bat deaths, to measure 50 metres from each base.
“A lot of the birds that get hit are flung well beyond that point,” Brian Salt, owner of the Mount Brydges animal rehabilitation clinic Salthaven, said. “They’re not counted in that survey.”……
The Blade|By:Steve Pollack|August 11, 2018
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.
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.