Category Archives: Media stories…

Lake Erie ecosystem under threat by off shore wind turbines

WI070625_151.tif

The Blade|By:Steve Pollack|August 11, 2018

Proposed Icebreaker wind project is not what it seems

It is hard to know where to start dissecting the slick spin-doctoringrecently published in The Blade’s Op-Ed pages by LEEDCo, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., which wants to erect North America’s first freshwater offshore wind-turbines in central Lake Erie off Cleveland.

So-doing would reach far beyond the scope of a newspaper “op-ed.” Beth Nagusky, LEEDCo’s director of sustainable development, is a master at cherrypicking and parading obscure statements as a fait-accompli. Her contentions about the goodness of the proposed six-unit Icebreaker Wind power-generation project, some seven miles offshore, lie between premature and erroneous.

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

They are a masterful act of dissembling, distraction, distortion, and deception. Perhaps “MisLEEDCo” would more appropriate.

Ms. Nagusky has posited that Icebreaker’s towering turbines would kill few birds and bats, a claim that simply does not hold up under scrutiny. This is shown clearly for anyone who assesses it thoughtfully.

LEEDCo is betting on the glitter of such buzz-words as “economic impact, jobs, and clean energy” to substantiate its stance that somehow the pre-construction research on Icebreaker’s impact is all said and done and we can gleefully ride off into a lovely green-energy future. Wrong.

It claims that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the project a low risk to birds and bats. Wrong again. The Service ruled that the project only posed a low risk to a few particular endangered species. It rejected the initial Icebreaker environmental assessment (EA), citing several insufficiencies in regard to birds and bats. The final EA has yet to be filed. No one, including LEEDCo, has seen it yet.

Among other unsettled issues, the required technology to monitor post-construction bird and bat mortality simply does not exist. And additional studies, including meaningful radar studies of migrations through the turbine zone, should be mandatory.

In its sugarcoating, LEEDCo ignores saying that the initial six units are just the tip of the iceberg. If the Ohio Power Siting Board and related agencies give the green light, this project opens a Pandora’s Box to hundreds or thousands more turbines on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Any negative impacts would be magnified by orders of magnitude.

The state of New York has issued a moratorium on offshore wind for just such considerations, as has the province of Ontario, which alone has put 1,250 proposed offshore Erie wind turbines “on hold” while it assesses Icebreaker deliberations. Do you think that the giant Fred Olsen Renewables, of Oslo, Norway, would bother with building just six units here? The big money lies in hundreds. A proposed “buildout” after Icebreaker may run to 1,600 turbines.

So this really is not just six little old turbines and a few dead birds and bats. The migratory pathway and wintering grounds of millions of birds, and migratory bats as well, lie in the paths of a potential phalanx of towering 500-foot rotors. Out of sight, out of mind, is no justification.

LEEDCo is counting on the public not bothering with facts. Ms. Nagusky singled out Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) for its criticism of poor, incomplete science that LEEDCo’s hired-gun consultants have proffered about unknown and likely devastating impacts of arrays of offshore turbines. This in the heart of what the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International has declared a Globally Important Bird Area.

The Ohio Power Siting Board staff has attached a daunting list of conditions to its preliminary analysis. Last October, contrary to LEEDCo pretentions, the USF&WS argued that a still-unapproved environmental assessment is insufficient. Instead a more serious, detailed, environmental impact statement should be drawn. Yet LEEDCo proselytizes incorrectly that a waffling preliminary assessment means that Icebreaker is clean and green.

BSBO’s analysis has been dogged over many months. Its conservation committee includes a professional engineer, an environmental law attorney, and no less than three lifetime professional wildlife and fisheries biologists. Contentions down Cleveland-way that the anti-LEEDCo campaign is an animal of the beleaguered coal industry is just another distraction. The project needs to stand on its own scientific merits, not smoke-and-mirrors……

This project should be stayed unless or until it can assure minimal wildlife impacts based on the most rigorous science. The public should thoughtfully educate itself on the project before forming opinion. Icebreaker is the first small wave in a floodtide. Read the record, not just a “windustry” spin-doctor’s selective fantasizing.

READ Article

Forest Fire Blamed on Wind Project Construction

Fire 33 Parry Sound, Key River area. Fire started on Henvey Inlet Territory Photo. Key River Association
Parry Sound Fire 33  started at site of Henvely Wind project.  Work continued despite extreme fire hazard conditions.

“Despite “extreme fire hazard” conditions and a region-wide fire ban, a number of workers say crews continued to blast rock and use heavy machinery that had set off several small fires earlier last week. The workers asked CBC News to withhold their names out of fear of losing their jobs.

But on Wednesday, things got out of control.”

CBC INVESTIGATES

Massive Ontario forest fire sparked by wind farm construction during extreme fire ban, workers allege

Dave Seglins · CBC News · 

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is investigating whether construction crews building a major wind-turbine project on the eastern shores of Georgian Bay amidst tinder-dry conditions caused a forest fire that is now devouring more than 5,600 hectares of land.

The fire started last Wednesday on Henvey Inlet First Nation at the site of the province’s largest wind project, where crews are blasting rock and clearing land to erect dozens of wind turbines.

Despite “extreme fire hazard” conditions and a region-wide fire ban, a number of workers say crews continued to blast rock and use heavy machinery that had set off several small fires earlier last week. The workers asked CBC News to withhold their names out of fear of losing their jobs.

But on Wednesday, things got out of control.

“We heard on two-way radios that there was an Argo [an all-terrain vehicle] that broke down in the bush where the fire began,” one worker said.

“During the week, as we proceeded through work, there were fires that started up from our machines … little fires,” he said. “But this one started and it was too big for [workers] to control. And it got out of hand and it turned into devastation.”

…………..

“I think that the job should be shut down,” he said. “I think those that knew the consequence of this [and] just kept going and ignored the problem at hand … should be held responsible for this.”

READ FULL ARTICLE

french-river-forest-fire
CBC News obtained this photo taken Wednesday of the Henvey Inlet construction site where workers say the fire began after a machine got stuck in bone-dry bush. (Name withheld by request)

 

Wind Turbine Damage Closes Access to Road

Wind Turbine Damage Closes Access to Bruce Road 20

Bayshore Broadcasting|Tiverton | by Kevin Bernard|May 8, 2018 

Repairs are ongoing, and should be finished this week.

page_WIND_TURBINE_DAMAGED_2018_PHOTO_BY_WILL_SQUARE_PATERSON

Those high winds last Friday that knocked down tree limbs and power lines, also damaged a wind turbine at Bruce Power.

Gusts of about 100 km/h rolled in off Lake Huron around 3pm that day, and one of the tips on a turbine was broken.

Bruce Power Manager of Communications and Media Relations, John Peevers says as soon as the issue was noticed, the 5 wind turbines jointly owned by Bruce Power and its partners were turned off.

Bruce road 20 was also closed in the area of the Visitors Centre, which is close to the turbine that was affected.

~~~~~~~~

“The turbines remain idled while workers investigate whether the 4 others are safe, and while repairs are done to the one wind turbine.

Peevers says Bruce road 20 remains closed and won’t likely open until later this week.”

READ ARTICLE

 

Another Failed Wind Turbine Plant

“Starting in 2010, Nova Scotia taxpayers pumped $56 million into the operation via provincial loans and grants before the government called a $32-million loan in February 2016, pushing the manufacturing plant into receivership.”

Time and money running out on sale of idle wind turbine plant

DSME Trenton plant placed into receivership in 2016 after the province called a $32M loan

By Paul Withers, CBC News Posted: Feb 15, 2018

dsme-trenton-wind-turbine-makers.jpg
The Nova Scotia government gave DSME Trenton $19.6 million for a 49 per cent stake in the company in 2010. (CBC)

After two years and no takers, Nova Scotia is poised to end its efforts to sell an idle wind turbine manufacturing plant in Pictou County, bringing to a close another failed government-backed industrial enterprise.

“At $150,000 per month to keep the operation at status quo, we want this to happen, we want to find a viable operator. But the clock is ticking,” Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday, after touring the mothballed DSME Trenton plant.

That money goes toward keeping the facility in a sellable state.

READ ARTICLE

Challenging Cost of Billions with Ontario’s Energy Fees

enercon turbines

The global adjustment charge is chiefly used to cover the difference between the province’s market price for power and the price guaranteed to hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind generators through their regulated payments or contracts with the government, as well as the cost of conservation programs. All electricity customers in Ontario pay global adjustment, which can be a separate line or included in the commodity portion of their bill.

But the August lawsuit filed by National Steel Car (NSC) believes the revenue the IESO collects for the global adjustment, from the company “and others,” should be declared “an unconstitutional tax, not a valid regulatory charge.”

The company gives numerous reasons, including that the global adjustment allegedly “redistributes wealth from the consumers of electricity in Ontario to, among others, the generators of renewable electricity.”

Manufacturer launches challenge against power fee that has cost Ontarians billions

The lawsuit argues that the global adjustment fee is an unconstitutional tax imposed to fund the Ontario government’s policy initiatives

Geoff Zochodne September 21, 2017

READ FINANCIAL POST ARTICLE

Cuba Mystery- Was it a Sonic Attack that made diplomats ill?

“And it’s not impossible that infrasound could explain some of what diplomats thought they heard.

Though infrasound is usually inaudible, some people can detect it if the waves are powerful enough. For example, individuals living near infrasound-generating wind turbines have described pulsating hums that have left them dizzy, nauseous or with interrupted sleep. Such effects have prompted fierce scientific debate.”

Cuba Attacks Medical Mystery

National Post September 16, 2017

Cuba mystery: What theories US investigators are pursuing

WASHINGTON — There must be an answer.

Whatever is harming U.S. diplomats in Havana, it’s eluded the doctors, scientists and intelligence analysts scouring for answers. Investigators have chased many theories, including a sonic attack, electromagnetic weapon or flawed spying device.

Each explanation seems to fit parts of what’s happened, conflicting with others.

The United States doesn’t even know what to call it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used the phrase “health attacks.” The State Department prefers “incidents.”

READ REST OF ARTICLE

Grand Etang Wind Turbine Removal

nova scotia turbine collapse 2016
Grand Etang Vestas wind turbine collapsed January 2017. The turbine was erected in 2002.

Nova Scotia Power Inc.
Grand Etang wind turbine removal gets underway


June 12, 2017Nova Scotia Power is undertaking site cleanup and removal of the Grand Etang wind turbine, which is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

The turbine has not been in operation since early January following an unexpected collapse of the turbine structure. No one was onsite at the time of the incident and there we no injuries.

A detailed investigation into the turbine collapse has been underway over the past few months, with further analysis of the data and equipment required before the cause of the incident can be confirmed.

Crews have been on-site cleaning up debris from the property and mobilizing a crane that will lift the wind turbine and tower components onto flatbeds for transport. It’s expected that site cleanup and removal of the turbine will be completed within the next two weeks.

Constructed in 2002, Grand Etang was one of the first wind installations in Nova Scotia, with a single 660 kilowatt Vestas V47 wind turbine. That particular turbine model is not used at any other site in the province, either by Nova Scotia Power or independent wind producers.

Nova Scotia Power purchases electricity produced from over 300 public and privately-owned wind turbines in operation across the province.

For more information:

Organization:
Nova Scotia Power Inc.Address:
PO Box 910
Halifax, Alberta
Canada, B3J 2W5
www.nspower.ca
Tel: 902-428-6230

Source: Nova Scotia Power Inc.

turbine2
Grand Etang Vestas wind turbine collapse 2017 in Nova Scotia

“If it’s too windy, then maybe it’s not the right place for it,” said Aucoin. “Because it is close to houses and I imagine the people up the hill … they must have been scared because it was right near to their house.”

Laurette Chiasson, a resident who has lived in the area for 59 years, said she’s never had a problem with the windmill, though she was scared after the collapse about pieces hitting the house.

CBC article January 5, 2017: People near snapped wind turbine say winds were high but not unprecedented

 

Couple’s home unlivable since wind turbines switched on in 2009

NORMA-SCHMIDT-WHOSE-HEALTH-BEEN-AFFECTED-BY-TURBINES
Norma Schmidt of Kincardine is no longer able to live at home due to health effects suffered after the wind turbines became operational.

The Schmidts of Kincardine in Ontario left their home in 2009 when debilitating health symptoms occurred after the wind turbines of an Enbridge project became operational.  They are currently pressuring the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to undertake noise testing in a full sound spectrum including infrasound (inaudible) measurements.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Couple seeks help on wind turbine concerns.

Kincardine | by Craig Power  

Kincardine residents want new tests done on Enbridge project.

A Kincardine couple is seeking Council support in their quest to have the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to investigate noise emissions from the Enbridge Wind turbines on Concession 6.

Norma and Ron Schmidt have had to move from their home due to health related issues they say are associated with infrasound from the nearby wind turbines.

Rachel Thompson, spokesperson for the Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns Group, says the project began in 2009 and they still don’t know if Enbridge is in compliance.

So far the Ministry has only done testing on the ‘audible’ noise emissions but they have not yet tested the ‘inaudible’ or ‘infrasound’ emissions which are known to cause adverse heath effects.

A noise modelling report conducted by Valcoustics Canada Incorporated showed an asterisk beside 6 properties within what they refer to as ‘ground zero’ for noise emissions, with the Schmidt home among them.

Thompson says “the report also stated that we cannot be certain that these 6 homes will not fall within the safe range of audible noise.”

At the April 5th meeting, Kincardine Council voted to support the Schmidt’s letter of request for further investigation by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The pressure is being applied to the Owen Sound Office of the MOE with hope that testing will be conducted and answers reached.

READ AT: http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=92392 

RAIDS, ARRESTS IN €8 MILLION WIND ENERGY FRAUD CASE

aanhouding-handboeien-2_0

By Janene Pieters on March 29, 2017

Three people were arrested and various homes and office buildings were raided on Tuesday in an investigation into 8 million euros worth of fraud committed by Dutch investment company Hollandsche Wind. The Public Prosecutor and tax investigative service FIOD also seized several cars, Tubantia reports.

According to FIOD, the now bankrupt Hollandsche Wind was used to commit Ponsi fraud – an illegal pyramid scheme. Investors paid a minimum of 5 thousand euros and were promised high returns on wind energy projects. But their returns were paid with money from new investors. No money was ever invested in wind farms or real estate. According to the Prosecutor, the fraud amount is around 8 million euros…..

READ AT: http://nltimes.nl/2017/03/29/raids-arrests-eu8-million-wind-energy-fraud-case 

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