Category Archives: Property Rights

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:

Niagara Wind Turbines & Battle for Rights

1My project is the Niagara Region Wind, which consists of 77, 3.0 MW 124m height, plus the blade length which is 101m tip to tip. These turbines exceeds the span of a Boeing 747. In my backyard. I live in Haldimand County.

It is very hard to post everything about the projects, from noise, visual pollution, a community driven apart and divided, to human health, environmental health, the corruption uncovered, the rights you no longer have and the push backs from every single level of government there is. Not one single level of government will converse with you, they have a standard response they give to everyone.

I have one IWT 680m from my home, 417m to my property line. I have one 1022m from my home, another 1322m from my home and a transfer station is 900m to my home. Within 3km’s of my home there is at least 20+ turbines.

I live remotely, dead end street with 23 beautiful acres.
It’s a very different life. There is no more quiet space. There isn’t any quiet time anywhere. They are enormous, unsightly. Visually distracting, Visually disturbing, night and day. At night I have blinking red lights that penetrate our home.

I am on a prescription for vertigo, cabin pressure and motion sickness. This is a way of life I have never dreamed of living, nor thought would ever happen. This is MY new life, not chosen by me, but rammed down my throat by the incompetent greedy corrupt liberals. Yes, the prescription helps to lessen the symptoms and at times debilitating pain, but I am on a DRUG to remain in my home most days (forced out some days).

Let me explain something. I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Both of which I do not medicate or take any scribe for. I manage with a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Now, in order to not be hospitalized for violent episodes of vertigo, balance loss and vomiting, I MUST remain on a prescription.

I can not convey my anger at this situation correctly. I can not convey to those who do not have turbines exactly what it is like to live with them. It is an experience that goes beyond ones ability to express correctly.

How do you tell people, the turbines haunt you 24/7. How do you explain to people the turbines and the IFS and LFS keep you awake all night.

I continue to battle for my rights. The same rights given to every Canadian and the same rights laid out in the constitution. But when you learn the GEA 2009 has over ridden rights, over ridden by-laws, abolished the MOECC, MNR rights and so on, you know you don’t live in Kansas anymore.

I am more than willing to discuss this on an ongoing basis.
Later I will post videos of the noise, the view from my living room and explain that as a mother how your FIGHT mode is triggered when a minor in your home is adversely affected. How you quietly retreat to your room to cry in overwhelming shame; Shame you can not provide a safe home for your family and yourself.

I truly am a different person than I was 7 months ago.

With each write to the government and agencies, I remind them I did not give up my rights, I did not consent to be a human trial project and their blatant disregard for human health will have consequences.

Lastly, I’d like to mention I have a fantastic Doctor. Most GP’s think its all in your head. My doctor understands LF’s and IFS. Due to the immense cabin pressure in my ears he acknowledges it’s time to start tracking nerve damage seeing as we are at the early stages, nerve damage which will cause hearing loss. I will be going for extensive hearing tests until further notice.
There is so much more to write….

Sandy Max,  Haldimand County
March 2017

Niagara Wind turbines come online November 2016: http://www.nrwf.ca/ 

There is good money and there is bad

siemens-indiana-672x372To the Editor:

The proposed industrial wind turbine “farm” is not welcomed by the majority of the people. It will inhibit our view of the sky, cause health problems for people and animals, and cost this community, and surrounding communities a fortune in lost property values and revenue.

At a recent town hall meeting in Hopkinton, one of the contract holders stated, “Where is National Grid based?” This was in response to the issue of Iberdrola being out of Spain. Well, this was the most pathetic attempt at drawing a parallel that I’ve heard, so far.

Dear Mr. Contract Holder, National Grid does not require me to erect anything on my property that robs my neighbors of their health and property values. National Grid does not sneak into our community, like a snake in the grass, to pit me against my neighbors to further their subsidy mining. National Grid is providing a necessary evil, I’d love to be off grid.

I could go on, but I want to tell you about the woman who spoke before him. She stood up to tell us how she needed this contract to pay her taxes. Her tax burden was too heavy. She went on to talk about how the house across the road from her had been on the market for three years and hadn’t sold.

Maybe it’s because her property, directly across the road is contracted to house industrial wind turbines? And that’s part of disclosure to potential buyers. Could she possibly have her Iberdrola blinders on too tight? There are a lot of elderly people in our community. They will be passing on, who’s going to buy their properties with industrial wind turbines hulking over them? And you, Mr. and Mrs. contract holder, what if no one wants to buy or inherit your property when you pass on. God willing, my husband and I will be alive for another 50 years or more.

We don’t want to deal with your shortsightedness. Some of you are very near the end of your lives, at least statistically. When you’re gone, people will either lament your passing, or want to forget what you did to our community. Will your families want to be associated with the so and so’s of Hopkinton/Parishville, who destroyed the quality of life for an entire community, to make a buck?

Finally I’d like to state that we don’t hate people for their mistakes, and implore the same from you. If you’re a contract holder, you have most assuredly made a mistake. Iberdrola is a $44 billion company. Blindsided, you were no match for them. It’s a mistake we may have made, if we were in your shoes. We have seven children, five still living at home. Money is important, and fun! But there’s good money and bad money.

Whether God allows this project to come to completion or not, all of us need to put our differences on this matter aside and rise above the mess that Iberdrola has brought to our community.

Jim and Angela Spear

Parishville, New York

Published- North County NowMarch 16, 2017:  http://northcountrynow.com/letters/opinion-put-differences-aside-wind-tower-matter-say-parishville-couple-0194077

Saugeen Shores Turbine Noise Testing

unifor wind turbineThe Unifor wind turbine continues to generate ongoing noise complaints and the residents are fed up with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change failure to act. 100’s of complaints and counting. The industrial wind turbine is located adjacent to at least 100 homes within 550 metres of proximity and no independent third party noise audit completed to date.  Turbines and their noise do not make good neighbours.

Saugeen Shores wind turbine testing

Credit:  By Jordan MacKinnon | Blackburn News | March 14, 2017 | blackburnnews.com ~~

Saugeen Shores council is once again taking aim at the Unifor wind turbine.

Council passed a resolution seeking to hire a third-party to conduct parallel testing when the union carries out an acoustic audit this spring of its wind turbine, located at its family education centre at the south end of Port Elgin.

Mayor Mike Smith says there’s ongoing frustration with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change over inaction toward the turbine, pointing hundreds of complaints have been filed and preliminary data suggests the turbine has operated outside of its noise regulations in the past.

The acoustic audit of the Unifor wind turbine had been slated to be completed last year, but was delayed on several occasions and is now scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

Smith says they are fed up with the Ministry of Environment.

The delays in completing the acoustic audit prompted Saugeen Shores council to file a complaint with the Ontario Ombudsman’s office this past October and Smith says he recently received confirmation that the ombudsman is still investigating the complaint.

About 100 homes and cottages are located within the 550-metre setback typically required for industrial wind turbines.

READ AT: http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2017/03/14/saugeen-shores-wind-turbine-testing/

Wind Power is an attack on Rural America

farm-and-turbinesBy: Robert Byrce  February 27, 2017

Urban voters may like the idea of using more wind and solar energy, but the push for large-scale renewables is creating land-use conflicts in rural regions from Maryland to California and Ontario to Loch Ness.

Since 2015, more than 120 government entities in about two dozen states have moved to reject or restrict the land-devouring, subsidy-fueled sprawl of the wind industry.

The backlash continued last month when a judge in Maryland ruled that the possible benefits of a proposed 17-turbine project did “not justify or offset subjecting the local community to the adverse impacts that will result from the wind project’s construction and operation.” The judge’s ruling probably spells the end of an eight-year battle that pitted local homeowners and Allegany County against the developer of the 60-megawatt project.

Objections to the encroachment of wind energy installations don’t fit the environmentalists’ narrative. The backlash undermines the claim – often repeated by climate activists such as 350.org founder Bill McKibben and Stanford engineering professor Mark Jacobson – that we can run our entire economy on nothing but energy from the wind and sun. Many of those same activists routinely demonize natural gas and hydraulic fracturing even though the physical footprint of gas production is far smaller than that of wind. Three years ago, the late David J.C. MacKay, then a professor at the University of Cambridge, calculated that wind energy requires about 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site.

house-and-turbines-1
Rural residents are objecting to wind projects to protect their property values and viewsheds. They don’t want to live next door to industrial-scale wind farms. They don’t want to see the red-blinking lights atop the turbines, all night, every night for the rest of their lives. Nor do they want to be subjected to the audible and inaudible noise the turbines produce.

Even in California, which has mandated that 50% of the electricity sold in the state be produced from renewable energy sources by 2030, there is resistance to wind power. In 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban wind turbines in L.A.’s unincorporated areas. At the hearing on the measure, then-Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said the skyscraper-sized turbines “create visual blight … [and] contradict the county’s rural dark skies ordinance.”

In New York, angry fishermen are suing to stop an offshore wind project that could be built in the heart of one of the best squid fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard. Three upstate counties – Erie, Orleans and Niagara – as well as the towns of Yates and Somerset, are fighting a proposed 200-megawatt project that aims to put dozens of turbines on the shores of Lake Ontario. As in California, New York has a “50 by 30” renewable-energy mandate.

Outside the U.S., about 90 towns in Ontario have declared themselves “unwilling hosts” to wind projects.In April 2016, a wind project near Scotland’s famous Loch Ness was rejected by local authorities because of its potential negative effect on tourism. Poland and the German state of Bavaria have effectively banned wind turbines by implementing a rule that allows turbines to be located no closer than 10 times their height to homes or other sensitive areas.

The defeat of the Maryland wind project came as a relief to K. Darlene Park, a resident of Frostburg and the president of Allegany Neighbors & Citizens for Home Owners Rights. “We were up against an army of suits,” she told me. “It’s like a brick has been taken off our shoulders.”Park’s tiny group relied on volunteers and a budget of about $20,000 as it fought the turbines all the way to the state’s public service commission.

Neither the communications director nor the CEO of the American Wind Energy Assn., which spends more than $20 million per year promoting wind power, would comment on the rural opposition to wind turbines. Their refusal isn’t surprising. If the wind lobby – and their myriad allies at the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups – acknowledges turbines’ negative effects on landscapes and rural quality of life, it would subvert their claims that wind energy is truly green.

Just as problematic for the industry’s future: to increase wind-energy production to the levels needed to displace significant quantities of coal, oil and natural gas will require erecting more – and taller – turbines (new models reach to 700 feet). But the more turbines that get installed, and the taller they are, the more nearby residents are likely to object.

Wind energy simply requires too much territory. That means we can’t rely on it for major cuts in emissions. Indeed, the more wind energy encroaches on small towns and suburbs, the more resistance it will face. That resistance will come from homeowners like Park who told me, “We feel this renewable energy push is an attack on rural America.”

Robert Bryce is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author, most recently, of “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong.”

READ AT: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bryce-backlash-against-wind-energy-20170227-story.html

Take Care of the Land.

clinton-county-wind

“Take care of the land, because they aren’t going to make anymore.”

Dear Editor:

Wendell Berry, an American environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer says it best: “The economy of money has infiltrated and subverted the economies of nature, energy and the human spirit.” Berry is an educated farmer who is the sum of what he believes. Government, he believes, should take its sense of reality from the ground beneath our feet and from our connections with our fellow human beings.

Last summer, The Clinton County Planning and Zoning Board held a series of hearings as to whether or not industrial (skyscraper sized) wind turbines be allowed to be built in Clinton County. These hearings presented (under-oath) testimony from expert witnesses from all over the country (and Canada) on both sides of the issue.

One of the topics discussed and testified to in a 6-hour session was the question of property values. I am going to refer to research done and testified to in the hearings by Mike McCann of Mike McCann Appraisers, LLC. Mr. McCann has done decades of studies and appraisals of properties located near wind turbine developments. His studies indicate that losses in value can be up to 40% where turbines are up to 3 miles from homes. He referred to a current study by the Economic Financial Studies School of Business at Clarkson University. The Clarkson study clearly shows value impacts out to three miles…..and clearly shows the closer the turbine, the greater the impact.

I found it most interesting that some of the loss of value happens when communities get “wind” of a turbine project coming to their areas and even greater when the project gets built. The value continues to go down when people hear of pending and increased wind turbine projects coming to their areas or neighboring communities. These can be staggering, in my opinion, and cause a no-growth epidemic in counties with potential wind turbine project growth. I can only guess that is why you see abandoned farms and homes in the middle of turbines.

Lastly, but not surprising, I want to list a small portion of the reasons these will affect your property values. They cannot be disputed.

1. Audible sound and low frequency sound.

2. Health concerns and widely reported adverse effects at sites.

3. Sleep deprivation due to noise and flashing red lights.

4. Aesthetic impact due to introduction of large industrial-scale turbines into immediate neighborhoods, which affects perception of compatibility and view from residential property values.

On the last day of the hearings in Clinton County, over 40 residents got up and gave compelling testimony of their own. I will always remember when Clinton County resident Mindy Masters quoted her dad John Thompson with a phrase he always told her as a young child. “Take care of the land, because they aren’t going to make anymore.”

Leslie Dyer,

Is there a remedy to Industrial Wind Turbines?

Is there a Remedy for People Suffering, Health Issues, Financially, etc. from Industrial Wind Turbines in Ontario ?– approximately 7700 planned for Ontario.

shawn-tricia
Trish & Shawn Drennan

“Congratulations to Trish and Shawn Drennan!”

The Goderich Superior Court Room was filled to capacity when Shawn and Trish Drennan went to Court on January 19th to reverse the negative impact that the 140 Industrial Wind Turbine Project (K2), two transformer stations and several transmission lines have on their family, home and their Heritage Farm operation.

They put a compelling and sensible case together and spoke with passion and the strength of truth behind their words.  One comment was that some felt they were witnessing an important step in this fight.  I heard, from a lawyer,… “that a lawyer could not have done a better job in arguing the case”.  Most felt the judge really got it and it was in no small part because of the time, work, expense and personal sacrifice they both have given to their case to put the facts on the table.

shawn-drennan
Shawn Drennan at home on his farm operation

Shawn, “presented himself”, and told the court that the government has created an impossible barrier when he has to prove “Serious Harm to human health” at an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT), when the turbines have not been installed or in operation yet. The ERT appeals and Divisional Court Hearings occur prior to the IWTs becoming operational. The Divisional Court also confirmed that the ERT’s lack the jurisdiction to determine the validly of section 47.5 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and its constitutionality. In addition, to date, there appears to be no definition for the term “Serious Harm” even after all the ERT’s, Judicial Reviews and Divisional Court cases here in Ontario.

Shawn declared that the many witnesses who have come forward to testify that they have been harmed by turbines all over this province have not been given the gravity and respect they deserve for putting their testimony forward.  Shawn told the hearing that the government and K2 knew the turbines will harm people even before wind project proposals and permits went ahead.  The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) lobbied the government to remove Infra and Low Frequency Sound regulations and testing when the Green Energy Act was written and this requirement was subsequently removed. If Judge Raikes had asked, at least half or more of the people in the court room that day could have stood up and said, “ I am the evidence of harm from Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs).”

Shawn told the hearing that the difference between then, (ERT Hearings prior to operation) and now (May 29 2015), is that now the switch has been turned on, and the IWT’s are operational and we are being harmed.k2-wind-turbine

Judge Raikes challenged K2 and the MOE to tell him what remedy the Drennans have besides more time in court. We all watched them try to answer to no avail, because as was pointed out the only remedy right now is to move away. “Most people do not want to move away to begin with but do so to regain health.  They  are often penalized yet again when they have to lower the sales price to even get the home sold.

kingsbridge-120910
Home with a K2 industrial wind turbine just a few hundred metres away

When Judge Raikes looked at the K2 lawyer, Mr Bredt,  the judge tried to paraphrase what the lawyer had just said to him, “ So, the Drennans went to the ERT and Divisional Court, have complained to MOE, and still have no remedy, so it’s tough luck for them?  Bredt replied, “Yes.” which drew gasps of disbelief from the full gallery of people who attended.

When it came time to argue about who should be named as defendants in the Charter Challenge; K2 and /or govt., it was interesting to watch the judge see both parties try to throw each other under the bus.

Those in attendance are waiting to hear Judge Raikes decision and keep their fingers crossed that Shawn and Trish can move forward in finding a remedy for the harm they have experienced.  This hearing has implications for property owners and people living within at least a 10 km radius of a turbine project here in Ontario.

Thank you, on behalf of a whole lot of us in Ontario.

Dave Hemingway, Reporter, The Landowner

Niagara Wind CLC Meeting #4

enercon-wind-turbine

Tuesday February 7th, 2017 | 6pm
Wellandport Community Centre
5042 Canborough Road
Wellandport, ON L0R 2J0

The purpose of the CLC is to facilitate two-way communication between NRWF and CLC members with respect to issues relating to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the facility. All CLC meetings are open to the general public for observation.

Questions can be submitted in advance up until January 31st to Karla Kolli, CLC Chair and Facilitator at kkolli@dillon.ca or 416-229-4647 ext. 2354.

Ocotillo Wind Turbine 126 Collapse

November 21, 2016  turbine 126 suffered a catastrophic structural collapse as documented in photos shared on Facebook. Ocotillo Wind Energy consists of 112- 2.37 MW Siemens  wind turbines. The project was built on California public lands by Pattern Energy and began commercial operations in 2013.  It is now 3 years and the project continues to demonstrate ongoing structural and operational issues for this ill conceived facility.

The project responded with the following statement:

“Ocotillo Wind

On November 21, 2016, one of the turbines at the Ocotillo Wind facility fell within the designated setback zone surrounding the turbine’s base. No one was injured in the incident. We are working closely with the turbine manufacturer, Siemens, to identify the root cause of the failure and a full investigation is currently underway. Relevant authorities have also been notified.

Our first priority is the safety of our employees, contractors, neighbors and the environment. We are taking this issue very seriously and will communicate more information as it becomes available.

Pattern Energy is proud to be part of the Imperial Valley. Our Ocotillo Wind facility is an investment in the region that is creating many economic benefits, including jobs and substantial growth in the property tax base.

The facility supports local initiatives through the Ocotillo Wind Community Benefits Program, which established the Ocotillo Wind Community Fund, Ocotillo Wind Education Fund and Ocotillo Wind Imperial Valley Fund, and is administered by the Imperial Valley Community Foundation. Sign up here to receive updates about the community benefits program and facility news.

Pattern Energy is focused on being a responsible community partner by respecting the land, its resources and the people of the Imperial Valley. The Ocotillo Wind facility is located on public lands administered by the BLM, with a small portion on lands under the jurisdiction of Imperial County. The permanent footprint is approximately 120 acres, which is less than 1% of the total project area, allowing the overwhelming majority of the project land to be preserved in its natural state and allowing the project infrastructure to be sited in areas that do not directly impact cultural resources.”

READ AT: http://www.ocotillowind.com/

Why Size Matters

why-would-anyone-live-like-thisWhy pro-wind studies often use a 10 km radius

Author:  Salt, Alec | Health, Property values (published 2011)

Last week I was reading of an Australian study, by a Professor Gary Wittert, which had shown sleeping pill usage for those living near wind turbines was no greater than the general population . The study compared those living within 10 km of turbines with those living more than 10 km away. There have been similar studies with property values using a 5 mile or 10 km radius that showed property values are not affected by wind turbines. Had you ever thought why they pick a 10 km radius?

Consider this graphic. It shows 1 km bands with the calculated area for each band shown in blue.

Let’s keep it easy and assume that households are evenly distributed and there is one household for every 10 square kilometers.

So, within 2 km (the two innermost bands) of the turbine, the area is 3.1 + 9.4 km² (=12.5 km²) which would represent 1.2 households.

Now let’s consider the two outermost (9 km and 10 km) bands. The area of these bands is 53.4 + 59.7 km² (=113.1 km²) which represents 11.3 households. So the outermost bands have about TEN TIMES the number of households of those living within 2 km, making sure that the contribution of the inner bands is diluted, swamped, covered up or however else you would describe it.

Or consider if you live within 2 km of a turbine. The outer bands of those living from 2–10 km from the turbine adds up to 301.6 km², which would represent 30.1 households – which is 24 TIMES the number of households within 2 km.

No wonder your voice is being “drowned out”. The bigger the circle, the more “dilution” occurs.

Add this to the list of things where “size matters”, and next time you see a study like this, consider the radius and area that was chosen. The choice of the circle size plays a major role in the result obtained and speaks volumes about the motivation of the author.

by Alec Salt, Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine