Paris – The noise of new wind turbines may justify the cancellation of the purchase of a house if the buyer claims it.
The purchaser, faced with this nuisance, may in fact invoke his own misjudgment which has vitiated his consent, especially if he has been preoccupied with the environment before buying, judges the Court of Cassation.
Although no one is at fault, the error of one of the parties leads to a defect in his consent which justifies the handing over of things to their former state, that is to say the reciprocal restitution of the house and its price, Admit the judges.
Since the construction of wind turbines is not a question of town planning, it may not be reported as such to the future purchaser, To inform the city council on urbanism projects, observes the judges.
This future purchaser can not therefore complain that it has not been reported to him. It would have been necessary to ask precisely the question of a project of installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences.
In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisance. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought.
After being awakened for the ump-teenth time by these grinding, screeching, humming, squealing, house vibrating, jet sounding, phone interrupting, television disturbing, internet interfering, shadow flickering, environmental impacting, property value lowering, aesthetic degrading, red-light blaring obtrusive monsters known as Industrial wind turbines, (IWT), thrust upon us without our permission – It is finally time to thank the uninformed, seemingly uncaring, self-serving, publicly elected officials, for having the audacity to vote in favor of a project that they knew so little about that would forever change the lives of so many people that they are supposed to work to protect, all because a smooth tongued, representative from a less than ethical company was able to pull the wool over their eyes by making promises of untold booty with undoubtedly, falsified studies of sound, resident acceptance and environmental impact.
I would hope that these publicly elected officials are realizing how their actions have affected the residents of northeastern Tipton County. Thanks to them, our lives have changed forever, not for the better, but for a lifetime of interruptions and inconveniences, not only in the daytime, but 24-hours a day. This is not an issue that you can spend an hour or two or a day in the area and comprehend the negative impact it is having upon our lives.
You have to be here for extended periods of time because there will be instances that the wind doesn’t blow, yet the humming and screeching will continue as the IWTs search for wind. It was stated that residents would adjust, getting used to these monsters, but alas, this is not happening when you are awakened at two or three a.m. by something that sounds as if it is in your house and upon investigating you find that it is an IWT. It has been suggested that we move, however, finding anyone to purchase our property for the true value it had before the IWTs were present is impossible.
As I realize this letter will serve no purpose to alleviate the situation in Tipton County, I would hope it could inform others of the irritating intrusions of IWTs. These monsters have absolutely no place in a community as populated as Tipton County. Also, I am hoping this will lead elected officials to better investigative procedures before signing on the dotted line.
Although I have not read nor have I seen it, I understand that one of those responsible officials has written some form of apology or regret about their actions. This would show the great character and respect of that person to the citizenry, however, it does nothing to alleviate the intrusions.
On Thursday, June 15, 2017 Niagara Wind held an open house to celebrate the inauguration of its 77 industrial (3MW Enercon) wind turbine project located in West Lincoln, Haldimand and Niagara region. The following is a write up from a member of the community who attended with her impressions and opinions.
For sake of anonymity, I will use false names for anyone I speak of in this write up.
It should be noted that the true inauguration celebration happened at approximately 1pm and as noted in Niagara This Week, all the bigwigs in suits were bused in attendance for this champagne shindig.
“Representatives from Boralex, Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation all defended wind power and their new farm that straddles Haldimand County and the Niagara Region.”
Michael Weidemann, executive vice president of ENERCON Canada standing outside of the company’s recent project in Lowbanks. The Niagara Region Wind Farm is a joint partnership with ENERCON, Boralex and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. – Alexandra Heck/ Metroland – Photo from Niagara This Week.
Here is a local write up from a local media company.
I arrived at the gates of hell, sorry, I mean gates to the property where the event was held on Bird Road, Lowbanks, Ontario shortly after 4pm.
I stopped and talked to Linda from MAWTi for a quick moment before entering the property. Her infant was napping in the stroller and I asked how the 1pm shindig went and we discussed a few things before I carried on. Linda was holding a nice big sign, specific to the design of the Enercon Turbines that infest our rural routes and in many cases, our backyards and as always, she is fierce in her stance against the projects despite the extreme heat, humidity and sun.
So attendees to this event had to drive quite the distance through the agricultural farmed land to the designated parking area by the temporary white tents and out near the turbines. I was greeted by ‘security’ before getting to the parking and tent area. Really? Security? Is this necessary? For some reason, the community attendees were required to purchase a ticket(s) online ($0). Anyways, Mr. Security didn’t ask for my ticket, just told me where to park because ‘its about to get real busy.’
I said ‘Oh ya? Whys that?’
He replied with ‘I just think it’s going to get super busy, people want to come and see these turbines.’ I replied with a bit of a sarcastic tone ‘most of us get to see them every single day, like it or not’ and I put my window up drove to park.
There was one big white tent with tables set up inside, a bar that clearly had the champagne cleared out, but residents were privy to chilled water and pop. Inside the tent situated at one end were the typical large displays with descriptive images of the internal mechanics of the project Enercon E-101 turbines, stats and facts and various pamphlets touting the good of the wind industry. I pretended like I haven’t seen all this before and snapped a picture. Internally I felt like a moron because anyone who is interested in Industrial Wind Turbines for any reason, knows about the guts so I passed on any further photo ops.
I took a pamphlet from CanWea titled, “The Secret Is Out, Wind Is In. Building a stronger, cleaner and affordable energy system.” I grumbled under my breath, ‘Gawd, this shit is thick’ and an elderly man I hadn’t noticed beside me snickered and nodded his head. I winked and quickly scooted away before I felt obligated to engage in conversation.
The pamphlet, if it is to spout the reality of Renewables, should read, The Secret Is Out, Wind Is RAMMED In. Building the most unreliable, intermittent power grid, wiping out ecological systems far and wide, dividing communities, harming humans and creating wide spread energy poverty in Ontario. That is what it should read. The TRUTH.
So then I began my stroll to the other end of the tent. This tent was huge! Obviously there was a need for this large tent to house all the leaseholders, stakeholders and investors and surely it must be challenging to squeeze that much corruption into one tent.
Fred from Boralex noticed me and walked over and we said our courteous hellos. We chatted for a brief few more minutes about this and that, but as usual I was eager to jumped into question mode. There are some mechanics I don’t understand and want to understand better.
I asked ‘are the converters are under the ground?’
Fred replied no they are in the turbines themselves.
Me, not fully understanding how can a converter be INSIDE the turbine did my squinty face and I asked ‘so under the turbine?’
Fred said do you want to go in the turbine I can explain better. Off we went to the turbine. Fred, Roger and myself.
Before I got to the turbine I could hear this high pitch screaming. I knew I was in for it with these triggered ears and head of mine, but in I went because curiosity always gets the better of me. It is so loud with this high pitched frequency that I cannot relate it to anything else I have ever experienced before. It could be like tinnitus in 4D. Anyways, in I went. WOW! Not going to lie, very impressive! (Impressive minus the high pitched screaming that is). We talked for a bit about what was inside and how it all works and fans etc. and guess what. They have an elevator to get to the top. Yup. An elevator.
Don’t quote me on this, but if I understood correctly the high pitched screaming is because they convert from AC to DC then back from DC to AC. It is the switching of something at a very rapid pace that makes the high pitched noise and does the converting inside the converters that really are inside the turbine. So this converting back and forth, as I was told, was the most perfect energy (Hz I believe) wave that is created. Picture a hand moving in a up and down in a perfect wave motion <– as per Fred with Boralex.
As we continued to converse with others joining in on the conversation, an eager graduate who proudly just graduated his 4 year program at Mohawk almost bounced over, blonde trendy hair flopping all over as he runs his hands through it, whips his clipboard out from under his arm, fully armed with his resume and credentials from school and boldly interrupted our conversation. He wanted a job in the wind industry. BADLY. I took the opportunity to move on and Fred continued his conversation with this very eager new graduate.
I made my way back to the tent. I wanted to see what was on the computer screens and to see if there was a presentation. I asked the young lady there, very nice young lady, if there was a presentation put on later. Nope. No presentation, just a slide show of photos of during and after construction of the project. Nothing worth sticking around for.
On my way back to my truck I noticed a GAS generator. Ok, best photo OP of the day. A gas generator used to run the computers for the slide show. The irony was not lost on me.
When I was leaving I saw the eager graduate at his vehicle. I stopped and asked him about his program at Mohawk. I wanted to know if he was serious about Wind and what he knew. He clearly is in over his head. It was shocking to me that after 4 years he hadn’t a clue about the simplest thing, such as The Grid app on a smartphone or a reasonable ‘educated’ response to any questions I asked him. I asked why the wind industry and he said it fascinated him the most. I slide into our conversation that you will not be a very liked person within the communities and could cause conflicts between friend and family.
He said ‘my dad and his friends have already yelled at me several times for it.’ I responded with ‘it isn’t the yelling that should concern you; it is WHY they are yelling. What are they trying telling you? What aren’t you listening too?’
Then I told him Wind Industry will die one day.
He seriously thought I was crazy, I could tell, meanwhile I KNOW he is. ALL the energy needs of the world? Ok, buddy, refund in your education should be first on your list.
I asked ‘do you have a smart phone?’
I asked ‘do you follow any of the grid apps?’ He actually responded with ‘what is that.’ If ever there was a time to smack my forehead in disbelief then would of been an appropriate time.
I asked ‘do you have Google?’
He said ‘yes, I use it.’
I responded with ‘Google wind turbines and do some homework before you settle into the wind industry.’
We talked for a few more minutes and it became more and more obvious to me, and apparent to him that he really didn’t know squat. I suggested he talk to rural route residents on both sides of the fence. Talk to people who are slammed with energy poverty. He inquired on what energy poverty was. Spending 4 years in a renewables program and no idea with energy poverty is. Again I encouraged Google, the local news and worldwide news. We discussed other renewable options ‘taught’ in his 4 year program such as hydro, geothermal and solar. He (reluctantly) admitted the majority of his program focused on solar and wind, because Geothermal and Hydro weren’t our future. Boy would I love to get my hands on that program. He is a young kid, 24 yrs old tops and has no idea that there is a grid app and spent 4 years in the renewable energy program and to boot he PAID for that education. I showed him my app and what was being contributed to the grid live.
Snapshot of my grid app on my phone. It was a pretty remarkable day with West Lincoln NRWF pumping it to the grid. Good thing I didn’t depend on this 230MW, $1 Billion wind farm to use my toaster this particular day. (was not a current day photo)
He looked confused and said ‘OK, thanks for sharing that.’
I strongly urged him ‘seriously do yourself a favor and do as most responsible adults would, research your desired field and look into wind and its many complex problems associated with it.’
He said with so much excitement and enthusiasm, ‘look at these,’ both hands held out, one with a water bottle in it and his blonde hair flopping around in the wind. ‘They are huge and incredibly technical and generate so much energy to your home every day.’
I dropped the f-bomb and said tell your dad he has more yelling to do, I have to go.
I left the scene. Yes, scene. I feel like it wasn’t real and entirely staged. There were maybe 2 dozen tops when I was there. People brought their small children and there was a great mix of people of various ages.
Now, it is time for reflection.
Open house. It is slightly interesting but predictable, that the entire community wasn’t invited to the inauguration. There wasn’t even a great attempt at getting the word out that there was an open house with left over, sun exposed heated gooey cheese, bread and non-alcoholic beverages for the left over community.
If the people I communicate with almost daily didn’t share the info, I wouldn’t of been informed of this event. Which also raises an eyebrow, as I am suppose to be on the list of event notifications with Niagara Region Wind Farm.
There wasn’t even a wee bit of an attempt to ooohhh and ahhhh us with a small guided presentation, touting the benefits of the wind farm, the project completion, what this means for the community, how many jobs they (didn’t) create and so forth. No attempt to dazzle us, the left over community, with a show of any sort. We don’t matter. Clearly.
The designation of this champagne shindig was for those who profit financially. Stakeholders. Upper Management. Leaseholders.
Left out of the 1pm champagne inauguration is all the community members who are forced to live with these monstrous jolly green giants. Our choices revoked, our voices silenced and in too many cases, family units shattered. Our health can be adversely impacted, with families forced from their homes, permanently or to seek temporary relief. All the rate payers for electricity who are forced to subsidize an embellished industry, were left out of this celebration that they felt was appropriate to have in our backyards. All of us were left out of the celebrations.
This was not an accident. This is a Wind Industry, excelling with the support of the Liberal government, decimating rural route Ontario on our dime.
My wounds are salted.
I have been working on this write up for a few days. I was rattled by the photo below. It literally stopped me in my tracks. I stared at it and over the last few days, looked at it several times. It took me some time to actually grasp and process this picture. It became apparent that I needed to acknowledge there are people actually celebrating with champagne around the corner from our once treasured home, while my family and my personal life has been inverted.
This picture right here. This picture brought it full circle for me and flooded my soul with a wave of raw emotions. These people are truly proud, celebrating the very same project that has devastated lives. Destroyed lives. Causing harm to family members and collapsing family units. Is causing physical harm to people. Is causing harm to the environment. Is forcing families from their homes. This project, this celebration, is also a contributor to the highest rates of electricity in North America. Energy poverty is forefront. A top news chart. These projects are costing ratepayers BILLIONS of extra money.
All of these champagne celebrating guests have hijacked my family of our rights to prosper, to enjoy our home and property, our right to health and protection and have subscribed to the removal of our rights, both under the Charter and in the Constitutional Act. This is no small feat. This is no small crime. This is a methodical conquering of the removal of many rights for everyone. You are not exempt from this wind industry corruption because you have your champagne glass in hand. You just haven’t felt the true wrath of your ill informed decisions. Yet here we have my neighbors celebrating with a corrupt industry, champagne filled glasses held high, in honor of all the mayhem forced into many people’s lives.
The ill placement of Industrial Wind Turbines has stolen our future.
Excuse me while I fill a glass with champagne to celebrate.
**Some photos compliments of Niagara News This Week
Seven families which included children in a north Cork village in Ireland launched legal actions back in 2013 against the wind turbine operators for a project adjacent to their homes. The wind plant began operations in 2011 which they claimed caused them adverse health effects mainly due to noise pollution coming from the turbines. The impacts to health were severe enough that several families were forced to abandon their homes seeking relief. In January 2017 Enercon Wind Farm Services Ireland Ltd. admitted to liability leading to the court order to settle the actions for damages.
THE HIGH COURT 2011 No. 9955P Tuesday the 6th day of December 2016
And the Court records that liability has been admitted by the Defendants in the action herein and each action listed in the schedule here-after……
(Bolded for emphasis)
An announcement has been published that settlements have now been reached in the actions before the High Court.
Cork village families settle action against wind turbine operators
By Ann O’Loughlin
14/06/2017 – 12:28:35
A group of families in a north Cork village who sued a wind farm operator claiming the huge turbines adversely affected their health have settled their High Court actions.
The High Court was this morning told the cases involving seven families from the Banteer area had been settled and the cases could be struck out.
The actions were regarded as landmark cases and the High Court had been due to assess damages after liability was admitted in the case several months ago.
The cases against Enercon Windfarm Services Ireland Ltd and Carrigcannon Wind Farm Ltd were taken by the Shivnen family and others including couples, families, and one single occupant.
The seven families from Banteer area claimed they have been severely impacted, particularly through noise pollution, since the turbines began operating in Nov 2011.
In court today, Roland Budd Bl told Mr Justice Tony O’Connor the implementation of the settlement agreements had taken place and the seven actions could be struck out.
No details of the settlement were given in court. The case will be briefly mentioned next month in relation to certain costs. The Banteer action was the first of its kind in the country.
Victoria Day weekend in Canada is a time for picnics and fun with family and friends, for many people.
One set of grandparents living on a farm in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township in Huron County thought that would be fun too, and were looking forward to having their two young granddaughters come and stay for a lovely weekend in the country.
But it was not to be.
Early on the morning of the holiday Monday, the grandmother said, “there was a horrible tonal* noise — whine and whooing that made staying on the second level of our home intolerable.”
Later on that same morning, she said, she had “severe pressure and pain” in her ear.
Then, “Our eight year old granddaughter complained of a ‘sore forehead’.” The child has complained of sore ears at times in the past while visiting her grandparents’ home, but never at any other time.
Outside, the family discovered, the whining and whooing noise was everywhere.
“We had to leave here [our home] with those little girls,” the grandmother said.
“We have no freedom to do as we want in our private surroundings. It makes me weep.”
The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, like so many other families forced to endure the noise and vibration from wind turbines. They live with 11 wind turbines within two kilometres of their home, the closest of which is just over 700 metres from the house.
They filed a complaint with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change District Office, and added this statement:
“You are harming us.”
Ontario Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray recently promised in the Legislature that his staff were responding to such complaints and that they would ensure the rules on noise emissions would be enforced.
Ontario families who did not ask to be exposed to these noise emissions deserve to have the Ministry fulfill its mandate, and protect all citizens from harm.
The Spills Action Line for the MOECC can be reached at 1-800-268-6060 to report excessive wind turbine noise, vibration and shadow flicker. If you call during business hours, you will be referred to the local Business Office. From the website:
You must report a spill if it:
harms or causes material discomfort to any person
injures or damages property or animal life
impairs the quality of the natural environment air, water or land
causes adverse health effects
presents a safety risk
renders property, plant or animal life unfit for use
leads to the loss of enjoyment of the normal use of property
interferes with the normal conduct of business
Pure tones are wave forms that occur at a single frequency. Tonal noise is generated by rotating equipment at a predictable frequency relating to the rotational speed of the shaft and the number of compressor vanes, fan blades, engine pistons, gear teeth, etc.
Sir: Chatham-Kent municipal Corporation continues to make taxpayer funded investments that continue to end in taxpayer liability, when continually given evidence not to.
Municipalities should not be in the investment business. They are hired by taxpayers to prudently manage to create dividends, not to mismanage to create liability. The Bradley Centre, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in net annual losses; the Industrial Park, which accumulated a $20 million total to date loss; the Capital Theatre, having a total provincial and municipal gross loss of about many millions, not the skimpy losses generally reported; Kingston Park with a $2 million overrun in costs; taxpayer funded annual municipal wage and pension payout of about $138M, with only about $146 million in general annual revenues.
If I understood the recent clouded, scattered and incomplete municipal budget correctly, C-K has nearly $40 million in interest payments on such capital projects. Canada-wide, taxpayers are paying about $62 billion and $11 billion annually just to service the debt of Canada and Ontario respectively. All of day-to-day cash of government operations come from the private sector, you and I, but yet, governments continue to financially rape their only source of income by introducing about 120 taxes on everything we do, on every nickel we earn, and continue to make irresponsible and fool hardy investments that never comes out of their pocket book, only ours.
The Provincial Green Energy Act, paving the way for wind turbines, created a 70-per-cent hike in electricity costs, costs consumers an extra $37 billion, and under the Auditors report will cost us an additional $133 billion by 2032.
The auditor’s report confirms for each wind energy job created, three Ontario jobs are lost. The mayor supports wind turbines, and his short sighted thinking makes Chatham-Kent nickels and dimes, while the province is losing billions, whereby billions have to be made up by taxing us more to make up the losses.
Recently, C-K council approved an $8-million investment in wind turbines, cited by the mayor to give us an $11-million profit after 20 years, which will keep taxes down. This thinking is worse than a migraine and mirrors how the province manages tax dollars. More specific to the wind turbine investment. C-K will become “common” shareholders in 15 per cent of a foreign company, meaning if the company dissolves or liquidates or reconstructs itself we as “common” shareholders lose all to preferred stock holders, bond holders, creditors, etc., not to mention if no profits are realized due to provincial or legal intervention. $8 million from reserves invested with compounding interest could give us up to $15M after 20 years without risk. Taking money from reserves means we have to replenish it, either by cashing in bonds, creating higher taxes, reducing infrastructure investment or by other means.
We have reserves for good reason.
If any dividends were realized from the turbine investment taxpayers won’t see a dime nor will any reduction in taxes be apparent. C-K will create a separate corporation, under the Business Corporations Act, RSO- 1990 for this manoeuvre, transferring same to Entegrus, which disallows taxpayers, although it’s all your money, to not know what’s going on, unless Entegrus/Corix wishes you to.
Additionally, Entegrus is courting to grab up to $30 million more from Chatham-Kent taxpayers for future investments with private companies.
Companies like Entegrus are more inclined to use investment income as an indirect way to feed their own wages, pensions, travel, perks and allowances, office upgrades, company vehicles etc., before any benefit is given to the taxpayer.
Furthermore, having Chatham-Kent a wind turbine investor, how the hell can council and our municipality speak against the turbine company respecting any legal action, public safety liability or other?
TV reception in many areas suffers with the installation of industrial wind turbines. The Summerhaven wind (Next Era) project located in Haldimand County as one example responded to multiple complaints about poor TV signals by commissioning a cheeky report in 2014 ( posted online shortly after that project became operational). The conclusions of the hired opinion was that complaining people were ever so pleased and delighted to receive proper direction on how to improve TV reception by not using misaligned and broken antennas. One project operator’s response to reported problems but has it succeeded in redirecting criticism that turbines are to blame or fixed the problem? In 2017 deteriorated TV signals persists as an unresolved issue as demonstrated in the following letter recently published in the local paper.
“I see problems for broadcasters and the wind turbine operators. They are required to work in accordance with the requirements of the federal government. I feel that a petition signed by a number of citizens with their addresses and locations would have a possibility of resolving the situation.”
While removing a recent snowfall from our porch deck, the telephone rang and a volunteer from TV Ontario was asking for their annual donation. I have the highest regard for their TV programs, presence and availability — especially with the conversion from analogue to digital a few years back.
We had over-the-air TV for many years at our location and it has been quite successful with the conversion to digital, with improved picture and sound.
However, with the commissioning of wind turbines, we frequently notice a decline of the TV signal’s strength — resulting in unacceptable audio quality, which in turn, makes the entire TV signal unwatchable. If a satisfactory TV signal strength can be maintained, the process will correct itself and the TV becomes highly desirable.
Canadian TV for the east end of the Niagara peninsula is basically fed from transmitters on the CN Tower in Toronto in a straight line to the various over-the-air antennae, and passes by many wind turbines — and their associated impulse noises — resulting in the aforementioned problems. The principal TV transmitters are CBC, CTV, TVO and Global, as well as several smaller stations.
The wind turbine operation and TV system may be a question of co-ordination between the turbine power generator and associated electrical demand, as well as the population’s desire for TV — both for necessity and enjoyment.
Satellites in the upper stratosphere can be used whereby signals from the transmitter — CN Tower — can be reflected off to be received at a customer’s home, thereby obviating the wind turbine problem. However, this results in a cost for installation and ongoing rental of equipment.
To my TV Ontario fund requester, I felt I had to explain that they were a worthy charity that does a superb job, but I would not want to spend the funds and be unable to enjoy the fruits of their effort. Due to the havoc caused by wind turbines, I therefore declined their request until signal improvements can be made.
I see problems for broadcasters and the wind turbine operators. They are required to work in accordance with the requirements of the federal government. I feel that a petition signed by a number of citizens with their addresses and locations would have a possibility of resolving the situation.
We have put together this petition and have over 70 signatures at present. We feel we need more and request readers of the The Sachem to endorse this petition.
Hopefully this can provide Haldimand with better television reception.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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 Air
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.
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.
My 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….
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.