Credit: By Erika Doyle | Wicklow Times | Tuesday 23rd January 2018 | wicklowtimes.net ~~
Richard Hobson from Ballycumber is fearful for his children’s future after a huge wind turbine was installed right above his house. Ballycumber Wind Farm consists of six wind turbines near Tinahely in South Wicklow.
Richard says the light flicker and noise levels are the “worst possible things” for his two small boys with autism, one of whom has epilepsy and the other hypersensitivity. He says his story is a warning to others that companies can ‘quietly put plans in place to build crazy things…uncontested and at odds with the local communities’ wishes.”
Richard’s story began some years ago when he bought a run-down property on Ballycumber Lane. He applied to Wicklow County Council for planning permission for a 6 metre house but this was refused on the grounds it was ‘dominant and intrusive or incongruous in the landscape or an area of special amenity value’, something he says he finds particularly galling as “they have now allowed a 50-storey turbine to be built above my head.”
Richard and partner Elaine spent all their savings trying to get planning permission, “I was put through the ringer for reports on my house but Wicklow County Council refused on a “height” of 6m. Then when the banks collapsed, I refurbished the house on my week to week wages.
“My home was sold to a vulture fund who pulled every trick in the book but I fought them. We were just moving out of negative equity and now I see above me six skyscraper industrial turbines of 131m each.” Richard says his home has now been devalued to the tune of 40% and he has been left with no choice but to pursue his legal options.
Partner Elaine is devastated by the turn of events. As full-time carer to sons Sean and Daniel, both of whom have severe health conditions and special needs, Elaine feels the full impact of the turbines on a daily basis.
“The children want to be outside,” she said. “But after being out there for a while and being exposed to the noise, between 30 and 45 decibels, they get very stressed and upset. A lot of the time now I bring them elsewhere to play. It breaks my heart as we moved here to have space. We used to live in a housing estate in the city but it was too busy and dangerous. We thought we would have the space and tranquility of the countryside here. I’m heartbroken that this has happened. We have so many medical appointments with our boys and should be able to retreat into our safe quiet home. People who don’t have children with special needs can’t understand the effect something like this has on them.”
“The natural beauty is now gone”, adds Richard. “The peace and quiet is gone for the next 25 years and my home is now seriously and permanently devalued by a Windfarm company, a government body Coilte and a consortium of business people that live far from me and I guarantee wouldn’t tolerate a wind farm above them. It seems as though County Councils and politicians bend over backwards for big business and laws are only for little people not the big boys.”
Ballycumber Wind Farm consists of six wind turbines near Tinahely in South Wicklow and is owned by a consortium including local businessmen. It was granted planning permission by Wicklow County Council in 2013 and appealed to An Bord Pleanala who upheld the permission.
For the past five years the South Wicklow Wind Action Group (SWWAG), led by Richard More O’Ferrall have fought against the introduction of wind farms to their and other rural areas saying they should be located offshore. Mr More O’Ferrall told Wicklow Times that he was well aware of health issues arising from living in proximity (considered to be within 2km) of a wind turbine. “In many cases people must leave their homes. This is what happened in one case in Cork and the court case resulted in the wind farm admitting liability (a landmark High Court action taken by the Shivnon families against Enervon Wind Farm Services. The family claimed their health had been affected by noise from the turbines and Enervon admitted liability).
Mr More O’Ferrall also referred to a quote from Colette Bonner, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health who said, “There is a consistent cluster of symptoms related to living in close proximity to wind turbines which occurs in a number of people in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines. These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating.”
SWWAG have not given up their battle and say they will work with Mr Hobson while he considers his options.
Source: By Erika Doyle | Wicklow Times | Tuesday 23rd January 2018 | wicklowtimes.net
Gatehouse Media found more than 450 families who have publicly complained about the impacts of living near wind farms. Have a similar experience? Tell your story.
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Credit: Journal Review | Dec., 13, 2017 | www.journalreview.com
I attended a recent meeting in Linden concerning wind turbines and the current county ordinance. I came away saddened by all the conflict over this issue among neighbors and even within families over this issue.
I have always been opposed to county-wide zoning, but wind turbines seem a much worse threat to the county than zoning, since zoning only represents a raid upon our wallets, while wind turbines represent a danger to the health and safety of our neighbors and their children.
I was shocked to learn that our local ordinance allows children to play closer to the turbines than the operating companies allow their employees, except in cases of necessity.
I was saddened to hear allegations that some of our elected officials may have a monetary interest in wind turbines.
The county ordinance requires setbacks from the foundations of homes, rather than property lines. This seems to preclude anyone from building a dwelling on land between a current dwelling and the owner’s property line, which appears to be an unconstitutional taking of land without compensation.
The contracts with wind turbine builders have an allowance for $15,000 for decommissioning each turbine. This is not enough money to even get a crane to begin to take down one of these towers.
To add insult to injury, wind turbines are heavily subsidized by the federal government, because they are not and never will be economical to operate.
Finally, it is an insult to the people that our county commissioners have yet to put wind turbines on the agenda for a commissioners’ meeting.
Frank J. Stewart
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Silverdale Community Hall, 4610 Sixteen Rd. St. Ann’s, ON
Members Election of Board 7:00 pm • Program Start 7:30 pm
• Current Situation, Locally, Provincially & World Wide • Legal actions in Ontario
• What are our Activities? Health study for those thinking of moving.
• Long term exposure and VAD • The Risks – Infra Sound – Stray Current-Water Wells
• 2500 Homes in rural in West Lincoln exposed to IWT’s • Your Questions Answered
WLGWAG • wlwag.com
You are invited!
WLGWAG & MAWTi would like to extend a warm welcome to our goal setting retreat.
Facilitator: Georgina Richardson
Where: Silverdale Community Hal, 4610 Sixteen Rd, St. Ann’s
When: Saturday November 4, 2017 – 10am to 5pm
Topics for discussion:
- What Works. What Has Not.
- Short Term & Long Term Goal Setting.
- Organizing Priorities.
- Action Plans.
Have more you would like to discuss?
Please email Mary Kovacs to add to the discussion list.
Pot Luck Lunch: 12pm – 1pm
Eugene Clune who lives in Ballinvalley shared his family’s trauma and said that if he had the chance now he would approach things very differently.
‘My house is situated 800 metres from an industrial turbine and my four-year-old has slept, maybe two nights since last winter.
‘She would ask us why her granddad is outside on the digger in the middle of the night – because that is what it sounds like,’ he said.
Source: Crouck Substation Action Group
Published July 29, 2017: Independent IE
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.
Here is my write up:
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
Source: Sandy Journalized
Loyalist Township Council Resists Bullying By Algonquin Power
Stella, May 30, 2017
The Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) applauds Loyalist Township Council’s decision to defer approval of Windlectric’s Operations Plan for the Amherst Island wind turbine project. Council resisted pressure from Algonquin Power to approve a Plan that in Windlectric’s own words, anticipates “Structural failure of lsland roads”.
On May 29, 2017, Mr. Jeff Norman, Chief Development Officer for Algonquin Power wrote:
“Due to the differences separating Windlectric and the Township, Windlectric can see no basis on which arbitration can be avoided on some of the issues identified in the Staff Report. Accordingly, Windlectric will have no choice but to commence arbitration proceedings under Part X of the RUA (Roads Use Agreement) if the OP (Operations Plan) is not approved by Council on May 29, 2017.”
APAI congratulates Council for choosing the public interest over Windlectric’s business interests by deferring at its May 29th meeting the Operations Plan pending receipt of:
a. legally supported definition of the extent of the Township’s road allowance, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township;
b. the confirmation that the width and capacity of the Township’s road allowances will support the construction and related detours as outlined in the Operations Plan, to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township; and
c. that the issues noted by G.D. Jewell [Loyalist Township’s engineering consultant] be addressed to the satisfaction of Loyalist Township.
In its submissions to Council, APAI emphasized that:
• the fifth version of Operations Plan finally acknowledged that the lsland roads do not have the load bearing capacity to support the heavy equipment required for the wind turbine project and that structural failure of lsland roads is anticipated in section 2.6 titled “Potential Road Failure”. APAI asserted that it was inconceivable that Windlectric expected Council to approve a Plan that anticipates the total failure of roads on Amherst lsland, putting lives and the environment at risk.
• Windlectric’s Plan also fails to comply with commitments made to the Environmental Review Tribunal as Windlectric now plans to widen all haul routes to 6 m. This is totally contrary to the three minor and temporary widenings on which the ERT based its decision.
• the Operations Plan should be amended to place the onus on
Windlectric to comply with the Renewable Energy Approval Conditions of Approval, all federal, provincial, municipal laws, and commitments made before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
• Windlectric’s Marine Logistics Plan fails to demonstrate how 24 barge trips per day crossing the ferry path can possibly be safe. According to the Operations Plan, two barges carrying fuel, hazardous materials, heavy equipment, turbine parts and personnel will cross the ferry path twenty four times per day from September to April.
APAI’s submission also addressed a long list of significant and very troubling matters including resolution of the important and complex issue of forced roads, the lack of baseline testing of residents’ wells for water quality and rate of flow, and Windlectric’s request for a blanket exemption to the Township Noise Bylaw.
The Amherst Island Wind Project has already caused a major power outage on the lsland, a fuel spill, and a water emergency in Prince Edward County. Consequently, it is reasonable that Council insist on absolute compliance without exception to protect the public and the environment.
APAI commends the expertise, tenacity and due diligence of Township staff and congratulates Council for standing firm in the face of bullying by Algonquin Power until the Operations Plan addresses all outstanding issues.
Contact: Michèle Le Lay
President, Association to Protect Amherst Island
SOURCE (emphasis and links added): Association to Protect Amherst Island
“Windlectric’s proposed haul route on South Shore for heavy equipment, turbine parts and concrete trucks – 10,322 trucks! The scene by Peggie’s house this morning Monday May 29. Windlectric says roads will fail and has finally discovered what Islanders have known all along: Island roads do not have the load bearing capacity for an industrial turbine project.
Be careful out there: South Shore is closed by Bruce and Andrea’s. South Shore to the east is being pounded by waves and the eroded bank may collapse” FaceBook, May 29, 2017 Caption on photos corrected: Road damage shown due to high water levels