It’s was the long weekend and a statutory holiday in Ontario, yet crews were out working on a tied down turbine in Haldimand County. Never ending. It is always something with these intrusive monster machines.
The number-one challenge of our times is to separate the wheat from the chaff. To assist in this task, we are blessed with more information than ever before – but we are also simultaneously burdened with more misinformation than any prior generation has ever had to deal with. We look back and wonder how trusting citizens were so easily victimized by snake oil salesmen, but today, in the golden age of cons, we are being duped on a daily basis.
As a representative matter (and a national issue of great significance), let’s look at what’s happening with industrial wind energy.
The primary reason why wind energy has been a success has nothing to do with wind energy! Instead, its success is 100% due to the fact that wind energy proponents are masterful lobbyists. If one reads The Business of America Is Lobbying, it’s apparent that the wind industry has used every trick in the book, and then written some of its own.
For example: Wind lobbyists have successfully infiltrated our language with totally inaccurate and misleading terminology, such as “wind farms” and “clean energy.” Neither exists.
For example: Wind marketers have successfully portrayed their product as “Free, Clean, and Green” – despite it being none of those. The reason they have coined these malapropisms is simple: those who control the words control the narrative.
For example: Wind salespeople have successfully convinced financially distressed communities that hosting a wind project will be a economic windfall – even though numerous studies from independent experts indicate that the net local economic impact could well be negative.
For example: Wind-peddlers have successfully sold technically challenged local representatives that the wind-developer is their friend and business partner – even though these sophisticated and aggressive entrepreneurs typically look at these rural people as rubes and marks, and their number-one focus is to make as much money as possible, at the rubes’ expense.
For example: Wind developers have successfully persuaded much of the public that wind energy is an inevitable matter, so fighting it is a lost cause. The reality is that in many cases, local communities can effectively defend themselves by simply passing a proper wind ordinance.
For example: Wind-supporters have successfully imparted the belief that a certain wind project will power 20,000 homes – even though that project will not actually power a single home 24/7/365.
For example: Wind advocates employ a sleight-of-hand tactic to dismiss noise complaints by claiming that “wind turbines don’t make any more noise than a refrigerator.” The fact is that the main acoustical concern with wind turbines is the infrasound generated (which is below our level of hearing). So discussing the audible part of turbine noise purposefully distracts from the serious inaudible (but still very much experienced) noise issue.
For example: Wind propagandists say that wind energy is saving the environment – even though the evidence indicates that it is environmentally destructive on multiple fronts.
For example: Wind-promoters have successfully conveyed the idea that wind energy is a low-cost option of electricity – even though when all its costs are fully accounted for, wind energy can be three to five times as expensive as traditional electricity sources.
For example: Wind advocates have successfully communicated the notion that using more wind will directly result in the closure of coal plants – even though 10,000 wind turbines could never equal the performance of even a single coal facility.
For example: Wind-boosters have successfully disseminated the impression that wind is a major and essential contributor to preventing climate change – even though there is no empirical scientific proof that wind energy saves any consequential CO2.
For example: Wind champions have successfully relayed the conviction that the DoD Clearinghouse assures us that wind projects will not adversely affect the mission or operational readiness of our military or our national security – even though the DoD Clearinghouse was set up to accommodate wind energy (not the military), and the actual process is much more about promoting political correctness than protecting our national defense.
I could go on and on, as the list of wind lobbyists’ deceptions is distressingly long. That said, there is an additional major falsehood that needs to be exposed: that there is such a thing as wind energy by itself. This seemingly innocuous deceit is actually extraordinarily important.
The fact is that there is no such animal on the grid as wind energy by itself. What actually typically exists is a “Wind+Gas” package. This is mandated by the inescapable reality of wind energy’s unrelentingly unpredictable and uncontrollable output. No conventional source of electrical energy has these characteristics, so none need this special augmentation.
The importance of understanding this reality is that when we are talking about wind energy economics or environmental consequences, the only truthful analysis is objectively and comprehensively looking at the results of the Wind+Gas package.*
For example, it should be apparent that wind energy (i.e., the Wind+Gas package) is not a CO2 zero-emitter. In fact, due to other technicalities (never acknowledged by wind lobbyists) some studies have concluded that gas (combined cycle) by itself produces less CO2 than the Wind+Gas package.
Let me restate that extraordinary finding: gas can produce less CO2 than wind energy does!
Is the success of wind energy due to the sophistication of the con artists they’ve engaged or to our gullibility? In either case, the takeaway is that lobbyists are not reliable sources of information, especially when it involves significant money, our health, or our national security. The bottom line is that wind energy is palliative pabulum, not suitable for prime time.
Welcome everyone, special welcome to our MPP Todd Smith, Acting Mayor Dianne O’Brien and Councillor Steve Ferguson.
I am giving an update on what is happened in Ontario regarding turbines in the last year. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – not always in that order. Good Slide 3
In 2017, the media has been more outspoken about adverse impacts of turbines e.g.,
Two major networks, Global News and Radio-Canada, carried multi-part investigative reports this past year. The three-part Global News feature spurred questions in the Legislature and forced the then-minister to act on noise complaints for several Huron County families.
Fraser Inst. Publication Mid- April. They published Understanding the Changes in Ontario’s Electricity Markets and Their Effects criticized the GEA, speaking to it causing high energy costs, losing manufacturing jobs, and not improving the environment.
Auditor General criticized Liberal accounting practices re energy costs, fair energy plan; it was well covered in major newspapers
Noise from turbines consists of audible and low frequency noise/ infrsound –these affect brain waves but may be inaudible.
A team at University of Waterloo has created a special chamber in which infrasound can be produced, in the hopes that health researchers can determine unequivocally effects of infrasound at levels produced by turbines on people.
Australian Court (similar to our ERT) linked wind turbine generated LFN and infrasound noise with possible diseases including hypertension and cardiovascular disease, possibly mediated in part by disturbed sleep and/or psychological stress/distress – it found an established association between annoyance (used as a medical term) and some diseases that result from prolonged stress. They say effects of LFN include motion-sickness-like symptoms, vertigo, and tinnitus -like symptoms.
It was also established that the current method adopted by windfarms to measure noise (including in Canada) — the dB(A) scale, is not suitable for the task, as it does not measure the lower frequency range. The dB(A) scale averages out the sound levels, masking the highest levels and rate of change of noise that could be causing harmful health side-effects.
This is consistent with what the UK noise association said in 2006. 12 years ago.
MOECC still will not address infrasound. Slide 5
The Environmental Commissioner’s office wrote a report criticizing the government for approving 100% of turbine company permits to kill harm and harass endangered species. Slide 6
But – BAD they followed that up with one that makes superficial and false statements on the health impacts of wind turbines. She says there is no link between wind turbine noise and health effects — based on ERT conclusions. She does not say that it is next to impossible to win an ERT appeal on health. She said that noise impacts are controlled through setbacks and noise limits in the REAs.
What of the over 4500 records of health/noise complaints filed by people living near turbines in Ontario with the government since 2006? And the out-of-compliance turbines. This is important as if the local turbines are built, they may not be noise compliant. Slide 7 Bad-Turbines have been out of noise compliance with poor-to-totally lacking government response:
Port Elgin has one (Unifor) turbine – and have been complaining for years about the noise. Finally MOECC said that noise testing did show that it was out of compliance. A noise abatement protocol has to be put in place. The engineering report was filed with the MOECC in January, and then to the wrong Municipality in March – and finally to those affected. There is to be repeat testing in June–if it is out of compliance again -then what? Unknown.
Complaints regarding the Huron-Bruce Turbines in K2 Wind power project led to noise testing a year ago. Turbines were found to be out of compliance with Ontario regulations (April 2017). Since then, MOECC has done nothing.
Kincardine area has made multiple noise complaints over years, have been told testing is ongoing, but somehow, the tests are never completed, and the problem continues. In December they were told by MOECC that nothing was being done. And MOECC will not respond to complaints during an audit. The audit process started in December 2011 and is still not complete.
Last summer, a Brinston area resident wrote to Minister Murray about the complete lack of response to her reports of excessive noise (she has had to sleep in her basement on occasion because of the noise and vibration). An officer telephoned her and said:
Ministry staff were completely unprepared for wind turbine noise complaints.
They still don’t really know what to do.
They “lost” her records — even though she had so many reports that the MOECC actually installed equipment and did noise measurement for several days.
Last, it was too bad they lost everything pertaining to her situation and reports but it didn’t really matter, she was told because “You’re the only one complaining.”
With thousands of noise complaints recorded with the government unresolved, MOECC still refuse to acknowledge the problem, and refuses to look for causes.
Good: The MOECC finally admitted previous guidelines resulted in underestimating the noise at nearby homes – the modelling used to predict these impacts was wrong.
Last April 21, MOECC released a new protocol intended for “assessing noise from wind turbines that have already been built. It is used by industry and ministry staff to monitor compliance.” And compliance documents are to be publically available.
The result of non-compliance is: 1 – Remodel turbines; 2 – conduct a receptor audit at worst affected receptor from that turbine –or mitigation is required
Slide 9 Bad: However:
Still no recognition of low frequency noise. And, it hasn’t resulted in any effective changes.
Still – when WCO complained about the lack of response regarding noise and lack of a posted compliance report, they were told that the report cannot be posted as the turbine company’s documents are incomplete. (The turbines had been running for 3 years)
Although the government knows the modeling done by wind companies is wrong, they are allowing 5 new large-scale wind projects to follow the old guidelines. If they followed the new guidelines, about 3/4 of these turbines would have to be relocated or removed as they are predicted to be out of compliance with the new noise guidelines. At one project 11 of 12 would be out of compliance.
So in January, 5 affected communities filed a JR application against MOECC as surely, Ontario regulations and directives that limit the amount of noise any residence in the province should have to be followed. The claim is – transition provisions were put in place by the ministry to allow those wind turbine companies to use the old regulations without having to provide evidence that they were unable to comply with the new noise modelling guidelines (Dutton Dunwich, North Stormont, La Nation, and Wallaceburg)
Slide 12 Brilliant:
Wind Concerns Ontario taking Minister Murray to court May 18 for violating the Environmental Protection Act for permitting noise that causes adverse health events. According to WCO Access to information requests, of 4500 complaints noise/sleeplessness and other health-related effects received, few were followed up – only ~7% in 2015-16.
Slide 13 Ugly
In SW Ontario, in an area with sedimentary rock similar to that here, during and after IWT construction, well contamination has been reported – such that some wells are completely clogged, some failed simultaneously from pile-driving during construction. Some have not used their well for 4 years.
Before and after tests sent to Laboratories in Michigan show an exponential increase [in] turbidity among the affected wells, including [a] large proportion that can be attributed to black shale particles that are known to contain heavy metals, including uranium, arsenic and lead.
An ERT had warned that water wells in that area could be damaged.
A professional geologist said: the relationship between the installation of wind turbines and the contamination of wells is obvious. When you have a [pure] water source for years and [transforms] a few days after the construction of an industrial facility. You do not have to be a genius to see that there is a link of cause and effect.
He had agreement from geoscientist and geological engineer.
The project’s owner claims it has nothing to do with the problem.
MOECC’s response — While there’s been an admission that wells have indeed been contaminated, contamination can only be attributed to “unidentified factors.” They maintain that pile-driving activities associated with wind turbine development are not to blame. This conclusion was based on evaluations prepared by the power developer’s consultant.
MOECC say that you should only test your water for bacteria.
Quinte Region Proposed Source Protection Plan Version 8.1 Aug 2012: Section 2.4: “Due to the shallow soil conditions, the entire Quinte area was identified and mapped as a highly vulnerable aquifer. This designation was a direct result of the ease with which a contaminant can move into the underlying fractured bedrock aquifer.”
In 2017 alone, reported in the media:
181 accidents.* Note that there is massive underreporting. RenewableUK confirmed that of 1500 wind turbine accidents and incidents in the UK alone between 2006 and 2011, only 9% are on the global report. So there may have been more like 1800 accidents.
But it gives information on a cross-section of accidents: –
Of the 181, there were 17 fatal accidents, 13 injury accidents, 16 blade failure (blade or partial blade throws, travelling up to 1 mile), 24 fires, 14 structural failures (storm damage, tower collapse), 19 transport – related (biggest cause of public injury/fatalities, e.g. ram through a house, turbine parts falling off).
Turbine collapse in Chatham-Kent January
And in Germany, bits of blade travelled over 500 m –yes, the distance to neighbouring houses by Ontario regulations.
Slide 16 CONCLUSION
MOECC, MNRF – Apparently – still blind, deaf and dumb regarding turbine effects and violations
All rules and regulations can be broken for the precious GEA
Compliance is only met only if citizens fight (and pay) for it
Feds (Health Canada, Environment Canada) – no better
High winds raced bucking and veering across Ontario and lead to high wind warnings. A wind turbine blade failure was reported in Huron County. The trailing edge of the turbine blade was seen detaching itself when the alert was raised. The wind project was built in 2002 consisting of 5 Vestas V80.
The failure happened during high winds experienced on May 4, 2018. Local wind speed monitor at the location (about 10 km west of the failure site) showed a maximum of 27 m/sec at 7 metres elevation.
Wiarton weather station showed 10 metre wind speed max as SW 53 km/hr, gusting to 82 km/hr (23 metres per second)
Goderich weather station showed 10 metre wind speed max as 51 km/hr, gusting to 78 km / hr (22 metres per second)
Adjacent roadway to the turbine was reported as closed. It was not clear if any pieces of the blade were on ground at the time the photos below were taken.
The turbine in Raleigh Township, near the corner of Drake Road and the 16th Line, collapsed on itself Friday.
“As we were getting closer you could see in the distance that it was snapped in half .. it’s actually one of those ‘Oh my goodness [moments],” said Chatham-Kent Ward 2 councillor Karen Herman. “I was so surprised to see something like this. The blade is wrapped around the bottom of it and the engine is on the ground.”
No injuries reported
The Turbine is owned by TerraForm Power. The company confirmed one of its turbines collapsed Friday and that crews are investigating the cause.
“The issue did not cause any injuries or impact to the broader community,” wrote spokesperson Chad Reed in a statement emailed to CBC News.
Chatham-Kent’s Fire and Paramedic Chief Bob Crawford said the turbine has been disconnected from the grid.
“With safety being a priority, workers are currently putting up safety fencing around the broken turbine and Chatham-Kent Police are also present,” he added.
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton shared a photo of the mangled turbine on Twitter and used it as an opportunity to renew calls to stop two upcoming wind projects in the area.
“The Liberal government should put a halt to the Otter Creek and North Kent projects immediately, put a moratorium on them so we can look into the safety issues of turbines,” he explained.
Minister of Environment & Climate Change, @ChrisBallardMPP: 17 families in Chatham-Kent cannot drink their well water and today, this from one of your local wind turbine projects. I again call for an immediate moratorium on North Kent & Otter Creek wind projects. #onpoli#ckontpic.twitter.com/AEXsXmDwld
A recent Rutland Herald editorial, entitled “Powering up,” concluded that we need to move with urgency toward the renewable power of the future. While that is correct, the editorial goes on to complain that “old ways” of thinking dominate the discussion in Vermont. At issue: the editorial then proceeds to propose “old ways” to move us forward.
When it comes to energy development in Vermont, the industrial wind industry leads the “old way” pack. Wind operators and developers have been living off federal subsidies since the early 1990s and have been wreaking havoc in Vermont for just as long. It’s time to boot them out of the state and employ creative Vermontsized energy solutions.
The editorial employs the “old way” strawman tactic when citing the arguments of industrial wind opponents. Legitimate concerns of Vermonters are minimized when the only argument acknowledged against ridgeline destruction is to mock “the exquisite timidity of those who grieve over birds killed by wind turbines.” It’s a cheap shot that does nothing to advance the conversation.
We should instead be talking about the entire range of problems industrial wind development brings to Vermont: mountaintop dynamiting, destruction of intact eco-systems, stormwater runoff, habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, noise and health impacts to neighbors and wildlife, safety risks, community division, aesthetic degradation, tourism, property devaluation, and, yes, impacts on birds, bats, and even bears.
We should also talk about what does and doesn’t work. As environmentalist Suzanna Jones recently told us, “Despite the platitudes of its corporate and government backers, industrial wind has not reduced Vermont’s carbon emissions. Its intermittent nature makes it dependent on gas-fired power plants that inefficiently ramp up and down with the vicissitudes of the wind. Worse, it has been exposed as a renewable energy credit shell game that disguises and enables the burning of fossil fuels elsewhere.”
The editorial expresses concern about mass extinction facing numerous species around the globe. Bravo! Then let’s protect the ecosystems that will enable those species to migrate, adapt and survive and abandon the “old way” of thinking that allows our ridgelines and forest habitat to be destroyed by energy developers and their energy sprawl. As wildlife biologist Sue Morse tells us: “New England’s ridgelines will play an increasing and integral role as global climate change forces countless species of plant and animals to seek new habitats in which to adapt and survive.”
The editorial call for an improved large-scale infrastructure capable of transmitting intermittent power from remote, industrial-scale wind plants is another “old way” solution; rural areas are sacrificed to enable our unsustainable wastefulness. Treasured areas like the former Champion Lands, once valued for their ecological significance, become collateral damage. Large-scale transmission from rural to urban areas is a misguided “old way” use of our resources.
There is both wind and sun in our urban areas (Lake Champlain Wind Park, www.champlainwindpark.com) anyone?). We should be supporting renewable development in already-developed areas while protecting undeveloped areas.
We should also be emphasizing community scale generation facilities sited in the communities that they serve. This would reduce energy loss over lengthy transmission lines, improve system reliability, and preserve our vital wildlife habitat. This is the Vermont-scale approach that is in tune with Vermont values.
Some view turbines on distant ridgelines as a visible sign of our commitment to climate action. They’re wrong. A closer look shows that those turbines are exacerbating the very climate impacts that we wish to avoid. Industrial wind plants are putting money in the pockets of investors, developers and a few landowners, but they’re not addressing the very real and pressing problem of climate change.
The industrial wind lobby is fond of saying say we need to make sacrifices. We do. But where those sacrifices come from, whether or not they’re effective and, most certainly, who profits and who loses from them should shape our solutions. We need to change the way we live, we need to stop being so wasteful, and we need to support solutions that actually work. We need to invest in unsexy work of weatherization, efficiency and demand reduction. We should support renewable development in already-developed areas and prevent new development in resource rich areas. We should be focusing on the least destructive renewable technologies and develop microgrids around community scale generation.
Yes, we need to sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing our natural resources. It means changing the way we live and protecting the earth. All of it.
Noreen Hession is a retired engineer, community organizer and environmental activist who lives in the Northeast Kingdom.
Residents, visitors and sensitive passerby, your daily life will be gravely impacted by the proposed 170 to 198 Industrial Wind Turbines 24/7 constant blinking, constant shadow flicker, constant noise, constant vibrations, constant electro-magnetic energy emissions because your body reacts to the overstimulation. You do not choose to react. The miraculous body has an autonomic reflex similar to the knee jerk response. The body PCO2 Respiratory Reflex becomes affected.
The Pre-Construction Analysis provides evidence this specific Palo Alto?County Industrial Wind Project will affect our health. Removing any doubt. Sadly, you will be robbed of health.
The PCO2 Response Reflex in humans means automatically your body processes react to exposure. You have excessive CO2 and the brain and lungs hyper-ventilate. The autonomic nervous system reflex becomes affected leading to brain lesions over time in the brain stem. The adverse evolutionary problem affecting respiratory control has been studied since the 1980’s through brain MRI.
Since 1988, Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira from Lusofona University, Portugal has been studying and clinically caring for patients who reside in close proximity to Industrial Wind Turbines from around the globe. The same causative link are found in in patients living in Industrial Wind Turbine Projects in Japan, Finland, Spain, New Zealand, Russia, China, Canada, US; wherever.
Unfortunately, wind does not stay on the private property line. Acoustical trespassing of harmful emissions intrudes upon anyone in electro-magnetic energy wave. Concerned citizens, I care about your health, feel free to contact me for more information.
Dr. Alves-Pereira presented these findings to the Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission on?October 19, 2017 and I shared them with the Board of Supervisors prior to their vote on 10/24/2017. Shockingly, none of the Supervisors read the pre-construction evidence presented on this project.