End of life for the Pickering wind turbine. Ironically its demise serves as a metaphor for illusions peddled that wind turbines are a viable means for on demand electricity generation. Waiting for the winds to be just right (not too fast or slow, or no wind) turbines fueled by the wind produce out of sync with demand. It is also plagued by generation that is variable and intermittent in nature. Introducing wind powered generation creates increased need for fossil fuels (usually gas) for back- up generation capacity that can be there when needed. Turbines have an eye watering, otitic throbbing 20 years or less operational life cycle.
Later this year, Pickering residents will see a change as they stroll along the Waterfront Trail at Alex Robertson Park. Ontario Power Generation’s wind turbine has reached its end of life and will soon be dismantled.
While the turbine has produced clean, renewable energy for many years, it’s important that we make smart investment decisions that will return good value for Ontario. And because the cost to replace the turbine’s older parts is too high, and leaving the turbine in place but not operating would present a safety concern, we’ve made the decision to move forward with dismantling it.
Did you know?
The turbine has operated for almost 20 years
At full power, it could produce enough energy to power about 330 homes
While located beside the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, it’s actually operated and maintained by our Niagara Operations team
Once work begins it will take about two weeks to dismantle the wind turbine. We’ll publish the date here once it’s been determined.
Just another turbine needing repair. This one is located near Kohler and Rainham Road in Halidmand County. The turbine was constructed only a few years prior, so much for the touted 20 year life expectancy claims. Note how big the structure is in comparison to the size of work vehicles and a person was spotted at top of the structure while crane work was underway. Newer projects have much larger turbines being installed.
Aftermath of giant wind turbine explosion filmed by drone close up
Rumble / Creative Visuals – Giant wind turbines have been springing up on horizons all over North America for the past decade. They have been around much longer than this, but they are becoming more commonplace as we seek an alternative to fossil fuel and nuclear power. Still controversial, these turbines present a viable way for power to be derived from wind, a completely renewable resource with no end. Opponents to wind power are concerned over appearance, health concerns, costs, effects on land value, and the affect on humans and animals that live in close proximity. Those in favor of harnessing wind power point to the obvious problems associated with other power sources. The debate rages on and we have yet to fully investigate both sides of the argument.
Similarly, people stand divided on the aesthetics of giant wind turbines. Some see them as majestic structures that are magnificent to behold. Others see them as an eyesore among the natural features of the landscape. But regardless of one’s opinion, there is no denying that their sheer size and structure is a marvel of engineering and technology. To look up at something that towers more than 400 feet above us, creates a sense of awe and wonder. The cost to erect such a turbine is approximately four million dollars. The blades alone cost almost one million dollars and they weigh a staggering 12,000 pounds. They are made with layers of fiberglass pressed together in a long construction process that requires extreme precision. Yet, these massive blades are designed to spin and generate electricity from wind.
This giant wind turbine was erected almost three years ago between Pontypool and Bethany, two small towns in southern Ontario. They are much like many other wind turbines that have been erected, but there is one big difference here. In April of 2019, one of the blades on this one exploded, sending huge sheets and chunks of fiberglass shrapnel raining down. Other sections hung precariously, fluttering in the wind. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined. A drone was sent up near the tower to film the blade close up, producing this video that gives us a rare and fascinating look at the damaged blade and the pieces that hang from the hub. The wind turbine has been shut down for obvious safety reasons to await repair. The cost to dismantle and replace this turbine will also be staggering.
Ironically, the drone that was filming this disaster experienced an unexplained loss of control and it came in contact with the turbine tower, resulting in it making a high speed descent to the concrete below. The drone was completely smashed in the incident, but the footage that was recorded prior to the crash was recovered.
You are invited to live the life of an experience you will always remember.
You are invited to bring your family, your grandchildren (young children) and your pets to spend an all expense paid week (bring your computers to enable you to continue to work) in the “green” area of industrial wind turbine business contracts.
Experience first hand shadow flicker, low frequency vibration, infrasound, children covering their ears because the noise hurts, computers that work but only when not impacted by turbine activity. Sleeping in the basement is optional.
Enjoy the night sky. Red blinking lights that penetrate your lodging, the backyard and the skies for tens of kilometres in the distance (because turbines are sooooo tall you can see them very very far) is one of the most unnatural scenes at night in rural Ontario. As a preview please watch the video to see the view from the USA over Lake Erie to Ontario. The night sky daily looks like a runway, but it is the shoreline littered with turbines. I hope you enjoy the view.
News 5 Cleveland published on Apr 19, 2017
Taste sediment-filled water which has been approved for consumption and usage. Clean potable water can be purchased for a costly amount.
Experience what so many people in rural Ontario are forced to live with daily.
Experience what will happen to the people of North Stormont when you choose to approve the Nation Rise Wind project knowing the outcome.
Please note you will not be allowed to leave the premises to sleep in your vehicle should the vibrations become unbearable.
You are encouraged to purchase your lodging at a fire-sale price as property values in industrial wind turbine areas are greatly reduced.
We, the impacted people, hope you will enjoy your stay and the experience of what we live with daily. We look forward to your offers of purchase.
Please advise me of dates available before June 1, 2019 and I will make your arrangements.
Following June 1, 2019 there will be a one year waiting period for the construction of the Nation Rise Wind project IF allowed to proceed. Accommodations will be equitable to those presently offered.
Huge turbine threw burning hunks of material 100 metres to the ground
CBC News · Posted: Mar 16, 2019 10:08 AM
A wind turbine in West Pubnico caught fire late Friday afternoon. (Frankie Crowell)
A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.
Firefighters were called to the scene around 5 p.m., but West Pubnico fire department Chief Gordon Amiro said there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.
“We couldn’t get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades,” he said. “So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn’t safe to go nowhere near the tower at all.”
No one was injured.
Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground.
“There was nothing we could do more than watch what was falling down and if the ground was to catch fire, just to put it out on the ground.”
Firefighters say there was nothing they could do to put out the fire on the turbine because it was too high in the air for them to reach. (Frankie Crowell)
Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that’s “almost as big as a school bus” was also seriously damaged.
Firefighters stayed at the scene for about an hour to ensure no one got too close.
Amiro said it’s a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.
“If that would have been August, we’d still be there trying to put wood fire out,” he said Saturday morning.
Firefighters kept people away from the area during the fire due to falling pieces of burning material. (Frankie Crowell)
“The fire problem in wind turbines arises as a result of large amounts of highly flammable materials (hydraulic oil and lubricants, composite materials, insulation, and polymers) contained within the nacelle of the wind turbine and packed in close proximity to potential ignition sources such as overheated mechanical components (hot surfaces) and electrical connections that could fail [8-12].
Once a fire is ignited in a wind turbine, the situation rapidly escalates because the high wind favoured by turbine locations enhances the supply of oxygen and, hence, the fire growth. In over 90% of wind turbine fires reported, a total loss of the wind turbine, or at least, a severe structural failure of the major components (blades, nacelle, mechanical or electrical components) has been reported.
Moreover, even in the case of rapid detection, the fire brigade cannot intervene because of the turbine height[9, 10, 12], and for offshore wind turbines it is impractical to send response teams to fight the fire. Under high wind conditions, burning debris from the turbine may fall on nearby vegetation and start forest fires or cause serious damage to property (see Fig. 4)
The nacelle can house a huge amount of flammable liquids including gearbox oil, transformer oil, hydraulics fluids and other lubricants. For example, in a single 1.5MW wind turbine, up to 900 litres of lubricating oil including cooling and cleaning fluids can be stored inside the nacelle”
On Jan. 12, after a big snow, I was feeding my 83 feeder calves as I’ve done every day since I weaned them in October. I was also sorting out a few as I planned to sell the majority the next week.
It was in the late afternoon and the sun was shining on the snow. All of a sudden the calves stampeded out of the feed lot, hitting the gate, breaking off the corner posts and flattening another fence. By the grace of God I was out of the way or I’d been fatally injured as the stampede was quick and fast. The calves calmed down and came back to eat, but soon stampeded again. This time I noticed the cause. Since the sun is lower in the winter and the wind turbine was just barely turning, a big black shadow from the wind turbine blades was quietly and slowly moving up behind the calves on top of the snow, spooking them. One was killed and two were crippled.
Besides the loss of these three calves, I will have the expense and labor of fixing my fences when the weather is fit. I noticed the same thing happening again with the shadow. Conditions have to be just right – snow on the ground, sun low in the sky, and a light breeze from the southwest slowly turning the turbine blades. Since the calves I had confined in the lot before had been sold, there wasn’t a stampede. In the “Successful Farming” magazine, February 2019, there’s the article, “Ways to Stay Safe While Handling Cattle” by Libby Eiholzer, Specialist. In it is stated, “Cattle also have poor depth perception, which can cause them to be nervous in the dark, around shadows, and skittish of foreign objects.”
I have fed and sorted cattle on this concrete floor for over 50 years and have never had a problem with them stampeding. I had nothing to say about this wind tower causing the problem as it isn’t on my land, but I shouldn’t have to take this loss. I feel this is an injustice to me as I was here long before the wind turbine. I can’t get insurance coverage on my cattle for this type of loss as it is a man-made hazard. I raise cattle on my land without infringing on the rights of others and I believe this should be the same with those who produce energy.
Iowa agriculture has an exemption to county zoning in the Iowa Code (Iowa Code 335.2). Yet a few years ago I was threatened by the Madison County Zoning Commission that I could be fined $750.00 a day. They wrote that I must obtain a county permit, something I didn’t need under the Iowa Code as a farmer erecting a farm shop to be used for farming purposes on a farm zoned for agriculture.
The wind tower southwest of my farm was erected on land zoned only for agriculture and which never has been rezoned. This tower was also erected without notifying me of any hazards it might cause. The stampede as a result of the wind tower shadow could have caused my death or the death of a helper, since it was an unforeseen occurrence. The shadow from the tower blades will be a hazard to me and any future owners of this farm as long as the wind turbine is in its present location.
The only solution that will correct this situation is the removal of the turbine.
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