Category Archives: Turbines & Property Devalue

Wind Power is an attack on Rural America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Port Ryerse Wind CLC #4 Meeting

Do you hear the wind turbine noise?

How are you affected by the noise?

Are you concerned about the noise in the summer months when our windows will be open?

Please come to the Community Meeting next Wednesday, February 15th.

We are looking for solutions to the noise levels.

We need “them” to understand that we are concerned so bodies are needed to support our concerns

If you have been filling out the Boralex Noise Complaint form please bring that along as well.

Hope to see you there!

snowy-owl
This is the project where the nesting Barn Owls (& Eagles) along with the human residents were denied protection.

Wednesday February 15th, 2017 | 6pm
Simcoe Recreation Centre (Norfolk Room) 182 South Drive, Simcoe, ON N3Y 1G5

The purpose of the CLC is to facilitate two-way communication between Boralex and CLC members with respect to issues relating to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the facility. All CLC meetings are open to the general public for observation. Questions can be submitted in advance up until February 8th to Karla Kolli, CLC Chair and Facilitator at kkolli@dillon.ca or by phone at 416-229-4647 ext. 2354. For more information about the project please visit the website at: http://www.boralex.com/projects/portryerse

 

Residents already tapped Out

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Transmission poles for Niagara Wind in West Lincoln, Ontario

Grimsby Lincoln News   Re. An investment in the future, Letter, Jan. 10:

I disagree with the mayor about the future of West Lincoln.

Our council has taken on a project estimated to cost $23.6 million with no firm plan except that they have set their sights on achieving a new arena and recreation complex before the next election.

In 2015, council turned down a proposal for a $14-million complex because funding was not complete, and now they have plans for a $23.6-million complex and still have no funding in place, no business plan, and no estimate of operating expenses. They have, however, decided to place all funds they anticipate receiving from the wind projects: the Community Impact Fund, the Road Use Agreement, and the funds equal to the replacement of the 7,000 trees removed by the wind company, into the project.

Council also brags about the 3.5 per cent tax increase to the 2017 budget as the final increase when they are actually planning a 13.6 per cent increase phased in over three years.

Now they are asking this community to start fundraising. Many of us have spent thousands of our own dollars (and thousands of hours of our time) on just attempting to keep the wind company compliant with no help from this township. Residents of West Lincoln have had to put their own funds into purchasing noise monitoring equipment, with no support from our council. Our council never done anything to help the residents of West Lincoln, except to sign the documents allowing them to collect the bribe money from the project.

West Lincoln in 2017 has 49 industrial wind turbines, miles of transmission lines, guard rails and utility poles, and families facing problems with water quality, noise, shadow flicker, sleeplessness, health issues and stress.

I expect to see more and more issues with the wind projects in the future and huge tax increases for years to come just to maintain this recreational complex.

Nellie DeHaan, Smithville

Published January 17, 2017

Electricity Costs Kills Belgium Hall

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You Wynne We Lose. Sign outside Delhi Belgium Hall

Electricity Costs bring down Delhi Community Hall

It is claimed wind projects bring many economic benefits in a green economy to society but in reality they are killing the economic viability for many community groups. Expensive renewable energy contracts are a driving force pointed at as responsible for escalating the costs of electricity beyond sustainability.  Green ideology tearing apart the binding fabric of our communities one after another and another.

Club gives tip of the hat to Premier Wynne

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer Thursday, December 29, 2016 6:15:22 EST PM

There will be no more banquets, wedding receptions, concerts, trade shows or public meetings at the Delhi Belgian Hall for the foreseeable future.

However, the Shields & Friends Lounge in the lower level of the sprawling complex will continue receiving patrons and serving drinks into 2017.

That according to the bar’s manager Kim Starling. Starling was hired in October soon after the Belgian Club announced it was pondering its future in the face of punishing utility bills and declining rentals.

In late October, the club executive announced that its financial problems were insurmountable and that the historic property would be sold.

They weren’t bluffing. Today, a sign is posted out front advertising the 30,000-square-foot building for sale. The asking price, according to the realtor’s website, is $899,000.

There is also a second sign out front expressing the club’s bitterness over skyrocketing electricity prices and what that has done to the hall’s viability as a community centre.

The sign says: “Hydro One 2016: $49,559. You Wynne, We Lose.”

Some of the hall’s monthly hydro bills this year were as high as $5,700. Even with 1,200 members, the club concluded it can’t go on carrying a burden like this.

The timing of the hydro whammy is especially unfortunate. The hall’s heating-ventilation-air conditioning system needs to be replaced. The building’s electrical system also needs updating.

If the club finds a buyer, Starling hopes the hall can continue forward in its current format.

“That would be nice,” she said Friday. “That’s how I’d like it to be. I’d hate to see the building go.”

In its promotional literature, realtor CBRE Ltd. of London says the 1.78-acre package has a lot of potential uses.

CBRE notes that 360 James Street has a service commercial zoning. In Norfolk County, this allows for a wide range of commercial applications.

The property, CBRE adds, comes with a “large lot with plenty of excess land for parking or further development.”

The Belgian Hall was founded in 1948 as a meeting place for the wave of Belgian families that settled in this part of southern Ontario after the Second World War. The hall earned a reputation in southern Ontario in the 1970s as a premier showcase for up-and-coming rock bands.

Acts that performed at the Belgian Hall include Ronnie Hawkins, Rush, Lighthouse, The Stampeders, April Wine, Max Webster, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

READ AT: http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2016/12/29/club-gives-tip-of-the-hat-to-premier-wynne

Landmark Ruling on Wind Turbine Dispute

DSCN0397.JPGWho owns a wind turbine?

It bears repeating that if you are a land owner who has wind facility infrastructure placed on your property  to seek experienced legal advice in regards to the implications and liabilities of being involved in a wind project.  Take time to review the current title on your property and don’t be surprised to find debentures (totaling in the sum of tens of millions of dollars) and other instruments attached as is the case for many properties hosting projects located in southern Ontario.

In a recent dispute in Illinois a landmark court decision was issued involving a lien placed by a contractor seeking to recover unpaid sums for construction work  done for the Clipper Windpower project.  The owners Postensa Wind Structures USA declared bankruptcy in 2013.

“According to John Kreucher, an attorney with Howard & Howard, this is the nation’s first case that considered whether commercial-scale wind turbines should be deemed personal property or fixtures in a lien dispute. Kreucher also says the importance of the ruling goes beyond the legal filing.”

READ MORE AT: http://nawindpower.com/court-makes-landmark-ruling-on-illinois-wind-turbine-dispute

READ COURT DECISION HERE:

Boiling Point Reached Over Testing Delays On Port Elgin Wind Turbine

Continued delays of acoustic testing of the Unifor wind turbine in Port Elgin has Saugeen Shores council sounding off.

Council is filing a complaint with Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube regarding the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s promised testing of the turbine, which has not yet been completed.

Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau says the MOECC originally told council they would have the acoustic audit completed by June of this year, but adds it has been delayed at least three times since then, with the Ministry now saying the audit won’t be completed until at least next summer.

He says a sound testing company has been conducting preliminary data in the area of the turbine, which is located at Unifor’s Family Education Centre at the south end of Port Elgin, although that data has not been shared with either the MOECC or the municipality.

“We don’t know what the results of those tests have been, we have no audit, [MOECC] doesn’t know, so what’s going on?   It’s really simple to me, we need to know if this turbine is operating in compliance with the law,” says Charbonneau.

Charbonneau says the MOECC is blaming weather, a lack of wind and turbine down-time as the reasons for the testing delays.

Charbonneau’s home is one of more than 100 homes and cottages located within the 550-metre setback typically required for industrial wind turbines, though he says his family has not had any issues with the operation of the turbine, other than one complaint regarding shadow flicker, which was resolved.

Charbonneau says more than 50 complaints regarding the turbine’s operation have been received since February, most recently two weeks ago when a resident complained of the turbine making a thumping noise.

The 250-foot Unifor wind turbine was constructed by what was then the Canadian Auto Workers Union in 2012 and went into service a year later.

READ AT: http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2016/10/13/boiling-point-reached-testing-delays-port-elgin-wind-turbine/

Random Niagara Wind- A Lousy Neighbour

What are they thinking?  Look at the following pictures of the guardrails being installed in West Lincoln for the Niagara Wind project to protect their hydro poles.  They are taken as if viewed while driving north from Smithville and show the random and lack of a consistent pattern in guardrail installation at various locations:

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Some guardrails are many feet past the hydro poles and some are

even shorter…

 

 

Coming into the bend…

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In the middle of the bend…3

 

 

 

 

 

In front of the neighbour’s house…4

Coming out of the turn! Come winter this could be a real danger! People coming out of the turn could slam right into this mess…5

 

 

 

 

This picture is heading south …6

Final photo of today’s drive- The section of guardrail doesn’t even cover the  hydro pole!

(but it sure does”enhance” the value of the neighbour’s frontage)

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Wind projects make lousy neighbours.

Rural action plan calls for windfarm compensation for homeowners

Homeowners who think the price of their house would be hit by a nearby windfarm development should be able to claim compensation, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The party will launch a comprehensive rural action plan on Monday at a major rural showcase in Stirling.

The strategy will cover a range of issues confronting rural Scotland, and was devised after the Scottish Government made clear its only focus was on land reform.

As part of the proposals, the Scottish Conservatives have called for a valuation system to be set up allowing people to recover the lost market value on homes affected by new windfarms.

Many communities across the country have complained that large turbines looming over their towns and villages have made the area less appealing to live, therefore reducing the price of their properties.

The party is asking the Scottish Government to look at a similar model in Denmark, where a valuation authority can decide if a person’s home has been impacted, and how much the windfarm developers should pay in compensation.

The SNP’s extreme pro-windfarm approach has sparked a rise in windfarms being built across rural Scotland, despite concerns among residents and local councils.

Scotland, despite having less than 10 per cent of the UK’s population, now hosts more than half of the UK’s windfarms.

Thousands of objections are submitted by the public every year, while local authorities receive scores of applications for developments each month.

read more: http://www.scottishconservatives.com/2015/02/rural-action-plan-calls-windfarm-compensation-homeowners/

This could happen to someone YOU know!!

Please help us prevent this from happening to a family YOU may know!!  Donate to The Legal Fund, Today!! 

Sheffield: Therriens Moving Away From Wind Farm

The Therrien family on their Sheffield property.

122254-0The Therrien family, who live near the First Wind industrial wind development in Sheffield, are moving to Derby.

Steve and Luann Therrien are making arrangemets to relocate themselves and their children away from the six 400-foot wind towers within a few hundred yards of their 50-acre property off New Duck Pond Road in Sheffield.

First Wind, the corporation that built and operated the Sheffield development, changed hands last month. The new owners are SunEdison and TerraForm Power and nothing about the operation is expected to change. Continue reading This could happen to someone YOU know!!

MPAC and Wolfe Island, again.

INTRO

Several months ago Stewart Fast, a new professor at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, undertook a study of why southern Ontario was such a hotbed of anti wind energy sentiments.  His conclusions were interesting, and I’ll be having more to say about them in a future posting.  As part of his study he looked at property values and in particular he looked at MPAC (the Ontario real estate assessors), Wolfe Island and the property assessment reductions thereon.

As it happens, I had also looked at MPAC and Wolfe Island and posted on it about 18 months ago.   It seems that Fast and I used the same FOIA-obtained spreadsheet.  My main conclusion was that there seemed to be a large number of large reductions on Wolfe Island, but there wasn’t enough of a pattern to convincingly tie the reductions to the 86 wind turbines on Wolfe’s west end.

I’ve also posted on MPAC and property assessments in a 4-part series.  My main conclusion, contained in part 1′s section, was that MPAC seemed to be hiding the reductions by lowering the values in neighborhoods that just coincidentally happened to be around wind turbines, but not formally incorporating distance to a wind turbine into their regressions.

What Dr. Fast’s work added to mine was that (1) he was able to group MPAC’s reductions on Wolfe Island by their distance to the nearest wind turbine, and (2) he reminded me of how to usechi-square to test the differences between the bands for statistical significance.  The quick summary is that MPAC has been providing reductions to properties close to wind turbines significantly more often that those further away.  And I’m not using the word “significantly” in some fuzzy qualitative manner – I mean “significantly” in the hard statistical quantitative manner.  In other words, the odds of the getting a wind-turbine-centered pattern just randomly are vanishingly small.  Wolfe Island provides a good hard-to-refute example of how MPAC is finessing the numbers to deny the obvious. Continue reading MPAC and Wolfe Island, again.