Category Archives: Unite the Fight!

It’s Official- wind farms are a Damned Nuisance

lady-noiseThe link to the posting on The Law is My Oyster seems to be broken- so we have copied and pasted the posting.

The tort of Nuisance – basic principles

The law of (private) nuisance has been around for a long time but it has always been a poor neighbour to the more commonly litigated torts of negligence and trespass.

In a nutshell, a nuisance is “any continuous activity or state of affairs causing a substantial and unreasonable interference with a [claimant’s] land or his use or enjoyment of that land”(Bamford v Turnley [1860] 3 B&S 62).  Private nuisance is a tort or civil wrong, unlike public nuisance, which is a crime.

Something that farmers leasing their land to wind farms might not know is that a landlord can be liable where the lease is granted for a purpose which constitutes a nuisance, as in Tetley v Chitty [1986] 1 All ER 663.

For there to be a claim in private nuisance, the claimant must show that the defendant’s actions caused damage. This can be physical damage, or discomfort and inconvenience. The test for remoteness of damage in nuisance is reasonable foreseeability. In other words, was it foreseeable that a wind turbine will cause discomfort and inconvenience to nearby dwellings?  The test is an objective one: was the nuisance reasonably foreseeable? If it was, the defendant is expected to avoid it.

It is impossible to specifically define what is or what is not unreasonable but factors that are taken into account include the nature of the locality where the nuisance took place, the time and duration of the interference and the conduct of the defendant.

The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions have caused an interference with their use or enjoyment of their land or home/property. These interferences are indirect, and almost always the result of continuing events rather than a one-off incident. The courts have allowed cases where the interference causes emotional distress, like continuous noise / infrasound for example.

The granting of planning permission does not constitute immunity from a claim in nuisance.

The families of Shivnen, Whelan/Walsh, Sexton, Sheehan, Duggan, McSweeney and O’Connor, versus Enercon Wind Farm Services  Ireland Limited and Carraigcannon Wind Farm Limited

It was with considerable interest then that we waited for the outcome of the action in nuisance brought by the seven families from Cork who were impacted by noise pollution from a nearby Enercon wind farm. A number of the families had to abandon their homes because of the severity of the noise and some lived up to a full kilometre from the wind farm.

A judgment against the wind farm would have constituted a powerful precedent to be used against the wind industry given the multitude of examples of Irish families living in misery due to unwelcome turbine neighbours. It was for that reason that the defendant settled the matter (probably at the instance of, and financial assistance from, IWEA). Although settlements are always better for the parties concerned as it avoids the huge emotional and financial cost of litigation, it does mean that we do not have that precedent in Irish law (although there are a number of foreign precedents – see https://the-law-is-my-oyster.com/2014/11/16/are-windfarms-torture-farms/).

Although the defendant wind farm admitted liability (nuisance-order-dec-2016) the wind industry will seek to minimise this by arguing that this was a “one-off” situation for any fallacious reason that they can think of: “the unique terrain; the extraordinary sensitivity of the plaintiffs; etc etc.” Expect a carefully worded press release soon in your nearest rag.

There is still one more opportunity to achieve a damning precedent though. The case is listed for ten days in the High Court commencing 25th April 2017 to deal with damages and costs. If the High Court was to make a massive award of damages (i.e. in the millions of euros) that would send a very strong message to the wind industry that Ireland is simply not suitable to build wind farms, due to the scattered population leaving very little wide open spaces, and in they insist on building them next to people’s homes, they must be prepared to pay a lot of money, which is what the wind industry is all about anyway – money. Don’t believe all the “green” rhetoric – if you hit them hard in the pocket, they will leave, our subsidies notwithstanding.

It is for that reason that there will very likely be a financial settlement. Good news for the family involved – they can avoid the ten days of litigation and get on with their lives. Bad news for the Irish rural population, as again there will be no precedent and it is guaranteed that the settlement will come with a gag order that will prohibit any of the families disclosing the details of the financial settlement. One would almost pray for a wealthy benefactor to compensate the families up front so that the ten days’ litigation could continue (assuming that the notoriously conservative High Court would hand down a decent damages award in the millions). Any friendly millionaires out there willing to step up to the plate?

https://the-law-is-my-oyster.com/2017/01/07/its-official-wind-farms-are-a-damned-nuisance

It’s official – wind farms are a damned Nuisance

The Law is my Oyster

The tort of Nuisance – basic principles

The law of (private) nuisance has been around for a long time but it has always been a poor neighbour to the more commonly litigated torts of negligence and trespass.

In a nutshell, a nuisance is “any continuous activity or state of affairs causing a substantial and unreasonable interference with a [claimant’s] land or his use or enjoyment of that land”(Bamford v Turnley [1860] 3 B&S 62).  Private nuisance is a tort or civil wrong, unlike public nuisance, which is a crime.

Something that farmers leasing their land to wind farms might not know is that a landlord can be liable where the lease is granted for a purpose which constitutes a nuisance, as in Tetley v Chitty [1986] 1 All ER 663.

For there to be a claim in private nuisance, the claimant must show that the defendant’s actions caused damage…

View original post 731 more words

New Year New Resolve

dscn1859The Multi Municipal Group is starting off the New Year with a public declaration and continued resolve to fix Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

January 3 2017

Public Declaration Concerning : the exploitation of rural Ontario by the Government of Ontario and the wind power development industry

 

 

Big Oil turns on to wind power

swindle-bus-311Big oil and its relationship to wind power is not new for opponents of wind turbine projects. Community groups opposing harmful impacts of wind power will enviably face inaccurate accusations they are puppets funded by big oil masters. Careful examination of parent companies of wind facilities in Ontario find the limited partnerships are often cleaved from entities using fossil fuel power generation as its principle source for profit making. Electricity made in these companies power plants is done mainly by using fossil fuels (such as natural gas). It has been claimed that the big oil incorporations not only follow the lure of subsidies but they also helped to create the current political stage and renewable energy policies.  This in turn fuels the spin of green energy money markets. Following the money it is clear making money remains the primary goal. Managing the marketing of big oil’s image held by consumers makes how electricity is generated just an after thought.

“It remains unclear if offshore wind can be a steady moneymaker without government support, which besides tax credits and minimum rates can include guaranteed access to power grids.”

Oil producers turn to wind power 

Credit:  Zeke Turner, Sarah Kent | Dow Jones | December 27, 2016 | www.theaustralian.com.au ~~

The Netherlands wants to build the world’s largest offshore wind project, and an unlikely company is helping: Royal Dutch Shell.

The oil-and-gas giant is facing shareholder pressure to develop its renewable business. Add in falling construction costs for such projects, and Shell has decided to join a handful of other oil companies aiming to leverage their experience drilling under punishing conditions at sea.

Norway’s Statoil is already building its third offshore wind farm, in the Baltic Sea, and is developing the world’s first floating wind farm off the east coast of Scotland. Denmark’s state-owned Dong Energy – once a fossil-fuel champion – is now the biggest player in the offshore wind market.

A Shell-led consortium won a bid this month to build and operate a portion of the Netherlands’ giant Borssele wind project in the North Sea. Once complete, the Shell-built section will generate enough power for roughly a million homes at a price of €54.5 ($A79.20) per megawatt hour – a customer rate approaching that of cheaper power sources like coal or gas.

Offshore wind’s competitiveness is highly subject to local power prices and government measures, including tax credits, subsidies and rate guarantees. Nonetheless, in European markets, the wind industry had thought near parity was years away.

“Right now the offshore wind project is competitive with any power source,” said Dorine Bosman, Shell’s manager developing its wind business.

Offshore windpower projects involve driving steel foundations into the sea floor for towers that support building-size turbines with propellers wider than the wingspan of an Airbus A380. Though historically more expensive to build than onshore wind farms, offshore projects can take advantage of less restricted space and stronger, more consistent winds.

The technological arms race to build these complex projects economically is so heated that many companies, including Shell, won’t disclose how much they are investing, treating their commitments like a trade secret.

Fossil-fuel companies’ push into wind reflects their growing sensitivity to global efforts to limit climate change and how that will affect consumer demand for their main offering: oil and gas.

France’s Total wants 20 per cent of its portfolio to consist of low-carbon businesses within the next 20 years. Shell established a new division this year focused on investing in sources such as wind, solar and biofuels. Statoil has a $US200 million fund for projects such as wind technology and batteries.

Investments by big European oil companies in wind and other renewable energy sources remain small – around 2 per cent of their overall capital-spending budgets, according to McKinsey. The industry is cautious about betting big on alternatives after getting burned in the past.

It remains unclear if offshore wind can be a steady moneymaker without government support, which besides tax credits and minimum rates can include guaranteed access to power grids.

“It should be the ambition of everybody to not have subsidies,” Ms Bosman of Shell said.

Lower costs – brought on by technological improvements, economies of scale and low interest rates – are helping move the sector in that direction. Earlier this year the windpower industry was targeting a price of €100 per megawatt hour by 2020; subsequently three auctions of project rights this year in the Netherlands and Denmark settled on rates below that level.

Shell previously pulled back from involvement in offshore wind that proved unprofitable and says it will be primarily an oil-and-gas supplier for decades to come. But the improving economics of wind power have prompted the company to dip its toe back in the water, joining others in crowding the heavily subsidised specialists that once dominated the sector.

Dong Energy has sold off a large portion of its fossil-fuels business, including five Norwegian oil and gas fields, and now has 29 per cent of the world’s built offshore wind capacity, according to spokesman Tom Lehn-Christiansen. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. took an ownership stake in Dong Energy in 2014, and the company went public in June.

Statoil has invested $US2.1 billion since 2010, or about 20 per cent of a single year’s capital budget, in offshore wind parks. After two years of whipsawing oil prices, offshore wind’s relatively stable prices are dreamlike for oil executives, said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for renewables.

Even Exxon Mobil, which hasn’t put the same emphasis on renewables, has dabbled with the technology, with the idea of using floating wind turbines to help power its offshore oil and gas platforms.

Although solar power is expected to be the fastest-growing renewable energy source over the next five years, the International Energy Agency forecasts offshore wind capacity will triple by 2021. While that will remain below 1 per cent of global capacity, the growth prospects are particularly attractive in regions such as Northern Europe where sunlight is in short supply for half the year.

Japan, China, India and Taiwan are all poised to place bets on offshore wind now that its cost is coming down, according to the industry group Global Wind Energy Council.

In the US, President-elect Donald Trump has been sceptical of wind power, warning of its cost, unsightliness and risks to wildlife. However, Texas was a forerunner of onshore wind energy in the US under the watch of former governor Rick Perry, Mr Trump’s pick to lead the Energy Department.

Offshore wind in the US got a boost this month when the country’s first park went online off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Days later, Statoil won a bid for a potential project in the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island – its first offshore wind lease in the US.

Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, which developed the Block Island project, said the oil companies will face a tougher landscape in the US compared with Europe because of bureaucratic hurdles and fewer incentives.

“We think our competitors are going to have a lot to learn,” he said.

Dow Jones Newswires

Source:  Zeke Turner, Sarah Kent | Dow Jones | December 27, 2016 | www.theaustralian.com.au

APPEC Report on the Remedy Hearing for the White Pines Wind Project

Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County

update2In mid-November the Tribunal issued its decisions on our motions. While some were unsuccessful, overall we were encouraged by the results and with two decisions in particular. We are very pleased that the Tribunal has ordered Dr. Reynolds, WPD’s expert on bats, to return for further cross-examination. The Tribunal is also permitting APPEC to produce documents through a qualified expert witness on the government’s recent policy reversal on renewable energy.

We are fortunate in having Tom Adams as our qualified expert witness. Mr. Adams has worked for several environmental organizations and has served on the Ontario Independent Electricity Market Operator Board of Directors. As an energy and environmental advisor and researcher he has given expert testimony before many legislative committees and regulatory tribunals in Canada. Among other things Mr. Adams will testify that Ontario currently has a significant oversupply of energy (more than 10 years’ worth) and that there is…

View original post 612 more words

Dutton/Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines

ddwt.pngHello DDOWT Supporters,

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

In light of Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault’s recent announcement suspending LRP-2, we are now calling on the provincial government to also cancel the recent LRP-1 contracts, including the Strong Breeze Wind Project in Dutton Dunwich. Ontario does not need the energy and this cancellation would save Ontarians Billions of dollars!

We need your help by participating in our letter writing campaign. It is easy and will only take a quick moment of your time.

Below you will find a copy of the letter we are asking you to sign. All you need to do is send us your email address, either in an email to info@ddowt.ca, or in a private message through Facebook. You will then be emailed a ‘DocuSign’ to sign. Simply open it and follow the on screen instructions to review and sign the letter. Once we receive your signed copy, a hard copy will be printed and mailed to the addressees stated in the letter on your behalf. We encourage each member of your family to sign a copy of the letter. Just send their email address and we will send a separate letter for them. Rest assured that any information you provide will remain confidential, and will be used only to send these letters .

If you would prefer to mail a copy of the letter on your own, contact us and we will provide you the necessary information and addresses.

In addition to the letter writing campaign, our DDOWT volunteers will be going door to door with a petition to show the strong support in our community for cancelling this project. Please participate in both of these efforts as they are absolutely necessary for added pressure on the provincial government. If you would like to sign the petition, but do not receive a visit by the end of November, please contact us through email or Facebook.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your continued support! The fight is not over!!

DDOWT

email:  info@ddowt.ca

website: http://www.ddowt.ca

facebook: http://www.facebook.ca/DDOWT

letter

We are all suffering

heat-or-eatEnergy Poverty is a direct serious harm to health that has resulted from Ontario’s energy policies. Poverty determines your level of health.  Not being able to pay your hydro bill is an adverse health outcome resulting from the pursuit of renewable energy projects without careful consideration of benefits and costs.  The Green Energy Act and rates paid for renewable energy (wind & solar) generated electricity has fueled the crisis of soaring hydro rates. There is a growing fury among those who can no longer bear such political agendas.  The pressure is building. People are demanding Government serve people, not only the interests of the “green” industries.

 

hamilton-protest
City Hall Protest Targets Skyrocketing Hydro Rates- Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton Spectator

A rally against oppressive hydro bills attracted at least 100 protesters in front of city hall, and enough supportive horn honking on Main Street to sometimes drown-out speakers assailing Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government.

Most notable were those mobilized enough by the issue to get downtown by 5 p.m. and who have never publicly protested anything before.

Home electricity bills have skyrocketed in the last five years: off-peak prices have increased 47 per cent, and on-peak prices have increased 67 per cent.

That’s why Lori Balkom took part in her first protest, holding a sign standing close enough to the road to feel the breeze from cars driving by honking.

“My last bill was $850,” she said. “Last summer it was $500 … There are people out there who can’t afford food because of (their hydro bills). It’s not right.”

Her sisters Debbie Leblanc and Patti Glenn joined her. Leblanc lives in a building for seniors, and said at least one woman couldn’t afford to turn on air conditioning this summer and had to hang out in a mall instead.

Jeff Coe happened upon the protest while out for a walk and was swept up in it and signed a petition.

“I’m all for conservation, I conserve my kilowatt hours, but the bill keeps going up,” he said. “So that’s why I’m here, too.”

The focus of the rally was Wynne: signs called on her to resign, and labelled her government “corrupt or stupid.” The most popular read: “Keep hydro public,” a reference to calls for Wynne to reverse the privatization of Hydro One, the province’s electricity transmission monopoly.

Politicians from the provincial Progressive Conservatives and NDP spoke, but the rally’s organizer, Sarah Warry-Poljanski, was the focal point, dressed in work boots, bright orange hydro worker-style coveralls, and white hard hat.

“With the cost of hydro we are all suffering … seniors and pensioners, people working two or more jobs just to get by,” she shouted into the microphone. “This is unacceptable … The (government) needs to stop serving themselves, and serving us.”

READ ARTICLE: http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6884575-city-hall-protest-targets-skyrocketing-hydro-bills-in-hamilton/

 

Niagara Wind Noise Annoyance

8c0c0554-b1cf-4cac-a1f6-9ab51c25619e

So it begins.

The fight to protect our residents and community continues.

The Niagara Wind Power Complex is scheduled to be online by September 2016.  Support Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. and West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action group.

Please feel free to attend the May 17, 2016  Open House or contact our community groups directly.

Together we are stronger and together we will be heard.

May 12, 2016
“Well they were Testing that Turbine behind us yesterday -, Rosedene RD ,West Lincoln ON, -My older son was out side and He said he thought he kept hearing Jets and was looking up , I hadn’t hear it in the house UNTIL Supper Time ,I had my Windows Open and I heard It ,It SOUNDED LIKE A JET and when it was Stopping it Got even louder , JUST LIKE ON THE VIDEOS where you can hear them..Except this is ONE Sounding like Many. and they keep changing the way it points – ::: ( “