Tag Archives: wainfleet

Wind power approvals pushing Ontario hydro bills up

February 11, 2014
Wind Power Project Approvals Driving Up Cost of Ontario’s Electricity
By Parker Gallant
The provincial government would have us believe it is taking steps to manage rapidly rising electricity costs. Meanwhile, in the background, they are pushing 55 wind turbine projects through the Renewable Energy Approval process, projects  that will add $1.1 billion per year to Ontario’s electricity costs.  The impact of these turbine projects is 20 times the cost of the gas plant relocations.
The 230-megawatt  (MW) Niagara Region Wind Project proposed for West Lincoln and Wainfleet in the Niagara Region alone will add $78 million annually to Ontario’s electricity costs when approved.  The cost over its 20-year contract is $1.6 Billion.  Rather than declining or delaying these 55 projects, the provincial government continues to issue approvals and increasing electricity costs to levels that Ontario household and business users cannot afford.
In fact, wind power projects continue to be approved almost weekly despite Ontario’s current surplus of electricity.  Some operators of existing wind power generation facilities are actually being paid not to produce electricity, and neighbouring jurisdictions like New York and Michigan are being paid to take Ontario’s surplus power, which they in turn use to attract jobs away from Ontario with cheap electricity.  To create capacity on the grid for the expensive power generated by wind turbines, Ontario is also idling the Niagara hydro plants which in the past have powered Ontario’s economy by supplying cheap clean electricity.
The truth is that wind is not a reliable source of electric power.  In Ontario, wind turbines generate most of their electricity at night, and in the fall and winter months—exactly when we don’t need it. To provide the electricity needed by the province during the day, and in the hot summers, Ontario has had to supplement wind turbines with gas plants to provide electricity when the wind is not blowing.  This means that the average Ontario electricity user will not only pay about $220 annually for the cost of the wind turbine contracts but also another $200 annually to pay for the base costs of the gas plants needed to back them up.  Ontario electricity ratepayers could do a lot with that $420.
While the government argues that it has no option but to proceed with these projects, Ontario court have confirmed that the Feed-in-Tariff contracts issued for these projects only allow the proponent to enter a “complex regulatory process that might have led to approvals” and that the Environmental Project Act gives the Ministry of the Environment Director “broad powers to issue, reject, or amend Renewable Energy Approvals.”  The known impacts of existing wind power projects on communities in rural Ontario give the Ministry of the Environment Director a basis for rejecting or delaying these projects.  The Ontario government is pursuing wind power without a proper cost-benefit analysis, as was pointed out by the Auditor-General in 2011; no analysis was done before launching into the wind power program, or since. Citing benefits to the environment, is not an appropriate rationale:  with the coal plants closed, there is no need for concern about pollution from them, and there are also valid concerns about environmental damage and harm to wildlife from wind power plants.
For example, the government’s own Environmental Review Tribunal revoked approval to construct the Ostrander Point project last July because the project would cause “serious and irreversible harm” to the endangered Blanding’s turtles native to the area.  Rather than accepting that decision, however, the Ministry of the Environment partnered with the wind industry in January to appeal this ruling in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto; the Ministry is trying to overturn the decision to protect the turtles.  Similarly, the Ministry continues to support the Wainfleet Wind Energy project, despite the obvious dangers presented to users of the nearby Skydive Burnaby facility.
Electricity costs in Ontario are now among the highest in North America. Ontario households and businesses have reached the limit of their capacity to pay for this Green Energy experiment. It is time for the Ontario government to stop approving more wind turbine projects, like the Niagara Region Wind Project, that will drive up the cost of electricity in the province for the next 20 years while generating electricity we do not need.
Parker Gallant is a former vice-president with the TD Bank, a former director with Energy Probe, and currently an energy analyst and commentator. He is vice-president of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Approval halted on two Wainfleet turbines | Welland Tribune


Two days after a controversial decision by Wainfleet township council to use taxpayers’ money to fund a private company’s legal battle against wind turbines, the company behind the turbines has been ordered to halt construction on part of its development.

The order came from an environment review tribunal, which decided Thursday the renewable energy approval for two of Wainfleet Wind Energy’s five industrial wind turbines should be put on hold until the appeal by Skydive Burnaby is heard.

On Oct. 7, the Ministry of the Environment gave Wainfleet Wind Energy an REA to move forward with the project. Two weeks later, however, lawyers for Skydive Burnaby owners Mikel and Tara Pitt appealled, saying that two turbines planned to be within 1.7 km of their facility would be detrimental to their business.

In her decision Thursday, tribunal executive chair Lynda Tanaka said the motion for a stay of the renewal energy approval for the two turbines was granted until the appeal is decided. The tribunal is scheduled for three weeks in January.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’ll definitely take it as a win,” said Tara Pitt. “It wasn’t an easy road getting here, but I’m definitely happy.”

Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, who has continually fought against having turbines built in the township, called it step in the right direction.

“Even if it is just for the two, it’s such a positive step forward,” she said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to see the province recognize how this will affect a business in our community.”

Tom Rankin, the president of Rankin Construction, which is a partner in Wainfleet Wind Energy, said the stay isn’t much of a setback.

“At that site we have the road built, the concrete foundation is built and we had the crane up, but we weren’t going to put up the tower until the new year anyway,” he said. “We have the critical work done we wanted to do. So I’m not happy about the decision, but it’s not the end of the world.”

Jeffs, meanwhile, defended a decision Tuesday to have the township pay $40,000 of Skydive Burnaby’s legal bills.

Though it wasn’t originally on the council agenda, a procedural bylaw was waived to allow Tara Pitts to make a presentation to council requesting the money. She said the idea for the public support came from Lambton county council making a similar decision recently.

“It was time sensitive because our original understanding of what our legal fees would be and what they ended up being were two different things,” Pitts said.

Jeffs, Ald. Betty Konc and Ald. Richard Dykstra voted in favour of granting the funding while Ald. Ted Hessels voted against the idea. Ald. David Wyatt wasn’t at the meeting.

“I don’t think it’s our right to use taxpayer money,” said Hessels. “It’s not really Wainfleet’s case anymore. It’s a private thing.”

He said he’s concerned with how it might look that a decision was made Tuesday night without the public knowing it was being discussed.

“We haven’t heard from the people on which way to go. You know there’s opposition to it,” he said.

“Personally I’m against what the turbine people are doing, but I wasn’t going to use my constituents money to fight it.”

Jeffs said she knows not everyone will agree with the decision.

“I’m sure we’ll hear from people about it, but that’s fair. I stand behind it. We had to decide and I think it’s a good decision,” she said. “It’s tough because Wainfleet has a small budget and $40,000 is a lot here.”



Approval halted on two Wainfleet turbines | Welland Tribune.

Wainfleet wind project gets final approval

Wainfleet wind project gets final approval

Five-turbine project a collaboration between Loeffen Farms and Rankin construction

Port Colborne Leader

The Ministry of the Environment has granted approval to a wind turbine project in the township.

IPC Energy announced the approval Monday. The project, a collaboration between Loeffen Farms and Rankin construction, will see a nine megawatt wind farm built in the township. A total of five turbines will be built.

“We are pleased to advance this project into the long anticipated construction phase of development,” said John Andrews, president of IPC Energy, in a press release.

IPC Energy has been awaiting the final Renewable Energy Approval for months, and now that its been granted construction is expected to begin sometime this month.

The project is expected to create enough electricity to power 1,400 homes, producing 25 million kWh per year.

“It has been an extremely rigorous and complex process that will ultimately positively serve all Ontarians by investing in our future energy needs using private capital in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Tom Lewis, project manager at IPC Energy.

The project has been a controversial one, with staunch opposition from many residents and the township council. Earlier this year the township declared itself an unwilling host to turbine projects.

Wainfleet wind project gets final approval.