Wind turbine farm generates controversy
By Nancy Powers – The Strathroy Age Dispatch September 15th, 2009
Several planned wind turbines in the area aren’t even up yet, but residents are already educating themselves as to the possible health hazards associated with them.
Over 200 people attended an information meeting hosted by the Middlesex Wind Action Group on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The gym at Adelaide W.G. MacDonald was standing room only.
At the heart of the issue is a proposed wind turbine farm that would see the construction of 40 turbines in Adelaide-Metcalfe Township. These are just some of the 128 wind turbines planned for this region.
Adelaide- W.G. MacDonald School is a located in the middle of the wind farm project proposed for the township.
Since 2006, Air Energy TCI Inc. (AET), The Canadian subsidiary of the UK based TCI Renewables, has been developing the Adelaide Wind Farm Project on nearly 7,000 acres of land within the township.
Officials with TCI hope to have the construction process started by 2011, and expect these turbines to be one of the first to receive an energy sales contract from Ontario Power Authority under the new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program.
Rose Keunan, who is a member of the action group, says they are in favour of green energy, but not at the expense of people’s health. “There needs to be an increase in the setbacks in order to ensure the safety of nearby homeowners,” said Ms Keunan. “There also needs to be full disclosure to all residents, not just adjacent landowners.”
Nikki Horton spoke about her experiences living near a wind turbine in Port Alma in Chatham-Kent.
“We live 600 meters from the wind turbines and in the beginning were supportive,” said Mrs. Horton. “That was until we started to have health problems.”
According to Mrs. Horton, those problems included not sleeping, whooshing in the ears, and vibrations that go right through the body.
“It is hard to explain, but I swear you can feel the vibrations in your bones,” said Mrs. Horton. “We are planning to spend thousands of to soundproof our home.”
Mrs. Horton also pointed out that when their family is away from the turbines they don’t experience the symptoms.
Commenting on the group, Mrs. Horton urged the audience to join the fight because she feels there are real health dangers associated with the turbines.
“I know from experience that once they are up, it’s tough to get them down,” said Mrs. Horton. “Proper studies need to be done before the turbines are ever put up.”
Mrs. Horton is sharing her daily experiences by way of the Internet. For more information log onto her blog at www.mywinddiary.blogspot.com .
Joan Morris, who specializes in community health and epidemiology, explained that studies show that victims of wind turbines experience sleep deprivation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, inner ear problems, and anxiety.
“We are seeing these problems all over the world,” said Ms Morris. “Problems like the Horton family are experiencing certainly aren’t isolated incidents.”
Esther Wrightman, who is also a member of the action group, was very pleased with the turnout at the meeting.
“I think this demonstrated that there are more than just a handful of people concerned about these wind turbines,” said Ms. Wrightman.
About half of those in attendance at the meeting signed the petition that objects to any approval of industrial wind turbines in Adelaide-Metcalfe until an independent assessment is done.
A copy of the petition is available to be signed at Wrightman Alpines on Napperton Dr.
More information about the action group can be found at www.windaction.wordpress.com