Monthly Archives: January 2010
The meeting at our Adelaide school, brought to us by our ever-caring wind salesmen TCI Renewables and NextEra (FPL), was of course frustrating. But one thing I really enjoyed was listening to the well informed questions residents posed at the supposed expert windies. Sometimes the answers were strained, mumbled and even laughable. Here’s some things that I learned, and I’m sure there are many other good ‘facts’ that you heard and had to stifle a laugh over (pass them along!).
- The part that completely annoyed me right off the bat was the omission of any ‘Shadow Flicker’ maps on the fancy little tripod stands. None. They certainly have them available in their volumes of books, but really would like to not have to explain them to you or me, the residents who will have to live with it. Besides, the MOE doesn’t ask them to do that anymore, and health and safety really isn’t an issue to our provincial government…. As for that 10km of shadow flicker along the highway 402, we were told, “shadow flicker doesn’t affect you if you are driving” & “it only affects you if you are standing still”. I’d love to see the refrences to that little bit of info! And we aren’t to worry about Exit 56 with the shadow flicker of 6 turbines strobing across it, because there is a bush lot that will block the shadow from hitting the road. But there is no bush there….it is a flat farmer’s field, too bad the trees can’t help them out on this one. Shadow flicker is a known precipitant of migraines, whose symptoms include partial, transitory “blind spots”, a very unsafe condition when in a vehicle.
Here’s a bizarre contradiction by Adelaide-Metcalfe township council:
At the last meeting of the Adelaide-Metcalfe township, the council clearly stated that they are not in favour of wind farms until health studies are conducted and that they supported a resolution to that effect submitted to the province by the City of Kawartha Lakes in October, 2009. When the local radio station, MyFM Strathroy, called me to ask why the Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a motion asking for this moratorium, I told her I didn’t know. This was confusing since they had denied our request twice in the last 6 months for a similar motion—no surprise considering 3 of the 5 council members have a conflict of interest on this issue. I indicated that I felt glad to see this happen but could not clearly express why the flip-flop. My hope was that the media could get a straight answer on this.
So here is what the radio station learned when they approached the township…
Thu, 28 Jan 2010 9:32:10 EST
They are holding their stance despite what some may think. Mayor of Adelaide-Metcalfe John Milligan said the municipality is not in support of a moratorium now or were they ever, as he says the proposed Wind Farm to be added to the community is in the provinces hands. Milligan says a meeting held Tuesday evening by TCI Renewables -the company responsible for putting the turbines in the ground…didn’t entertain discussion but allowed for individual community members or municipal staff to speak directly to the experts and ask their questions. Milligan says he believes most community members are in favor of the wind farm. The Adelaide-Metcalfe Wind Farm is anticipated to be in the ground within two years.
Click here to hear the mayor defend himself.
Here is the signed letter that shows the council supporting a moratorium on wind turbines.
I can’t help but laugh at this blatant statement; do they not read what they sign?? Trying to play both fiddles? Sorry but it doesn’t work that way….!
If you are anything like me (I hope not…) you may have missed filling out a comment form last night at the Adelaide Wind Farm public input meeting, or the Bornish meeting a couple weeks back. I did have a copy that I picked up when I walked in, knowing that I would be too ‘hot-headed’ to actually write while being there.
Please print off this form below, fill it in and mail/e-mail/fax to Mark:
Mark Gallagher, Project Manager
Air Energy TCI
Suite 102, 381 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Montreal, QC H2Y 1V2
And this is why: Your concerns are documented. If you don’t fill in this form, you know what it will say on the wind company’s report that they submit to the MOE? Probably something like this, “There were very few concerns raised at the Open House, and we addressed them all”. Or worse, “Everyone was in favour of wind turbines”, which is basically what happened at all the previous meetings. Our voices aren’t recorded but our written words are.
So please take the time to fill this out and put a stamp on an envelope. There are very few times when public input is asked for in these projects and this is one of them.
- Tuesday, January 26, 2010
- 5pm – 8pm
- Adelaide WG MacDonald School 29059 School Road
*This project was sold in December from TCI Renewables to NextEra (FPLE).
Ad in Strathroy Age Dispatch re: sale/transition
*Minor changes have been made from the old submission to today’s version.
- It appears that the MOE does not require schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc. to be notified with its new Green Energry Act (really looking out for us aren’t they?). TCI did neglect to notify the school/school board when it submitted its project for approval last year when this was still mandatory. The school is adjacent to a property that will have a wind turbine on it. The health and safety of the 220 children has been ignored by our provincial government and the wind companies. The Thames Valley District School Board wrote a letter of support for our request for elevation.
Unburied Electrical Lines:
- In TCI’s Addendum, the new maps that TCI/Golder have produced no longer show which connector lines will be buried and which will not, but they do note that there will be unburied lines….we just aren’t supposed to know WHICH ones. That is because they run alongside our kid’s school and playground. FPL wants to try and squeeze in both the Bornish and Adelaide wind projects on our lines- say ‘hello’ to stray voltage.
- Shadow Flicker: For over 10 km there will be shadow flicker on the 402 highway (10 minutes of driving). There are a couple reasons why this is very dangerous:
– It will be ‘overlapping’ shadow flicker- when several wind turbines shadows fall on top of eachother and create a much faster flashing rate (which becomes a concern for individuals with epilepsy).
-Shadow flicker has the ability to negativley affect a large portion of the population (those susceptible to motion sickness, migraines, nausea and vertigo).
-On roads it is a much overlooked danger, and is completely ignored in any of TCI’s ‘studies’, although you can see the issue distinctly when looking at their maps (with no road names on it, of course…). There is so much potential shadow flicker on the exit 56 that in their ‘shadow flicker map’ you can hardly see the exit for all the overlapping, which may be beneficial to their goal!
- Here’s a nice quote from TCI’s draft addendum since the new Green Energy Act came into place:
It should be noted that some effects assessments conducted for the Adelaide Wind Farm under O. Reg.116/01 are now no longer required for renewable energy projects, including wind farms. These include the following: geophysical environment, atmospheric environment, visual landscape, socio-economic resources, land use, traffic, electromagnetic interference (EMI), public health and safety, the effects of the environment on the project and cumulative effects. Although no longer required under O. Reg. 359/09, AET has voluntarily updated their shadow flicker analysis based on the revised turbine layout and new wind turbine model. Adelaide Wind Facility- Application for Renewable Energy Approval- November 23rd, 2009 Pg. 14
- Safety Setbacks: Like Bornish, there are ill placed turbines in regards ‘Topple Distance’, ‘Ice Throw’ and ‘Blade Throw’.
-The Manufacturer’s (GE) recommended setback is 243.75m from a road.
-One particular turbine that poses danger sits ~150m from Kerwood Rd., and ~180m from the 402 Exit 56 lane. This distance does not protect from ice or blade throw.
Health concerns- at home, school and work:
- Noise levels – Many residents (including children from the school) will be exposed to the repetitive noise pollution, both day and night, with no relief.
- Shadow flicker on homes (like somebody flicking the light switch on and off continuously, and you can’t make them stop)
- This is really the most concerning subject, because so many people will be affected. Adelaide village will have 4 wind turbines ~600m away. Other homes will suffer from a combination of all 3 issues- shadow flicker, noise and electrical pollution. This is the reason we are asking for health studies before wind turbines. There is too much unknown, and too many people suffering already to allow another project to go through.
The meeting is a mandatory component for ‘public input’, so let them have your input.
Please let others in our community know about this meeting as well. The wind company has not won, by far, and it’s important to show our strength in numbers at this meeting.
Great news for residents of Adelaide-Metcalfe and North Middlesex… the township councils have supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed! After half a year of explaining the pitfalls of wind turbines to our councils, they have decided that our communities health is more imortant then the industalization of our countryside with wind turbines(or maybe there are just too many residents upset for them to ignore the issue anymore…and that election is coming up too…). In any case a huge thank goes out to all those who have wrote letters, talked to their neighbours, posted signs and help spread the word to all the residents in Adelaide and Bornish- it has paid off! Now we must look at our MPP Maria van Bommell and ask her who she is representing in Queens Park. Pretty soon all of rural Ontario will be giving a good, loud, clear NO to Mr. McGuinty. Another thank-you goes out to our township councils for taking a stance on this issue and putting their constituents concerns ahead of the wind salesmen’s propoganda pitch.
Adelaide-Metcalfe’s Letter of Support
January 14th, 2009
The numerous wind farms being built should make apparent to everyone that southern Ontario will be covered with wind turbines from Lake Huron to Lake Erie & Lake Ontario. That is provincial government policy and the Green Energy Act “streamlines” the approval process to the benefit of the wind turbine companies.
Sadly, all the farm organizations appear to have been bullied into submission and are not looking after farmers’ interests. Simply stated:
Will we have protection of property rights? – for example, the construction liens on the SkyPower project in Prince Edward County at a minimum, complicate selling a property and related mortgages. It may also affect the amount of the lease payments to the farmer another company buys them.
The long term financial return has a “variable” component that is dependent on the price and amount of electricity generated. Most contracts provide no increases or minimal increases over the 20 year term – a case of diminishing returns. Read the rest of this entry
Didn’t know about that? Yeah we didn’t know either until today when a councilor from a neighbouring township mentioned he saw a press release about it. So, off to our township office we go today,
‘Can we please see the letter in your December Agenda under Letters not received and circulated (sic) 1) Letter from Air Energy TCI & Next Era Energy. Do you think you could make a pdf. and put this on the township website? No? No time? Oh, you think it’s the wind company’s job to notify the residents!”.
Well that kind of sucks for the constituents in our township…because there is no other way that we could have found out about this if it wasn’t for the OTHER township that…oh look… Southwest Middlesex has a pdf. of this document on THEIR website! Really, they do! Check out the difference in Agendas…think we can upgrade to what our Southern neighbours have? We would actually know what is going on in our township office if we had this!
Maybe I’m asking for too much. No, I don’t think so. The lack of transparency has completely hindered us in the process of understanding this wind project.
You don’t see any notices of this deal between TCI and FPL anywhere in the papers, do you? Nope, and you know why? Well, it will be TCI reps that meet you at the Adelaide meeting on Jan. 26th, even though they have sold the company. We are supposed to continue on with Mark & Brett and the gang, and give them our ‘input’, and after the meeting…*poof*, they will be gone. So much for taking ‘public input’, eh?
This is the first ‘flip’ of the company. Maybe there will be another one, and another, and pretty soon (when we have problems sleeping when the turbines start), we won’t know who to ask for help. And that is just the way the wind companies want it. So TCI retains their ‘sell job’. They are continuing to sign people up for their Lambton Project, which is now called ‘Churchill’, not Adelaide II, and I suppose will sell that when it reaches a certain stage too. I’m quite sure Mr. Gallagher and O’Connor will be long gone out of this country when problems arise. Read the rest of this entry
Yesterday night NextEra/FPL held a Public Meeting, or as one wise man said an ‘infomercial’ at the Parkhill high school. There was a very tight-lipped and ticked group of ‘experts’ that were apparently ready to take our questions and satisfy our fears. But their responses are getting very tired.
Did you know that wind turbines just don’t kill birds? Yep, they are SHOT down! I didn’t know that…(!) And how about those noise levels? They won’t go over 40dBA? Could write that down? No, oh, OK…I don’t think you should be using that line on the public anymore then. So, what about electrical pollution and stray voltage… do wind farms cause that? Is there none? Zero? No? Well how much then? You don’t know? I feel safer by the minute….
But my favourite was the young girl with the flashing light on her head lamp. They are talking to the FPL man, and the lady beside the young girl says to the man, “Honestly, is this flashing light bothering you?”….. He said, “Quite frankly, yes it is.” Well buddy, that’s shadow flicker, so suck it up, because you can’t turn it off. I can’t believe he fell for that. These guys or so far removed from the issues. I was told by one Genivar rep. that safety was “a matter of opinion”. I corrected him in that I was sure it was a “matter of LOCATION”. Sure, his opinion is that the wind turbine 115 meters from the road is safe, just as long as he never has to drive down that road… and since he is probably from some distant city, he should have no worries about a blade or ice throw, or even a collapsed wind tower, all of which would go straight across the road. I wouldn’t call that a ‘safe setback’. The good news for Bornish is that there are many more upset residents than I thought. Get together people, and raise your voices. You will definitely be heard and it is much easier to do than you imagine. Write a letter (it doesn’t have to be more than a couple of sentences) to your elected officials and newspapers. The province just needs to know that you exist and have an opinion, and you will use your vote in the upcoming elections. I only say this because the Ontario Power Authority plans to upgrade many of the transmission lines around here (Kerwood -Forest & Sarnia-London) for the sole purpose of enabling many more wind farms all over the countryside. FPL thinks that they could get over a hundred turbines on our substation, although the OPA doesn’t. They also think that if there will be any stray voltage it won’t be here…it will be in Strathroy, so not to worry!
We have to tell them NO, we do NOT want wind turbines near our homes, farms and schools, because all they hear right now is that the wind developers really want to plaster our surroundings with them and need the transmission.