Monthly Archives: February 2010

Shadow Flicker and Road Safety Setbacks

I find that road safety is the last issue that anyone looks at with wind turbine construction. I’ll admit that it didn’t really grab my attention until I drove by the base of one near Port Burwell; it felt like I could just take a half minute walk from the car and touch the base of the tower. I remember thinking there is no way that this setback could be legal.  But it is, and the Green Energy Act actually reduced the setback from what many municipalities previously had in place. We rightly worry about our homes, schools and farms and what wind turbines will do to our health, livestock, property values and local wildlife. We don’t really think of roads as being ‘ours’, probably because we don’t have to maintain them or care for them. But we do drive them regularly and expect them to be safe. There are two issues that have been very much ignored by the wind companies and the Ministry of Environment: 

  1. Extensive shadow flicker on our roads
  2. Narrow setbacks to roads that don’t protect from ice throw, blade throw and tower topple. 

Near Shelburne, ON - Road Unassumed by Municipality: USE AT OWN RISK

 Below is a letter that summarizes the road safety issues associated with both the Bornish and Adelaide wind farms.

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Wind power debate heating up in Adelaide-Metcalfe

 The Glencoe Transcript & Free Press – Hayter-Walden Publications Inc. – February 4, 2010
By Marie Williams-Gagnon

The lines in the sand have been drawn and those on both sides of the wind power debate in Adelaide-Metcalfe were in attendance at last Tuesday evening’s open house regarding the Adelaide Wind Project.
The rim of the gymnasium of Adelaide W.G. MacDonald was lined with information boards from NextEra Energy, which bought TCI Renewables in December.
The Adelaide Wind Farm will cover 8,300 ha of privately-owned land with a class 4 wind facility under REA. Up to 40 – 1.4MW wind turbines will provide up to 60MW capacity.
Although there was no speaker or group discussion at the open house, NextEra provided information that the GE 1.5 xle turbines will have a 41m blade and a 80m hub height above grade.
The major issues for the opponents of the project remained the proximity of the Wind Farm to the school and other properties. They claim that for a distance of 10km there will be shadow flicker on Hwy 402, particularly at the Exit 56 turnoff. Healthe concerns, including noise levels, are of concern to residents of Adelaide village that could have 4 wind turbines 600m away.
Adding fuel to the fire last week was mixed messages from Adelaide-Metcalfe mayor John Milligan.
After both Adelaide-Metcalfe and North Middlesex township councils supported a resolution from the City of Kawartha Lakes requesting a study of  adverse health effect prior to the issuance of any permits o continuance of any projects, Milligan said in a radio interview  last week that the municipality is not in support of a moratorium  now or were they ever, adding  that he believes most community members are in favour of the wind farm.
The Adelaide Wind Project is expected to be fully operational within two years.

Writer takes issue with Adelaide-Metcalfe mayor

Strathroy Age Dispatch February 11th, 2010

To the Editor:
Regarding lasts week article on the Adelaide wind meeting where the mayor Mr. Milligan states that Adelaide-Metcalfe council did not support a moratorium on wind farms.
The mayor is being disingenuous. The resolution that council supported on December 21 clearly asks the provincial government to conduct a study on adverse health affects from windmill projects before more project permits are issued.
Either Mr. Milligan doesn’t read the resolutions that he votes on or he is misrepresenting the truth. This does not inspire confidence for ratepayers in the leadership of our township.

Dan Wrightman

Kerwood

Wind turbines a poor income support for farmers

In the swirling debate in rural Ontario about wind turbines and the Ontario government’s plans to saturate the countryside with these bulky appliances, it is common to hear the government line that wind energy is a solution to the income crisis that agriculture faces here in Ontario. Listed below are 5 reasons why wind energy is a poor income support program for farmers and a bad idea for the agricultural economy of rural Ontario.

1) As an income support program wind energy has extremely uneven coverage. Some municipalities will never see wind farms. Where wind farms are proposed some farmers will have the proper setbacks to site a turbine while their next door neighbour will not because of minimum distance separation to buildings. It doesn’t seem right that a government mandated program would distribute ratepayer dollars based on geography rather than need.

2) The lease payments are not enough to save the family farm. Ontario has a cheap food policy that causes the farm industry to lurch from one income crisis to another. To think that a measly $6-8 000 annual payment will solve a farms profitability problem is just plain wrong. It’s a drop in the bucket. I spoke to a hog farmer who told me that even if the 2 wind turbines proposed for his farm were up and running right now it would not make a difference to the viability of his operation. Read the rest of this entry

Township’s twisted word

For those that are interested in Adelaide-Metcalfe council, here are my ‘minutes’:

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Adelaide-Metcalfe Township Council meeting – Feb. 1st 2010

We were not on the council agenda. There was nothing on the agenda Re: wind turbines or the wind proponent. Nothing. So we didn’t really expect to hear much of interest while we waited. Harvey and I were there to speak on the issues about wind turbines.

Within the first hour, 2 items were quietly brought up by the clerk, with no introduction except, “let’s turn to page 60…” in their agendas. There was no mention of what they were looking at. When then found that they were strangely talking in ‘code’ about wind turbines. We heard ‘energy provider’, and a mention to ‘12 re-zonings’. That was just enough evidence to tip us off. Here’s what the 2 issues were about:

  1. What we could gather from what they were saying was that Ontario Hydro wanted to be part of any talks that the wind company had with the township with the hydro lines. One statement made was that “there is no need to put up new hydro lines if there are already some there…”.
  2. Read the rest of this entry

Building Permits for wind turbines- North Middlesex

North Middlesex Township’s new building permit fees for industrial wind turbine building permits: The cost is $7/$1000 + $200.

North Middlesex Wind Turbine By-Law

Adelaide Industrial Wind Proponent Meeting

 Wind turbine project still on track

Strathroy Age Dispatch–Wednesday February 3rd, 2010

Posted By by Nancy Powers

It may be as early as March when the Adelaide Wind Farm project could be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment for approval.

NextEra Energy Canada and TCI Renewables hosted their final open house at Adelaide-W.G. MacDonald School on Tuesday, Jan. 26 with an estimated 120 people in attendance. TCI Renewables sold the project to NextEra Energy in December of 2009 but has agreed to stay involved until the application process is complete.Health Studies Before Wind Turbines

According to Mark Gallagher, project manager of TCI Renewables, some requirements under the Green Energy Act still need to be met.

“We are anticipating that the final application will be submitted to the ministry by March,” said Mr. Gallagher.

The application will then be available to view on the provincial environmental registry at www.ebr.gov.on.ca

The proposed project will include 40 wind turbines in Adelaide-Metcalfe, with a target date of 2011 for the start of construction.

Despite documentation to the contrary, Adelaide Metcalfe Township Mayor John Milligan maintains that his council is not in support of a moratorium regarding wind farms.

A letter dated Dec. 22, 2009 and sent from the Township Office states that Adelaide Metcalfe supports a motion by Kawartha Lakes which calls for a full environmental study to be done to determine the possible impact of windmill projects.

Esther Wrightman, of the Middlesex Wind Action Group, is encouraging concerned citizens to make their view known to Mr. Gallagher as soon as possible.

“Our concerns need to documented with the MOE,” said Mrs. Wrightman. “We don’t want them (the MOE) thinking everyone is fine with the project.”

For more information about the action group go online to www.windaction.wordpress.com