Answers to our questions? Now I just have more questions.
At the wind proponents public meeting we were handed out comment sheets to fill in. I filled my comment/question section with just ‘questions’ for TCI/NextEra. Below are the responses I received from the Adelaide project development manager, Mark Gallagher.
There seems to be 3 types of replies:
a) Look it up yourself,
b) It won’t be our problem
c) Our ‘guess’ is it will work out just fine
1. What recourse do the residents of Adelaide-Metcalfe Township have if they do become ill from the wind project, their property values plummet, and they cannot afford to move?
- Please see the enclosed reports (on CD) which will hopefully address your concerns regarding health and safety.
(Ed. note: that would be the ‘look it up yourself’…I have yet to find it)
2. How will you mitigate 10km of intense shadow flicker on the highway 402? How will you respond when accidents occur?
- Shadow flicker is not typically considered to be an issue on roads, as movement of the vehicle negates the so-called ‘flicker’ effect.
(This is completely unsubstantiated; it is more like a wild guess. He has been unable to produce reports that support this notion that vehicle movement makes shadow flicker safe).
3. How will you monitor and control noise made by your wind turbines?
- Noise will be monitored as required under Ontario regulations 359/09 and MOE guidelines (Oct 2008) and if proven to be out of compliance, the necessary steps would be taken to address the situation.
( The question was ‘How?’)
4. Who and how will you dispose of your wind turbines after their 10yr life cycle is up?
- Turbines have a longer life cycle than 10 Years. At the end of the predicted 25 year cycle the turbines would normally either be replaced or removed by the project owners. The materials are reused or recycled where ever possible.
(Thats a lot of fiberglass to ‘recycle’ at the local dump….)
5. How will you ensure that no residence or farm is affected by stray voltage?
- Please see comments regarding stray voltage.
- Here are the ‘comments’:
Stray voltage is not a wind energy issue but is related to electricity. In Ontario, stray voltage is addressed by the Ontario Energy Board, through an amendment to the distribution system code, as of June 16, 2009 (EB-2007-0709). This amendment requires a distributer to investigate complaints from farmers regarding stray voltage and all complaints should be addressed by the local distribution company. Primary sources of on-farm stray voltage are poor/faulty wiring, poor/improper grounding, unbalanced system loads, defective equipment or voltages from telephone or gas lines. The Adelaide Wind farm project will be connecting to the transmission lines and not the local distribution system and the electrical collector lines will be designed to minimize any stray voltage potential. Thus it is unlikely this project will increase or decrease the risk of stray voltage to consumers.
(This does not ensure that we sill not experience stray voltage. First it passes the buck to Hydro One, and then it says we don’t ‘think’ there will be any stray voltage. Strange, because they agreed to bury the electrical lines running past the school when we put them under pressure. Do you think they sense that there will be some issues? In any case, they have no intention of guarding us from it or taking any responsibility.)
6. Of what benefit is this project to the residents of our township?
- There are obvious direct financial benefits to those involved in the project and as our agreement pays everyone involved (not just those with turbines) this benefit is widespread i.e. 70 parcels of land. There are also indirect benefits to the wider community from increased tax revenues and possible infrastructure improvements. There are also numerous business opportunities for a local community with a project of this scale; supplying materials and plant equipment, food and lodging, etc. There are also many short term job opportunities whilst the project is under construction and 5-10 long term jobs expected in operation and maintenance that can also be filled locally. We have had numerous calls and enquiries already from local businesses; all seeking to benefit from the project by offering their services.
(So, if you do not receive a cheque from TCI/NextEra now, the only things you will get in return are poor health, drop in property value, loss of wildlife and dangerous local roads.)
7. How will you ensure that our rivers and woodlots are not negatively impacted?
- An assessment has been completed evaluating the potential impacts on watercourses and wood lots and the impacts are considered to be low. The wind farm was designed with these potential impacts in mind and mitigation measures have been proposed where necessary.
(Is there monitoring during and after construction? Or is it just ‘guesses’ before construction?)
8. Can you definitely say that the noise level will not exceed 40dBA?
- The wind farm has been designed so that it is compliant with Provincial requirements as outlined in Ontario Regulation 350/09 and as per Ministry of environment Guidance Document October 2008. AET and NextEra energy take all complaints very seriously and if you feel that the wind project is out of compliance, such a complaint would be investigated thoroughly. Moreover you would also have recourse with the Ministry of the environment, who would also take the necessary actions to ensure that the project was compliant.
(I suppose this means WE will have to monitor the noise. This has not proved to be helpful for those who are already suffering in wind projects in Ontario.)