Monthly Archives: February 2011

NextEra’s Bornish Severnce deferred at Township Meeting

 Mr. Evans asked where the head office is located and was told it is in Burlington. Mr. Evans stated that since there isn’t enough information available, it could be considered an insult to ratepayers.

THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF ADELAIDE METCALFE
COUNCIL MINUTES – January 17, 2011

Present: Mayor David Bolton, Deputy Mayor Adrian deBruyn, Councillor Betty Ann MacKinnon, Councillor Kurtis Smith and Councillor Nick Stokman.
Also Present: Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Fran Urbshott, Road Superintendent Eldon Bryant, Chief Building Official Jeff Denomy, Fire Chief Arend Noordhof and Drainage Superintendent Hank Hoeksema for part of the meeting.

Public Meeting

MOVED by Councillor Smith
SECONDED by Councillor Stokman
Resolved that Council become the Committee of Adjustment for Consent Application #ZBA05/2010, submitted by David & Terry Brand. CARRIED.

Councillor MacKinnon left the meeting.

Mr. Derek Dudek, IBI Group, was in attendance for the application on behalf of the applicants. Corporation of the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe 3 Council Minutes – January 17, 2011

Application: Consent Application #B05/2010
Applicant: David & Terry Brand
Subject Property: 29648 Kerwood Road
Part of Lot 7, Concession 3, N.E.R
(former Township of Adelaide) Township of Adelaide Metcalfe 

Purpose and Effect

Of the Applications: The purpose of the application is to sever the land that is proposed by the Bornish Wind Power project for an electrical substation from the remaining agricultural land. The subject land is currently designated “Agricultural Areas” in the Township Official Plan. The Zoning By-law of the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe 34-2007 zones the subject land as General Agriculture (A) zone.

  •  This application was previously deferred by the Committee of Adjustment at a meeting on September 20, 2010. The applicant has since revised the proposal and now is seeking approval to sever a parcel of land 5.0 acres in size, previously they had requested permission to sever a 10 acre (4 hectare) parcel. Read the rest of this entry

Grid unprepared for wind, solar power

by PAUL MORDEN, Sarnia Observer

Hydro One has been told to get a move on upgrading transmission lines in southwestern Ontario so more wind and other renewable energy projects can come online.

Ontario’s Energy Ministry has told Hydro One “to move forward immediately” on building a new transmission line and upgrading existing ones west of London.

“Ontarians want a cleaner energy system and we’re moving forward with that,” Energy Minister Brad Duguid said in a press release.

The government’s Long-Term Energy Plan calls for the spending of $2 billion on transmission grid upgrades, including three southwestern Ontario projects the plan says should be in place by 2017 to make room for new green energy projects.

The upgrades and new line west of London are to be completed by 2014, according to the plan.

The minister’s spokesperson Andrew Block said Hydro One will work with the Ontario Power Authority to “start planning out the scope and timing of all those projects.

“That work begins immediately.”

Hydro One spokesperson Daniele Guavin said, “Near term efforts will focus on work such as engineering studies to get a better sense of the characteristics of options for the projects.”

But, one wind energy critic in Lambton County thinks Ontario is getting ahead of itself.

Ann Towell, a member of the Dawn-Euphemia chapter of Wind Concerns Ontario, said the government should wait until legal challenges by wind opponents in Prince Edward County and Chatham-Kent are settled.

“I think they’re going ahead without thinking,” Towell said Read the rest of this entry

Green Breeze Energy Inc. displays utter contempt for the public

Last night we attended the second and final Brooke-Alvinston Wind Project “Public Consultation”.  Incredibly frustrating- so much so that I just stopped asking questions.
 
There were NO print copies of the project report! Lots of Canwea junk but no project info.
Mr.Cobb, president of Green Breeze Energy, stated, “…they wanted to save trees.” No kidding.

So the public isn’t even obliged to view the report that will erect 4 2.5MW turbines South of Watford, because this company is trying to live up to its phony name, or maybe they’re broke. This is more than frustrating because you couldn’t even discuss the draft (the whole point of the meeting) without it present…something like not bringing the birthday boy to his birthday party.

We were told many times to go home and ‘view it online’, which in my opinion just shows their contempt for the public. I mean really, why did they even bother to come?
 
Apparently they didn’t have to do any bird or bat studies because “no bird or bats live in the project area” (the project area consists of small circles around each turbine). Never mind any wildlife passing through.
 
Only after a promise was made by project manager John Cobb at the first meeting and many e-mails to the company were we able to get rush printed copies of the noise and shadow flicker maps tacked on to a scribble board. What happened to the ’60 days to review’ period? People living in the vicinity had never seen these maps before- how were they supposed to comment on something so important in one night?
 
There were no noise representatives there. And the only person who we were directed to was a well known Stantec jerk that nobody wanted to talk to again. He is the ultimate loser for community consultation- he’s there to tell you ‘no you can’t have anything you need.’ I give the project coordinator Cobb some points for at least not treating us like scum and attempting to get us info (…60 days late).

Eventually a dozen or so of us just went outside and grabbed our signs to protest and went in and annoyed the windies. 12 year old Lyric, aka “Shadow Flicker Queen”, did her job well making sure each and every proponent had their taste of flashing light in their face. A bit of justice.

Brooke-Alvinston wind farm catches breeze

by PAUL MORDEN, Sarnia Observer

Construction could begin this summer on a four-turbine wind farm planned for Brooke-Alvinston Township.

Mississauga-based Green Breeze Energy Inc. held its second public meeting required to secure provincial approvals for the 10-MW project Thursday at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre. It already has a contract to sell energy to the province.
Township Mayor Don McGugan estimated about 75 people were at the meeting, including some wind energy opponents.

“They had a chance to voice their opinions, which is good,” McGugan said.
“And there were those there that the turbines are going to be on their farms, and they’re quite happy.”

The wind farm is planned for a site bounded by Old Walnut and Ebenezer roads, just south of Churchill Line.

Esther Wrightman said she was among 12 to 15 wind opponents at the public meeting.
She lives in neighbouring Middlesex County, about 15 minutes away from the turbine site, but said her father’s family is from Alvinston.

Wrightman said she has been to several wind project open houses around the region in recent years and came away from Thursday’s feeling her questions weren’t being answered.
“They just get worse and worse and worse, because it seems they don’t have to provide as much information any more, either that or they’re just not,” she said.

“They didn’t even have the project document there to review. I couldn’t believe it. That’s just a simple thing. Read the rest of this entry

Testimony of Dr. Robert McMurtry

Guinea Pigs

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 
by Harvey Wrightman

I make no claim of impartiality. I am an advocate for protection of the health of the rural population where wind turbines are to be deployed.  On my way to Chatham, I drive through 5 wind projects (proposed and under construction) besides our own. I cannot see how one could remain unpolarized. I also know there are very few supporters in the rural areas anymore – just the very few  with direct, large benefit. The Kent Breeze project is the template – one property owner gets all the rent. Everyone else there isn’t even a good-bye, or go to hell.

I have to say that the media covering the ERT have been pretty accurate and fair-minded. But, nuances of presentation are not always told, and it’s the feeling that I want to convey. It is a difficult, technical-laden subject. One would think the “other side” would bring their best effort to the table. Indeed, in Suncor lawyer, Rod Northey they pulled all the stops. I would guess Mr. Northey must make more than any other lawyer in the room. He knows his worth and flaunts his superiority with an acerbic manner that does not cross the boundary of rudeness – barely.  He is very polished, researches his subject thoroughly, and passably memorizes enough of the subject to run through the questions. He is a very accomplished practitioner. But, he is vulnerable, and subject to over-playing his hand, which did happen when he crossed swords with – more of that later. Read the rest of this entry

Testimony of Dr. Christoper Hanning- Chatham ERT

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 

Dessert in Chatham 

by Harvey Wrightman
 
The most notable problem for the Suncor and AG lawyers is their lack of technical background, and so they depend on the support staff to provide them with content. It easily leads to confusion for the lawyer. Most of us would be similarly affected. But, sitting in the gallery it is delightful to watch – after all, they are making more money than most residents. Let them earn it.

Wednesday morning was taken up with Ms. Frederika Rotter , affectionately known as “Freddy”, questioning Dr. Christoper Hanning, a sleep disorder specialist from the UK, via teleconference. Fortunately, he must not be from Northumbria, as I could actually understand him even with “speaker phone” connection.

In her questioning, Ms. Rotter  stated that Ontario Regulation 359/09 limits the maximum noise level to 40 dBA – to which Dr. Hanning quickly corrected her that no, the Reg. allows for up to 51 dBA if ground wind speed is 10m/s. Indeed, only NZ and Ontario use this “escalating scale” on the premise that ambient wind speed noise will “mask” wind turbine noise. This is a theory only and there is convincing evidence that lttle or no masking occurs. In any event, Ms. Rotter didn’t appear to understand the concept – Freddy remained confused on the point. Read the rest of this entry

Testimony of Dr. Arline Bronzaft- Chatham ERT

‘Absolute proof comes too late and to wait for that proof prolongs suffering unnecessarily.” Dr. W.H. Stewart–1967

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011
By Esther Wrightman

New York Environmental Psychologist Dr. Arline Bronzaft is not afraid of attorneys- they don’t faze her one bit. Dr. Bronzaft is a firecracker that says everything in plain English and is ready for any question thrown her way. So when the Andrea Huckins, lawyer for the Ministry of Environment and Albert Engel, lawyer for Suncor, started into their same old rigmarole of trying to remove the expert from the hearing, she was ready with her extensive list of qualifications that would make most of us feel small and wonder how somebody could accomplish so much in life. Well, it helps if you start early like Dr. Bronzaft and begin teaching college at age 19!

A quick list off of some of her accomplishments that qualify her as an Environmental Psychologist with knowledge of Noise and its Effects on Humans:

Professor at the City University of New York where she continues to teach courses; has been appointed by four different mayors in the city of NY as the chair of a noise committee (non-paid position); is a noise consultant to the New York City Transit Committee; is currently overseeing research on aircraft noise on student learning; is an advisor to anti-noise groups in North America and abroad; has written numerous noise related articles for peer reviewed journals, and peer reviews three different journals herself (primarily in noise); and has been an expert witness dating back to 1982. Read the rest of this entry

Farmer told his solar panels can’t be hooked up to grid

Strathroy Farmer’s Solar Project Cancelled
Strathroy farmer Henry Aukema spent $85,000 to erect solar panels and sell electricity to the grid only to have the project cancelled by the Ontario government 

Plug pulled on retirement plans
By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press

STRATHROY — Henry Aukema saw his retirement plans crumble in the words of an e-mail from Hydro One.

The 57-year-old Strathroy farmer had been one of 25,000 Ontarians to apply to erect solar panels whose electricity could be sold to the grid at a guaranteed premium for 20 years.

The return was attractive: Aukema calculated by the time he paid off a loan to build the solar array he’d be 65 — and then could produce income of as much as $15,000 a year.

The risk seemed non-existent: He had been given a conditional offer by the Ontario Power Authority under a plan proposed and backed by the Ontario government.

So Aukema borrowed $85,000 rather than cashing in part of his modest RRSP and paid for the project and the electrical work needed to hook it to the grid.

Then he waited.

In November and January he phoned Hydro One and was told his project should prove easy to connect.

Still, nothing happened.

Last week he worked a frigid day outside, then went to the basement of his home to check his e-mail.

The form letter from Hydro One began with a pat on the back for the provincial government:

“The tremendous success of the (program) signals that Ontarians clearly want to play an important role in feeding clean and renewable sources of power into the electricity grid.”

Then came the kick to the gut:

“Some applicants are facing system constraints and will not be able to connect until system upgrades are made. Based on our analysis, we have determined that your project is impacted by system constraints. We regret to inform you that we are unable to provide you with an offer to connect your (project) at this time.”

Aukema was stunned. Read the rest of this entry

Provinces Windmill Arguments Pathetic

There are two cases going on right now in which municipalities or private citizens are trying to challenge the placement of wind turbines in Ontario. Both centre around health issues potentially caused by turbines, safe setback distances, and so on. In both cases, there are studies put forward that seem to suggest it is possible to be harmed by being too close to a wind turbine over a period of time. This is apart from the reams of anecdotal evidence from across Ontario suggesting the same thing.

What has the response been from the province? Firstly, they tried to make it impossible to challenge any turbine placement or the Green Energy Act, suggesting it was simply outside the jurisdiction of any individual or court. Perhaps McGuinty received some advice from Mubarak about how to “legally” ignore popular discontent.

Secondly, when faced with expert testimony, lawyers from the Ministry of the Environment and Suncor (aren’t those very strange bedfellows) tried to argue that experts were too biased to testify. In one case, this was because the expert was on the board of directors of a group that monitors wind turbine operations and questions whether they are safe. If a scientist finds that a particular technology is potentially unsafe and therefore joins a group dedicated to making sure it is only used in a safe fashion, I call that taking action based on the facts. If only more scientists did the same.

Those two arguments by the Ministry and Suncor completely ignore any possible health impacts of windmills . These efforts to stifle opposing viewpoints are typical of the McGuinty government, but they have no place in a democratic society.

Adam Shirley, London
February 3, 2011

Chatham ERT Hearing

Legal Challenge Now Underway Against the Global Wind Industry

 

Or Pay by Cheque

 

We call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions. 

Read the rest of this entry

Chatham Environmental Review Tribunal – Rick James

“I have seen both good wind projects and disasters. My hope is to prevent the disasters.” ~ Richard R. James, Acoustician

With that in mind, Rick James explains his philosophy and approach to siting industrial wind turbines. He went on to explain that focuses on the science, not the client. To him a wind turbine is simply a machine that produces industrial type noise that can be analyzed.

It is in the analysis that he differs with the MOE and the wind proponent, Kent Breeze (Suncor). Although the AG’s lawyer, Andrea Huckins and Suncor’s lawyer, Albert Engel, continued to to try to to discredit Mr.James qualifications, when it came time for cross-examination, it was clear that they are no different than any other lawyer in that they hate expert witnesses.

The witness knows the subject far better. That’s why they try to get them dismissed. So into the quagmire of sound measurement they waded, and I don’t think too happily.

A few pokes about the ISO standard 9613-2 and how the standard does not specify a “tolerance adjustment.” To which Mr.James replied that any competent sound engineer would use a 3dB adjustment as a matter of “standard practice.” Ouch! one snag. Read the rest of this entry