Monthly Archives: June 2012
By Lynda Hillman-Rapley, Lakeshore Advance
Traveling all the way from Alberta to tell people in Ontario about wind turbines may have been extreme and that is exactly what protesters voiced at a meeting last week.
To a full house, mostly protesters, Heidi Eijgel took a stab at explaining her experience with turbines, but the reception was less than welcoming. Dr. Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency policy with the Pembina Institute was also on hand to facilitate discussion and answer questions.
Eijgel lives in Pincher Creek Alberta, a stretch of farmland with a population of 3,500. In that area there are approximately 400 wind turbines, a lot of flat land and a lot of wind. She wanted to tell the people in Ontario how wonderful the turbines are that they do not affect her horses.
“Go home,” was the reaction of the people who came to the meeting at the Alhambra Hall, south of Grand Bend. Pembina rented the room for the public meeting.
While Alberta may be better known for its oil and gas resources, it is also the birthplace of wind energy in Canada. The first wind farm — in Pincher Creek, Alberta — began producing electricity in 1993, and now there are communities and landowners in southern Alberta who have almost 20 years of experience with wind turbines on their own land, and on their neighbours’ land. Read the rest of this entry
Ed. Note: There was a general boycott of the Chatham Pembina Institute meeting, as the London venue on the previous night was not allowing those who were present to speak. If they did, security and police were called in to remove them. How’s that for freedom of speech??
Albertan co-exists with industrial wind farm
By Blair Andrews, Chatham Daily News
Emotions remained calm as 20 people turned out for a wind turbine meeting in Chatham Wednesday night. Despite the low attendance, the event still produced some thoughtful exchanges on the controversial renewable energy source.
The meeting, held at the Sunset Lounge (the former CAW Hall), was organized by the Pembina Institute of Alberta. It was the third of three meetings held this week, following sessions in Grand Bend and London.
During the meeting Heidi Eijgel, a rancher from Pincher Creek, Alta., shared her experience of living next to Canada’s first commercial wind farm for more than a decade.
Heidi and her husband Dave raise horses on a ranch near approximately 60 wind turbines (the closest is about 700 metres).
Eijgel told the meeting they don’t own any wind turbines and she was speaking in favour of the development as a volunteer.
Noting that 2003 was interesting year for the couple, she said wind companies as well as oil and gas companies that were planning developments in their area approached them.
The latter group was seeking to build a sour gas well.
“It was a really challenging time for me and my husband because we had found our dream farm, and I don’t know if I could have lived there with a sour gas well in our backyard,” said Eijgel.
She added she felt she was being bullied and “lied to” over the development.
The relationship with the wind company, she said, was completely opposite.
“We had a good rapport and they answered our questions,” said Eijgel.
As for living near the turbines, Eijgel doesn’t find them bothersome.
“To me it sounds like a train off in the distance,” she noted.
She also said the turbines also don’t bother her horses or other livestock on the other farms in the area.
On potential wild life damage, she noted the company took steps to mitigate the turbines’ impact on bats.
The measures were implemented following a study of a rise in deaths of bats in the area.
Pembina officials said the purpose of the meeting was to have a conversation and start a dialogue rather than seek a consensus.
And the meeting delivered in the regard.
Nikki Horton gave a different perspective of living near turbines.
The Dealtown resident said she has a lot in common with Eijgel, noting that she and her husband our living in their dream home and she supports the concept of green energy.
But for Horton that is where the similarities ended.
“Unfortunately, for the people in this area, there are far less stories than yours,” said Horton.
“In a way you give me hope that wind turbines can function in certain areas at certain distances but then, at the same time, I think you’re lucky right now. Tomorrow you could wake up and there could be another 1,000 (turbines).”
Horton, reading from prepared notes wondered if Eijgel would feel the same about turbines if they were so close that the house “literally shook” and things would vibrate off the shelves.
She then listed a number of health concerns including headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, trouble sleeping and rashes.
“It’s been four years for me and I just hope something I said might resonate to the fact that more homework needs to be going on,” said Horton.
This is a song written and sung by written and is sung by Ernan O’Donnell in response to the proliferation of wind turbines in Donegal, Ireland. The lyrics are as follows:
God bless the hills of Donegal, their days are nearly done,
For no more upon their heathered slopes will hare or rabbit run.
No more the stately stag shall stand, so straight and proud and tall,
Just turbine sores forevermore on the hills of Donegal.
The majestic golden eagle, the falcon and the duck,
Must fly elsewhere to obtain their fare, there’ll be nothing here but muck.
No honking geese, no whirring snipe, no grouse nor pheasant call,
Just turbine sores forevermore on the hills of Donegal. Read the rest of this entry
Pembina Institute presenters got an earful from Ontario residents opposed to wind turbines
GRAND BEND – It was a chilly wind that blew through the Alhambra Hall Monday night for a pro-renewable-energy event hosted by the Pembina Institute. The majority of the 80 or so people who showed up were wind opponents and they spent most of the evening shouting their disapproval. At one point, two OPP officers showed up, walked into the back of the room where many of the wind opponents stood and left without incident.
The event, intended to share views about wind energy from a landowner in Alberta and learn about Ontario issues around wind turbines, was the first of three. A second meeting is planned for 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) in London at Aeolian Hall and a third in Chatham at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sunset Lounge. In spite of Monday’s reception, Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency policy at Pembina, a not-for-profit sustainable energy think tank, says they will go ahead as planned. Alberta horse rancher Heidi Eijgel, who brought a pro-wind view to the meeting, said she does not plan to alter her presentation tonight. The presentation includes slides and videos of her ranch, especially of her horses.
Anti-wind demonstrators first appeared outside but moved into the hall as the 7 p.m. meeting was about to begin, some of them with their signs. A large group stood at the rear of the small hall but many others were scattered among the crowd. It was hard to tell who was who. Read the rest of this entry
A month ago we were told it would be at the elementary school (that will be surrounded by turbines) Adelaide W.G. MacDonald school.
A couple weeks later there was a letter in some residents mailbox (not everyone’s- I didn’t’ get one) saying the venue had been changed to the Adelaide Township Office basement. Well we all know the fire code is only 86 people sitting … so you can imagine how that would go.
And then this morning there is a letter (again, I didn’t get one – I must be blocked (-;) with ANOTHER change in venue. This time it’s Amy’s Place restaurant in Strathroy!
So if anyone actually makes it to the meeting, a the right place, I’ll be surprised. Not that this is a bad thing for Nextera— they’d rather not have us there anyways…conveniently.
So Ministry of Environment- what do you think? Is it OK to play musical venues with ‘Open Houses’? Is this ignorable? Do you really care if we aren’t there, or driving every which way in the township on July 12th? No you don’t. It’s just another check mark on the list of things the wind company has to do to say they have consulted with us. Yeah, right. Community Consultation my !@#.
London Free Press
When did it become OK for our representatives in the Ontario Legislature not to vote on critical bills, such as the provincial budget?
Again the NDP, under Andrea Horwath’s leadership, did not vote. This is not acceptable.
She got a surcharge on folks who earn more than $500,000 a year. These are the folks who are for the most part are trying to run and create businesses and give Ontarians an opportunity to work.
Horwath ignored all the scandals, such as Ornge, as well as the recommendations from the Ontario auditor general regarding the industrial wind turbines, for example, single-source contracts to Samsung and removing citizens’ rights in the Green Energy Act.
Horwath should not talk out of both sides of her mouth. Why is she so scared to vote this government down? Is she worried about her pension?
Horwath should be ashamed, and so should the provincial NDP for this disgraceful use of public trust.
London Free Press
John Miner has nailed the invasion of foreign wind companies in rural Ontario in his article, They sound homey – they aren’t (June 20).
If you are unlucky enough to have to attend a wind company meeting, you will be disheartened to realize when the wind representative says he is from “around here,” he means Mississauga. That’s as local as it gets.
At an Adelaide NextEra meeting, I referred to the company by the name it used to go by – Florida Power and Light (FPL). The wind representatives sharply told me: “We are not FPL; we are NextEra Canada.” Embroidered on the left-hand side of one representative’s shirt were the words “Florida Power and Light.”
NextEra/FPL has zero wind turbines in Florida, but they are happy to shove 38 in Adelaide, 45 near Parkhill and 92 near Forest and Watford. That is just one of the multinational corporations. This is why I use the word “invasion.”
Esther Wrightman, Kerwood
London Free Press
The failed alternative energy policies of the McGuinty government are dealing massive damage to the hard-hit region of Southwestern Ontario.
Rural communities are being destroyed and property values are plummeting.
London would do well to take note of the gross encroachments occurring in the region or it runs the risk of watching our farmland suffer.
If the McGuinty Liberals are expecting more wind turbines in the region, then the Progressive Conservatives can be expecting more votes in the next election.
James Daniels, London
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Mayor Todd Case says his council has questions about plans to build part of a 92-turbine wind farm in Warwick Township.
NextEra Energy Canada is holding a public meeting July 17, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Centennial Hall in Watford about its 150-MW Jericho Wind Energy Centre, proposed for the neighbouring communities of Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
“We are in a situation where we have not heard much from this company at all,” Case said.
The township will ask NextEra officials to come to council this summer with information about the turbines they want to build, he said.
“Right now, we don’t know if they’re talking about two, four, six, eight, We have no idea.”
Township officials will also go to the public meeting, he said.
“We look forward to hearing what their plans are, exactly.” Read the rest of this entry
GREEN ENERGY: $700-million project completed
By JOHN MINER, The London Free Press
Completion of the biggest transmission line project in Ontario in 20 years clears an important hurdle for a series of massive wind turbine projects in Southwestern Ontario, including eight within 70 kilometres of London.
Completed six months ahead of schedule, the $700-million Bruce to Milton transmission project will allow electricity to flow from refurbished reactors at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, and from wind and solar projects that have received conditional contracts under Ontario’s green energy program. Read the rest of this entry
By JOHN MINER, The London Free Press
GREEN ENERGY: Don’t be fooled by the names of many of the massive wind farms sprouting up across Southwestern Ontario. There’s a local ring to them, but they’re actually owned by multinationals as far-flung as Calgary, Florida and China, to name a few. John Miner reports.
The names have a comforting, familiar ring — Adelaide, Bluewater, Goshen, Bornish. Jericho.
But if you’re looking for who controls the massive wind farms under development in this part of Ontario, you won’t find their head office anywhere close to their local namesakes.
While incorporated as separate companies with local-sounding names, the real control of these wind farms resides in Juno Beach, Fla., home to NextEra Energy, the third largest nuclear power company in the U.S. and the largest industrial wind company in North America.
NextEra Energy owns Florida Power and Light and NextEra Energy Resources, which owns NextEra Energy Canada. It, in turn, owns the planned Adelaide Wind Farm, as well as neighbouring Bornish, Goshen and Jericho.
It’s a similar story for much of the fresh wave of wind farms that have won contracts with the Ontario government. Read the rest of this entry
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
The proposed 92-turbine Jericho Wind Energy Centre’s southern boundary has shifted south into Warwick Township.
Originally, the 150-MW wind farm turbines NextEra Energy Canada plans to build, were all planned for Lambton Shores.
“As the project develops and as the project progresses, things kind of shift around a little bit,” said NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez.
A map included in an October 2011 draft project description report — on http://www.nexteraenergycanada.com — showed Townsend Line as the wind farm’s southern boundary.
The company’s latest map shows the southern edge has now moved from Townsend Line — the boundary line between Lambton Shores and Warwick — to Warwick village and Egremont Road. Read the rest of this entry
Boralex wrote a short note to North Middlesex council just to inform that that they are installing a MET tower, and that apparently, “many of your neighbours have already indicated they would like to be part of the project”. BS. In any case, they don’t even say WHERE they are installing the MET tower – I guess they don’t have to tell the township? Who needs a permit for anything around here anymore – as long as it’s tied to green energy!
Richard Wakfield, the brains behind Ontario Wind Performance , speaks in Parkhill on June 13th about why wind turbines do NOT work in Ontario.
If Nextera and Suncor ruled the world, what would Lambton county look like? Well, they’d like to see this:
WIND TURBINE OPPOSITION: Council gives its OK for videotaping, signs and talking, all activities it flirted with banning, at its meetings
By JONATHAN SHER, The London Free Press
In a rural landscape soon to be home to an industrial wind farm, an uneasy truce has been reached between the township mayor and activists fighting the arrival of turbines.
Gone for now are police who were called in twice to May meetings by Adelaide Metcalfe Mayor David Bolton to stop a wind opponent from videotaping the proceedings.
Missing at its most recent meeting in June were vociferous critics confronting Bolton with shouts and signs calling for his resignation as they did in May. Instead, council decided to allow videotaping, signs and talking, all activities it had flirted with banning.
But while the flashpoints have passed for now, it’s clear neither side trusts the other. Council members mused about resigning, but Bolton said none considered that a serious option. Read the rest of this entry
So when a Final Public Meeting for a wind project is published, with a map of the turbine locations and transmission lines, you most likely think, “Well, it’s set in stone”. Or at the very least you’ll think that the wind company is giving the full story, you know… ACCURATE information, after all what’s the point in the public commenting on INACCURATE info? But what if the company doesn’t quite have all it’s info together and they are scrambling to meet deadlines? They wouldn’t LIE to you now, would they– you know, kinda ‘fudge’ the details? They wouldn’t, say, have their transmission lines go down a completely different line then what is shown on their ‘public notice’ map….would they?
Oh of course they would. Especially if the company name is NextEra. Take a look at what is developing for the NextEra Projects in Middlesex and Lambton counties (Adelaide 38 turbines, Bornish 45 turbines and Jericho 92 turbines = 175 turbines total). They are hooking all these projects together with one transmission line that NextEra has to build. Apparently easier said than done as landowners are telling them to shove their $60 000 easement offers you know where.
Judging by the NextEra easement options being requested and signed in the area, the transmission line is not going down Nairn Rd as the ‘public’ maps shows, it’s cutting through the back lots between Nairn Rd. and Coldstream Rd. That isn’t a clear path of nothing land – they plan to cut 100ft right-of-ways through Hard (Sugar) Maple bush – and lots of it. That’s how ‘green’ these projects are. Wherever they can get their lines through, that’s where they will go, it doesn’t matter what they destroy to make this happen.
By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
Crowds no longer come to the general store Joe Wood’s grandfather built 107 years ago.
Most of its products are gone too, the rural locale west of Strathroy too far from suppliers. Now, Wood is surrounded mainly by guns and ammo at the store.
Mayor David Bolton still stops by mornings to share gossip and drink a diet Pepsi. So Wood knows something about the kerfuffle at the township office of Adelaide-Metcalfe, a provincial creation that joined two tiny hamlets and farmland into a new municipality with only 3,000 people.
This week, more than 100 residents came to council — that’s 1 out of every 30 residents, akin to 12,000 Londoners showing up at city hall.
Some carried signs and shouted for Bolton to resign.
Others carried generations of ties to the area and spoke of their concerns diplomatically.
All were there to fight for democratic rights that in recent weeks have come under question:
- Bolton twice phoned police to stop citizens from videotaping meetings. Police threatened an arrest the first time, but stayed out the second.
- Deputy Mayor Adrian DeBruyn voted to set fees for wind turbine permits, even though his son has signed 32 leases with a wind company.
- The township hired the mayor’s kids to shut off lights of a park and take away a few garbage bags.
- The husband of the township’s administrator threatened a woman snapping his picture outside a private meeting between Suncor Energy, members of council and landowners who have signed leases for turbines. Read the rest of this entry
Say NO to Sec. 13.3!!!
Date: June 4
Place: 2340 Egremont Dr. , Adelaide
Ayyayiiii! OK, so is everyone ready to attend yet another Adelaide-Metcalfe council meeting? Please read through this- I know it is lengthy.
From the top down- points to note:
- ABSENT WITH NOTICE: Councillor Nick Stokman
- The meeting will be held in the Lower Level of the Township Building.
- The Meeting will be taped by the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe and will be downloaded on the Municipality’s website.
- The room capacity is rated and this matter will be enforced for the safety of everyone.
- Please respect that Adelaide Metcalfe residents will have priority to attend the meeting.
Got all that?
That’s only the beginning: