Daily Archives: October 4, 2012

Lambton County Council endorses wind turbine moratorium

Cathy Dobson, Sarnia Observer
WYOMING – Lambton County politicians unanimously agreed Wednesday to demand a provincial moratorium on industrial wind turbines, after hearing that local residents are getting ill. People living near wind turbines in Lambton Shores and Brooke-Alvinston are complaining of nausea, headaches, and dizziness, said Marcelle Brooks of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group.

She was among 40 Lambton County residents who packed county council chambers and asked council to join 90 other Ontario municipalities in favour of a moratorium. Until the province conducts a study on the health effects related to the 500-foot turbines, no more should be approved, Brooks said.

Health Canada has agreed to do a study and publish the results in 2014. But Brooks said the federal government has already provided money to some wind turbine projects and she doesn’t trust that its study will be unbiased. Members of WAIT (We’re Against Industrial Turbines) from Plympton-Wyoming and the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group applauded county councillors when they voted 33-0 in favour of a moratorium. Read article

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Gone with the wind

By John Miner, The London Free Press
Homeowners close to wind turbines can expect to see much of their property values blown away, a provocative study by a London property appraiser has found. Sellers in the future could even find their properties are worth nothing, says the study by Ben Lansink of Lansink Appraisals and Consulting.

“If there is no buyer, there may be no value,” Lansink concluded. Industrial wind turbines have become a huge sore point for many in Ontario, with about 1,200 of the often-unwanted behemoths now in operation now and with the province having signed deals that will more than double that number in the next couple of years.

Lansink, who’s been qualified as a real estate expert in court proceedings, analyzed properties in the Shelburne area, north of Orangeville, home to Ontario’s first major industrial wind farm — the 133-turbine Melancthon Wind Facility.

He found five homes that had been bought by the wind farm developer, Canadian Hydro Developments, a subsidiary of Calgary-based TransAlta, at fair market value. Canadian Hydro later put those houses back on the market and they sold for an average loss of 38%. One brought 58.5% less.

“The erection of a wind turbine creates apprehension in the general public, which makes property less desirable and thus diminishes the prices of neighbouring property,” Lansink said. Read article

Energy Minister Chris Bentley must answer to a contempt of parliament charge

Jonathan Sher, London Free Press
Ontario MPPs voted 53-50 Tuesday to send Energy Minister Chris Bentley of London to answer a charge of contempt of parliament — a charge that hasn’t stuck in more than a century. At issue is how the Liberal government secretly agreed to pay $230 million to kill deals to build power plants in two Toronto area ridings on the eve of the last election. It means an all-party committee of MPPs — with the power of a court — will decide the issue later this fall.

The Free Press quizzed Bentley on the fallout.

Q: Have Liberal colleagues left you to take a bullet for Dalton McGuinty over a decision that wasn’t yours?

The premier and my colleagues have been enormously supportive . . . We took the decision not to proceed with these two power plants, a decision supported by both of the other parties and that decision meant there was going to be a cost.

Q: They’re not under a contempt investigation. You are . . . Do you feel you’ve been left to face an ordeal that wasn’t of your own making?

As I said, the premier and my colleagues have been very supportive. Today is a difficult day. We have the committee coming up and I’ll be able to hear some of the facts.

Q:  Do you feel you’ve been left to face an ordeal that wasn’t of your own making?

Today is a difficult day. We have the committee coming up and I’ll be able to hear some of the facts. Read the rest of this entry

New Ontario Wind Turbine Property Value Analysis – Ben Lansink AACI, P. App, MRCS

CASE STUDY Diminution in Value Wind Turbine Analysis
Case Study Wind Turbines Diminution Injurious Affection Oct-12

Lansink Appraisals and Consulting–
by Ben Lansink AACI, P. App, MRCS

Conclusion – Property Purchases and Re-Sales
Market evidence suggests that ‘dwelling properties’ will be harmed or injured by the construction, use, and maintenance of wind turbines situated on properties located in the vicinity. Real or perceived nuisances resulting from wind turbines produces buyer resistance that results in price diminution.

Conclusion: Price diminution due to the Melancthon Wind Facility: 133 wind turbines

1 ID 15797 – 375557 6th Line, Amaranth -48.27%
2 ID 15798 – 97121 4th Line, Melancthon -58.56%
3 ID 15799 – 504059 Highway 89, Melancthon -23.24%
4 ID 15800 – 582340 County Road 17, Melancthon -26.66%
5 ID 16339 – 582328 County Road 17, Melancthon -37.30%

Median Loss in Market Price -37.30%
Average Loss in Market Price -38.81%

The erection of a wind turbine creates apprehension in the general public, which makes the property less desirable and thus diminishes the prices of neighbouring property. Continuing scientific uncertainty over the adverse health consequences of wind turbines only serves to perpetuate the debilitating effect of wind turbines on property prices.

By including the Transfer of Easement in Gross in the deed/transfer of the properties sold by Canadian Hydro Developments, Inc., it is reasonable to conclude that Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. was fully aware of problems associated with…heat, sound, vibration, shadow, flickering of light, noise (including grey noise) or any other adverse effect or combination thereof resulting directly or indirectly from the operation of the Transferee’s wind turbine facilities situated…within the Townships of Melancthon and Amaranth, in the County of Dufferin…’ and that the turbines …’may affect the living environment’…”.

The covenants imposed by Canadian Hydro Developments, Inc. and accepted by the five buyers suggest an official admission by Canadian Hydro Developments, Inc. that there are living environment issues with the result that there is a diminution in price as a result of wind turbines.

It is also reasonable to assume that a property that has a wind turbine erected on it will suffer a similar price diminution and will be injuriously affected.

The Future: Given that wind turbines are a relatively new phenomenon in Ontario (2005), it may be that in the future a buyer will simply refuse to purchase a property within the vicinity of a wind turbine. If there is no buyer, there may be no value. Read Full Report

Bentley shows contempt for Ontario’s rural citizens

London Free Press
On Sept. 24 Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley rose in the legislature to defend the cancellation of the Oakville power plant and to defend allegations regarding contempt of parliament, proudly announcing, “The decision was made after hearing overwhelming concerns from local residents and local elected officials. We heard concerns from families and we responded.”

Given the thousands of requests from rural Ontario to stop wind turbines from being rammed into our communities and his refusal to listen to us, Bentley’s statement shows contempt for rural Ontario and an absolute lack of respect for our citizens.

More than 90 municipalities have asked his government for a moratorium on industrial wind turbines, as have the Ontario Federation of Agricultural and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. On any given day in the legislature petitions are brought before parliament asking for the same. Yet he refuses to listen.

Instead he has the audacity to claim he is listening, when it is apparent this listening skill pertains only to urban residents when Liberal seats are in jeopardy.

Bentley’s callous disregard for the citizens of rural Ontario is shameful and a sad indicator of the differential treatment afforded to those in urban ridings. When will he stop treating Ontario’s rural residents like second class citizens?

J.C. Morris
Woodstock

Fisherville ERT: In the Land of All Day Breakfast

by Harvey Wrightman
Make no mistake about it, from the beginning, this has been a rural/urban issue – and I don’t say that with pleasure, nor do I believe that once the issue is properly explained, most people, no matter where they live, are reasonable and sympathetic to the plight of those condemned to live in wind projects. Sitting at the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in the Fisherville Community Centre, I look at the lawyers for the MOE/Capital Power, all seated in an orderly row, and in my boredom dream that they are there to try and comfort us – rural residents, both those in projects and the rest of us sitting on death row waiting to step into the torture chamber; or rather, the chamber comes to us – like one of those mobile x-ray trailers sent out to the hinterland. Well clearly, there is no milk of human kindness to be had here today.

The bulk of the day is taken up with arguments about the medical evidence:

  1. how much is enough
  2. who has been the foot-dragger in this hearing
  3. what to do with these “post turbine” witnesses who refuse to withdraw and indeed keep showing up at the hearings – irritating reminders of the human aspect of the “wind projects.”

This last one is clearly taking its toll on the MOE and the wind companies. Though they sit side by each at the table, they have no supporters in the audience (I have yet to see even one “lessor” attend.) They don’t even lunch together anymore. They do still confer openly with each other, but think of the “stress” they are enduring .

So, in their presentations I note that no more do they extoll the virtues of free, carbon-less wind energy. No, instead the cry is, The REA process is a STATUTORY process , “streamlined” so that the appeal decision is announced within the 6 month expiration date. Read the rest of this entry