Category Archives: Electrical Pollution

Dairy farmer hopes there’s still time to pull the plug

Darryl DegrootPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Darryl De Groot says it’s gotten to the point that farmers have stopped waving to each other on Northville Road. And that’s just one impact the dairy farmer sees that Ontario’s Green Energy Act, and Nextera’s proposed Jericho wind energy project, is having on rural Lambton Shores. “Country life out here, it’s not like it once was,” De Groot said.

Florida-based Nextera is planning to build a 92-turbine wind farm in Lambton Shores and neighbouring Warwick Township, and the community has divided between farmers who signed leases, allowing the wind companies to build turbines on their land, and those who didn’t, De Groot said. When the land agents came around in 2008, he and his father took a look at what they were offering, and turned them down. “Dad said, ‘You know what, anything to do with the government that is 50 pages long, don’t sign it.'”

But other farmers did, including some of De Groot’s neighbours. Nextera received a contract to sell power to Ontario, and is in the final stages of securing provincial environmental approval to move ahead with its project. “Farmers aren’t waving at each other on the roads any more,” De Groot said. “It’s sad . . . it should have been done a different way. It shouldn’t have been pushed on us.”

De Groot grew up on the farm near the small community of Arkona, went to agricultural college, married and has a one-year-old child he still hopes will be the fourth generation of the family to farm on Northville Road. Read article

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Nextera, Suncor – Answers needed to questions about OUR schools & YOUR wind turbines

Dear Nextera, Suncor, Media and School Board trustees,

I am quite upset to see incorrect and confusing numbers reported in the media as to how many and how close wind turbines are to be from the schools in Lambton County. It is not the media’s fault.

Nextera, Suncor: I have reviewed wind project noise documents for 4 years – I should be competent in it by now. But I find I am tearing my hair out reviewing the documents, trying to find the exact noise, and distances turbines are to the schools in your projects.

Currently, my frustration stems from:

  1. The Bosanquet elementary school does not even have a Receptor ID on the project draft map.
  2. The hundreds of receptor ID’s are not numerically ordered in the noise chart – and I honestly can’t even find the school ID (or in this case, it’s neighbour’s, because it doesn’t have an ID).
  3. At the wind developer meetings, the schools are not even identified on the large maps. Security was called over when I wrote “school” on the map location for others to be able to see. How’s THAT for informing the public?? No wonder the media doesn’t know the true numbers… Read the rest of this entry

Hydro One says “No” to shared 115kV transmission lines with Nextera

Hydro One letter to Middlesex County Council

NexTerror Wind and Rural Fear

DSCN6594by Harvey Wrightman
The Liberal party, engaged in a collective effort of navel-gazing, is puzzled as to why rural residents have such irrational fear of the great green future planned for them – all the prospective leadership candidates affirm that the wind energy program will proceed as planned.

One of the newest wrinkles to the wind program is now coming to light. The 300 or so wind turbines planned for north east Lambton, north west Middlesex and southern Huron Counties require transmission lines to get to Hydro’s 500kv main line some 40 km away. The wind companies, in their typical corporate arrogance, planned their projects first, leaving transmission details for later, never anticipating that things here would be any different than they are in Kansas or Missouri where you send out your “landmen” (that’s what this particular breed of slime is called) to offer a few dollars for the easements required – and the poles are up before anyone even knows about it. Almost everything on private land so there are no hassles with municipal or State bureaucrats. So, we can do the same thing here, right? – Well, not exactly. Read the rest of this entry

Nextera: “historically stray voltage comes from hanging lines.”

stray voltageBy Laura MacDuff, The Post, Hanover
DURHAM – The Municipality of West Grey met with NextEra energy at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. As part of the approval process for the wind turbines planned for just outside of Durham, NextEra needs to make consultation with West Grey. This began on Monday. Questions by council were answered by Derek Dudek, community relations consultant for NextEra, and Adam Rickel, project manager of the Durham project. NextEra also hired a West Grey police officer to be present at the council meetings, to ensure the safety of all people at the meeting.

Mayor Kevin Eccles said to NextEra that council is elected to represent the people. He said that the vast majority of people within West Grey don’t want the turbines in their municipality. He said that was why West Grey passed a resolution saying that West Grey will not be a willing host to the turbines.
“We hope that we’re providing them with accountable information that will ease their concerns with respect to the centre,” Dudek answered.

Councillor Bev Cutting made it clear to the NextEra representatives that West Grey would be getting their own independent peer review done by West Grey, at a cost to NextEra. She said that all of those proposing a project have to have it reviewed by an independent peer reviewer and that the company proposing a project always pays.

The mayor questioned the company to do tests about stray voltage around the turbines.  “Would that not be a proactive thing for the company to do?” Mayor Eccles said he had heard stories of stray voltage in and around the Ripley wind turbines and the Kincardine ones. Adam Rickel said that there is a lesser risk for stray voltage because the cables are buried underground.   He said that “historically stray voltage comes from hanging lines.” Read the rest of this entry

Anti-wind groups watching transmission line battle

Zephyr1201240015by Heather Wright, Sarnia This Week
Middlesex Lambton Wind Action is closely watching talks between Middlesex County and NextEra Energy. NextEra has several wind projects in Middlesex and Lambton County. It’s planning to build transmission lines to carry the energy created by the turbines in southern Ontario and it wants to build them on municipal and county right of ways.

NextEra recently went to Middlesex County Council to talk about the plan. Draft documents from the Jericho project, with 92 turbines in Lambton Shores and Warwick, show the transmission lines would also stretch into Lambton County. Lambton County Councilors recently gave county staff authority to negotiate with wind energy companies about access to county right of ways.

Esther Wrightman of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action says NextEra wants to build a separate line of polls to carry the energy being produced because Hydro One would not allow NextEra’s lines on their poles. In some areas, that could mean Hydro One poles on one side of the road and NextEra’s on the other.

“A good portion of our county roads will have poles on each side of the road,” she says. “You just double the chance of hitting a pole (in an accident) by putting poles on the other side of the road, too.” Middlesex County engineers have asked NextEra to come back to the county with plans from an engineer. Wrightman is pleased, saying the transmission lines will have a devastating effect on the landscape of rural Ontario.

“They will be running by people’s homes, near schools; it is very invasive, it is going to drastically change the community.” She’s also concerned about the infrastructure left behind “white elephants with transmission lines running down your road” she calls them, should the energy companies pull the turbines out of service. Read the rest of this entry

Nextera wants Middlesex county’s help

Deb Van Brenk, London Free Press

North America’s largest wind energy company generated local static Tuesday as it asked Middlesex County to smooth the process in allowing transmission lines along county roads.

The transmission poles would connect NextEra’s three proposed wind farms near Thedford, Parkhill and Strathroy along county-owned roads.

County councillors expressed concerns about the poles’ height — each would be about 35 metres tall — possible conflicts with other services, such as drainage and hydro, and clearance at intersections.

Southwest Middlesex Mayor Vance Blackmore wondered if they would exacerbate worries that Middlesex roads already have too many signs and poles.

County engineer Chris Traini said, “In a perfect world, we would limit the amount of above-ground utilities if possible.”

But he conceded the county is required to share its rights-of-way and needs to make sure policies are in place to protect county interests.

That means NextEra should not consider this a negotiation but a matter of following county policies, said Adelaide Metcalfe Mayor David Bolton. Read the rest of this entry

Nextera’s transmission troubles in Middlesex & Lambton

In Middlesex County, Nextera has two wind projects up for final public comment: Adelaide and Bornish, totaling 83 turbines, for now. The company’s plan is to connect these two projects, as well as the 92 turbine Nextera Jericho and 62 Suncor Cedar Point projects, with one massive transmission line. Problem is, the route isn’t figured out yet. Remember, the public is supposed to be filing their final comments right now on  complete project documents, and yet this very significant piece of information isn’t available for the public to comment on, or even view.

The map (above right) shows a ‘proposed’ route – this is all the public, the county, the townships and the Ministry of Environment are supposed to know right now. In fact, this route has not been secured. Landowners refused to sign easements; Hydro Ones said ‘no’ to sharing their poles. And now Nextera is planning to ask Middlesex County council to allow the company to erect their own 90’ poles with 115kv lines on the other side of the county’s road; hoping that council will ignore the significant safety risk that this will pose to regular travelers by doubling the number of hydro poles on county road allowance.

But this isn’t the whole story. Nextera has a plan “C”, lovingly called the “Back Country” route. The locals started cluing into this plan when residents were being approached by CanAcre landmen to sign 100′ transmission easements through the back of their lots— in some cases through mature, hard maple bush. At the final public meeting when company representatives were asked about this route, they twisted away from saying it was so, until they were certain that we were not going to tolerate being lied to. One rep was asked: if they were to use this route, would they not have to have another public meeting to unveil this new plan? Yes, he said they would. But no new meeting has taken place, so we just assumed they were using one of the other routes….until we saw these documents at the MOE office in London (they were only placed on the company’s website 3 days ago, after complaints to the MOE were made). Take a look at pg.11 and on – these are personal notes that the CanAcre landmen took while trying to sign-up the ‘Back Country’ land. Why was this sent to the MOE? Do they intend to still use this route? It would appear that that would still be a big possibility as to this day, CanAcre is still making their rounds in the community, trying to get the land signed that they need.

What would this ‘Back Country’ route look like? Nextera of course does not have a map available, but residents were able to piece it together by basically following the plow lines in the fields and assembling the map below. The Red line is the “Back country” and the Yellow is the current Proposed Line. Be sure to follow those lines, right through the woodlot— and remember this is supposed to be ‘green energy’.

Does it not fly in the face of reason that council and the public are only now being shown all the various transmission routes that this company is contemplating? We are in the middle of the final 30 day comment periods for both the Bornish and Adelaide projects – this is the last time the Ministry of Environment allows us to comment on these projects. If the MOE has truly reviewed all of Nextera’s Bornish and Adelaide Project Documents, and deemed them complete so that we could review them – does it not seem like they may be missing a large piece of the puzzle, of WHERE the transmission lines are going? We know of three different transmission routes: on Hydro One’s poles, on the other side of the county road, and the ‘back country route’ – all of which are still being actively pursued by the wind company. We are being asked to comment on incomplete and unavailable information… or perhaps they do not wish to have the public’s comments and that is why we are left out of the decision making.

NextEra’s ‘double secret’ transmission line

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.

“They want an easement, but I won’t give it to them. They will have to expropriate it.”

Walking against the lines

By Heather Wright  Sarnia this Week 

PLYMPTON-WYOMING – In a flood of people concerned about the effects of wind turbines, Paul Marsh stands out. And it isn’t just because he’s holding a picket sign.
Marsh lives in Sylvan – a community south east of Thedford just over the Middlesex County line. He, too, says he will be affected by the 62 turbine Cedar Point Wind Power project in Plympton-Wyoming.
Marsh won’t be too close to the turbines and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to see them since his 30 acre property is filled with trees.
What he will notice is a power transmission line which will run the length of his corner lot property.
“The transmission lines which are going to take the power from here will go right by my house,” said Marsh as he stood in front of the doors of the Camlachie Community Centre where Suncor was holding an open house recently. “The power generated here will go by my house. Everybody thinks about the turbines themselves but not how they move the power.”
The Cedar Point project isn’t the only industrial wind farm which will benefit from the new power lines. NextEra Energy also expects to hook into the line leading to feeder lines near the Bruce Power plant for its Jericho project in Lambton Shores.
“Right now, the small projects can feed into the grid, but they won’t be able to once there are 100s of them.”
And it is obvious Marsh is not happy about it. Suncor wants an easement – legal permission – to erect the power lines on between 60 and 80 feet at the edge of his property.
He had a “90 second conversation” about the idea with officials and now says the company will have find another way.
“They want an easement, but I won’t give it to them. They will have to expropriate it.”

Green energy woes discussed at Lambton NFU annual meeting

By John Phair Today’s Farmer

There’s not a whole lot good about wind turbines, or for that matter, Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

At least that seemed to be the general opinion expressed at the annual meeting of Local 328 (Lambton County) National ­Farmers Union, held recently at the Forest Agricultural Society Hall.

The organization’s outgoing president said issues surrounding wind generators and the Green Energy Act were among his greatest concerns for the rural community as he wrapped up his term of office.

“The thing that had the biggest impact on me are issues regarding wind generators and green energy and the true costs behind them,” said Joe Vye in his report to the membership.

Vye stressed that he hopes no one signs a lease agreement with any energy company, whether it be a natural gas, oil, wind or solar company without having it vetted by a lawyer who specializes in that field.

He noted that he was recently asked to look over a contract from an oil company that wanted to drill on one of his neighbour’s land and was astounded by what he read. Read the rest of this entry

Thamesville family impacted by wind turbines tells Lambton to act now

By Heather Wright, Sarnia This Week
GRAND BEND – Until a few months ago, Lisa Michaud didn’t know who ‘MOE’ was. The Thamesville woman and her family have gotten to know MOE – also known as the Ministry of the Environment – as they deal with the government agency because of the impacts of living beside industrial wind turbines.

Michaud, who recently spoke to a crowd of over 300 people in Grand Bend, suffers from severe headaches and vertigo – conditions which started after four industrial turbines were set up by Kent Breeze and Suncor near the family’s rural home.

Her son, Josh, is also affected. He used to work in construction on roofs but can’t anymore because of the dizziness he experiences. “It’s like there is a constant ringing in my ears,” he says comparing it to coming out of a really loud concert.

Michaud says the turbines are also having an impact on the family’s goats, which for unexplained reasons, refuse to go into their shelter at night and don’t sleep. And the animals have had a number of false pregnancies – the first time they’ve had significant problems with their flock.

Michaud says after she became ill, a representative from Suncor came to their farm to talk to her but made it seem “none of this was real and no one else in the province was experience this.”

Michaud asked Suncor to turn the turbines off for a while, so they could determine if the whooshing sounds were actually the source of their health problems. Suncor refused. Read the rest of this entry

3 Excellent speakers on IWTs @ Grand Bend- Feb 16th

Grand Bend: Public Info Meeting on Wind Turbines

Grand Bend:  Public Information Meeting

Date:                Thursday February 16th, 2012
Time:              7:00 PM
Location:      Grand Bend Public School, 15 Gill Road, Grand Bend MAP

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Speakers:

 1. Environment: Birds/Waterfowl

Dr. Scott Petrie, B.Sc, PhD – Executive director of Long Point Waterfowl and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Ontario. Scott will outline the potential impacts that Industrial Wind Turbines could have on wetland habitat and water fowl, in the lower Great Lakes area.

2. Electrical Pollution: Home/Farm/School

David Colling – A dairy farmer for 30 years inRipley,ON, who has also been a dealer for Bio-Ag Consultants and Distributors since 1991. David studied Electrical Engineering at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and currently uses his vast knowledge, through out Ontario, to assess electrical pollution in homes, farms and businesses that are presently in the vicinity of Industrial Wind Turbines

3. Property Value: Real Estate

Doug Pedlar – Doug is a Broker of Record for RE/MAX Bluewater Realty in the Grand Bend Area. Doug has many years as a respected Realtor within the community, and will speak on the effects that Industrial Wind Turbines currently have on property values, and how the Industrialization of the local community will impact its residents’ property values. 

Contact:  Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group windactiongroup@gmail.com

Stray voltage = Wind developers problem- not Hydro One’s

What I learnt at the Hydro One transmission meeting last night:

Wind Developers: if YOU install ANY transmission lines (collector lines etc.) in our communities— YOU must fix the Stray Voltage that occurs, not Hydro One. That includes the lines proposed to surround my kid’s school and playground.  So don’t bother telling me anything otherwise at any more of your twisted meetings.

Lambton to Longwood 70km Transmission Upgrade

From Hydro One:

Notice of Commencement and Invitation to Public Information Centre
Lambton to Longwood Transmission Upgrade Class Environmental Assessment

Date: January 18
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: Southwest Middlesex Arena, Auditorium 138 Mill Street, Glencoe

Date: January 19
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: Brigden Community Hall 3016 Brigden Road, Brigden

Hydro One Networks Inc. (“Hydro One”) invites you to a Public Information Centre to learn more about plans to upgrade an existing double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line. The transmission line, as shown on the map below, connects Lambton Transformer Station (TS) in the Township of St. Clair with Longwood TS in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. Consistent with Province of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, this project is required by the end of 2014 to increase capacity of the transmission system west of London to carry additional power from renewable, gas and other sources. The project involves replacing the conductor (wire) and insulators on the existing transmission towers. Hydro One will also repair selected tower foundations to ensure the long-term structural integrity of the transmission line.

Project Planning and Approvals
This project is being planned in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities. The project will undergo an initial Environmental Screening. Screening criteria will be used to assess the potential significance of effects. If significant effects cannot be avoided, Hydro One will carry out a full Class Environmental Assessment. The project will also require approval under Section 92 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. The Ontario Energy Board regulates the electricity sector in Ontario and will review Hydro One’s “Leave to Construct” application to determine if the construction and operation of the proposed project is in the public interest.

Opportunities for public input exist throughout both the environmental planning and Ontario Energy Board review processes.

Public Information Centres
Interested parties are invited to attend one of our public information centres to learn more about the project and to provide comments to our project team.

For More Information
If you have any questions or want to be added to the project mailing list, please contact: Carrie-Lynn Ognibene, Community Relations Hydro One Networks Inc. Tel: 1-877-345-6799 E-mail: Community.Relations@HydroOne.com www.HydroOne.com/projects  

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Hydro transmission upgrade inches ahead  By CATHY DOBSON, The Observer

A major upgrade to a 70-kilometre transmission line slicing through Lambton County bodes well for the local economy, community leaders say.

Hydro One plans to hold public consultations this month about adding capacity to the existing double-circuit 230-kilovolt transmission line stretching from the Lambton transformer station in St. Clair Township to the Longwood transformer station in Strathroy-Caradoc. Read the rest of this entry

NextEra Adelaide Transmission route (proposed)

NextEra Ad- Adelaide Wind Development – London Free Press Nov 21, 2011

 

 

Wind Turbine Aftermath

Click to watch The Aftermath of wind turbines. If they let this happen in Hawaii, just guess what Ontario will look like.

Transmission Map & so called Public Meeting

Electrical issues, wind turbines and insurance

 What Gives?

Q: What two things do Ripley, Ipperwash and Ridgetown all have in common?

A: All have wind turbine developments and local residents have experienced weird electrical problems.

Ripley had, and still has, severe stray voltage that seems to follow a buried municipal drain.

Ipperwash had reports of blown-out electrical equipment (eg. One person reported 11 VCR’s in one year) and an odd case where Hydro insisted that a monthly bill for $7,000 was accurate and threatened to cutoff service if it wasn’t paid.

But the problems in Ridgetown have to take the cake. Nearby is the large Talbot wind project with 43 turbines. It went live last December. On March 5 there was a wide area that was hit with a “ground surge” of electricity, and then a blackout, all the way from Highgate to downtown Ridgetown. The surge lasted three seconds – doesn’t sound very long, but for an uncontrolled electrical event it is eternity. In that three seconds, tens of thousands of dollars of damage was done. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

Residents reported:

1) Fax machines, computers, microwave ovens, smoke detectors (!!!) etc. were fried.

2) Fuses on numerous Hydro transformers were “popped” – in one case every one on a concession road.

3) An electrical transformer on a furnace at a local Ridgetown school caught fire and left scorch marks on the panel.

4) A resident reported flames shooting from an electrical receptacle with scorch marks on the metal and melted plastic.

5) Strangest of all was an inverter on a micro-FIT solar panel that was blown out – a $5,000 repair – not an item you would want to replace on a regular basis.

6) There were other, smaller surge events after this one, and then another big one on April 11.

Residents were definitely spooked and highly annoyed with the cost of the repairs. Claims were put into insurance and some went directly to Hydro which turned them over to a contract adjuster, Quelmec Lost Adjusters, which specializes in “claim denied” letters judging from the two copies I have seen.

For the March 5 “event”, Quelmec wrote to one resident, “…The damage to your property is unfortunate … the cause of the incident. … was unexpected equipment failure … records indicate that high winds with gusts up to 57 km/h were reported … caused the switches to open” – and they go on – “… Hydro One had no way to foresee this event. … We do appreciate that there may be expenses. … Hydro One is not liable.”

So, Hydro chooses to employ an Ottawa-based company whose specialty is to “diss” the public. Worse, there is no attempt to investigate what is obviously a major system failure – one of the more significant ones to happen in Ontario in recent years. In light of the other problems that arise as soon as a wind project arrives, an investigation is the least that Hydro should do.

What needs to be done is this:

1) Hydro should have an independent analysis done by an engineering firm that specializes in forensic investigation of electrical systems.

2) Hydro must reimburse all legitimate claims for loss. A57 km/h wind is not a good-enough reason, and Hydro knows it.

3) There is incidental evidence that electrical disturbance is associated with wind turbine installations.

Residents need an explanation why this is happening now, not after projects go up.

It may be coincidental that these surge events occur after a wind project goes online. We have raised the issue of system reliability with wind company rep’s and the need to upgrade the distribution system first – and their response is, “You can’t do that, it would hold up our project.”

Rural residents are supposed to do all the sacrificing for their bottom line.

I think it’s time that our Hydro system looked after its customers first.

Harvey Wrightman

Kerwood, ON

Glen Wylds- Wind turbines forced family from farm in Ripley – 2009/ Part 2

Glen’s home and farm in Ripley was surrounded by 38 industrial wind turbines. This movie was taken 2 years ago in 2009, when Glen had already been forced to buy a townhouse in Kincardine to live in, only to return to the farm to care for his cattle ~550 head of cattle.

In the spring of 2011 the Ripley Wind owners Acciona and Suncor, bought out four homes that were negatively affected by their machines. But the wind companies deny any health issues, stating “No link between the operation of our Ripley Wind Power Project and the health concerns of our neighbours could be discovered, and so no damages were awarded or necessary.” After watching this movie — you decide whether they should have a guilty conscious. Does this buy-out demonstrate a “commitment to work with residents and the community” as the company suggests?

Shame on our provincial government for allowing this kind of human displacement to happen in our rural townships.

Sandy McLeod – What wind turbines did to Ripley – 2009/ Part 1

In the middle of 38 industrial wind turbine development sits Sandy’s former home. This movie was taken 2 years ago in 2009 and the pain and suffering she is feeling at the time is palpable.

In the spring of 2011 the Ripley Wind owners, Acciona and Suncor, bought out four homes that were affected by these machines. But the wind companies deny any health issues, stating “No link between the operation of our Ripley Wind Power Project and the health concerns of our neighbours could be discovered, and so no damages were awarded or necessary.” After watching this movie — you decide whether they should have a guilty conscious. Does this buy-out demonstrate a “commitment to work with residents and the community” as the company suggests?

Shame on our provincial government for allowing this kind of human displacement to happen in our rural townships. As Sandy says, it’s not only her health that was affected – her family and community unit was ripped apart as well — by some out-of-town company and politicians in Toronto who never had to learn or experience the trauma these machines caused.

Bosanquet residents cautioned about wind contracts

NextEra weighs in

By Lynda Hillman-Rapley   June 16th 2011

A meeting of more than 100 people gathered at Bosanquet school last week to hear why they should not sign contracts for proposed windfarms.

On a ‘truth about turbines tour,’ John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario told the group this is an election year and these people have to let their elected official or local candidate know how they feel about the proposed wind farms.

Laforet says while wind turbine companies have no problems selling residents on the benefits of wind-generated electricity, they fail to mention the negative aspects. President of Wind Concerns Ontario, John Laforet, was one of the guest speakers at last night’s Lambton Shores Concerned Citizens Group community meeting, and noted that frequently wind generated electricity is wasted.

Four speakers, including Laforet explained the health, economic, ecological and environmental dangers of the wind turbines.

First up was David Colling. He is a Ripley retired dairy farmer who has is an expert in electrical pollution. He gave examples of five home owners became increasingly ill once the turbines were installed and have since sold their homes to wind farm companies. He said he is not permitted by litigation to state names or addresses or use photos of those displaced people through gag orders. He did have photos of their homes, which he snapped from the road. He has been helping people for the past six years in relation to stray voltage and health issues. “Farmers have to analyze what they are signing,” he told the gallery. He said they are not getting the proper advice and he has not seen a contract yet that is good. Those displaced or living the effects of the windfarms, Colling says he is told their lives have changed forever. “It might take awhile before it effects you-but it will.” He said for “these people” meaning the wind companies,” it is all about the money.” He warned those in attendance to go to a corporate lawyer before they sign anything. “You would not go to a dentist for heart surgery,” he said in his warning.

Stepahana Johnston from Port Rowan says she comes to these meetings to escape her own home. She says she built it for her aging years and since the 18 industrial turbines went up three kilometers from her home. She is a University of Toronto graduate of physical health education. She used the analogy that not everyone gets sick when they are on the water, but she does and not everyone feels the effects of wind turbines, but she does. She said she speaks to group like the one at Bosanquet school -“because they need to know.” She said she has reported her ill effects to the Ministry of Environment without response. She said she called these Ministry two or three times a day. When that did not work she wrote letters. She explained she received a response that they did not have the instruments to help her. Out of frustration she now goes to speaking engagements like last week’s.

David Libby of Ridgetown spoke briefly about his health problems. “Community leaders are supposed to help us and that is not happening.” Read the rest of this entry

For every action there is a reaction

Dear Mr. Bennett (Sierra Club Canada)

My name is Lyric Allin, I am 13 years old, and I am very much involved in the protesting of wind turbines.  I have been involved for about 3 years now and I think that the turbines do not give the whole truth about what they are doing and why they are doing it.  I started to be involved when they set up the proposal for the Bornish land to be developed and industrialised into a wind farm, I still try to stay involved so that way no one has to face suffering in their own homes because they unknowingly agreed to putting a wind turbine in there backyard.  But in some cases, this is not the case; some people have unfortunately just happened to have someone put one up close by. Now I understand that everyone has there own opinion about things that fall in their jurisdiction, but what gets me is that they have never done any studies of any kind to make sure that a wind turbine is safe to be placed in some ones yard. Now when I first found out about green energy I was really exited about it I thought that all our problems where going to be solved and that this would help the world stay healthy, but when my family looked closer we found out there where a few flaws in this for starters Flicker, birds and other animals being killed, the sound waves that they give off, people being pushed out of there homes and signing gag notices, and the disruption of the water table.  Now all of this is very important to my family and me and we don’t want to have it happen in this area.  So we took action trying to put a stop to the wind turbines and we found out about some pretty upsetting stories.  For example, did you know that flicker from the trees and from the wind turbines movement can be a distraction for drivers and that at the center of the turbine is going 6 km per hour but the tips can be going about 50-60 km per hour. Now imagine driving along the road and seeing something like that, it would be very distracting for you would it not?  But some people have to live with this all the time every day well unless they move or sell there houses to the company, but when and if this happens you might have to sign a gag order making it so you can’t talk about your experience.  But that’s not all the sound waves from the wind turbines make people and animals sick, we have learnt about a 5 year old boy that one day said to his mom that it felt like his legs where bleeding and if you have had any children you will know this is not something that a 5 year old boy will say.  That lady made a blog to talk about her family’s problems it is,  http://www.mywinddiary.blogspot.com/ if you want to read about their problems.  But when someone brings this up they say, “Oh well they are just not use to the sounds coming from the wind turbines, they live in the country and are used to total silence.”  But how do people explain whole herds of cattle that have to be put down because they look like they have rabies, well could that be stray voltage disturbing the cattle and other farm animals.  But the really sad thing is that birds and bats are flying around and hit the turbine in mid spin.  Why do they do this?  Well, it could be because a bird has a flight pattern that they follow so when a building is put up when they are gone then they will run into it because they are just following the patterns that they have there whole life. Lastly I would like to talk about how when they put up a wind turbine that they have to put a concrete slab down into the ground and when they do this it is not just going to go away, no for every action there is a reaction and in this case we have to take in consideration of the water table.  So stand up and involve yourself so that we can have health studies before wind turbines and to have safe setbacks to keep all the families safe that live near or around wind turbines.

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

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.

More issues for Adelaide-Metcalfe election

At the all-candidates debate held on Tuesday evening,mayor-elect David Bolton stated his goal was to “continue the continuity” of the current regime. Some features of that continuity are:

  1. Sewers brought to Kerwood (very good), but no water. What are the chances of that happening in the next 10 years?
  2. No surplus house severances, councillor MacKinnon was the only one who voted in favour of severances. This has become an ideological subject which defies logic. As the planner noted, there are 160 potential surplus houses which presumably are now rental units.It makes better sense to have them severed and make home-owners out of renters. It would add ~ $200,000 to the tax base with no development costs.
  3. All candidates view the development of the Hwy 81 corridor as crucial to providing increased assessment. How that will happen is a mystery. As was pointed out by Putts Strybosch, the mayor is the salesman/ambassador for the township who answers the questions and makes the presentations to any commercial/industrial inquiries. He also noted that there is no office phone # for the mayor and no e-mail address, only a home phone #. This speaks of a backwoods way of doing business. The phone calls will go to Strathroy/Caradoc first.
  4. Re: stray voltage from the 115 kv “pump line” which both wind projects Read the rest of this entry

Speak out and demand answers about wind farms

Sarnia Observer   Sept 03, 2010

Sir: Re: The article “Opinion split on wind farms, mayor says” (The Observer, Aug. 28, 2010)

I attended the Green Breeze Energy public information meeting for the Brooke- Alvinston Wind Farm. Of the half-dozen or so wind proponent meetings I have been to, I would have to say that this was the worst meeting for actual information available.

Both the representatives from the wind company and the consultants (Stantec) were unable to answer very basic questions about their project, such as what the road setback distance was, what the noise levels would be or where the shadow flicker would fall. In fact, when they were questioned about the shadow flicker, the consultants response was, “We don’t have to give that information under the GEA anymore.” Comforting, eh? Read the rest of this entry

No Severance for NextEra

On Monday September 20th, the large turnout of 80+ residents to the Adelaide-Metcalfe council chambers certainly influenced the decision of council to defer voting on the land severance application for NextEra. Note that it can be submitted again, or it will be put forward in another form or another property.

Stopping this severance does NOT stop the Bornish or Adelaide Wind Developments. It DOES send a powerful message to council that residents object to special privilege for wind companies. No matter that the planner tried to explain it as another special effect of the Green Energy Act, the severance blatantly ignores farmland preservation, one of the primary purposes of the official plan. The severance simply addresses the company’s request for land. The “Industrial” effects of this facility (noise, stray voltage, etc.) are conveniently left for “later study”. There is a basic issue of fairness here, because the serious consequences of the development are not discussed at all. Residents clearly stated these at the council meeting: Read the rest of this entry

Health Studies BEFORE Wind Turbines: Dr. McMurtry

Dr. Robert McMurtry MD FRCSC FACS speaks to a large gathering in Clinton, Ontario about the health issues that are arising in Ontario homes that are close to wind turbine developments. He stresses that a full independent epidemiological study is needed before these developments are installed, but unfortunately the Ontario government is trying not to listen, and people continue to become ill. The only recourse left is to take the provincial government to court: Support the Ian Hanna Lawsuit.