Category Archives: Safety

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
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LKDSB sending letter to premier and other ministers

blenheim[Ed note: the school board plans to have a presentation and a workshop with Dr. David Colby – This UNACCEPTABLE.]
Chatham Daily News
The Lambton Kent District School Board plans to inform the Ontario government some industrial wind turbines are being constructed near two of its elementary schools in Lambton County. Trustee Jane Bryce was successful in having a majority of trustees accept her motion during Tuesday’s board meeting in Chatham that a letter be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and Minister of Education Liz Sandals. She wants the letter to make them aware that provincial government of approval has been granted for two wind projects being build near the two schools.

She said five turbines are approved to go up near Aberarder Central School between Camlachie and Forest and another four turbines are to be built near Bosanquet Central School in Lambton Shores. Bryce questioned if the LKDSB were looking for a site for a new school “we probably wouldn’t put in the middle of where industrial turbines are.” She said she just wants to make sure the premier and ministers are aware of this situation, considering the number of people who have been asking for a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines over potential impacts on human health.

Bryce raised the issue, which was discussed during a delegation to the board of trustees at the March 26 meeting about NextEra Jericho Wind Project near Aberarder or Suncor’s Cedar Point Wind Power Project near Bosanquet. Read article

Autistic children cannot live near wind turbine projects

autismLambton County, ON, North American Platform Against Wind Power
Today on World Autism Awareness Day, Sarah is worried. She is the mother of three autistic children. But Sarah’s concerns have been increased tenfold by the fact that applications have been filed for two industrial wind projects totaling over 130 turbines near her 36 acre farm in Lambton County. “It’s a haven of peace for my kids. My neighbours know them and look out for them if they stray,” says Sarah. “But I have researched the effects of wind turbines on autistic children and I am devastated. Who will look out for them now?”

Recently a survey by Davis and Steigler (2010) of over 17,000 children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) shows that over 40% were “hypersensitive to sounds” and that “noise sensitivity is a particular problem” for children with ASD.

Stansfeld and Matheson (2003) note, “It is likely that children represent a group which is particularly vulnerable to the non-auditory health effects of noise … In view of the fact that children are still developing both physically and cognitively, there is a possible risk that exposure to an environmental stressor such as noise may have irreversible negative consequences for this group.”

It is acknowledged that noise emissions both auditory and non-auditory from wind turbines have particular characteristics which contribute to chronic sleep disturbance, stress, nausea and impaired cognition. Read the rest of this entry

Wind turbine fire near Goderich

CTV News
There will be one less wind turbine in Ontario. An overnight fire has destroyed the top portion of a wind turbine at the Kingsbridge Wind Farm near Goderich, Ont. The fire in the seven-year-old turbine began around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and had burned itself out about two hours later.

Dan Hayden of Kingsbridge Wind Farm Operations says “It has burnt itself out through the night and we have a team of specialists coming to do a root-cause analysis.” Neighbours speculate it was a mechanical or electrical problem because the blaze started where all the gears and electronics in the turbine are located. Hayden says while nothing can be ruled out, it’s unlikely a lightning strike or any kind of sabotage started the fire.

Dan Morgan lives near the turbine and witnessed the fire. He says he “saw an orange fireball a couple of miles from the front yard, so I thought I better investigate this,” before driving over to get a closer look. Read article

Support sought for wind turbine moratorium

kids signsBy Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
SARNIA – A concerned Lambton County resident is calling on the local public school board to support a moratorium on industrial wind turbines being built within the school board district. Plympton-Wyoming resident Keith Douglas said the board needs to act especially since wind projects are being proposed for sites near two Lambton Kent District schools.

Scientific research shows wind turbines generate both audible and inaudible noise, which could potentially impact the health of students and teachers, Douglas told trustees. “Closing the windows in a school will not keep (low frequency sound) away from the children or teachers,” he said, adding low frequency sound has been linked to cases of motion sickness and disorientation. Suncor Energy Products is proposing to erect as many as 46 turbines in the area of Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. Read article

Concerns Grand Bend wind turbines could affect weather radar

CTV News

radar

Suncor taking Plympton Wyoming to court over turbine setbacks

suncor CedarPoint_WebMap3_ProjectLocation_20130127Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
The wind war in Plympton-Wyoming is headed to court. And Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper says his municipality will fight to protect its residents against the potential health effects of wind turbines on its residents.

Suncor Energy has a contract with the provincial government for a 100 megawatt, 46 turbine project in Plympton-Wyoming and Lambton Shores. About 28 of those turbines will go in Plympton-Wyoming in the Camlachie area. The municipality has taken an aggressive stand against the project putting in tough local regulations.

Thursday, Suncor Energy Products served the township with notice it’s challenging the municipality’s bylaws which require turbines to be two kilometers from homes, a $200,000 deposit for decommissioning and its building permit fees of $10,000. A court date has not been set yet, but Mayor Lonny Napper the township is hiring a lawyer to defend its bylaws. “We feel we have a strong case here,” says Napper. “It is our mandate under the Municipal Act to protect our people and that’s what we’re going to do.

“We’re not against wind turbines; we’re in this strictly for the health and safety of our people.” Read article

Wind activists want Lambton Shores to take a tougher stand with wind energy companies

stw-wind-response MarcelleSarnia Lambton Independent
Local anti-wind activists are worried Lambton Shores officials are not making tough enough demands nor asking the right questions on the two wind energy projects in the community. Lambton Shores preparing its comments on the Suncor Energy project (62 turbines) and NextEra Energy (92 turbines) which will be within the municipal boundaries.

The municipality planned to hire a consultant to comb through the binders of questions to be answered but found any firm with expertise in the area was already employed by the wind energy companies. Marcelle Brooks, spokesperson for Middlesex Lambton Wind Concern, has looked at the municipal response to both projects and has one major concern. In both documents, the municipality states the turbines are equipped with sensors which automatically shut down if abnormal amounts of noise is found.

The sound waves are one of the major concerns of the people opposed to wind energy who say the sound can cause headaches, sleeplessness and tinnitus. “I question where that information was obtained,” says Brooks. In fact, in an email to anti-wind activist one of NextEra’s consultants debunks the idea. “The turbines can be shut down remotely but not as a result of achieving a certain sound limit,” writes Derek Dudek in an email. “The 40 decibels is not measured at the turbine but rather at the receptor location (nearby homes.)” Read article

Wind turbine neighbours could find their land at risk

CHTAHAM KENT ONTARIO ENBRIDGE WIND FROM HILL RD6Heather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independant
Lambton wind activists are warning landowners they could be at risk even if they don’t have a wind turbine on their property. Lambton Shores is soon to be home to two major wind projects. Suncor Energy plans to build a solar project with 62 industrial turbines and NextEra Energy’s plan has 92 turbines. Middlesex Lambton Wind Concern spokesperson Marcelle Brooks says a little known part of the regulations for turbines allows for boundary setback reductions. It basically means the giant turbines could be placed very close to the property lines of people who don’t want turbines on their land.

Suncor is applying for 21 boundary setback reductions and NextEra is looking for 39. “It benefits the host property owner,” says Brooks. “The companies are putting the access roads close to the turbines as close to the property line as possible so they don’t chop up the farmer’s field.”

But she says in the case of a massive failure of the turbines, they could land on the neighbour’s property. “If it did fall into the neighbours property, you’re going to have not only the blade length of 50 meters but you’re going to potentially have another 20 meters of hub and turbine tower come crashing into your field. A hub and rotor weighs 144 tonnes…that’s going to make a pretty big hole.” Read article

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

Hydro One letter to Middlesex County Council

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 approaching Middlesex County Council for road allowance- 115kv Transmission Lines

Date: November 27
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Middlesex County Building, 399 Ridout St. North, London MAP

Nextera Letter to Middlesex County Council

Nextera is seeking use of Middlesex County’s road allowance for their own personal 115kv transmission line to connec the Adelaide, Jericho and Bornish wind projects, or so they think for now. You see, they have several plans inplay, and even though the wind projects are in their final days of public comment period, the wind company still does not have a transmission route figured out. They seem to be under the illusion that we don’t need/want to comment on this as well?

This proposal to county council asks that we allow the double lining our roads with hydro poles, doubling the safety risk for road traffic. They will be 90′ poles, erected in front of residents homes and farms. For who? For a company from Florida. Be there to say NO!

What ails you, Mr. Bentley?

London Free Press, by Harvey Wrightman, Kerwood
I’m so sorry to hear that poor Minister Bentley is getting anxiety attacks about the rural backlash for his “wind follies” program. Perhaps he is anxious about the Zephyr wind project near Watford which is a case study in everything that can go wrong. It’s what you get when green evangelists team up with door-to-door salesmen. Nothing works.

Now relax Chris. Please sit down and answer these questions for us, the rural people who are so upset with this mess your government is making. Let’s identify the problems:

  1. The developer, Greenbreeze/Oneworld is bankrupt leaving four lawsuits filed by contractors and other parties for non-payment. The final “cost” was rumoured to be over $30,000,000 for 4 turbines, a tad high don’t you think?
    Further, on the remnants of the Oneworld website, we find, “No funds are expected to be available for secured creditors, unsecured creditors or the shareholders of Oneworld.”
    Where did the money go and who owns the project now? Oh well, who cares about the money part.
  2. One of the wind turbines (# 3) hardly ever operates. It is said to be “defective”. Apparently the foundation was poured over a rather large, fresh water spring. As a result the tower is floating on a “bubble”. Turning the blades causes it to shake and ultimately lean.
    With all the stringent environmental controls that you have in place, how could they (the MOE) not know about this?
    This turbine may tip over as one did in Fenner, NY in 2009. I imagine that must cause you some anxiety. Read the rest of this entry

Getting tough on turbines – Plympton-Wyoming

Plympton-Wyoming wants big money from wind operators

By Heather Wright  Sarnia This Week

PLYMPTON-WYOMING – Plympton-Wyoming says industrial wind turbine operators will have to put down a $200,000 deposit for each of the massive energy makers before any soil is turned.

It’s one of two new standards the township council passed recently in an effort to “protect our people,” according to Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper.

After the province passed the Green Energy Act, municipalities had very little say in where or how many industrial wind turbines would be erected in the territory. Suncor currently plans a 29 turbine project in Plympton-Wyoming, a move Napper is worried about.

In January, council passed the bylaw calling for the $200,000 deposit reasoning there had to be money available so the turbines could be dismantled if, in 20 years, the original owners abandon the machinery.

For Suncor, that would mean cutting a $5.8 million check to Plympton-Wyoming.

“We thought with all the companies coming in – we don’t know these companies – if the turbines have to be removed, it gives you some security,” says Napper. “We want the assurance that if some company comes in and puts up forty of them, (and) they’re gone – when they are worn out – what do you do with them? Read the rest of this entry

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

Setbacks protect us from burning chunks of fiberglass? Nope.

A wind turbine near Dalry and Ardrossan in North Ayrshire caught fire during Scotland’s extreme weather on Dec 8th 2011.

OK- so how far are those huge burning chunks of fiberglass flying? Further than 550m.  We have turbines placed less than topple distance from roads–  proposed to line the 402 highway— our setbacks do not take these types of disatsers into consideration.