Category Archives: Green Breeze

I was naive — I submitted a comment

There may be people who still believe in filing comments with the Ministry of the Environment about the wind project proposed in their area – the government might actually listen to you and take your concerns into consideration- at least that’s what they say they will do.

Do you ever wonder why the government and wind company push for you to fill out those forms at Wind Company public meetings? Why they insist you follow public process? “Submit Comments!!!”,  they seem to scream everywhere. Well, when you’ve been to the end, the Environmental Review Tribunal as an appellant, you might be witness to where all those oh-so-harmless looking ‘comments’ that you provided to your government, in good faith, go: Directly to the MOE’s evidence to use against you in any way they can. See my name below for the Zephyr appeal…. Esther.

 

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

Zephyr project developer goes bankrupt

Oneworld Energy was the company behind the Zephyr Wind project in Brooke-Alvinston, Ontario.

“We regret to inform you that Oneworld Energy Inc. filed an assignment of bankruptcy on June 5, 2012 with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Estate 32-163280. All the remaining subsidiaries of Oneworld are dormant with no assets and/or also bankrupt.

As per Canadian bankruptcy law, creditors have been notified of the bankruptcy process. No funds are expected to be available for secured creditors, unsecured creditors or the shareholders of Oneworld.  Shareholders are advised to contact their financial advisor regarding the tax treatment of their investments.  Should you have any other queries, please email info@oneworldenergy.com.

Zephyr Wind flipped to Schneider Power already (with help from Samsung)

 The Zephyr project in Watford isn’t even fully operational and its just been sold. Flip flip flip and scram scram  scram.  Note that the  the project is targeted to generate $60 million in revenue over 20 years while the community of Brooke-Alvinston receives nothing except for the noise and all the other negative affects.  What a disgusting scam. 

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April 25, 2012, Market Watch

Quantum’s Schneider Power Subsidiary Acquires 10 MW Wind Farm in Ontario – Targeted to Produce $60 Million in Revenues Over 20 Years 

IRVINE, Calif., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. /quotes/zigman/3949076/quotes/nls/qtww QTWW +8.18% today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Schneider Power Inc. (“Schneider”), a leading developer and owner of renewable energy power plants, backed by the Schneider family’s 120 years of experience in renewable energy has acquired a newly constructed 10 megawatt utility-scale wind farm in Ontario, Canada.

The Zephyr wind farm (“Zephyr”) generation facility will supply electricity to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year renewable energy purchase contract, generating in excess of $3 million in estimated annual revenues. The project commenced power generation testing at 25% capacity on April 20th 2012, and is projected to go into full production on or about May 5th, producing more than 26.7 Giga watt-hours of clean electricity per year, enough to meet the needs of 3,000 Canadian households. The project is financed by Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea.

“This acquisition is part of our long-term strategy to evolve into a leading independent power producer in North America,” said Alan P. Niedzwiecki, the President and CEO of Quantum. “We seek to increase our revenues and nameplate capacity under 100% ownership, leveraging our experience in the fast-track development of profitable renewable energy projects.”

“We are pleased and honored to be working with Samsung for financing this project,” said Thomas Schneider, the President of Schneider Power. “Quantum and Schneider Power are active in several renewable energy projects in various stages of development, and we are actively pursuing additional opportunities in Ontario with its attractive feed in tariff programs.” Read the rest of this entry

Zephyr Wind- What monsters look like

Brooke-Alvinston– I’m sorry. I wish the wind companies and the Ministry of Environement were too.

And for those who need to know the differnce between a ‘windmill’ and a ‘wind turbine’ – the photo below and 500′.

Brooke-Alvinston wind farm appeal withdrawn

 By PAUL MORDEN The Observer

Wind farm opponents have withdrawn their appeal of Ontario’s approval of a four-turbine Zephyr Farms project near Watford.

Several weeks of hearings were scheduled to begin next week in Alvinston.

Esther Wrightman, with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, said it made the decision to withdraw its appeal Thursday following a recent pre-hearing decision by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.

That came after the Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment submitted “about 170 questions” about medical, real estate and other records the government wanted answered by 23 witnesses the wind group planned to call at the hearings.

Wrightman said the tribunal ruled, just six days before the start of the hearings, that it wanted to see the information the ministry requested.

“It’s like being tripped on the last lap of your race,” Wrightman said.

Gathering and compiling all of the information being sought before the hearing date wasn’t possible, Wrightman said.

“As much as we’d like to, it would have been a shoddy job,” she said. “You have to do it right.”

Going ahead with the hearings, in light of what the tribunal said, wouldn’t have been fair to the group’s witnesses, Wrightman said.

They included people living in communities around Ontario where wind farms are already up and operating.

A lack of clear rules at the tribunal make it a challenge for group’s filing appeals, Wrightman said.

“They’re not specific in the way they run it and they clearly say when you’re there, “Well, you know what, we’re just learning as we go here.’”

But, Wrightman said the lessons learned this time can be used by the group’s lawyer, and other wind opponents, in future appeals of other wind energy projects.

“At least we have a clearer vision of what they want to see,” she said.

If the tribunal rules a renewable energy project will cause serious harm to human health, or the environment, it can revoke or alter the approval given by the province. Read the rest of this entry

Zephyr ERT withdrawn – Will continue with Mapleton ERT once evidence is collected

Important Message from Harvey Wrightman:  The upcoming ERT hearing (Zephyr Wind project) is focused on residents from all over Ontario who have been experiencing the negative effects of living in close quarters with large, powerful wind turbines. It is important to know what kind of evidence we would need at the hearing.  Wednesday, February 29, the ERT released a decision that has been very helpful for understanding what appellants need to bring before the Tribunal in order to be successful.

1) The Tribunal confirmed that the testimony of residents is important and will be accepted.

2) The Tribunal has indicated that certain additional documentation will assist them in making their decision. It is much better to have a clear directive from the Tribunal before the hearing rather than at, or after the full hearing has taken place.

It is clear that it will not be possible to obtain and organize documents for witnesses prior to the start date of the Zephyr appeal, which is currently scheduled for March 7th. While we have an impressive staff, they cannot perform a Biblical miracle – i.e., produce in 6 days all the 23 witnesses’ medical records for the past 10 years.

As a result, after consulting with the research team and counsel, the appellant, Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group Inc. has decided to withdraw the current Zephyr appeal. This was done Thursday morning.

The case for wind turbine victims is not finished, only suspended for the moment. SW Ontario has been the most heavily targeted area and so this is likely where the battle will be fought. It is important that we put forward the best case possible. We are very fortunate that people who have suffered from living in wind projects are now volunteering to testify in court. This they are doing this for us. There are volunteer researchers who work behind the scenes for no glory and no pay, again, for us. The same can be said for the many “experts” who donate their time and assessment skills. The MOE and the wind companies have no volunteers. They cannot buy what our volunteers provide.

There are base costs that we must assume, and since everyone benefits from the case being developed, we all own it. It’s not just about Alvinston or Mapleton or Highgate, It’s about every place in Ontario, and beyond. Together we can push forward this action. The relevant information will be collected and the victims of wind projects will have their day to speak, and be heard.

I urge everyone to support the Mapleton appeal for that is the most likely place for us to make our case. We will return.

Harvey Wrightman, Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group

Introducing T.O. to the Brooke-Alvinston wind turbines

Watford Guide-Advocate

Dear Editor,

The upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeal hearing into the Zephyr wind project  in Brooke/Alvinston will have testimony from 2 well qualified acoustical experts, Dr. Robert Thorne, an environmental noise consultant to the NZ  Ministry of Health, and Steve Ambrose, P.Eng. and a member of  the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE).

While the expert testimony provides the scientific basis to challenge the current MOE siting rules, it can only describe the human effects in a very cold, impersonal way. To the Ministry of Environment (MOE), residents are not “humans”, they are “receptors.” Our houses are called “receptor locations”.  Setback distances are measured to the centre of the receptor location.  Excess noise  can intrude and take over most of your property as long as the centre of the house is “safe”. You no longer have a house and property; you  are left with a “bunker.” If you sign any sort of agreement with the wind company, you waive all rights to even these inadequate standards. The farmer who signs a wind lease is no longer a farmer; he is now a landlord with one very nasty tenant who dictates all the rules for 50 years. These are the things that expert testimony cannot describe; but, ordinary people can.

So, in this hearing for the first time, residents who live  in wind projects will provide the gritty details that models, maps, and calculations cannot display. They will tell what it’s like from a personal perspective to live with these machines day and night. They will tell what it feels like to be caught in these wind ghettos – the constant thumping noise, the sleep disturbance, the hopelessness of being trapped and unable to even sell a property they wish to escape – their own homes.  Experts cannot give this kind of testimony. The wind companies deny the problems, dismiss and belittle the people affected. The government ignores their plight and facillitates whatever the wind companies want.  Now, for the first time these residents/witnesses will be heard, all 25 of them – and there are many more willing to testify. Think about it. Why are these people testifying? They already live in wind projects; what gain is there for themselves? Would you put yourself out in public to be scrutinized?  Read the rest of this entry

Wind Turbine Opposition

February 17, 2012 at 8:16 am | Blackburn Radio News

Don McGugan  says a local group opposing a four-turbine wind-farm development in his municipality faces an uphill battle.     The Brooke-Alvinston Mayor says the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group will have to make a strong argument to an Environmental Review Tribunal when a hearing begins next month.

The Wind Action Group says it will be calling 25 witnesses, including two experts, when the 10-session hearing begins March 7th at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre.

Tribunal Hearing To Proceed

February 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Blackburn News

A motion to dismiss an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing against the developer of a four-turbine wind farm in Brooke-Alvinston has been denied.  The tribunal will hear from the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group beginning in March.  The province’s Environment Ministry had been trying to get the hearing thrown out, claiming the appellant’s arguments are repeats of what has been heard in passed hearings.  The Wind Action Group’s Esther Wrightman says it’s important hearings be held on a case-by-case basis.

Wrightman says the Wind Action Group has 25 witnesses, including two experts lined up to speak at the hearing.  The 10-session hearing begins March 7th at the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre, with two days of video-conference scheduled for Toronto.

See Motion to Dismiss Denied

Note: Change in Zephyr Wind Appeal ERT Dates

FYI: Dates have been moved back a tad for the Zephyr (Brooke-Alvisnton) Wind Appeal:

Environmental Review Tribunal

March 7, 8, 9, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 in Alvinston

Alvinston Location: Brooke-Alvinston Township Office MAP

March 19 & 20 in Toronto (video-conference link)

Toronto Location: Hearing Room 2, 16th Floor, ELTO, 655 Bay St., Suite 1500, MAP

The pics that wind reps DON’T show farmers….(this is Zephyr)

So this is the Brooke-Alvisnton Zephyr project from the air yesterday. I’m just looking at al those tracks across the fields — were they crop touring , or what? Why even have roads and lanes if they don’t use them? Nice and gentle onthat land, eh?

Then imagine you are driving a tractor— you used to have a straight field to plow, but now you are wheeling around the lanes and towers; your field is all cut up into triangles and squares. Be sure to calculate in the extra time and fuel to plant, plough and harvest this field.

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ERT Motion to Scope Evidence Dismissed- yea!

Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group Inc. v. Director, Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Review Tribunal panel has issued its decision on the Green Breeze’s motion to limit the evidence:- “Motion to Scope Evidence Dismissed“. This means that evidence need only meet the test of relevancy, and not be limited to what comments were submitted to the EBR.  This is a significant victory and means future appellants will not be so severely restricted.

Fed Up RESidents of Talbot Wind (and soon to be Zephyr Wind)

As for the company “RES” (Renewable Energy Systems), whos name is on the sign at the Zephyr entrance, and on the little green hybrid SUV “Escape” slipping around on the self inflicted muddy roads (hard to ‘escape’ the traffic jam)…

This is the new resident groups name for victims of the Talbot Wind Project near Ridgetown: F. U. RES (Fed Up Residents).

All we’ve got left is civil disobedience, Dalton….

Dear Dalton,

So this is what it’s got to be? Lay down in front of the semi.

PS- tell your special unit undercover cops to wear proper clothing next time. That would be rubber boots (your precious turbines have destroyed our local roads – they are one way mud strips with no shoulders), winter jackets  and maybe even some mitts and hats (don’t worry, we don’t care about shiny shoes and combed hair appearance out here). This is just so that they don’t stay huddled in the car 95% of the time. It’s a protest, not a church picnic. I mean frankly if you aren’t going to hang out with us, just leave it up to the local OPP- they were tough enough to take the cold.

Protest Zephyr Wind Development!

When we arrived, and were starting to pull out our signs, a large flock of tundra swans flew over us- it’s a month early for their migration.  The wind company rep Brent Hull says the, “The migratory path is several kilometres away from the site”. Well today it was directly over the site, Brent. Watcha going to do about that? Put a sign up there directing them to some place different??? Just like you do to the residents?

GO HOME TORONTO!

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Zephyr Turbine Opposition

Zephyr Turbine Opposition

Blackburn Radio News February 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

The Lambton-Middlesex Wind Action Group is lashing out against construction of 4 wind turbines at the Zephyr wind farm just southwest of Watford.

Some 40 protesters held a peaceful demonstration at the site this afternoon, slowing down activity by getting in front of gravel hauling trucks.

This led to warnings from Police but no arrests had been made.

Protester Blair Allin calls the industrialization of Ontario “unacceptable”.

The group has protested against a number of local wind farm developments, and is currently preparing for an environmental review tribunal hearing against the Zephyr project.

Wind protesters stand their ground near Watford

By Cathy Dobson The Observer Feb 7th 2012 

BROOKE-ALVINSTON — About 40 protesters rallied along a muddy rural road Tuesday where four wind turbines are under construction in an open farm field.

“This is our community, this is our home. We will push it as far as we can push it,” said organizer Marcelle Brooks, holding a sign saying “McGuinty is not listening.”

“If that means we will be standing in front of a bulldozer, that’s where we’ll be,” she said.

Members of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group (WAG) staged the protest to demonstrate against the $22-million, 10-MW project near Watford on Ebenezer Road and Churchill Line.

WAG has been a vocal opponent during the entire planning process and has appealed the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s approval of the project known as the Zephyr Wind Farm. A hearing is set for Feb. 21 in Alvinston.

“It’s an atrocity,” said Jill MacInnis, who lives about two kilometres west of the site.

She is concerned about the wind farm’s effects on human health, as well as its impact on birds and animals.

“This is a pre-staging ground for 300 to 400 tundra swans that come every year, and six different hawk species and bald eagles,” said MacInnis. Read the rest of this entry

Zephyr towers going up & blades arrive… & they ‘fix’ the roads again…

 The intersection of Ebenezer and Churchill was built up quite a bit to repair the road when the tower pieces couldn’t make th corner. But then they spent another whole day building it up even more for the blades that arrived and they had to store at the barn (in the pic)… the flatbed with the blades wouldn’t make the turn.

Thursday morning at 9:00ish, two small trucks with 4 way lights, cop car all lights, flatbed and blade, cop car all lights, then two more pickups with all lights flashing SPEED came down Churchill. You’d think it was the bloody Queen in town!! All three blades are now on site since the road was modified and widened at the intersection (for the 2nd time). The tower will go up quickly now, as soon as the weather is clear. 

48.7 meter blades on site.

Tower going up and road beign repaired, agian.

Zephyr Wind development trudges along – quick & dirty

The giant crane arrive 2 days ago, and the truck was promptly stuck when it couldn’t make the turn off Churchill Line to Ebenezer. Churchill Line was closed that afternoon.  Dump loads of gravel upon mud should do the trick…. Sure hope there is a road agreement with the township on this.

As for the tower parts in the pictures below, yes those are tiny people beside them.

Meanwhile, turbines going up on $22-million project

By PAUL MORDEN, The Observer Jan 12 2012

Muddy conditions caused by rain and mild winter temperatures have been a challenge for crews at the Zephyr Farms four-turbine wind project under construction near Watford.

Mississauga-based Green Breeze Energy Inc., began work on the $22-million, 10-MW energy generation project in late 2011 after receiving approval from Ontario’s Environment Ministry.

Brent Hull, vice-president with Green Breeze Energy, said the work has stayed mostly on schedule, even through the wet weather.

“In the beginning, when we were digging the holes for the foundations, they just kept filling up with water because it was raining so much,” he said.

Access roads have been built to the site on Churchill Line, between Ebenezer and Old Walnut Lines in Brooke-Alvinston Township, plus the foundations are now in place and underground wiring for the electricity collector system is nearly complete.

The turbines, made by Samsung of South Korea, are sitting dockside in Windsor waiting to be trucked to the site, Hall said.

“We should begin erecting the week of Jan. 23.”

The 100-metre blades will be trucked to the site from the manufacturer in Arkansas.

“The turbines should be all up and ready to produce power by the end of February,” Hall said.

Some time made be needed after that to test the equipment before it begins generating power, he added.

The ministry’s approval of the wind project has been appealed by the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group. Hearings are set to begin in February but the appeal hasn’t impacted the construction schedule, Hall said.

pmorden@theobserver.ca

Decision on Watford wind farm expected soon

By PAUL MORDEN, The Observer Jan 12 2012

The fate of the Ontario Environment Ministry’s latest attempt to scuttle a challenge of its approval of a Brooke-Alvinston Township wind farm project could be known soon.

Following a Jan. 6 hearing in Toronto, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal reserved its decision on the province’s motion to dismiss the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group’s appeal of the provincial approval of the four-turbine Zephyr Farms wind project under construction near Watford.

“They have now indicated that they hope to get a decision released sometime next week,” said Eric Gillespie, a lawyer for the wind action group.

The ministry’s first motion to dismiss the appeal was denied by the tribunal in December.

Gillespie said he and the wind action group have provided additional information to the tribunal since then.

“Given that the first motion did not succeed,” he added, “logically, the second cannot succeed.” Read the rest of this entry

A Deceiving drive-by of the “Brooke Wind Project”

Let’s take a closer look at the signage around the Zephyr wind development:

Let me know if you see the project owner’s name anywhere (or any variation) on these signs. Do you see “Oneworld”, or “Greenbreeze”? Noooope. Hmmm. OK, how about “Stantec”? Huh.  Geeze these reps were everywhere at the public meetings, and they are nowhere to be seen once the turbines are being constructed. Here’s one that HAS to be there- “ZEPHYR”. Nowhere to be seen. Well that’s confusing.

Hey- check out what they DO have: such as”RES”—I’ve never seen them associated with this project. And “Minten Hume Contractors Inc.”,  another one you won’t find in the ‘project documents’. Or how about the project name: “Brooke Wind Project” – that’s not officially the name of this project (Brooke-Alvinston Wind Farm).

Imagine you are a passerby, or a nearby resident and you think you might like to know a bit more about this project that you are driving by. You scribble down the names, drive home, type them into the google search….and…..nada. Apparently this project doesn’t exist. It’s a whole pile of alias names. Do you think the company did this all by accident? Or maybe the intention is to confuse the public- make the info a tad more difficult to find – hope that people give  up, don’t get educated, don’t get involved.

Turbine noise can cause health problems: Erhard

Plympton-Wyoming engineer out to prove province wrong

Sarnia This Week
PLYMPTON-WYOMING – Eric Erhard doesn’t like wind power. “If there was no other source of electricity in the universe, then maybe a wind turbine would be acceptable.” The professional engineer from Plympton-Wyoming first spoke up against them when Suncor tried to convince his municipality to host an industrial wind farm. Now, he will be one of the objectors when the Ontario government faces off against people opposed to the project February 21.

Erhard argues the wind energy industry isn’t sustainable without government funding. “It’s only sustainable when taxpayers are footing the bill. It’s really a welfare industry.”

And he says it is not environmentally friendly. Erhard says it needs other energy sources to back it up and the construction process for the turbine creates tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, not to mention the harm turbines do to wildlife. “They’re improperly called green; they do significant damage to birds, bats and to the environment in the production of turbines.

But it is the health effects of four wind turbines just outside of Watford which will be under scrutiny at an Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.

The Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group filed the appeal after provincial government approved Green Breeze Energy’s four turbine 10 megawatt project worth about $22 million.

WAG’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, says the main focus of the hearing will be the “numerous indirect health effects associated with wind turbines such as sleep disturbance, vertigo, nausea, headaches.”

Erhard hopes to back the group up with information he’s found from the World Health Organization and studies done for the province of Ontario.

Erhard says a recently released study done for the province says a the placement of wind turbines 450 meters from homes will result in “non trivial numbers of people being highly annoyed” by the low frequency sound.

Erhard says government studies place the turbines at a distance which will “highly annoy” between 6.5 and 8 percent of the people nearby.

“They’re willing to accept that – that’s their standard…that’s okay,” says Erhard. “That to me is not okay …that 1 out of 12 …that’s not acceptable.” Read the rest of this entry

Zephyr Wind- muddy roadways to hell

I really shouldn’t do this, on New Years Day…put here are some pictures of the roadways to hell of the Brooke-Alvinston-Watford Zephyr Wind Project:

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Watford turbines under review

Size doesn’t matter when it comes to wind turbines say environmentalists

By Heather Wright  Sarnia & Lambton County This Week —  Dec 26, 2011 

WATFORD – The health effects of four wind turbines just outside of Watford will be under scrutiny at an Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in January.

The Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group filed the appeal after provincial government approved Green Breeze Energy’s four turbine 10 megawatt project worth about $22 million.

WAG’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, says this is only the second time a project has been reviewed since the provincial government changed the Green Energy Act to allow appeals for “serious harm to human health.”

The hearing moved ahead Dec. 22, after the tribunal dismissed a motion from the Ministry of the Environment to call off the hearing. Lawyers suggested WAG didn’t provide enough information. The tribunal decided there was enough information to go ahead.

Gillespie says the main focus of the hearing will be the “numerous indirect health effects associated with wind turbines such as sleep disturbance, vertigo, nausea, headaches.”

There are many industrial wind farm projects about to begin in Lambton County, some with dozens of turbines. Gillespie expects the size of the Zephyr project will be brought up. But he says studies in the US have show the number of turbines in a neighbourhood is not a contributing factor to the problems.

“It doesn’t really seem to matter whether the project is two or three or maybe four turbines or a much large projects,” says Gillespie. “The effects of people living in close proximity seem to be the same no matter what the size of the project.

“A project down in Maine …in a place they were finding people feeling the effects more than 6,000 meters away from just three turbines.”

Gillespie says the tribunal has already recognized the problems associated with wind turbines but he says it may take many more rulings to convince the government to change distance restrictions on the projects.

“Whether it’s four turbines or forty turbines you are going to continue to see people raise concerns,” says Gillespie.

Tribunal Prelim

POSTED BY news on December 22nd, 2011

An Ontario Environment Ministry lawyer says an appeal of a four-turbine wind-farm project near Watford, is laughable and a mockery. At an Environmental Review Tribunal preliminary hearing in Wyoming today (Thurs), Frederika Rotter asked for the appeal to be dismissed saying it’s based on concerns, not fact. Esther Wrightman of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group calls the Ministry’s posture “insulting”.
Audio

The Tribunal will consider the motion to “dismiss” January 6th. If a hearing does proceed, it’s set to begin February 21st in Brooke Alvinston.

“All they have done is raised concerns”: MOE lawyer

ENERGY — Province lawyer calls appeal of wind farm laughable

By DANIEL PUNCH, The Observer Dec 22 2011

WYOMING — The appeal of a new wind farm project in Brooke-Alvinston township is “abusive” and “laughable,”says counsel for the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

“All they have done is raised concerns,” said lawyer Frederika Rotter during a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

“People can be concerned until the cows come home.”

Representatives for the ministry, the Zephyr wind project and the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group (WAG) met in Lambton County council chambers in Wyoming to discuss the $22 million, four-turbine wind farm under construction near Watford.

WAG is appealing the project because of concerns for its effects on the health of nearby residents.

It was the preliminary hearing for the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) to review WAG’s appeal. The provincial government has already approved the project, which should be operational in early 2012.

The ministry is seeking to have the appeal thrown out, arguing that it does not provide evidence on how this specific project will be harmful. Rotter says this appeal only rehashes issues covered in an ERT tribunal earlier this year for a wind project near Thamesville.

But WAG member Harvey Wrightman says his group is not the one presenting stale arguments.

“If anybody’s rehashing it, I think it’s the other side,” Wrightman said. “We’ll see when the evidence is presented (and) what new evidence they have.”

The preliminary meeting was held to address scheduling and administrative issues. ERT vice-chair Paul Muldoon was the only member of the panel at the proceedings. He directed counsel that a preliminary hearing was not the place for judication.

“I cannot, without my panel, unilaterally make a determination,” Muldoon told Rotter. “That is just the way it is.”

Both the Ministry and Green Breeze Energy Inc. filed motions before the hearing. The ministry was looking to have the appeal thrown out while Green Breeze, the company building the wind farm, was seeking to limit the scope of evidence to just new information ever since the Thamesville tribunal.

The ERT didn’t approve the ministry’s motion but asked the appellants to give specifics about the potential harm of the project. WAG revised its appeal, but the ministry isn’t satisfied it met the request.

“If there aren’t any further particulars, there’s nothing to have a hearing about,” Rotter said. “Honestly, we have no idea what this appeal is about.”

Wrightman says the appeal is different than the one put forward in Thamesville. Residents living near the Kent Breeze wind power project have since filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Suncor, the project’s owner, and many have complained of health issues.

“It’s pretty powerful when people are that determined,” Wrightman said.

The ERT is set to meet Jan. 6 in Toronto to discuss the motions. The hearing will begin Feb. 21 and will be held in Alvinston. The ERT has until May 15 — six months from the date of the appeal — to make a decision.

dpunch@theobserver.ca

Preliminary hearing for Watford Zephyr Appeal- Dec.22- public welcome to attend

*NOTE: TIME change*

Notice of Preliminary Hearing and Hearing
Preliminary hearing:
December 22, 2011 
10:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, County of Lambton, 789 Broadway Street, Wyoming  Map

Main Hearing:
Feb. 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29 2012 
10:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, County of Lambton, 789 Broadway Street, Wyoming  Map