Category Archives: Adelaide Project- NextEra
- Suncor’s Adelaide wind project was approved today: read more
- WPD’s Napier project approved last week: read more
- NextEra’s Adelaide wind project is almost done the appeal process. read more
- NextEra’s Bornish wind project’s appeal denied. read more
All the proposed wind projects in Middlesex County (above) have now been approved and will be under construction, if they aren’t’ already. That’s over 100 wind turbines. If you want to see what it look like, check these pictures out, or come out and see for yourself.
In Lambton county:
- NextEra’s Jericho wind up for final public comment: read more
- Suncor’s Cedar Point wind up for final public comment: read more
That’s another 130+ wind turbines.
Grand Bend? That’s another 111 turbines.
This is what Christmas looks like to many in rural Middlesex and Lambton Counties.
If you have 100 good ideas of how to stop the wind turbines, just implement 1 of them on your own. That makes a difference. Action is what is need!
MLWAG & Wrightman vs. Nextera & MOE Preliminary Hearing, Sept 16, Strathroy
After many twists and turns, what began 4 years ago as a fight against a faceless, uncaring foreign corporation, aided by a two-faced political and administrative elite, comes full-up against the citizens.
Briefly the issues coalesced right from the start:
A lone camcorder stood unobtrusively to the side waiting to be activated. In a panic, NextEra counsel, Mahony immediately drew ERT Chair Muldoon’s attention to it, who then asked the appellants if it was turned on. It was not— further discussion delayed until later. No microphone were present again – the audience cold not hear what was being said.
Two residents then applied for presenter status which was quickly granted. Then 5 minutes later a surprise arrived – Stephana Johnston, from Clear Creek announced that she too wished to make a presentation speaking to the faults of the appeal process. Not being able to hear from the back, she moved her walker to the front and positioned it facing Nextera rep, Ben Greenhouse and counsel Dennis Mahony. This was very noticeable.
Objections were heard from the MOE and Nextera with the MOE lawyer saying, “… I don’t see the relevance…” – ditto for the company. Again, status granted.
The issue of the venue came up. Petitions and e-mails of numerous people requesting the venue be moved to the well equipped County Council chambers in London. Why? This hearing room was in a community centre right next to a hockey rink. The room was almost at capacity with 50+ people there, no microphones, let alone equipment to video-conference – oh, when THAT happens, we move it to TORONTO, right! The patronizing never ends. Read the rest of this entry
Over the past five years there have been many questionable ‘meetings’ in the Adelaide-Metcalfe council chambers, especially when wind turbines are involved. For starters, the mayor and the deputy-mayor have close relatives who have signed wind option agreements, and they never declare a conflict of interest. Then there was the time the police were called to stop a resident from video recording the open meetings. Oh yes and when the CAO’s husband physically struck out at a resident taking a picture of them entering a closed meeting with Suncor. Items have been left off agendas, mis-reported in minutes…the list goes on, and frustration builds.
So to say the residents are skeptical, leery, untrusting of this council, is an understatement. And for good reason. Even the ombudsman’s office has had their fill of this council. With 6 “Best Practices”, and 3 “Violations” found in the last year and a half, this little township of 3000 is practically topping the province for infractions— beating out the big cities (oh yes, even London).
If a resident happens upon an improper closed meeting, it’s usually by fluke. And so it was with the most recent revelation with the Ad-Met council, when a closed meeting on January 25, 2012 was discovered in the “Municipal Correspondence” section of the wind developer WPD’s submission (See pg. 130). Yep, check those out for your local project!
The Township CAO/treasurer Fran Urbshott, was contacted by the office of the Ombudsman and an investigation has been initiated, as all but one of the township councillors and the mayor were there— a quorum present and the public was not invited, let alone notified….nor were minutes taken….the township has no record of the meeting, thankfully the wind company does. Read the rest of this entry
A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Kerwood Wind Inc. (NextEra Energy) to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of up to 37 turbines, rated at 1.6 MW generating output capacity, with a total name plate capacity of 59.9 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.
This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as for the interconnection route. The wind facility will be is located in the Municipality of North Middlesex and Township of Adelaide-Metcalfe in Middlesex County. The REA requires the proponent to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility in accordance with specific terms and conditions. Read more
Robert Bryce, The National Review
The Goliath of the wind-energy business is suing David. The defendant is Esther Wrightman, an activist and mother of two from the tiny town of Kerwood, Ontario, which sits roughly halfway between Detroit and Toronto.
Wrightman, 32, has angered the Florida-based NextEra Energy (market capitalization: $32 billion) by starting a couple of bare-bones websites, ontariowindresistance.org and mlwindaction.org, as well as a YouTube channel, which she uses to lampoon the company. In its lawsuit, filed on May 1, NextEra claims that Wrightman has misused its logo and libeled the company by calling it “NexTerror” and “NextError.” And while the company doesn’t specify the amount of damages it seeks from Wrightman, it says that it will donate any proceeds from the litigation to United Way.
NextEra owns some 10,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity, or about one-sixth of all U.S. capacity. And the company is aggressively developing six new wind projects in Canada, one of which, the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, aims to put 38 turbines just north of Wrightman’s home. (You can see her property and the surrounding land by going here.)
NextEra’s filing against Wrightman is a textbook case of a SLAPP suit, a strategic lawsuit against public participation. And it’s a particularly loathsome one as NextEra filed it in Ontario, the epicenter of the backlash against the encroaching sprawl of the 150-meter-high, noise-producing, bird-and-bat-killing, subsidy-dependent wind-energy sector. Read article
Sarnia Lambton Independent
NextEra Energy is trying to ease fears about the fate of a pair of bald eagles near Parkhill. Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group is holding a “celebration” near the nest on Kerwood Road May 25 to bring awareness to the fact the eagles will be living within 187 meters of a substation and 800 meters of two wind turbines if the company goes ahead with its plans for the Bornish Wind project.
Muriel Blair of the Middlesex Lambton group is concerned. “It will displace the eagles, even the construction itself will displace them,” she says. “It’s the noise, it’s the vibration that displaces them.”
NextEra raised the ire of landowners, First Nations, environmentalist and anti-turbine activists this winter when it cut down an eagles nest in Haldimand County to make way for a project. Blair is worried that could happen again if the public isn’t aware of the birds, so the get-together was planned to raise awareness. Read article
Yesterday was a beautiful day at the Bald Eagle Celebration, for so many reasons. But at the very end of the day, as about a dozen of of us were packing up, someone yelled, “Hey, look up!”. One of the Bornish Eagles was flying overhead – he circled around us for about a minute, and then took off in the direction of the proposed NextEra Bornish wind project. Some things you just can’t put words to…. this was one of them.
(Kerwood) – After tucking in her children at 9 o’clock, Strathroy-area resident Esther Wrightman received a knock at the door and the delivery of a summons. The Kerwood mother of two was served a court notice initiated by Nextera Energy Canada claiming she — among many things — used the company’s logo to mislead the public.
The allegation refers to videos posted on Wrightman’s website altering the Nextera logo to read “NexTerror” and “NextError.” Bayshore Broadcasting News contacted Nextera for comment, but received no response. It was five years ago she learned about the issues surrounding wind turbines when Nextera began planning a wind farm nearby. Suncor also had wind developments in the works in her home County of Lambton.
It wasn’t long after Wrightman tells us she began making videos, which she describes as honest because of their lack of scripting or editing. She says the first video featuring the altered Nextera logo was posted about a year ago, but claims she is not the originator of the terms “NextError” or “NextTerror.” Wrightman tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the community commonly referred to Nextera using the two augmented names because of their reputation for rescheduling meetings, much to the community’s dismay. Read article
Debora Van Brenk, London Free Press
Canada’s wind energy giant has slapped a Strathroy-area rock gardener with a lawsuit alleging she’s harming its reputation. In a Goliath-vs-David dispute, NextEra Energy Canada says Esther Wrightman is discrediting it, depreciating its goodwill in the community and mutilating its copyrighted logo. NextEra Energy’s operating revenue in 2012 was $14 billion.
On the other side is Wrightman, who says she can’t even afford the $144 fee to file her statement of defence. “It’s totally parody,” Wrightman said, defending her manipulation of the NextEra logo. “It’s parody and it’s fair comment on what they’ve done.”
A mother of two, whose income comes from disability supports and selling plants for rock gardens, Wrightman has been a thorn in NextEra’s side for opposing wind turbines planned for the Strathroy area. She’s also drawn the company’s ire for posting a video of the dismantling of a bald eagle’s nest in the path of a Haldimand turbine project. The lawsuit, filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, contends Wrightman mutilated the firm’s logo by making it read “NextTerror” and “NextError.” It also says she infringed on copyright, made misleading statements meant to discredit the business, made false representations and showed bad faith. Read article
I spy with my little eye something that will NEVER AGAIN be removed by a wind developer in Ontario. An eagle nest. Over my dead body, NexTerror.
When the community labels Nextera “NexTerror” and “NextError”, it isn’t for just any old reason. Perhaps parody is ingrained in Canadians, and this is why Nextera has earned itself yet another new name: NESTerror. We watched the take down of the eagle’s nest in Haldimand, and literally vowed never again.
So this weekend some pictures of two bald eaglea and their nest were sent to me by a local resident. This nest is in the Nextera Bornish Wind Project (@ Kerwood Rd & Elginfield Rd), close to wind turbines (634m), and very close (187m) to the massive switchyard for the Bornish, Adelaide, Jericho and Cedar Point Wind Projects— a total of 221 turbines for Middlesex and Lambton counties. The Bornish and Adelaide projects are scheduled to be approved by the MOE this month.
The Haldimand nest destruction was not a ‘one-off’, I’m sure of that, even though Nextera rep Tom Bird told us, “I absolutely don’t want to do that again.” Not even a month after they took down the nest in Haldimand county, they were eying up one in Middlesex county.
Looking through Nextera’s website I came across these recent addendums from February, 2013:
By Paul Morden, London Free Press
Middlesex County anti-wind turbine activist Esther Wrightman says she’s not giving in to a cease and desist warning from lawyers working for NextEra Energy Canada. A letter, dated March 20, was sent to Wrightman calling on her to remove YouTube videos and wind resistance website postings because of company logos altered to read “NEXTerror” and “Nextterror Bullies Canada Inc.”
“Our request is simply to not use the corporation’s registered, trademarked logo in a manner that is defamatory,” NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez said in an email. Hernandez said company officials attempted to contact Wrightman personally to resolve the issue before the letter from the lawyers was sent. Wrightman said phone calls where made to her home but she never spoke directly to those company representatives. “We aren’t trying to limit debate, which is clear from our letter, but we have rights in our logo that are entitled to protection under the law,” Hernandez said.
The letter from the lawyers to Wrightman mention in particular use of “NEXTerror” in a video shot in January as crews destroyed a bald eagle nest on the site of NextEra’s Summerhaven wind project in Haldimand. The tree holding the nest came down with the permission of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The letter from the lawyers asks Wrightman to remove that video – as well as a second one interviewing company officials about the nest – from YouTube by March 22. Read article
Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Esther Wrightman says she’s not about to be silenced in her fight against wind turbines in her community. Wrightman, a member of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group, recently received a Cease and Desist order from NextEra Energy after altering the company’s logo to make it read Next-terror and NextError on signs and videos.
“This use of the NextEra logo is unsanctioned, in violation of NextEra’s intellectual property rights and defamatory, especially in conjunction with the video makers’ disparaging comments about NextEra,” Awanish Sinha of McCarthy Tetrault law firm in Toronto writes to Wrightman. “While NextEra recognizes your right to object to its projects and to express your opinions regarding wind power and provincial policies regarding green energy, you do not have a right to utilize its name and logo in any manner or to defame the company.” Sinha writes company officials tried a half dozen times to talk to the activist by phone about their concerns, but weren’t able to reach her. When Wrightman added NextTerror Bullies Canada Inc. to a blog, Sinha says the company felt it had to take legal action. “The latest manipulation of NextEra’s logo has compelled NextEra to take this action and stop this escalating abuse.”
The company told Wrightman to remove all uses of the alter logos on the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group and Ontario Wind Resistance blogs. It also calls for two videos – one of company workers removing a bald eagle’s nest which was in the way of a new project in Haldimand County. Wrightman says that video and another of a company official telling protestors the Ministry of the Environment gave permission for the nest to be cut, have been viewed thousands of times and have shocked people. “I really believe it has more to do with them wanting the eagle nest video down,” she says. Wrightman believes the letter is simply a threat that the company uses with people who don’t agree with their projects. Read article
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:
- The Bosanquet elementary school does not even have a Receptor ID on the project draft map.
- 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).
- 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
Dear Mr. Sinha,
Re: CEASE & DESIST DEMAND ON BEHALF OF NEXTERA ENERGY CANADA, ULC (“NextEra”)
Thank you for the letter dated March 20, 2013 that was dropped between my doors the other day.
The reason I (and “we” the communities in rural Ontario) are referring to your client Nextera as “Nexterror”, is that we feel it is “fair comment” considering this companies actions and behaviour in the past and present in our communities.
We believe that Nextera creates “errors” and “terrors” in our community, and that these facts are well known to the public and therefore these facts are notorious.
At the same time, we have published these facts on our website: Ontario Wind Resistance. They include:
Eagle Nest/ Wildlife destruction
-The “First Video” clearly shows the destruction of an eagles nest.
-The “Second Video” shows Tom Bird of Nextera saying, “The authorization we got from the ministry of natural resources was to destroy this nest”.
Clearly this is terrorizing the community when 18 men with chainsaws and bulldozers descend on, and proceed to cut down an active eagles nest. Even those in favour of turbines are horrified by this despicable action.
You have no right to ask that these movies be removed, and in fact you did not give a single reason as to why you thought the “Second Video” should be removed, as “Nexterror” does not appear on it anywhere. It seems that Nextera would just like to bury this incident and remove the evidence from Youtube.
Below are some of the numerous reports published on Nextera’s destruction of the eagle nest and other wildlife and their habitats:
- Video: Nextera workers remove Bald Eagle nest to put up wind turbines http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/08/video-nextera-workers-remove-bald-eagle-nest-to-put-up-wind-turbines/
- Video: Nextera Energy in damage control mode on Eagle Nest removal http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/11/video-nextera-energy-in-damage-control-mode-on-eagle-nest-removal/
- Nextera turbine within 100m of active bald eagle nest in Haldimand County http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2012/11/27/nextera-turbine-within-100m-of-active-bald-eagle-nest-in-haldimand-county/
- Wind turbine company Nextera & MNR destroy Bald Eagle Nest & habitat http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/08/wind-turbine-company-nextera-mnr-destroy-bald-eagle-nest-habitat/
- Nextera California Wind Project Kills Eagle One Month After Startup http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/02/20/nextera-california-wind-project-kills-eagle-one-month-after-startup/
- Six Nations shocked NextEra takes eagles nest cuts down tree http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/10/six-nations-shocked-nextera-takes-eagles-nest-cuts-down-tree/
- One option only: be proactive & remove NextEra/Summerhaven Wind LP from Ontario http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/09/one-option-only-be-proactive-remove-nexterasummerhaven-wind-lp-from-ontario/
- Nextera ordered to pay $2.5 million and replace turbines to reduce raptor deaths http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2010/12/08/nextera-ordered-to-pay-2-5-million-and-replace-turbines-to-reduce-raptor-deaths/
- Energy company removes bald eagle nest to make way for wind turbine in Haldimand County http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/07/energy-company-removes-bald-eagle-nest-to-make-way-for-wind-turbine-in-haldimand-county/
- Wind turbine no-fly zone http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/03/15/wind-turbine-no-fly-zone/
- Southern Ontario Tundra Swan Spring Migration through wind projects http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/03/02/southern-ontarios-spring-migration-of-the-tundra-swans-through-the-wind-projects-has-begun/
- McGuinty’s legacy is a green nightmare http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/02/02/mcguintys-legacy-is-a-green-nightmare/
- HDI concerned with removal of eagle’s nest, no notification http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/17/hdi-concerned-with-removal-of-eagles-nest-no-notification/
- Bureaucrats ignored advice from biologist to leave eagle’s nest and move wind turbine in Haldimand County http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/13/bureaucrats-ignored-advice-from-biologist-to-leave-eagles-nest-and-move-wind-turbine-in-haldimand-county/
- PoV: No room for eagles in Green Energy Act? http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/11/pov-no-room-for-eagles-in-green-energy-act/
- Bald eagles versus industrial wind turbines http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/11/bald-eagles-versus-industrial-wind-turbines/
- “People have a lot of questions, and so do I” : Bird Studies Canada, Jody Allair http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/07/people-have-a-lot-of-questions-and-so-do-i-bird-studies-canada-jody-allair/
- Outrage in Haldimand over bald eagle nest removal http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/07/outrage-in-haldimand-over-bald-eagle-nest-removal/
- MNR authorizes removal of Bald Eagle nest in Haldimand Wind Development!!! http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2013/01/04/mnr-authorizes-removal-of-bald-eagle-nest-in-haldimand-wind-development/
- Justifying deaths of birds and bats from wind projects – sends chills down spine http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2012/12/10/justifying-deaths-of-birds-and-bats-from-wind-projects-sends-chills-down-spine/
- Are birds and turbines on collision course? http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2012/10/10/are-birds-and-turbines-on-collision-course/
- Please Comment on NextEra Permit re Bobolink in Haldimand County http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2012/02/26/please-comment-on-nextera-permit-re-bobolink-in-haldimand-county/
Video: Wind turbine company Nextera & MNR destroy Bald Eagle Nest & Habitat in Haldimand Cty, ON
Video: Nextera Energy in damage control mode on Eagle Nest removal
Sarnia Lambton Independent
NextEra Energy is facing stiff opposition to its transmission plan. Dozens of people, organizations, and businesses have filed to be interveners at an Ontario Energy Board Hearing on the transmission line project to serve three of NextEra’s projects including the Jericho Wind Energy project in Lambton Shores.
The company plans to erect 100 foot poles over 30 km along roads in Middlesex County to carry the power generated by the wind projects near Strathroy and Lambton Shores. But some neighbours are not pleased. The OEB allowed 10 days for people to register to take part in the hearing to approve the plan, at least 15 landowners and nine other organizations want a say in the hearing.
Middlesex County, Adelaide Township and North Middlesex want to be involved in the hearing. So does Hydro One, the Independent Electric System Operator, and Entegrus Transmission Lines. The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group – a citizens group which has been objecting to the industrial wind projects in the area – also wants a say. Read article
By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press
Get ready for the next tilt in Southwestern Ontario’s transformation into the province’s wind-energy hotbed: 10-storey-high poles to help collect all that power. Debora Van Brenk looks at the early static one wind energy giant’s plans are creating in Middlesex County.
A wind energy giant’s plan to put up 10-storey poles and high-voltage wires along Middlesex County roads is sparking energetic attention. The Ontario Energy Board will consider the application by NextEra Energy Canada to put up poles from its proposed three wind farms along about 30 km of Middlesex roads north and northwest of Strathroy. The county and two residents want permission to speak at a hearing — no date set yet — and more than 24 others have asked to be observers.
The county wants to make sure any poles on municipal rights-of-way don’t interfere with existing or planned infrastructure such as bridges, utilities or drainage ditches, Middlesex engineer Chris Traini. “Anything that would be of public use to the residents should take precedence over transmission poles,” he said.
The county is obligated to share its rights-of-way with utilities, and Traini said he wants to make sure residents’ interests are protected. Council has also expressed concerns about the possible effect on drivers of roadway sign and pole clutter. Traini said the county also wants the energy board to help draw lines of clear responsibility for maintenance and safety of the lines and poles. Read article
Nextera Adelaide/Bornish/Jericho transmission OEB Application – file for ‘Observer’ or ‘Intervener’ status
Please read through this letter from Nextera and the attached Notice of Application to the Ontario Energy Board. This is important for anyone in the Adelaide, Bornish, Jericho and Cedar Wind Point Projects.
If you haven’t filed as an ‘Observer’ or ‘Intervener’ in this hearing, please do so now (before March 24 if possible).
This is the OEB hearing on the 115kV transmission lines on 100′ poles along Kerwood and Elginfield/Nairn Rd AND the substations and switching stations. There are MANY concerns to be raised on this development – make sure your voice is heard and you are involved.
Chris Montanini, Londoner
Two subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Canada have applied to the Ontario Energy Board for leave to construct electricity transmission facilities for their proposed wind farm projects in Middlesex County. The applications were submitted to the OEB Feb. 8 and in anticipation of an upcoming hearing to allow the public and other agencies to express interest, county councillors at their bi-monthly meeting Feb. 19 in London gave Middlesex County staff permission to intervene on their behalf.
Chris Traini, a Middlesex County engineer, said the procedure will be “fairly standard” for electricity infrastructure on county property. “We want to go to the (OEB) to make sure they know (NextEra) has to follow the normal county bylaws and policies,” Traini said. “So they’ll need work permits, entrance permits, moving permits, the same as anyone else who would install infrastructure on a county road.”
Traini said they will also need to craft a Road User Agreement outlining the terms that will allow NextEra to install infrastructure on county roads. The applications include transmission lines within the right of ways of Kerwood Road, Nairn Road and Elginfield Road. “We’re trying to put ourselves in position so we don’t have additional costs to do our normal jobs (like road maintenance and construction) and therefore increase the burden to tax payers because of this infrastructure,” Traini said. “We ask for that because we don’t have detailed engineering drawing until they actually go to construction which will be a few months after approval is given.”
It typically takes the OEB around 30 days from the date an application is submitted to announce a hearing, Traini said. Read article
I attended a meeting of ~ 20 landowners along the proposed 115KV transmission from the Adelaide Wind project north to the “tap” into the 500 kv line at Nairn. The NextEra/FPL project manager was there with 2 “landmen” (that’s what they’re called). The whole meeting was about 1.5 hours total. It was a “mixed” meeting in that roughly half the attendees were signed to wind leases. NextEra agreed to the meeting in the hopes that they could answer questions about the trans line and hopefully get the adjoining landowners to sign easements that would facilitate placement and alignment of the poles.
To better understand the situation, it is helpful to know the layout:
1) County Rd. #6 is an old, narrow roadway with houses very close to the road. An historic building, the old Keyser General Store literally sits on the roadway, in fact, only about 10′ of the store are on the owners’ property.
2) For a distance of over 5 miles, adjoining landowners are refusing to sign transmission easements. One property owner turned down an amount in excess of $200,000. Another refused over $150,000. These are people who do not want to sell-out and move; nor, do they want their farm operations damaged. Read the rest of this entry
John Fund, National Review
President Obama likes to talk about making sure “the biggest corporations pay their fair share.” Treasury secretary Tim Geithner calls for tax reform to close loopholes and subsidies. Budget hawks say federal spending must be curbed. Congress and federal environmental regulators claim they are doing everything they can to save endangered species. By doing nothing and waiting for December 31 to pass, all of those folks could strike a blow in support of each of these policies. All they have to do is let the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy expire on schedule this coming Monday.
Begun 20 years ago to spur the construction of wind-energy facilities that could compete with conventional fossil-fuel power plants, the tax credit gives wind an advantage over all other energy producers. But it has mostly benefited conventional nuclear and fossil-fuel-fired electricity producers. The biggest user of the tax credit is Florida-based NextEra Energy, the nation’s eighth-largest power producer. Through skillful manipulation of the credits, NextEra from 2005 to 2009 “paid just $88 million in taxes on earnings of nearly $7 billion,” Businessweek reports. That’s a tax rate of just 1.25 percent over that period, when the statutory rate is 35 percent. Read article
by 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
by 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
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