Prince Edward County rejects battery storage proposal

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RISK OF NOISE, FIRE, ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION FROM BATTERY STORAGE SYSTEM IS TOO GREAT, SAY RESIDENTS. FEW DETAILS AVAILABLE ON A LARGE ENERGY PROPOSAL: “A PIG IN A POKE”

January 24, 2023

Prince Edward County’s council voted to reject a proposal for a battery storage facility last week, responding to citizen concerns about safety and risk to the environment.

A Battery Energy Storage System or BESS was proposed by Compass Energy, a 250-megawatt facility that would require 15 acres of land.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO currently has a Request for Proposals for new power sources; the IESO is looking for 1,500 megawatts of power which can include new projects such as natural gas or wind, and battery storage. The proviso is that the power must be available immediately, and “can deliver a continuous amount of electricity to a connection point on a distribution system or transmission system for at least four consecutive hours,” according to the IESO website.

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County or APPEC* made a presentation to council with their concerns about the proposal.

“When we first became aware of the Picton BESS proposal a few months ago, we thought the scale of the project warranted evaluation,” says APPEC president and County resident Orville Walsh.

“We anticipated that [the proponents’] community meeting in early December would provide many of the project details. That turned out not to be the case. According to the project website, they will only be designing or planning the project after obtaining a contract from the IESO.”

Walsh told Prince Edward County Council that on investigation of available information about the project, APPEC concluded that there is no information on the type of equipment that will be used, battery manufacturer, or other electrical components; no information on the HVAC systems to be utilized; no information on fire detection systems, fire suppression systems and equipment; and no noise studies or estimates of environmental noise, which can be significant.

“We can only imagine the noise that could be generated on a warm summer night by 250 HVAC units,” Walsh told Council.

There are few specifics about this project, Walsh explained, “not a single drawing or illustration that is reflective of the scale of the project.  

“Giving support to a project lacking basic information is like buying a pig in a poke,” he said.

Residents of The County were also concerned about the loss of prime agricultural land to the power project, which contravened both the Ontario government’s statements and requirements of the local Official Plan to preserve valuable farmland.

Fire a significant risk

The danger of fire is an “unacceptable risk” from the lithium-ion batteries, say residents. Quoted in a report in the Picton Gazette, resident “Don Wilford spoke to council detailing the environmental devastation that would occur should a fire break out at a 250 megawatt BESS along with the immediate risk to the local population. ‘Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to fires. At the scale proposed, the fire would cause vast damage to wetlands, the toxic gas plume requiring evacuation of Picton only 5 km away and potential loss of firefighters’ lives,’ Wilford stated.”

Others wondered why the Prince Edward County location was chosen as it is not near major population centres, or power generation facilities. (We can tell you: willing landowners, nothing else.)

Company competence in battery storage

Citizens also noted that the proponent had no experience with battery storage facility construction or operation. Resident Don Wilford presented background information about proponent Compass Energy: it is owned by Irving, which in turn is a subsidiary of Icon Infrastructure, a financial investment firm based in the U.K., he said.

“None of these companies have experience with battery storage,” said Wilford. “It appears Ontario is not only ignoring safer zinc battery tech but outsourcing a key component of its electricity infrastructure to financial companies that will outsource the tech to a systems integrator, which will, in turn, repackage lithium-ion units from major suppliers in China.”

It was also noted that the developer admitted there would be “zero” long term employment opportunities for people in Prince Edward County.

Valuable farmland would be lost

Sophiasburgh Councillor Bill Roberts tabled an amendment to deny the request from Compass Energy, listing all the concerns expressed by community members, adding that the Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture was also no in favour of the project.

“I’m opposed to the use of prime agricultural land for this purpose,” he said according to the story in the Picton Gazette.  “I support the Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture in their opposition to non-agricultural development on prime farmland. I hear convincing and alerting information from the audience,” said Roberts.

Roberts repeated the concerns about the risk of fire: “I find the potential fire and contamination risks compelling. Since 2017 there have been 50 such failures including five at large BESS installations. One in Australia required 150 firefighters and four days to extinguish,” decried Roberts. “I don’t get a sense the proponents have the experience to complete and operate such a giant BESS project. I was particularly struck by the IESO’s own connection site identification, wherein at least 166 sites were deemed preferable.”

Roberts amended motion was seconded by councillor John Hirsch and passed by council.

Battery storage proposals are popping up in various locations throughout the province, with varying degrees of success.

Other projects proposed include solar power facilities. One developer put forward a proposal to the council in Sault Ste Marie but declined to tell the elected representatives where the project might actually be located. At another meeting, the proponent claimed full support by local indigenous communities, which turned out not to be true: there had been some conversations including email exchanges, but there had been no formal expression of support.

In the U.S., energy commentator Robert Bryce says that community opposition to large wind and solar power projects is rising; people understand that wind and solar (and now, battery storage) do little to help the environment or alter climate change, but they do have significant environmental impacts, and cause electricity bills to rise. Bryce maintains a database of community rejections of large renewable energy projects.

Comment: frankly, we cannot understand why any company would want to take on the folks in Prince Edward County. They spent more than 10 years, and more than $1.5 million after-tax dollars to defend the County against four wind power projects, all of which would have endangered wildlife, wetlands, and the fragile topography of the area, as well as having a negative impact on tourism, for which the area is rightly famous.

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

*APPEC is a corporate community group member of Wind Concerns Ontario

REPOSTED FROM WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO with permission

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Ontario to launch request for new power projects next week

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Is Ottawa ready? NO.

December 1, 2022

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO will launch its Long Term-Request for Proposals (LT-RFP) next Tuesday, December 6th.

The aim of the LT-RFP according to the IESO is to: “seek resources that can be in service between 2026 and 2028 to address global and regional needs.

Energy Minister Todd Smith issued a directive on October 7th:

11. The Expedited Process, Upgrades Solicitation, and L T1 RFP shall be open to all resource types that meet the mandatory criteria established by the IESO, which may include renewable energy, energy storage, hybrid renewable energy with storage, biofuels and natural gas-fired generation.

The RFP has been in development for many months, despite the continued assertion by former Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt who insisted that there is no procurement process in Ontario. When he wrote to members of Ottawa’s Planning and Agricultural and Rural Affairs committees that there was no plans for new power procurement (to head off a presentation by Ottawa Wind Concerns), the IESO was in the final phases of implementing the RFP.

Now, Ottawa could see proposals for new power projects.

The process will be very quick: announcement of successful bidders will come in March of 2023, according to IESO documents dated mid-November.

But we’re not ready.

Ottawa has no new zoning bylaws in place to deal with new power proposals and in fact, the zoning bylaw process following the new Official Plan is stalled due to concerns about new provincial legislation.

As well, we know from the experience with wind turbines since 2009 and the Green Energy Act, there are lots of problems with these industrial-scale projects. Noise, damage to aquifers, and risk to wildlife including endangered species are impacts seen all over Ontario. But regulations for noise and setbacks have not changed.

When the Green Energy Act was revoked by the Ford government in 2018, planning powers were returned to municipalities, who are now able to set their own regulations for noise limits and setback distances.

But Ottawa hasn’t done that.

The solution? Recommended to us by our planning consultant, and as already done by several other Ontario municipalities, Ottawa could pass a motion that is a simple statement of policy intent, to the effect that until new zoning bylaws are approved, the City of Ottawa will not review or approve any proposals for power generation, including wind power.

City staff have already expressed concern about the speed of the LT-RFP process and the fact that municipal approval doesn’t seem to be mandatory, though the Ford government promised that it would be. Other municipalities are worried about this IESO process which, they say, doesn’t give enough time for proper public consultation, or for a full assessment of new power development proposals such as analysis of the effectiveness of the technology being proposed, and what impacts the project could have on the environment.

We met today with new Ward 21 Councillor David Brown, who shares our concerns about the IESO RFP. He is already taking action on it.

We hope that the new Council will act quickly to ensure that the City is not sandbagged by new power generation proposals that are not appropriate to our area, and specifically that Ottawa’s rural communities will be protected from industrialization by unreliable and noisy grid-scale wind turbines. We hope that any new power generation would be for power that is reliable and affordable, and actually does something for the environment and climate change. That’s not expensive, invasive, out-of-phase with demand wind power.

 

Ottawa Wind Concerns

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

 

Pleas for protective bylaws for noisy wind turbines get nowhere with Ottawa councillor

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Not “forward-thinking”: Ottawa is not acting on its opportunity to protect rural citizens against wind turbine noise and vibration. [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

Planning committee co-chair responds with condescending, hostile messages; continues to deny Ottawa plans for wind turbines

October 11, 2022

While Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) prepares to launch new procurement initiatives for power generation, and wind power developers line up to apply for contracts, at least one councillor with the City of Ottawa denies the need for the city to issue protective bylaws for noise and setbacks for health and safety now.

Ottawa Wind Concerns has been updating the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) as well as city staff charged with developing new zoning bylaws on both the need for protective regulation and the fact that other municipalities have already taken these steps. We made a presentation to ARAC in April, detailing the need for protective regulations, emphasizing that current provincial rules are inadequate.

Recently, we submitted letters to both the Planning Committee and ARAC warning that if the IESO opens the door to new wind power proposals, it will be too late to create bylaws for noise and setbacks. Ottawa needs to take action now, before proposals are made.

Here’s what we told ARAC:

SUBMISSION TO CITY OF OTTAWA AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

Urgent need for protective zoning bylaws for wind power projects/wind turbines
September 28, 2022
This is a follow-up to our submission and presentation on April 7th by Ottawa Wind Concerns
board member Michael Baggott, requesting protective zoning bylaws and a setback distance of
at least 2 km for industrial-scale or grid-scale wind turbines. We have discussed this
presentation with the Carleton Landowners and have their support in making this submission.
What is new:
The Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO is launching several Requests for
Proposal, to acquire 3,500 megawatts of new power generation. (Reference:
https://www.ieso.ca/en/Sector-Participants/Resource-Acquisition-and-Contracts/Long-Term￾RFP-and-Expedited-Process )
The IESO has released a list of Qualified Applicants, of which more than a dozen are wind
power developers.
One new contract has already been awarded (an extension to Melancthon I) and wind power
developers have already announced their intention to propose new projects. (Capital Power,
September 22, Windsor, Ontario)

The City of Ottawa confirms that it wants “predominately wind and solar” power to achieve
climate action goals (reference: climate manager Mike Fletcher), repeated by climate manager
Andrea Flowers to the environmental protection committee May 17th: “We have explicitly said
[our plans] would include wind and solar.”
The IESO has released a set of draft documents related to municipal approval and community
engagement. Deadline for stakeholder comment is September 30.
Problems:
As documented previously, Ontario current setback for noise of 550m is inadequate and not
aligned with regulation in other jurisdictions today.
Setback from roadways, public pathways etc. not adequate for protection
Once proposals are made, and officially submitted, a zoning bylaw cannot apply to those
proposals. (Future ones, yes)

Ottawa citizens, particularly those in rural areas who would be forced to have these power
generation projects, are very concerned about noise pollution, impacts on property value,
effects on the aquifer and private water wells, as well as the risk to wildlife including endangered
species.
This was acknowledged by Ottawa staff Andrea Flowers on May 17 when she said the City
would respond to concerns with appropriate zoning.
This cannot wait.
Protective zoning bylaws for grid-scale wind turbines are needed urgently, before any proposals
for new wind power development come forward.
We understand that the City is engaged in developing new bylaws connected to the new Official
Plan, but this bylaw or set of bylaws cannot wait until second quarter of next year when the new
draft bylaws could be presented.
An option would be for a resolution to the effect that the CIty of Ottawa will not review or
approve any proposals for new power generation until after the new bylaws come into effect.
In a meeting we had with Councillor Eli El-Chantiry and ARAC chair on this subject in 2019, we
were told that municipalities can act quite quickly if they have to.
The time to “act quickly” is now.

Two days before the ARAC meeting, Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt ( a member of ARAC and also Planning co-chair) sent this message.

I’ll try to be direct so that your Twitter account doesn’t spin my words.

As it stands today, the City does not have an explicit zone that permits wind turbines. All we have is the pending Official Plan which seeks to prohibit their installation in the Agricultural Resource Area. You and I both know that the Province is not required to adhere to municipal policies and by-laws. Nevertheless, the City has committed to reviewing this matter as part of its upcoming Zoning By-Law process.

What you are seeking is a more immediate zoning setback. What you are not considering is that to apply a zoning setback, you need an explicitly permissive zone. I don’t believe the residents of Ottawa would appreciate a quick greenlighting of wind turbines on their properties just so that we can implement a setback that may or may not be respected by the Province.

My position on this has always been that we cannot bury our heads and assume that wind will never come. I’ve also said that there was no current application process for wind, which your Twitter account spun and mocked. Regardless of the recent IESO announcement, I still don’t foresee this current Provincial Government approving wind but they won’t always be in power. While the City will not be an applicant for wind power, we should ensure we prepare for what could come. That led to the OP inclusion and the future zoning discussion. For the sake of the communities you want to represent, I would not recommend rushing that process.

The message was copied to every member of both committees. Not one of them countered the inaccuracies in the message.

  1. The City doesn’t need an “explicit zone” that permits turbines. True, the Official Plan says where they may NOT go, but it is absurd to say that a turbine zone must be described in order for there to be setback or noise regulations, or even a general policy statement. The City already has bylaws about where development may or may not be located, and bylaws governing noise in communities etc. The City has the option to create a resolution, as we suggested, to note its policy intentions, which would help protect in case any proposals come forward now.
  2. “The Province is not required to adhere to municipal policies”—municipalities are free to create their own bylaws, which several have already done with regard to wind turbine noise limits, setback distances, and height restrictions. Yes, the province could enact something like the Green Energy Act which blatantly removed municipal powers, but the current government restored them in 2019. Not going backwards.
  3. Protective bylaws constitute “greenlighting” of wind power projects???
  4. “No current application process for wind”: that was exactly our point. One is coming. And it’s coming fast. We simply asked the City to take steps to protect the residents of rural communities BEFORE it becomes impossible to do so.
  5. The City won’t be an “applicant” for wind power. Maybe not but the $57B Energy Evolution plan and statements by staff make it clear the city’s climate action plan is to increase electricity available which they intend to do by “predominately wind and solar” (City staff quote). So Ottawa may not be an “applicant” but it certainly intends at the moment to encourage wind power development. One of the “catalyst projects” is to have 20 megawatts of wind turbines by 2025. (We learned via documents obtained under Freedom of Information request that the project is “on hold” while the Province reviews requirements for net metering.)
  6. Our Twitter account does not engage in “spin” or “mockery.” Our goal is to inform. The fact is, the City of Ottawa has been woefully unaware of, or wilfully ignoring, Ontario’s disastrous history with expensive, unreliable and ineffective wind power. Why? What’s the agenda?

We showed this response to colleagues who are or who have in the past been municipal councillors and their reaction was that this response was puzzling at a minimum, and disrespectful of community concerns. One commented that the purpose of the response could be taken to be an attempt to “throw you off the scent.”

We also consulted an urban planner who remarked that Mr. Moffatt’s response was “garbled and condescending.” The planner was surprised at the lack of understanding from a co-chair of the city’s planning committee, and additionally that Ottawa is not further ahead on this matter, as are other jurisdictions. “Not forward-thinking” was the planner’s comment.

Again, not one member of the Planning Committee countered the inaccuracies.

We can only hope now that the next Council is committed to a review of the problematic Energy Evolution plan, at least as far as the electricity generation proposals (written for the city by an activist group) are concerned, and that the next Planning Committee is more interested in awareness of current events and potential impacts on rural communities.

Election Day is October 24; next Advance Poll is October 14. Ask questions of candidates NOW and choose wisely.

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

List of IESO Qualified Applicants for new power contracts. Check the companies that are wind power developers. Conclusion: wind is coming.

Is the $57B Energy Evolution plan dead?

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Mayoral candidates pronounce the current climate action plan “unviable” and “wishful thinking” while proposing new ones

September 30, 2022

Ottawa’s municipal election campaign is shining much needed light on the city’s $57B climate action plan, named “Energy Evolution.”

It might even be dead.

We certainly hope so.

Work on the plan was started in the middle of the last decade including a series of “Pathway” studies released in 2017, and culminating in the Energy Evolution document passed by the city’s environmental protection committee and then Council in October of  2020. One Pathway study focused on wind power and acknowledged that Ottawa was a “low” wind resource area (translation: not enough wind to run turbines), the problem could be solved by offering developers more money to come here anyway. The result would be higher electricity bills, but not more reliable power.

While the city claims it conducted public engagement for the plan, it appears that a select group of “stakeholders” was contacted for their applause, and the plan was presented to Council within six months of official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A casual inquiry of Ottawa citizens will reveal that few people know about the plan and its very hefty price tag, which relies heavily on support from all three levels of government. (To compare, Toronto has a climate plan, too. TransformTO has a budget of $6 million a year.)

A report in today’s Ottawa Citizen says a mayoral debate focused on the environment held September 29th saw candidates presenting their own plans for climate action. Former mayor and now candidate for a repeat gig Bob Chiarelli said the current plan, (i.e., Energy Evolution) is “unviable” and based on “wishful thinking.”

He doesn’t say it is out and out crazy but he could have. The electricity portion of the document was written for the city by activist group Pollution Probe, and recommends that Ottawa turn up its nose at the provincial power grid, and create its own power supply. How? By using wind and solar power.

That is not only nuts it’s impossible. Both are unreliable, weather-dependent sources of power that even with the notion of battery storage, cannot possibly power a city of 1.1 million people.

The plan features a raft of other completely unworkable ideas. A half a million heat pumps is prescribed: interesting, but also impossible across the board. The units are large and do create noise; water source heat pumps need a lot of property to install the equipment.

On propane? No problem: switch to a wood pellet heating system. Because burning wood is better than burning propane, right?

There’s more, but we refer you to our earlier post on how the Energy Evolution plan will hit you, hard.

Candidate and former broadcaster Mark Sutcliffe had a few comments about a climate plan. He said he wouldn’t spend $250 million on bike lanes, which was a jab at fellow candidate Catherine McKenney. Sutcliffe talks about planting trees and other measures, but doesn’t say anything about power.

Catherine McKenney never mentions Energy Evolution but they (McKenney prefers the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’) were a councillor when Ottawa City Council passed the climate action plan, and is a member of the environmental protection committee to boot, which not only passed the plan before sending on to Council but was presumably the standing committee that had some oversight on the project. McKenney has made statements about renewable energy, but has also said they want to turn the Greenbelt into an urban national park.

That conflicts with Ottawa’s Official Plan which in Section 4.11 states that renewable energy facilities may be located in the Greenbelt as a principal use. The councillor may be thinking that means a few solar panels to power signs or lights, not 600-foot grid-scale wind turbines which would be an industrial use of the land.

Lots of views to choose from but it appears Energy Evolution might get a review under a new Mayor and Council, if not shelved altogether.

We’re betting few candidates are aware that Energy Evolution was used as “evidence” when the City opposed a customer pipeline replacement by Enbridge along St Laurent Blvd to serve Ottawa natural gas customers.

At an all-candidates meeting in North Gower, for Ward 21, all three of the candidates appearing that evening pledged to demand a review of Energy Evolution.

Haven’t read Energy Evolution yet? Here it is: energy-transition-report-1

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

Ward 21 council candidates pledge review of Ottawa Energy Evolution plan

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Roads, wind turbines, and City Hall arrogance: themes at North Gower all-candidates’ meeting

September 21, 2022

Planning staff and others at the City of Ottawa may have sensed their ears burning Monday evening.

That’s because participants at an all-candidates meeting in North Gower held September 19 complained bitterly about the lack of real “engagement” or “consultation” from staff regarding major initiatives, whether it the new Official Plan, individual zoning amendment cases, or huge expensive initiatives like the $57B Energy Evolution plan.

The meeting, sponsored by the North Gower Community Association, was attended by candidates David Brown, Leigh-Andrea Brunet and Kevin Setia. Candidate Patty Searl was ill and unable to attend, and Michael Nowack was working, he told the organizers.

Comments were made about how hard it was to get information about city projects and plans, and to feel like comments were being taken seriously, residents said.

Staff put out their reports with their decisions on what actions will be taken, said one North Gower resident. By the time the process gets to “engagement,” it feels like the decisions have already been made, she said.

Mentioned was the city’s “engagement” on garbage collection, the Official Plan, and other policies in development.

City doesn’t “get” rural issues

Citizens spoke about some of the issues being reported in media about what’s important in the 2022 municipal election campaign, and said that the urban-rural divide was clear. The city quite simply doesn’t “get” rural issues.

Transit is a key topic now, as the city is pushing for better use of the multi-billion-dollar transit system and LRT. But Ottawa’s transit system is out of reach for rural residents, some said.

“I’d love to take transit,” said one resident. “But where do I get it? Where do I drive to from North Gower to get a bus or the LRT or whatever? And, I live on a farm and drive a truck—will there be a parking space I can fit into when I get there?”

Leigh-Andrea Brunet said that the mega-warehouse site, which was the subject of a citizen appeal, would have been a good place for a park and ride, where buses could pick up residents needing to go into the city. David Brown commented that work would have to be done on assessing the cost of rural bus routes but that the City-owned client services centre would be a good location for passenger pickup in North Gower.

Comments were made about one mayoral candidate’s proposal to spend $250 million on bike lanes while in rural areas, roads are literally falling apart.

Concern was expressed by several residents over the tone of the current Council, and how there seemed to be “gangs” of councillors as one person put it.

Kevin Setia said his goal would be to work collaboratively with all other councillors.

NO to expensive, unreliable wind turbines

As the questions asked covered various City initiatives and programs promoted by the current Council, the Energy Evolution plan came up repeatedly, particularly the part that calls for powering the city with wind and solar and would require more than 700 industrial-scale wind turbines, to be installed in Ottawa’s rural areas.

Residents recalled the Green Energy Act era in Ontario, which resulted in a loss of more than $30 billion to ratepayers and taxpayers because of expensive, above-market contracts, and asked why Ottawa hasn’t learned from that.

Every candidate agreed that wind power was expensive and unreliable and not appropriate for Ottawa.

In conclusion, all three said they pledged to demand a review of the Energy Evolution plan if elected.

Election day is October 24, 2022 with advance polls in Ottawa available after September 24.

Further all-candidates meetings include Richmond, October 5; Manotick Village Community Association September 28th 7 PM at the Community Centre/arena; West Carleton-March the OFA  will host a meeting Oct. 5 at the Kinburn Community Centre 7 PM; and the Huntley Community Association (HCA) will host an all-candidates debate for Ward 5 council candidates on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7 PM at the Carp Agricultural Hall.

To contact us, or to be added to our email list, email ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

 

“Equality”: just a campaign buzzword?

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Are Ottawa’s rural residents just collateral damage for City Hall’s $57B climate action plan?

Children living next to huge noisy wind turbines in Ontario: where is “equality” with city residents?


September 14, 2022

With the municipal election campaign now in gear, candidates for council and the mayor’s chair are talking about ideas and platforms.

From the mayoral candidates in particular, we hear talk about “affordability” and “equality” and “accessibility.”

(How can we have “affordable housing” when Ottawa’s $57B Energy Evolution plan proposes actions, like installing 700 wind turbines, that will raise electricity bills significantly?)

The notion of “equality” is intriguing because in the rural areas, the sentiment is that rural voices don’t get heard much at City Hall. That was cited as an issue in the Rogers TV candidate debate held for Ward 21 Rideau-Jock.

So, when it comes to the city’s $57B Energy Evolution climate action plan, is there “equality” for rural residents?

No.

When city staff revealed the plans for wind turbines (they didn’t say how many then, but we know now they think around 710 will be needed) in June 2021 during a discussion for rural residents about the new Official Plan, there was immediate pushback from those participating in the sparsely attended, poorly publicized online event.

When residents objected to having industrial-scale wind turbines, then Manager of Planning Policy Alain MIguelez said, in effect, the city wants renewables to provide power and “That power has to come from somewhere.”

Meaning you, you rural folk.

More recently, in a meeting of the Environmental Protection Committee, councillor (and chair) Scott Moffatt said he heard a lot of negative reaction to the prospect of wind turbines.

In response, city climate manager Andrea Flowers confirmed that the city “explicitly” said it wants wind and solar and that resident concerns would be met by zoning bylaws and “technology.”

The reality is that rural residents are already being regarded as collateral damage in the city’s plan to run a metropolis of more than 1.1 million people on “predominately” wind and solar power.

City climate manager Mike Fletcher spoke of Ottawa’s rural communities as “vast areas” for wind power development in a letter to the Ontario Energy Board … as if no one lives there.

Both forms of power generation are extremely land-intensive, gobbling up acres of valuable land for wind turbines, their access roads and associated infrastructure such as transformer substations, power cabling and more.

Wind turbines in particular add noise pollution to the environment, are a risk to wildlife especially

bats which are crucial to the ecosystem and agriculture, and, in areas of vulnerable aquifers wind turbines with their monstrous foundations also pose a risk to the water supply.

But to the Non Government Organizations (NGOs) advising the City of Ottawa (Pollution Probe actually wrote the electricity section of Energy Evolution), rural residents are simply inhabitants of a giant resource plantation.

Equality? For rural residents? Not in Ottawa.

A question for municipal election candidates during this campaign: what about “equality” for rural citizens? Where do you stand on protecting the environment and quality of life in Ottawa’s rural communities?

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com


Conversation on Energy Evolution, wind turbines widens in Ottawa election campaign

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Residents unaware of climate action plan proposals and $57B price tag

Questions were asked at a recent candidates’ debate focused on climate

August 29, 2022

Interest in Ottawa’s $57B Energy Evolution climate action plan is picking up.

And as we suspected, most Ottawa citizens don’t know a thing about it, despite Ottawa’s pledge of “engagement.”

The Energy Evolution plan was approved by Council in October of 2020, mere months into the pandemic, when people had a lot on their minds.

Now, during the campaign for election of a new Mayor and council seats, questions are coming up.

At a recent mayor candidate debate for example (not attended by front-runners Bob Chiarelli or Mark Sutcliffe) Catherine McKenney was asked about the Energy Evolution plan and specifically about the call for 710 industrial-scale wind turbines. “Taller than the Peace Tower,” the questioner said (Not true: they are more like a 60-storey office tower).

Energy Evolution is full of “bold ideas” McKenney responded, but added that they could not recall that wind power had precedence over anything else. Emissions-reduction and solar energy was the focus, McKenney said.

Here’s the problem: McKenny sits on the city’s environmental protection committee and would have heard climate manager Andrea Flowers say this in a meeting in May in answer to a question from Councillor Scott Moffatt:

“What we put forward as part of this motion as a broader picture is if there are sufficient resources we would look at a Distributed Energy Resource for city-owned facilities and land. We have explicitly said that would include renewable energy generation both wind and solar as we have specified in Energy Evolution.”

So, yes, wind, lots of wind, and McKenney should know it.

The question and McKenney’s answer may be viewed here.

A candidate for Council running in the Knoxdale-Merivale ward has taken aim at the Energy Evolution plan (did we mention the $57B?) and spoken out against it in his campaign.

Joseph Ben-Ami is telling taxpayers that they are going to be shocked at the price tag on the Energy Evolution plan, and at the things proposed in it such as banning natural gas appliances, and installing wind turbines. A video of his campaign statement is here.

Ward 21 candidate David Brown has also spoken out against the Energy Evolution plan, and the proposal for wind turbines. In an article published in The Manotick Messenger, Brown pointed out that wind power is consistently unreliable and asks why Ottawa is planning to build hundreds of under-performing, noise polluting wind turbines.

“They certainly won’t be built downtown,” Brown adds. They will be built in Ottawa’s rural communities, causing “irrevocable damage to farmland, wildlife and residents” while causing “energy poverty” for many people, especially those with low or fixed incomes.

Fellow Ward 21 candidate Leigh-Andrea Brunet has also spoken on the urban-rural divide in Ottawa and cautioned that Ottawa needs to be careful to develop policies that promote equality, not division.

There are many weeks to go in the campaign and lots of opportunities to ask questions of candidates.

All-candidates’ meetings are being scheduled: the North Gower Community Association is sponsoring one on September 19th for Ward 21, 7 PM at Alfred Taylor Centre; Manotick Village Community Association is also Ward 21, also plans an event, date TBA.

We are unaware of any meetings scheduled in West Carleton. Please let us know of any events scheduled.

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

We want transparency on new power projects: Ottawa Wind Concerns to City of Ottawa

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A previous wind power project was presented as a ‘done deal.’ That’s not happening again, says Ottawa community group.

City documents show that wind and solar power projects and battery storage are due for completion by 2025. Where are they? Rural residents want to know.

August 1, 2022

Community group Ottawa Wind Concerns has asked its followers to contact the City of Ottawa to request transparency on several renewable energy projects.

In an email today, the group asked citizens to demand transparency from the city, with the following request:

“On page 45 of the Energy Evolution action plan is the statement that a project is to be undertaken in the electricity sector between 2020 and 2025, which requires specifically the installation of:

150 megawatts of solar power generation

20 megawatts of wind

20 megawatts of hydro and

20 megawatts of electricity storage.

Given that these are substantial projects for the City and will require procurement of land as well as environmental studies in order to obtain approvals, we are asking the City of Ottawa to release information NOW on where these projects will be located, who will be the operators of the facilities, what contract terms are for setbacks from homes, noise limits, decommissioning, and fire and aviation safety requirements as well as what cost-benefit analysis is being done to confirm the climate change benefits of these projects.

In short, we are asking for opportunities for full public engagement with regard to these power generation projects.

As the deliverable date for these projects is less than three years away, we ask that public disclosure and engagement begin as soon as possible.”

The power projects are significant, says Ottawa Wind Concerns Chair Jane Wilson: “For wind power, the 20 megawatt requirement could mean seven or more industrial-scale wind turbines,” she says. “That will be a significant impact on a community and on the people who will be forced to live nearby. The power generators do create noise pollution and have other potential impacts on the environment such as the risk to wildlife, and the loss of important woodlands and other features.”

Wilson says there is no news on the 2025 power projects, but residents want to know they will be notified and included.

“The last time this happened,” says Wilson, “the project was presented as a ‘done deal’. That cannot happen again.”

A 20-megawatt wind power project was proposed for North Gower in 2008 but ended when the proponent, a small firm out of Germany, failed to meet requirements of Ontario’s Large Renewable Power procurement effort in 2014. The turbines were to be 600 feet tall and would have been near hundreds of homes and the village school. Almost every citizen in the area signed and petition which was presented at City Hall.

The local chapter of Ontario Landowners has also asked members to contact the City of Ottawa to demand transparency.

ottawawindconcerns@ottawawindconcerns

Ottawa Wind Concerns is an incorporated, not-for-profit group, with a membership list of several hundred residents of rural Ottawa communities and other stakeholders. We are a community group member of the Wind Concerns Ontario coalition.Our goal: a safe environment…for everyone

Wind power and energy security today

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Another reason why Ottawa’s Energy Evolution and the plan for 3,200 megawatts of wind to power Ottawa (intermittently) isn’t a good idea. Opinion by Ottawa energy economist Robert Lyman

whitefarmhouse2turbines

Putting 700 wind turbines throughout Ottawa’s rural communities will foster energy security, according to Ottawa’s climate change action plan. How is that possible when all the raw materials come from somewhere else? [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

ENERGY SECURITY – THE UNIQUE PROBLEMS OF WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY

August 1, 2022

The crisis in global energy markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seized public attention in western countries largely because of its indirect effect on the prices of oil and natural gas, two energy sources of central importance to the world’s economy. In a somewhat perverse way, the crisis may also serve as a valuable reminder of the importance of energy security, a consideration that many governments, in their pursuit of “climate” objectives, have demoted to the second or third rank.

There is another dimension of energy security that does not relate to the threat of oil and gas shortages and price increases but instead to the insecure sources of the materials needed to produce wind, solar and battery equipment. All of these require large imports of critical components or inputs from China.

How big is this problem?

In 2019, China accounted for 68% of global polysilicon production, 96% of global photovoltaic (PV) wafers production, 76% of PV cell production and 71% of PV module production.

The Global Wind Blade Supply Chain Update for 2020 ranks China as the largest producing country for wind turbines. Chinese firms are responsible for more than 50% of global wind blade production capacity. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, China is now the leading exporter of wind-powered generating nets, accounting for about 10% of the market outside of China.

China is also among the leading suppliers of many minerals critical to the manufacture of wind turbines and solar PV. Table 1 indicates China’s share of global supply of critical mineral inputs.

Table 1

MineralChina Share of Global Supply

Aluminum 56%

Cadmium 33%

Copper8%

Gallium 97%

Indium 39%

Molybdenum 45%

Rare Earths 63%

Selenium 33%

Silicon 64%

Tellurium 62%

Tin 27%

Titanium 28%

Tungsten 82%

Vanadium 55%

Zinc 33%

Source: World Bank

Dependence on China for the materials needed for wind, solar and batteries is not the only energy security consideration that should be raised with respect to renewable energy. A far more significant risk concerns the inability of intermittent electricity supply sources to meet electricity demand at all times and in all seasons, especially if left dependent on costly and unproven bulk electricity storage systems.

There is an important geopolitical dimension. China and the West are now locked into an important competition to determine which countries, and which economic systems, will lead the world over the next century. China has shown itself willing to use every policy tool, including widespread industrial espionage and funding of groups that create disharmony and division in western societies, to advance its agenda.

In these circumstances, relying on energy sources dependent on Chinese supplies seems like a very high-risk approach.

Robert Lyman,

Ottawa

………………….

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

Community group concerned about $57-billion Energy Evolution plan: Manotick Messenger

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Ottawa’s climate action plan calls for more than 700 wind turbines, even though wind power is intermittent and out of phase with demand. Do people know about the $57B plan? [Photo D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

July 29, 2022

Ottawa Wind Concerns is quoted in a news story in the Manotick Messenger, published today.

Ottawa City Council approved the Energy Evolution climate change action plan in the early weeks of the pandemic in 2020 says Ottawa Wind Concerns Chair Jane Wilson, with an estimated cost to taxpayers of $57 billion.

But most people don’t know anything about it.

The plan stipulates that electricity will become the “primary fuel for all building types” in Ottawa, and that the plan calls for more than half a million heat pumps to be installed.

In order to achieve electrification of everything from home heating, to building HVAC systems to transportation, Energy Evolution says that the city of 1.1 million will rely on wind and solar power. The plan calls for 3,200 megawatts of new wind power in Ottawa, which translates to 710 industrial-scale wind turbines, of 4.5 megawatt capacity.

There are no cost-benefit studies to show this will work, Wilson says, and neither is there any evidence that the city’s dramatic measures will really have any impact on climate change.

“What’s needed as we move into October’s municipal election campaign are questions to all candidates about the city’s action plan and whether candidates are aware of and support the proposals,” Wilson said.

Read the news story here, on page 17.

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com