Wind power: out of phase with consumer demand

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October 11, 2017

 

BelleRiverAug20

Turbines at the 100-megawatt Samsung Belle River power plant–power when we don’t need it

Friday October 6th, 2017 was a work day just before the Thanksgiving weekend. At 10 AM that morning, Ontario’s electricity ratepayers had much to be thankful for. Power generation from wind amounted to just 27 MWh, but that 27 MWh wasn’t really needed as nuclear, hydro and a little gas were providing all the power we needed.  And, both hydro and gas were capable of producing lots more if Ontario demand required it.

The hourly Ontario energy price (HOEP) during that hour was $13.50/MWh (megawatt hour) so the value of the 27 MWh that wind produced in that hour cost ratepayers about $365.

Two days later, Thanksgiving Sunday was a different story: at 3 AM wind power was working in the night, generating 1,145 MWh with another 2,797 MWh curtailed (wasted, held back, not added to the grid). Ontario’s ratepayers were paying $135/MWh for the grid-accepted wind and $120/MWh for the curtailed wind.

The HOEP was a negative $3/MWh so the grid-delivered wind was costing ratepayers $415.95/MWh or 41.6 cents/kWh! In total, that one hour cost ratepayers $476,274 for unneeded generation. On top of that, because Ontario demand for power was low (most of us were fast asleep so the LED lights were out), Bruce nuclear was steaming off excess generation (we pay for that), OPG was probably spilling water (we also pay for that), and we were exporting 2,802 MWh to Michigan, New York and Quebec and picking up the $3/MWh cost.

So, comparing the two hours suggests we didn’t need wind generation on October 6th during a business day and we didn’t need it on October 8th in the middle of the night!

This is more proof that wind power is produced out of sync with demand.

The time has come to stop all contracting for additional wind generation and to cancel any that are not under construction.

Parker Gallant

Wind Concerns Ontario

Re-posted from http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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Cornwall MOECC office unresponsive on wind turbine noise reports

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North Stormont residents concerned that no one will look out for them if new 100-megawatt power project is approved

(Re-posted from Wind Concerns Ontario)

This past spring, Wind Concerns Ontario conducted an analysis of Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) response to reports of excessive noise and vibration(MOECC) and concluded the process for responding to citizen complaints is deeply flawed and largely ineffective. Global News ran a two-part investigative report on this information, which featured Ontario families who have been complaining about turbine noise for years, with no resolution.

More documents recently released under Freedom of Information (FOI) and correspondence with Ministry staff reveal problems with the Cornwall office that are further examples of a poor strategy for response. The documents and email also are a clear indication that the MOECC has completely abdicated its role as a regulator, and leaves resolution of any problems up to corporate wind power developers.

The Cornwall office up to now has only had to deal with any reports of excessive noise stemming from the 30-megawatt South Branch power project in and around Brinston, Ontario. Documents show that noise complaints were made even before the project began commercial operation in March, 2014.

No report number means no records?

Our initial request for information resulted in three records, which did not match Wind Concerns Ontario members’ experiences with this power project. It turned out, the Cornwall office had not been giving Incident Report numbers to people reporting, as is procedure, so their complaints were not recorded or tracked. On the advice of insider, we re-filed a request, this time asking for “investigative” reports and received  and handful — again, at odds with our members’ real-life experiences–was turned over.

In the records was an email from the Senior Environmental Officer to the power developer EDP Renewables, in which the MOECC staff member actually apologizes for passing along a complaint. [Emphasis ours]

Tuesday July 22, 2014

Hi Ken [Ken Little , EDPR project manager for South Branch]

Sorry about this

I received a noise complaint last week –not specific to any particular time last week, but a complaint of noise when the winds are from the west or south west. The resident lives [redacted] and is bothered by the noise from the turbine [redacted] The caller stated he cannot open his winds when the winds are from that particular direction due to the noise. …

Do you have any acoustic results for that specific turbine yet?

Excerpts from other complaints

May, 2014: There have been several nights when I am awakened with the window closed. I shudder to think of having the windows open all the time now …

March 20, 2014: I have had several sleepless nights when the wind is in the east direction as the sound waves of the turbines kept me awake from 12:30 a.m. or 2:30 a.m. until morning. [Redacted] Is there any way we can control the wind turbine motion for daytime hours only as [sic] they do not run from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.?

And, in one actual Incident Report:

June, 2014 IR 5006-9KYK5D: ..caller report last night was the 7th night since start-up of wind turbines as SBWF that she has been unable to sleep for the noise …Noise is described as drone of an airplane — very loud with windows closed.

MOECC noted: “acoustic monitoring conducted by tech support July 14-18 2014, report under review with noise engineer”

This summer, a Brinston area resident wrote to Minister Murray about the complete lack of response to her reports of excessive noise (she has had to sleep in her basement on occasion because of the noise and vibration), and an officer with the Cornwall Office telephoned her.

Here’s what she was told.

*Ministry staff were completely unprepared for wind turbine noise complaints.

*They still don’t really know what to do.

*They “lost” her records — even though she had so many reports that the MOECC actually installed equipment and did noise measurement for several days.

*Last, it was too bad they lost everything pertaining to her situation and reports but it didn’t really matter, she was told because “You’re the only one complaining.”

“Lost” records? Citizen complaints under the regulations “don’t matter”? And she was “the only one”, which is completely false?

Outrageous behavior for a regulator

Wind Concerns Ontario wrote a letter to new MOECC Minister Ballard, stating “This is outrageous treatment of a citizen of Ontario, who is simply following the process communicated to her by both the Government of Ontario and the wind power developer, who is mandated under its Renewable Energy Approval to act on and resolve any complaints of excessive noise.”

Moreover, WCO noted in its letter to the Minister, the Cornwall office is not ensuring compliance to conditions of the Renewable Energy Approval, specifically results of the compliance audit, which must be posted on the wind power project website, but are not. The response from the Cornwall Office (August 10, 2017):

Copies of the acoustic audits can be obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.  I haven’t had a chance to check, but some reports have been included in the SBWF website– I assume you’ve already checked there.  Let me know if you are interested in pursuing an FOI request and I’ll direct you to the form and process.”

When WCO responded that the report is supposed to be public as per the protocol released by the MOECC in April 2017, the Senior Environmental Officer replies [emphasis ours] on August 10, 2017:

“Ah…I haven’t had a chance to review this new protocol in its entirety…there are some changes worth noting.  Thank you for bringing my attention to this.  I will be requiring the SBWF to post their reports on their website.  I’ll keep you apprised.

“This is completely inappropriate behaviour for a regulator,” WCO president Jane Wilson wrote to Minister Ballard.

“The people of this particular area are now facing approval of a 100-megawatt power project by the same developer, this one close to TWO communities,*  and they have no assurance whatsoever that the Cornwall District Office is prepared, or even competent, to respond effectively to noise complaints.

“On behalf of our members, we ask that you investigate this situation. Government staff should be prepared to fulfill the department’s mandate, and carry out their responsibilities to the people of Ontario.”

As of September 4, 2017, the mandated compliance report is still not on the South Branch Wind Farm website.

 ****UPDATE****

The MOECC informed Wind Concerns Ontario that the documents filed for a noise compliance audit by EDP are “incomplete” and therefore cannot be posted.

South Branch is now in the same position as every other wind power project in Ontario — there is no valid audit to confirm compliance with noise regulations.

See the letter to Minister Ballard here: August28LetterMinisterBallardCornwalDO

Contact the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont here.

Read WCO’s report on noise response by the Ministry 2006-2014 here: NoiseResponseReport-FINAL-May9

Serious questions still unanswered as Nation wind power developer holds final Open House

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Citizens have concerns about impact of noise, and about environmental effects on water and wildlife

Citizens have unanswered questions about a huge power project in Nation Municipality [Photo: Ontario Farmer/PostMedia]

 

August 28, 2017

Wind power developer RES Canada has scheduled the final Open House events for the Eastern Fields wind power project in The Nation, east of Ottawa. The Nation includes St Bernardin and Casselman.

The power project proposed would be 32-megawatt capacity, and cost Ontario almost $140 million over the 20-year contract. Ontario is currently in a situation of surplus power, and is regularly selling off surplus power as well as paying power producers to “constrain” or not to produce.

Community group Save The Nation/Sauvons La Nation has many unanswered questions about the project says spokesperson Julie Leroux.

For example, the corporate power developer has not actually confirmed the type of turbines it will use, but has provided a Noise Impact Assessment Report based on computer noise modeling for a type of Vestas wind turbines.

There are questions too about studies of waterways and groundwater, and how the wind turbine foundations will affect the ground. The Nation has Leda Clay which can be unstable.

The water issue is of special concern as property owners in Chatham-Kent are now experiencing contaminated water or Black Water as vibration from turbine construction and operation has been implicated in disturbing aquifers, and causing toxic heavy metals to contaminate wells.

Another concern is the company’s response to complaints of excessive noise and vibration. Wind Concerns Ontario received documents under Freedom of Information legislation showing that thousands of noise complaints have been filed since 2006, very few of which have had any response or resolution. RES Canada’s Talbot development was the source of hundreds of noise complaints. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) leaves response to noise complaints up to the power developers, in spite of the Ministry’s mandate to protect the environment and health.

There will be two Open Houses, the final events before the developer files documents for a Renewable Energy Approval.

Tuesday August 29, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Caledonia Community Centre

6900 County Road 22

St-Bernardin, ON

 

Wednesday August 30, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Vankleek Hill Curling Club

136 Bond Street

Vankleek Hill, ON

To contact Save The Nation and donate toward pre-operational environmental testing and legal fees

Website: www.sauvonslanation.ca

Email: Sauvonslanation@xplornet.com

Tel.: 613-678-6471

 

Wind power developer documents found lacking: engineers’ report

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Power developer project documents are missing key details, engineering firm tells Municipality of North Stormont

Concerned Citizens of North Stormont leader Margaret Benke, in Finch, Ontario: MOECC has poor track record in meeting its responsibilities

August 9, 2017

Last week, Portugal-based EDP Renewables filed documents with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) as part of the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process, to get final approval for its “Nation Rise” wind power project in North Stormont, just south of Ottawa.

Using every tool they have to act responsibly on behalf of citizens, North Stormont had engaged Ottawa engineering firm Morrison Hershfield to conduct a review of the documents presented earlier.

The firm found that key information was missing from the project documents in critical areas such as the impact of the project on groundwater, and on bird and bat populations, to name two. An excerpt from the Morrison Hershfield report, tabled at a late June Council meeting, follows.

  • No review has been completed for potential impacts of the project on potable water sources. While potential impacts to groundwater resources have been reviewed from a biophysical perspective, no review has been completed to assess the potential impacts to groundwater resources from a potable water quantity and quality perspective.

No review has been completed for potential impacts of the project on prime agricultural lands (Class 1-3 agricultural soils)

Confirmation letter from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport regarding completeness of archaeological and cultural heritage assessments has not been received for the project as described in clauses 22 (a) and 23 (3) (a) of Ontario Regulation 359/09;

• Confirmation letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry regarding completeness of natural heritage assessment and birds and bats EEMP has not been received for the project as described in clauses 28 (3) (b) and (c) of Ontario Regulation 359/09;

Significant details are missing on the project description (e.g. location and type of permanent meteorological towers & location of the 2-3 proposed staging areas of 2-7 hectares each); and

No detailed review has been completed to assess potential effects of the project construction on municipal infrastructure.

The consulting firm recommended to Council that North Stormont ask for these reports to be provided, including an assessment of impact on groundwater and municipal infrastructure such as roads.

Read the engineering firm report here.

There is no information on whether EDP complied with the request from North Stormont before filing project documents to be screened for “completeness” by the MOECC.

Citizens in the area are very concerned about the power project. Margaret Benke, a leader with Concerned Citizens of North Stormont, told Ottawa Wind Concerns “You can imagine that with 825 homes within 2km of one and up to 10 proposed turbines, and both Crysler and Finch villages within 3km of multiple turbines, we are bracing for the worst.

The group is especially concerned following release of a report by Wind Concerns Ontario in June, showing that the MOECC has failed to respond to thousands of reports of excessive noise from wind turbines.

“We have many apprehensive citizens,” Benke said. “Unless the MOECC changes its approach, we expect that we could be treated with the same lack of respect and consideration as the 3,200 other residents of Ontario who were largely ignored.  We will continue our fight to protect our rural citizens, who deserve equal respect as citizens.”

EDP also operates the South Branch wind power project in Brinston; it took over a year to file its required acoustic audit to demonstrate compliance with provincial noise regulations for wind turbines, but there is no report posted on the company’s website.

The Nation Rise project will be 100-megawatt capacity using 30-35 industrial-scale wind turbines; Ontario currently has a surplus of electrical power and is regularly selling off extra at below-market prices, and paying wind power generators not to produce in times of low demand and high supply.

A report published by the Council for Safe a& Reliable Energy noted that 70 percent of Ontario’s wind power is wasted. (Ontario’s High-Cost Millstone, June, 2017)

Honesty required for new Environment Minister

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EDP wind turbine and home at South Branch project, Brinston, Ontario. Problems unresolved. [Photo by Ray Pilon, Ottawa]

With more wind power projects queued up for environmental approvals to produce intermittent electrical power Ontario doesn’t need, Ontario’s new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change needs a fresh approach.

The previous Minister left thousands of complaints about noise and vibration unresolved, and did not follow through on promises to help people affected by the huge wind turbine installations.

Right now, in the Ottawa area, two projects are planned: the “Eastern Fields” in The Nation and “Nation Rise” in North Stormont. Both are opposed by their communities, both projects will come with negative environmental and social impacts, and neither will produce power that’s needed.

Wind Concerns Ontario has sent a letter to the new Minister with a “To Do” list for his immediate attention.

Here it is:

To the Honourable Chris Ballard

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Queen’s Park, Toronto

Welcome to your new position as Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Unfortunately, Minister Glen Murray has left you an extensive list of action items requiring your immediate follow-up. We highlight the key issues for you in the following list, related to Ontario’s energy policy and wind power projects.

White Pines – Withdraw the Renewable Energy Approval for this project as developer wpd cannot meet the terms of their contract. There are significant environmental concerns with this project that remain, even after a successful appeal by citizens before the Environmental Review Tribunal.

Amherst Island – Rescind Renewable Energy Approval for this project which is planned for the tiny island heritage community. Significant environmental risks are present including the serious impact on migrating birds that congregate in this area; Ontario does not need the power from this project.

Saugeen Shores – The single wind turbine at the Unifor educational facility has been fraught with problems and engendered hundreds of complaints about excessive noise. This turbine would not be allowed under present regulations. You can immediately address the failure to meet a June 30 deadline for submission of a compliance audit report.

K2 Wind – This is another wind power project, a large one, with many problems in its relatively short history. You can deliver on Minister Glen Murray’s mid-May commitment to Black family, and others, to provide a solution to wind turbines that MOECC testing indicated were not compliant with Ontario regulations to protect the environment and health.

Address Concerns Raised at Request of Minister Murray – Many people across Ontario took Minister Murray at his word when he said that there were no complaints reaching his office and that he would ensure his officials responded quickly to address the issues. They wrote to him and are still waiting for action on their issues.

Complaint Tracking Process – Complaint records released to WCO in response to an FOI request indicate that the MOECC does not respond to most complaints about wind turbine noise. These complaints should be a source of learning for the Ministry rather than being ignored as currently appears to be the case. A full revision of the process is needed to ensure that complaints are actually resolved with procedures that allow the Minister’s office to track resolution. MOECC records indicate little or no resolution of more than 3,100 formal Pollution Reports made by Ontario citizens between 2006 and 2014.

REA Approval Process – Increase setbacks from residences to reflect learning from MOECC complaint records that include staff reports that confirm that current regulations are not sufficient to protect health of residents living in wind projects. Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada set out standards for consultations with communities which are substantially more rigorous than the standards used for Ontario Renewable Energy Projects.

MOECC Noise Modeling Procedures – implement new noise modeling procedures based on MOECC internal testing that demonstrates wind turbines routinely exceed predicted levels.

Otter Creek – Retract decision to deem this application “complete” for the Renewable Energy Approval process. The proponent is unable to provide noise emission data for the turbine equipment proposed. The noise report submitted with the application for a REA is not grounded in fact but rather is estimates based estimates. Also, a full MOECC investigation of the impact on well water is required.

LRP I Contracts – suspend REA process for remaining LRP I projects until full review of requirements based on internal complaint records is completed.

Noise Compliance Audit Protocol – Expand the wind speeds covered under the protocol to include wind speeds below 4 metres/second which are the source of a substantial portion of complaints about excessive noise. Even MOECC testing shows these wind speeds are the source of noise levels exceeding 40 dB(A), which completely undercuts the credibility of this audit process.

REA Enforcement – REA terms make the project operator responsible for addressing the concerns raised in each complaint to ensure that it does not recur. The MOECC needs to follow up on all operating with projects to ensure compliance with these terms and take action where it is not occurring.

Shadow Flicker – The flickering shadows produced when a turbine is positioned between the rising or setting sun is a major irritant for residents. It is not considered in the REA approvals and is easy to address by turning off the turbine for the times when it is casting moving shadows on a house.  In some projects, these changes have been implemented by the wind company but in other MOECC staff is telling residents no action is required, even though the REA requires the wind company to address complaints like these.

Infrasound – Expand MOECC testing to include the full range of noise emissions from wind turbines as independent testing shows the presence of elevated levels of infrasound in homes where residents have had to leave to protect their health.

Health Studies – The Ministry has been telling residents that its policy is based on the “best science” available since the first turbine projects were built. MOECC records clearly show that this is not correct, but the Ministry continues to be willfully blind to input from both residents and its own staff, quoting dated and selective literature reviews in a field where the science is rapidly evolving.  The need for noise studies and other investigation has been highlighted in numerous reports but never undertaken.  It is time for some serious field studies of the problems being caused by wind turbine projects in rural communities across Ontario. This was an information gap identified in 2010 by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

 

Last, it is important that as you prepare for this major portfolio, you understand that industrial-scale wind power generation does NOT benefit the environment.

Wind power generation on this scale is a high-impact development for little benefit, if any. Two Auditors General for Ontario recommended that Ontario undertake a cost-benefit and/or impact analysis — that has never been done.

We ask you to approach this issue with honesty and honour, and respect the wishes of the citizens of rural Ontario.

Sincerely,

Jane Wilson

President

Wind Concerns Ontario

Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition of community groups, individuals and families concerned about the impact of industrial-scale wind power development on Ontario’s economy, the natural environment, and human health.

*Ottawa Wind Concerns is a community group member of Wind Concerns Ontario

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

Ontario wasting clean energy and $1B while raising electricity bills

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The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) today released an announcement on its blog stating that because Ontario has a surplus of power, it is constraining or wasting power that already comes from clean sources.

So, WHY has the government issued two contracts for MORE wind power in the Ottawa area, in Nation Township and North Stormont, where neither community supports the idea of becoming power plants? And the power is not needed anyway?

Here is the post. Readers are invited to go to the blog and post their comments. If you want to comment to the government directly, email Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy at minister.energy@ontario.ca

Ontario Wasted More Than $1 Billion Worth of Clean Energy in 2016

Following a detailed analysis of year-end data issued by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) is reporting that in 2016, the province wasted a total of 7.6 terawatt-hours (TWh) of clean electricity – an amount equal to powering more than 760,000 homes for one year, or a value in excess of $1 billion.

“This represents a 58 per cent increase in the amount of clean electricity that Ontario wasted in 2015 – 4.8 TWh – all while the province continues to export more than 2 million homes-worth of electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions for a price less than what it cost to produce,” said Paul Acchione, P.Eng., energy expert and former President and Chair of OSPE.

OSPE shared these findings with all three major political parties, and will be at Queen’s Park this morning to speak to media regarding the importance of granting professional engineers more independence in the planning and designing of Ontario’s power system.

So why is Ontario wasting all this energy?

“Curtailment is an industry term that means the power was not needed in Ontario, and could not be exported, so it was dumped. It’s when we tell our dams to let the water spill over top, our nuclear generators to release their steam, and our wind turbines not to turn, even when it’s windy,” said Acchione.

“These numbers show that Ontario’s cleanest source of power is literally going down the drain because we’re producing too much. Speaking as an engineer, an environmentalist, and a rate payer, it’s an unnecessary waste of beautiful, clean energy, and it’s driving up the cost of electricity.”

In addition to curtailment, surplus hydroelectric, wind, and nuclear generation was exported to adjoining power grids in 2014, 2015, and 2016 at prices much lower than the total cost of production. This occurs because Ontario produces more clean electricity than it can use, so it is forced to sell off surplus energy at a discounted rate. Total exports in 2016 were 21.9 TWh compared to 22.6 TWh in 2015, and a significant portion was clean, zero-emission electricity.

“Taken together, those total exports represent nearly enough electricity to power every home in Ontario for an entire year,” said Acchione. “OSPE continues to assert that the government must restore the oversight of professional engineers in the detailed planning and design of Ontario’s power grid to prevent missteps like this from happening.”

Engineers have solutions

Because Ontario is contractually obligated to pay for most of the production costs of curtailed and exported energy, OSPE believes it would be better to find productive uses for the surplus clean electricity to displace fossil fuel consumption in other economic sectors. In the summer of 2016, OSPE submitted an advisory document to the Minister of Energy and all three major political parties detailing 21 actionable recommendations that would deliver efficiencies and savings, including reducing residential and commercial rates by approximately 25 per cent, without the creation of the subsidy and deferral account under the Ontario Fair Hydro Act.

OSPE also recommended the establishment of a voluntary interruptible retail electricity market in order to make productive use of Ontario’s excess clean electricity. This market would allow Ontario businesses and residents to access surplus clean power at the wholesale market price of less than two cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh), which could displace the use of fossil fuels by using things like dual fuel (gas and electric) water heaters, and by producing emission-free hydrogen fuel.

Ontario is currently in the process of finalizing its 2017 Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), a multi-year guiding document that will direct the province’s investments and operations related to energy. This presents a key opportunity for the government to reduce Ontarians’ hydro bills by making surplus clean electricity available to consumers.

“It is imperative that we depoliticize what should be technical judgments regarding energy mix, generation, distribution, pricing and future investments in Ontario,” said Jonathan Hack, P.Eng., President & Chair of OSPE. “We are very concerned that the government does not currently have enough engineers in Ministry staff positions to be able to properly assess the balance between environmental commitments and economic welfare when it comes to energy.

Professional Engineers must be given independence in planning and designing integrated power and energy system plans, which will in turn benefit all Ontarians.”

About the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE)

OSPE is the voice of the engineering profession in Ontario, representing more than 80,000 professional engineers and 250,000 engineering graduates, interns, and students.

OSPE’s 2012 report Wind and the Electrical Grid: Mitigating the Rise in Electricity Rates and Greenhouse Gas Emissions detailed the mounting risk of hydraulic spill, nuclear shutdowns, and periods of negative wholesale electricity prices during severe surplus base load generation.

While curtailment will decrease during the nuclear refurbishment program that began in October 2016 and the retirement of the Pickering reactors scheduled to occur from 2022 to 2024, it will rise again when the refurbished reactors return to service, unless the government takes action.

OSPE’s Energy Task Force has provided strategic engineering input to Ontario’s Ministry of Energy for more than ten years. The majority of OSPE’s recommendations have been fully or partially implemented over the past five years, saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars per year. But more can be done if government engages Ontario’s engineers to optimize the use of the province’s clean electrical power system.

Hard questions for wind farm developer in Finch

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Community concerns about giant wind power project in quiet rural area remain unanswered

Concerned Citizens of North Stormont leader Margaret Benke, in Finch, Ontario

Last evening marked the final public engagement session in the lead-up to power developer EDP applying for Renewable Energy Approval for its 100-megawatt “Nation Rise” power project.

The local population has made it clear they are not in favour of the giant wind power project, which will cost the people $3.3 million over the 20-year contract with the IESO, and add more to everyone’s electricity bill.

For power that Ontario doesn’t need.

People attending had some questions for the developer that may have been tough to answer. Some examples:

The Draft Project Description Report, under Wind Turbines states that the hub height will be anywhere from 100 to 140m. This is significantly higher than the 100m towers at your South Branch Wind Project in Brinston, where residents have filed complaints.

How will the proposed 132m height affect the transmission of noise across our flat, relatively non-forested terrain and how will it differ when there is a hard ice/snow covering on the frozen ground and no leaves on the trees, a condition often found between late November and early April in North Stormont?

In your noise report, you use a global ground absorption factor” of 0.7.  This number is supposed to reflect the worst-case scenario, in our case when surfaces are hard/non-absorptive, like those we see repeatedly in winter, when the ground is frozen and following ice rain events (6 or more this past winter).  Why have you not included a more accurate “0” absorption factor, which is our “worst case” scenario, or something closer to it, which reflects local conditions in North Stormont?

Who are the engineers referred to in Section 3.2.6 of your “Site Considerations” Review? Will they sign, without “qualifying” their report, and assume professional responsibility for all information provided?

Given that over 3,200 noise complaints were officially documented in Ontario from 2006-2014, (just as EDP’s South Branch was brought on-line) and from your prior experience internationally, how have you addressed noise and health complaints?

Community members were particularly concerned that EDP, even though this was the last community event, still could not provide information on the exact equipment to be used, and how many turbines there would actually be in the project that could have as many as 34 50-storey structures.

For more information or to provide support and donations for possible legal action, contact the Concerned Citizens of North Stormont here.

Wind power is 70% useless in Ontario: economics report

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All that despoliation of Ontario communities, agricultural land and the natural environment for … what? Expensive power produced out of phase with demand, says Marc Brouillette

In a stunning commentary published yesterday by the Council for Clean and Reliable Energy, energy policy consultant Marc Brouilette says that Ontario’s wind power program is an expensive adventure that does not achieve any of its goals for the environment or economic prosperity, and is in fact, making things worse.

At a cost of $1.5 billion in 2015, Brouillette says, the fact that wind power generation is completely out of sync with demand in Ontario results in added costs for constrained generation form other sources. Constrained nuclear and hydro cost $300 million that year, and a further $200 million in costs was incurred due to “avoided” natural gas generation.

And, the power isn’t even getting to the people who need it. “[O]nly one-half of total provincial wind output makes it to the Central Region and the GTA where most of Ontario’s electricity demand exists,” Brouillette states.

All things considered, wind costs more than $410 per megawatt hour, which is four times the average cost of electricity in Ontario. This is being charged to Ontario’s electricity customers, at an increasing rate.

Ontario should reconsider its commitment to more wind, Brouillette concludes: “these challenges will increase if Ontario proceeds to double wind capacity to the projected ~6,500 MW.”

Reposted from Wind Concerns Ontario windconcernsontario.ca

Wind turbine noise reports not answered: Global News report

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Turbines surround a home in Huron County, Ontario. Complaints get no response. [Photo by Gary Moon]

The Global News investigative team took on the task of finding out what happens when people in rural Ontario report excessive noise and other effects from industrial-scale wind turbines in nearby wind power projects?
The answer, said Global National reporter Shirlee Engel is, “Not much.”
Here are Parts 1 and 2 of the Global News investigative report. The investigation took four months, and was based on documents and analysis provided to Global by Wind Concerns Ontario. It took two years for Wind Concerns to get the documents from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) under Freedom of Information legislation.
In over half the cases in the documents, the MOECC made no response; in others there was limited response. The Ministry relied upon wind power companies “predicted modeling” to determine whether noise exceedance was possible. When actual measurements of noise were done, they were limited to a narrow range of audible noise and did not include low frequency or tonal noise.
Minister Glen Murray told the Legislature yesterday after a barrage of questions from Opposition MPPs that the Ministry will now be including “tonal” noise in its measurement; the Minister still insists there is no problem, and told Global News that he has no complaints on his desk at present — Wind Concerns Ontario documents show almost 3,200 complaints filed between 2006 and 2014.

Wind turbines are a nightmare: Ontario family

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Global News has a report today on information related to wind turbine noise complaints.

Carla Stachura and her husband Mike thought they’d found the perfect spot to retire.

A house in rural Ontario where they run a wildlife sanctuary with lamas and a variety of birds, and planned to spend their retirement years enjoying the peace and quiet of country life.

But that dream was shattered when wind turbines began popping up near their Goderich, Ontario home. Since then, their dream has become a nightmare. The couple says they’ve been unable to sleep and exposed to prolonged periods of annoying noise. Adding to their frustration, they say the provincial government won’t lift a finger to help them, other than order more tests.

“We’ve been having issues since they turned the turbines on,” said Carla.

The couple purchased the property in 2003. They say it was paradise until the K2 Wind Farm, operated by Pattern Energy, started operations in the spring of 2015.

READ MORE: Ontario residents fight wind turbines planned near Collingwood airport 

“I immediately called K2,” Carla said.

Over the past two years, officials from the ministry have measured violations of the province’s noise limits at the couple’s home on two occasions, first in August 2015 and again in March 2017. Despite these violations, the couple says the government has done nothing other than order more tests.

Ministry of Environment does not respond to majority of wind turbine complaints

The Stachura’s complaints of government inaction are not unique. In fact, Global News has learned that Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change does not respond to the majority of complaints made by residents concerned about wind turbines.

Documents released through Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act and obtained by Global News reveal officials from the Ministry of Environment chose not to investigate or deferred responding to – meaning they did not make immediate plans to investigate – roughly 68 per cent of all noise and health complaints lodged against wind turbine operators in the province between 2006 and 2014. This represents nearly 2,200 individual complaints.

The documents also show limited resources sometimes prevented the ministry from responding to complaints.

Originally obtained by Wind Concerns Ontario, the documents include a list of 3,180 complaints. They also include a 458-page collection of “master incident reports,” which the ministry has verified as authentic, detailing the ministry’s response – or lack thereof – in cases where residents complained multiple times.

The documents show that in 54 per cent of all cases – more than 1,700 individual complaints – the ministry did not investigate residents’ concerns. In another 450 cases, roughly 14 per cent of total incidents, the ministry deferred responding to complaints.

In most cases, the documents do not reveal why the ministry chose not to respond. Instead, they tend to focus on whether the wind farm was compliant with ministry standards or past efforts to resolve residents’ concerns.

“The lack of response from the ministry shows just how unprepared they were for the potential effects of putting these giant machines so close to people and their communities,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Read more here, and watch the story today on Global News.

Two wind power projects have contracts but not Renewable Energy Approvals yet in the Ottawa area: the Nation Rise project in North Stormont (Finch, Berwick) and Eastern Fields in The Nation (St Bernardin, Casselman).

Wind Concerns Ontario is recommending that approvals not be granted for these projects, and that new tougher noise standards be developed for turbines, and enforced.