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Wind turbines near Crysler, Ontario, 40 minutes south of Ottawa: protective bylaws needed [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario(C)]

April 22, 2023

“Earth Day”

A petition asking the City of Ottawa to develop new, protective bylaws that include a setback between industrial-scale or grid-scale wind turbines was launched at an event held in North Gower Last Thursday.

Dozens of people attended, coming from West Carleton, Carlsbad Springs, Navan, Greely, Richmond and North Gower to learn more about the City’s background documents for the new zoning bylaw process, and to see maps depicting where renewable energy projects—including wind turbines—could be located  according to Ottawa’s new RuralMapOttawa.

People attending were concerned about the environmental impacts of large wind turbines including the introduction of noise and vibration (low frequency noise), the impacts on wildlife and aquifers, loss of land used to produce food, and the effect on property values.

Ward 21 Rideau-Jock councillor David Brown dropped in to hear resident concerns.

The petition asks for a 2-km setback which, as community group Ottawa Wind Concerns chair Jane Wilson explains, is in line with many countries in Europe and follows the trend in the United States to longer setback distances. “Just recently, a jurisdiction in Nebraska, which has plenty of experience with wind turbines, installed a setback of two miles,” she says.

The group consulted U.S. acoustics expert Robert Rand who said the setback distance was “a reasonable compromise.”

The City of Ottawa has acknowledged that there could be significant environmental impacts on rural residents should wind turbines be erected, and staff has said in public meetings and correspondence that they want to “do the right thing.”

Many people attending Thursday’s launch event said they were eager to see protective setbacks but they were not persuaded that the City should be open to expensive, intermittent wind power to support widespread electrification. The City’s $57-B Energy Evolution climate action plan proposes 3200 megawatts of wind power, which the report translates as 700 wind turbines.

Environmental impacts are high for little return with grid-scale wind turbines.

Another drop-in information event will be held in Kinburn at the Community Centre on April 26th between 5-7 PM. (Locally made butter tarts will be served again!)

Anyone wishing to sign the petition can download the document here petition-1

Signed copies can be picked up, just email ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com , or mailed to:

Wind Concerns