Ottawa environment committee votes Yes to wind on City-owned lands


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“New technology” wind turbines seen from street in Crysler, Ontario, 2 km away: big, noisy, industrial

May 18, 2022

The City of Ottawa’s Environmental Protection Committee passed a motion on “City Renewable Energy” yesterday in an unanimous vote.

The motion, presented by Bay Ward Councillor Theresa Kavanaugh, contained these statements in Section 3:

3. Approve that, contingent on sufficient resources, Council direct staff to report back to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management by Q4 2023 with: 

 a) An evaluation of existing solar PV systems and impact to facilities installed at City owned facilities 

b) A distributed energy resource framework for city-owned

facilities and land including: 

 i. Renewable energy generation (solar and wind) 

ii. Energy storage 

 ii. [sic] Demand response 

 iv. Potential policies to install distributed energy resources at City facilities or on City land 

There was only one question from the committee members, and it came from Committee Chair Scott Moffatt, who noted that he has been telling rural residents of Ottawa that the City is not planning to develop wind power.

Councillor Moffatt: … the concerns still arise and I made it clear in the past to rural associations and community members that the City itself is not actively out there exploring opportunities to stick wind turbines in your backyard, but we would also be foolish to not think that this is something that could happen in the future.

We made some commitments to looking at zoning and setbacks when that time comes, in the next term of Council, also through the Official Plan making sure that these things don’t occupy prime agricultural land in the rural areas as well.

Now this is all contingent on the Province actually listening to us. We’re actually embedding that because we know the previous act did not listen to municipalities and did not give us deference in any way, shape or form when it came to where wind turbines are sited. We know that municipalities have fought against that in the past.

We also know that there are other renewable energy sources that have no opposition, that are quite popular and are effective.

So, just a quick question to staff whoever might be here, whether it’s Janice Ashworth or Andrea Flowers

or whoever, that what we’re doing here doesn’t change what we’ve said in the past when it comes to wind in the rural area.

The response was provided on behalf of the City by Andrea Flowers, Section Manager, Climate Change and Resiliency:

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. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we are supporting turbines in backyards where it’s not being asked for and it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to end up with that in this motion, but we need to understand what our options are because technology is getting better in low wind areas and the technology is changing and some of those technologies [interference] concerns that we’ve heard from people.

So with a combination of working with zoning and the Distributed Energy Resources we will [unintelligible] work through those files [?].

Mr. Moffatt seemed not to understand that Ms. Flowers’ response was YES, the City is planning wind power. He commented:

I think that’s where I want to make sure as a city we aren’t making those same mistakes that previous governments have made and that we don’t have situations where rural communities feel that they’re left out of the conversation and that the City is just going to come in and do whatever we feel is necessary, from that one perspective on wind.

Because honestly, I don’t get the feedback on any other energy generation technology. It is specifically about wind and I know that my rural colleagues hear the same.

So we just want to make sure that we’re one city, I don’t want to see us pitting communities against one another and that is inherently what happened in the past on this file.

If your next question is, how much land does the City of Ottawa own and is it possible to put wind turbines on it, the answer is unknown. A call to the City of Ottawa today to ask about a directory or map of publicly owned lands got the answer that yes, there is such a map—but the general public can’t see it.

While wind power developers boast—falsely—that wind turbines only need an acre or so of land, the fact is that with the huge foundations, and the associated infrastructure such as access roads, transmission lines, electricity cabling and transformer substations, more land than that is needed.

The other question that arises from Ms Flowers’ comments (who it must be said, grinned when talking about citizen concerns about wind turbines in “backyards”) is her reference to zoning and “new technology.”

The City will be developing new zoning with regard to the siting of grid-scale wind turbines; the new zoning bylaws will be presented for public comment at some point this year.

As to “new technology” which Ms. Flowers says will help with resident concerns, unless there are magic wind turbines in development that do not actually use wind to generate electricity, we’re afraid she is

mistaken. The technology of wind turbines is such that as the blades pass the mast or tower, noise is created; noise is created as well from the equipment in the nacelle.

Current “new technology” in wind turbines is aimed at squeezing power out of wind resources even in low wind areas such as Ottawa and Eastern Ontario—NOT at reducing noise emissions for hapless neighbours of the power plants. The newest turbines were installed at Nation Rise just south of Ottawa. Noise complaints began while the turbines were in their testing phase and in a matter of months after commercial operation began, there were so many complaints that the local public health unit has asked to review the reports.

Ottawa staff spoke a year ago about the need to “get this right.”

So far, there is little in the behaviour of City staff to reassure rural residents that their communities will not be industrialized by the huge noisy wind power generators that city folk seem to think will solve all their problems.

Fact: wind power is intermittent, unreliable and weather dependent, as well as a low density power source (it takes up a lot of land to produce minimal power). As such it will not support the City’s goals of massive electrification, nor help it on its way to the Net Zero goal.

Wind doesn’t work.

#noise #windenergy #environment #PartTimePower #WinddoesntWork

See Ottawa Wind Concerns comments to the Environmental Protection Committee here

City environment committee to hear motion tomorrow on wind turbines on public land


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Motion proposes city-developed renewable energy projects including wind on public land. That differs completely from the reassurances given to citizens by rural councillors who previously said there were no such plans

The City of Ottawa’s climate change illustration. Wind turbines coming soon on public land near you?

May 16, 2022

A motion to direct staff to create a network for a distributed energy framework on public-owned land will be heard by the Ottawa Environmental Protection Committee.

The motion was developed by Bay Ward Councillor Teresa Kavanagh and will be presented by Committee member and Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard.

The portion referring to wind power reads as follows:


3. Approve that, contingent on sufficient resources, Council direct staff to report back to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management by Q4 2023 with: 

 a) An evaluation of existing solar PV systems and impact to facilities installed at City owned facilities 

b) A distributed energy resource framework for city-owned

facilities and land including: 

 i. Renewable energy generation (solar and wind) 

ii. Energy storage 

 ii. [sic] Demand response 

 iv. Potential policies to install distributed energy resources at City facilities or on City land 

c) Staff and funding implications to implement and support the distributed energy resource framework

Ottawa Wind Concerns chair Jane Wilson filed a comment to be heard by the Committee with the following statements:

With respect, the content of this motion seems to be in complete disagreement with statements made by councillors over the last year to the effect that the City is not proposing to acquire, propose or develop any wind power facilities.

Once again, there seems to be no discussion whatsoever of requiring any cost-benefit or impact analysis for grid-scale wind power. As an intermittent, weather-dependent source of power that requires substantial subsidies, grid-scale wind power would not offer a stable, reliable source of affordable power for the City and as such will not be helpful in support of electrification efforts or in the path to Net Zero.

If I may, I refer to Councillor Moffatt’s message in The Manotick Messenger published on November 5, 2021:

What I can say with certainty is that the City of Ottawa is not developing wind power, nor are we working toward such an effort or finding locations where wind power development could occur…. Finally, just to reiterate, there are no planned industrial wind turbines within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa at this time.

Ottawa’s rural residents would be asked to bear the most significant burden of any negative environmental impacts. If they took reassurance from comments such as those by Councillor Moffatt above that there would be at least consultation, they will be betrayed by this motion to be presented tomorrow.

We ask that this be considered in discussion of this motion.

The meeting will be held at 0930 May 17, 2022. The general public may view the meeting on the City’s YouTube channel.

The Agenda for the committee meeting may be found here:

Put distance between wind turbines and homes, Ottawa Wind Concerns tells City


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Current regulations inadequate to protect health, safety, Ottawa standing committee told today

Turbines and home inside Nation Rise power project

April 7, 2022, Ottawa—

The only way to prevent or mitigate problems with industrial-scale or grid-scale
wind turbines is to put distance between the huge, noise-emitting machines, community group Ottawa
Wind Concerns told Ottawa’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) today.

It is well known that the large, 60-storey wind turbines produce noise which can affect sleep and health;
the machines can also pose a safety risk if located too close to roads, and a risk to wildlife such as birds
and bats.

Ottawa Wind Concerns board member Mike Baggott of North Gower, asked that City Planning staff
adopt a 2-kilometre setback between the power generating equipment and homes.

The recommendation is based on a recent statement by community group coalition Wind Concerns

There are more than 2,000 wind turbines in Ontario presently, and the provincial government has more
that 6,000 formal Incident Reports, documenting complaints about noise, many associated with health

Ottawa is currently engaged in developing new zoning bylaws following completion of the city’s new
Official Plan. Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt, a member of ARAC, said that there would be opportunity
for rural residents to engage in the development of new bylaws to protect citizens, should wind power
projects be proposed for Ottawa in the future.


Ontario government lags on wind turbine regulations: Ottawa business newspaper


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Other jurisdictions choosing greater setbacks between homes and industrial wind turbines; Ontario has not changed since 2009. New setback of 2 km recommended

Turbines more than 600 feet or 60 storeys high in South Dundas [Photo: Tom Van Dusen for OBJ]

March 25, 2022

Complaints about wind turbine noise and environmental damage have never wound down in Ontario yet regulations to protect people and the environment have not changed since 2009, according to a story in this week’s Ottawa Business Journal.

While some landowners in the area signed up for “easy cash” by leasing land for wind turbines, they admit that the machines are noisy and may bother some people.

The need for wind power must be balanced with concern for health and safety, which is why greater setbacks have been recommended by Wind Concerns Ontario. The community group coalition recommends setbacks for any new wind turbines should be a minimum of 2 kilometres.

The Ontario setback currently is just 550 metres.

Other jurisdictions around the world and in the U.S. are now moving to greater setback distances.

Another issue of concern noted in the story was brought forward by Ontario’s MUlti-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, a collection of municipalities with operating wind power projects and experience with impacts of the turbines.

The group is worried about the increasing number of wind turbine failures and says that setbacks from public roadways and property lines are inadequate to protect safety. The municipalities also say there is no process for alerting municipalities of a failure event, nor are the results of any engineering investigations shared.

After completion of its Official Plan, the City of Ottawa is now working on developing new zoning bylaws. Ottawa Wind Concerns has been sharing information with city staff, and hopes that new setbacks for wind turbines in the Ottawa area will reflect the trends to greater distances.

Ottawa’s rural politicians claim there are no plans for industrial-scale or grid-scale wind turbines, but city staff say the Energy Evolution calls for wind and solar to provide electricity for Net Zero goals.

Ottawa renewable energy future “predominately wind and solar” says city staff


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Photo of Nation Rise turbines: equal to 60-storey office towers. Wind turbines are an industrial use of the land

March 10, 2022

Last November, after STOP THE OTTAWA WIND TURBINES signs dotted rural Ottawa from Navan to Dunrobin, and south to North Gower and Manotick, Ward 21 councillor Scott Moffatt said that Ottawa was not planning industrial-scale wind turbines. He also suggested in one of his podcasts that the signs, put up by Ottawa Wind Concerns and Carleton Landowners,were just frightening people.

Where did the idea come from? The city’s Energy Evolution document contains a model for 3,200 megawatts of renewable power generation, which could mean 710 wind turbines. The document was passed by Council in the fall of 2020 to very little fanfare.

As to a coming rush of huge, noisy wind turbines, Mr. Moffatt wrote in the Manotick Messenger on November 5: “That could not be farther from the truth.”

He went on to say that wind turbines built in other areas would count toward Ottawa’s Net Zero goal. Councillors El-Chantiry and Darouze agreed, stating during the last meeting for the City’s Official Plan that people were confused about wind turbines.

The fact is, there is a conflict between what City staff are saying, and councillors’ public statements.

On March 7, a hearing was held before the Ontario Energy Board, with regard to the City of Ottawa objecting to a proposal by Enbridge Gas to replace a pipeline for natural gas along St. Laurent Blvd in order to serve its customers.

The City’s objection, they say, is based on the idea that we won’t need natural gas in the coming years because we will rely on power from renewable sources instead.

In answering a question from Energy Probe at the hearing as to whether and where wind turbines might go, Climate Change manager Mike Fletcher answered:

“The city’s plan does not propose to install 710 large scale wind turbines in the City of Ottawa.”


Any Ottawa wind turbines of any size that were built would be located in appropriately zoned areas of community respecting required setbacks.”

So, no, or…yes?

Mr. Fletcher then went on to say that the city has consulted with a planner with regard to setbacks to determine siting for wind turbines. From the transcript, Mr. Fletcher said:

So a land use planner was involved in looking at this issue and considered guidance on setbacks and a setback is — as I recall it being described, a setback is the distance from mostly from buildings where people are living or working.

And there are zoning considerations as to where — where turbines could be located. So prime agricultural land would not be a non-associated use for a wind turbine.

So, the city is involved in developing setbacks “as to where turbines could be located”. That’s reasonable; it is good to be prepared, but are they actually planning for wind power?

Later, answering a question put from Enbridge Gas’ lawyer, Mr. Fletcher confirmed the sources of renewable energy:

[Enbridge Gas lawyer] And the next line is 4.3 gigawatts of other planned renewable capacity. And is that roughly the accurate figure?

MR. FLETCHER: That’s correct.

MR. ELSON: And I understand that that renewable capacity includes some wind and some solar?

MR. FLETCHER: Well, it is predominantly those two, actually.

Again, we ask the City of Ottawa to be transparent with the residents of our rural communities.

It is worth noting that counsel for the parties objecting to the pipeline replacement would not allow the city staff to answer a more definitive question on wind turbines:

ENERGY PROBE: I am trying to understand what will be considered. It is appropriate uses — okay. So if the farm is not using power from the wind turbine, then the turbine cannot be located there. I asked couldn’t it be located in a farm that is not in that category, but is — in fact there is opposition from the farmer?

[COUNSEL FOR OBJECTORS]: We are objecting to the question; we will not answer it. I am instructing the witness not to answer it.

Everyone wants the best for our environment, and to take action that will be effective against climate change, but we also know that industrial-scale wind turbines are inefficient and unreliable, and cannot be used as baseload power.

Moreover, they use up a lot of land and are considered a “low-density” power source.

Because of the subsidies required, electricity bills will increase as will “energy poverty.” That will harm people and businesses. Industrial-scale wind turbines emit noise which can be pollution at certain levels; stringent setbacks are required to protect health and safety. Ontario’s current setbacks are only 550 meters and have not been changed since 2009.

Is this the right choice for Ottawa?

People deserve to know what the city is planning.

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.

Response to questions on wind turbines: slander


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A roadside sign in rural Ottawa: wanting the best for the environment, not harm to people and wildlife

March 7, 2022

We listened in on a “virtual” Technical Conference at the Ontario Energy Board this morning, and we are glad we did.

The consultant acting for Energy Probe appeared to ask questions about application 2022-0293, in which the City of Ottawa objects to a natural gas pipeline replacement on St Laurent because, according to the Energy Evolution document which they offer as evidence, Ottawa will be using 90-percent less natural gas.

Instead, the plan proposes, the City will be using electricity from various sources including, a model for 710 wind turbines.

We have been clear: we think Energy Evolution is a deeply flawed document that does NOT do what people want it to—fight climate change.

The proposal of hundreds of wind turbines is choosing an intermittent, unreliable energy source that will cause electricity bills to rise, will harm the environment and people, and will NOT help the environment.

That’s clear.

So the Energy Probe consultant chose to use a posting on our website that makes reference to a document by the ICSC, critical of the Energy Evolution plan.

Instead of answering questions about our concerns about wind turbines and the Energy Evolution plan, counsel for one witness, the School Energy Coalition , responded with the claim that Ottawa Wind Concerns is a “climate change denier organization.”

That is demonstrably untrue.

It’s also slander.

We have filed a letter of complaint with the Ontario Energy Board demanding that the comments be struck from the record.

Our position is that we want the best for the environment.

We want energy sources that work, not harm.

This is an egregious tactic employed to silence communities and citizens. It may be worth noting that the lawyer in question, Mr Jay Shepherd, is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

Who’s boss in city planning? Ottawa’s new Official Plan? Or the energy strategy document, community group asks


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Community group files request for review with Municipal Affairs ministry

Official Plan says no industrial wind turbines permitted on valuable agricultural land but it also says its Energy Evolution document drives city actions. That document calls for hundreds of turbines. [Illustration: City of Ottawa Climate Change newsletter]

February 24, 2022

Community group Ottawa Wind Concerns has filed a comment on the city’s Official Plan with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs over concerns about where the document ranks in Ottawa’s planning structure.

“Our worry is that Ottawa’s expressed view that the Energy Evolution document and climate change plan overrides all policies and action means statements in the Official Plan could be subject to amendment at any time,” chairperson Jane Wilson wrote in the group’s submission, filed yesterday.

“What we have is an Official Plan that looks like an Official Plan, but it also appears to have a back door through which the City can make changes and take action by using another plan—one that did not go through any public engagement process.”

The intent of an Official Plan in Ontario is that it is the single document which outlines the direction for the city, Wilson says. In the case of the City of Ottawa, this direction may actually be subordinate to the Climate Change Strategy and the Energy Evolution document.

The community group comment referred to page 23 of Ottawa’s new Official Plan where the city asserts: “The policies of this [Official] Plan should be read as supportive of the Climate Change Master Plan.”

And, on page 26, the City states, “The Climate Change Master Plan and associated Energy Evolution and Climate Resiliency strategies provide the analysis and action plans for City-wide action.”

Ottawa Wind Concerns said the group is worried about how this affects policy on renewable power generation facilities, specifically large or industrial-scale wind turbines.

The Energy Evolution document calls for the possibility of hundreds of wind turbines in the city’s rural areas in a model of how Net Zero might be achieved, while the Official Plan makes statements about industrial-scale wind turbines not being permitted on valuable agricultural land.

“Essentially, it looks like the City is saying, its Energy Evolution document trumps everything. We’re saying, that’s not how a municipality is supposed to use an Official Plan.”

The contents of the Energy Evolution document, approved by Council in 2020 with no public input, are not widely known among Ottawa’s citizens.

There has been criticism from media and analysts who have read it.

Local media branded the strategy document “an expensive pipe dream,” with its $57B (estimated) price tag. Political commentator Randall Denley said the Energy Evolution report was “only the beginning,” and promoted “unachievable goals.”

“How high are they prepared to raise taxes,” he asked, “and what existing services will they cut to fund their quixotic effort to save the planet?”

The City of Ottawa has a history of passing zoning amendments that result in public concern. For example, a zoning amendment was passed without the knowledge of even the local councillor for a large warehouse and truck depot in Barrhaven. That move caused newspaper columnist Kelly Egan to remark, “You know who doesn’t get what they want at city hall anymore? Ordinary people.”

Ordinary people in Ottawa’s rural communities sent emails and made telephone calls to councillors when the wind turbine model in Energy Evolution became known, and STOP THE OTTAWA WIND TURBINES signs went up from Kinburn to Navan, and south to North Gower and Manotick.

City councillors maintained that the Energy Evolution statements were just a “model” but the motion of wind power is present in many City documents and wind turbines are prominent in City banners and graphics. A recent submission to the Ontario Energy Board dated January 17th contained the whole Energy Evolution document, including the wind turbine model, as supporting evidence for the City’s objection to replacement of a natural gas pipeline.

“Everyone wants what’s best for the environment,” says Ottawa Wind Concerns Chair Wilson, “but the fact is, we should be making choices about what is shown to be effective and successful. Ontario is an example of how intermittent weather-dependent wind power doesn’t do anything for the environment, but it does have a huge impact on electricity bills and on communities. Giving the Energy Evolution strategy importance over the Official Plan means decisions can be made on what looks good, not what really is good.”

The community group has asked the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to look at both the Energy Evolution document and the draft Official Plan together, to make sure provincial directives are being followed.

Ottawa Wind Concerns filed its comment with the Ministry and was advised Thursday that the comments were accepted and reviewed, and will be posted publicly.

More analysis on the Energy Evolution document, coming soon.

Ontario definition of an Official Plan

An official plan describes your upper, lower or single tier municipal council or planning board’s policies on how land in your community should be used. It is prepared with input from your community and helps to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of your community.

An official plan deals mainly with issues such as:

where new housing, industry, offices and shops will be located

what services like roads, watermains, sewers, parks and schools will be needed

when, and in what order, parts of your community will grow

community improvement initiatives

Source: Government of Ontario: Citizen’s guide to land use planning: Official plans |

City documents still say YES to wind turbines


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The Ottawa Energy Evolution strategy official banner: with turbines. [Source: City of Ottawa]

January 12, 2022

Although Ottawa City councillors are saying that the City is not planning wind turbines, is not looking for locations to site turbines, and is not talking to developers, a look at various City documents would persuade you otherwise.

For example, several illustrations that are used for City newsletters and pages on its website clearly depict wind turbines as does, for example, the graphic that accompanies the Energy Evolution strategy document (see above).

And then there is the little matter of the Official Plan Open House virtual presentation held back in June last year in which Manager of Planning Policy Alain Miguelez declared that Ottawa was going to be incorporating renewable energy including wind turbines which would be “directed” he said to Ottawa’s rural areas.

When a citizen participant voiced concern at that event, he responded, “The energy [we need] has to come from somewhere.”

Somewhere indeed.

Almost a year ago, a City staff manager wrote to the Ontario Energy Board as followup to consultation on Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and objected to the fact that the OEB consultant had not mentioned wind power.

“The DER mandate should include all forms of zero-emission DER’s [sic] including wind and hydropower. The ICF paper only discussed solar and battery storage,” Mike Fletcher, Project Manager Climate Change and Resiliency wrote in his letter of February 21, 2021.

“Ottawa has vast rural areas and Energy Evolution requires that we consider wind and hydropower opportunities to meet our renewable energy generation targets,” he said. (Note he said targets, not “models” as is now being claimed.)

So, which is it? Ottawa is not at all considering unreliable, intermittent wind power—which is completely inappropriate in low-wind Eastern Ontario as evidenced by recent poor performance during a cold snap—or, wind power is a key component in the City’s renewable energy plans?

The citizens of Ottawa’s rural areas deserve to know.

Coldest day of the winter so far and wind power is NOWHERE


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Not working. [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

January 11, 2022

Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Wishbook puts forward the idea that the City can subsist on renewables going forward, and calls for 3200 megawatts of new power generation—wind, solar, hydro, and battery storage–by 2050 to achieve “Net Zero.”

Today is a good lesson in why that proposal is wishful thinking and not based on reality.

It is the coldest day of the winter so far. Ontario demand for power as at 11 a.m. is 20,169 megawatts.

Wind throughout the entire province is supplying 983 megawatts.

Here in “low wind resource” Eastern Ontario, the 100-megawatt capacity Nation Rise power project at Crysler (Crysler-Finch-Berwick) is providing TWO megawatts of power.


It stands to reason that any wind turbines operating just 40 minutes north inside the rural areas of Ottawa would not be faring any better.

In short, wind power is a no-show, exactly when you need it.

This is a simple fact of Ontario’s climate and the fact that we have very little wind during the summer and winter which, incidentally, is when we have extremes of temperature. (See Wind: Ontario’s High-Cost Millstone)

Ottawa’s Energy Evolution document needs a re-think and a rewrite, now, with a dose of reality added.

#ottawa #energyevolution #Winddoesntwork

Ottawa planning docs show wind turbines for City


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City Councillors say no, no, no, but illustrations on City publications say yes, yes, yes

That’s a turbine, right? [Ottawa Climate Action newsletter]

December 9, 2021

After emails and telephone calls to their offices during the development of the new Official Plan this fall, which allowed wind turbines on prime agricultural land, Ottawa City Councillors claimed that the City has “no plans” for wind turbines.

Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt, also the Chair of the Environmental Protection Committee, wrote in his constituent column in the Manotick Messenger that:

“A big part of that [the city’s climate action plan] will be renewable energy One of our Modelling documents shows what that looks like and includes mention of 700 industrial wind turbines. This has led some to believe that the City is planning on developing that many wind turbines in rural Ottawa. That could not be farther from the truth.”

But then, there is this: an illustration from the City’s Climate Action newsletter, which clearly depicts a wind turbine.

And, the City’s Planning department has this illustration on slide 10 of a recent public presentation, designed to show its various functions. It includes wind turbines as an example of land use planning.

Mr. Moffatt also said that the City was not “finding locations where wind development could occur.”

An email from staff, however, says this:

“Staff are currently undertaking a preliminary assessment of renewable energy generation potential within the rural areas identified in the new Official Plan to better understand how the potential compares to the Energy Evolution model requirements.  This study is expected to be complete this summer …”

It is also worth noting that an illustration of the site plan for the Tewin development also features a depiction of wind turbines. (Apologies for the size of the image.)

The debut of Official Plan discussions shocked more than a few people back in July when Manager of Planning Policy Alain Miguelez revealed in an online public meeting that wind turbines were coming to Ottawa’s rural area—being “directed” there, he said. Because, he said, Ottawa was estimating an increase in population and as power demand rose, “that energy has to come from somewhere.” In other words, the rural communities.

In subsequent presentations staff tried to assure residents that they would “get it right” by developing protective zoning bylaws for wind turbines.

But councillors still say that’s not happening, and anyone who says it is, is fear mongering. The City did revise the renewable energy part of the Official Plan so that it now says “large-scale” wind turbines will not be permitted on “agricultural resource areas,” but that does not prevent applications for Official Plan amendments.

Councillors also say that while Ottawa is not actively planning wind turbines (in spite of Planning staff public comments and various illustrations that indicate the City is open to wind power), if proposals were to come along, Ottawa cannot say “No.” This is not correct, but more on that later.

Why the concern? Wind turbines are a highly invasive form of power generation, using a significant amount of land , creating noise pollution, and posing a serious risk to wildlife including birds and bats. Ottawa’s Energy Evolution plan does not include any mention of developing new nuclear, despite the fact that the federal government has spent millions on new nuclear, and Canada is a global leader in clean, reliable, emissions-free nuclear energy.

So, which is it, Ottawa?