Ottawa’s Energy Evolution plan will hit you hard—here’s how


The city’s climate change action plan has no cost-benefit analysis, but plenty of costs (and prohibitions) for citizens

If Ottawa goes for variable renewable energy such as wind turbines, electricity bills may double [Shutterstock photo]

July 26, 2022

You can be forgiven if you never heard of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution climate change action plan. It got passed by the city’s environmental protection committee after a few presentations to select groups* and a couple of questions on “Engage Ottawa”.

That happened in August 2020 and approval by council in October.

You probably had other things on your mind.

Like the pandemic. And whether kids were going back to school, or you were going back to work. Whether there would be a Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

That’s when Ottawa City staff decided to put this in motion, a $57-billion plan to make a “better future” for the City, after declaring a climate emergency.

The goals are to achieve a 100-percent reduction in emissions by 2050, and 43 percent by 2025. Here’s how:

All fossil fuels have to be phased out

Heating and transportation systems have to be fully electrified

Waste heat utilization and renewable natural gas

Sufficient renewable electricity (mostly wind** and solar) to meet demand and offset emissions on the provincial grid***

Price tag? Billions. Who pays? YOU

At the time this was presented to council, two Councillors had comments. Carol Anne Meehan said the $57B budget was equal to the budget for 14 cities. “How are we going to pay for this?” she asked.

Councillor Allan Hubley said, “We’re spending $57 billion? This is news.”

“This is NEWS”????

With all the “engagement” staff is supposed to have done, some councillors were not fully aware of the price tag.

People are also unaware of the prescriptions in Energy Evolution, some of which are pretty drastic.

Bye-bye gas stove. And fireplace. Hello higher bills

Ottawa energy economist Robert Lyman has put together a list of some of the actions that lie ahead in the name of climate change.

Did you know that Ottawa plans to spend $57 billion by 2050, or $57,000 per person now residing in the city, on its climate plan?


Did you know that Ottawa wants to install 36 square kilometres of photovoltaic panels on roofs?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to spend $4 billion on industrial-scale wind turbines within the city limits by 2050? And that they hope to “profit” by $4B (not Ontario’s experience, and probably via your electricity bill)?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to eliminate the secure backup electricity generating plants that now use natural gas and replace them with untested storage systems that could cost $383 million?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to ban sales of natural gas furnaces, fireplaces and appliances (even stoves that restaurants use)?

Did you know that Ottawa’s plans will double or triple the cost of electricity over the few years?


Did you know that Ottawa plans to eliminate parking in the downtown core and in the Byward Market within eight years?

Did you know Ottawa wants to charge you $20 just to drive downtown? For a doctor’s appointment or to dine out?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to restrict new car purchases so that 90% are electric vehicles by 2030, regardless of cost?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to regulate all commercial vehicles (heavy trucks, delivery vans, taxis, car and truck rental, etc.) so that at least 40% of them are all-electric within eight years?

Did you know that Ottawa will spend almost $1 billion on all-electric buses over the next five years, even though no studies have been done of how well they operate in winter conditions?

Did you know that Ottawa expects the percentage of residents here commuting by walking or cycling in 2030 to be higher than in Victoria, British Columbia, even in winter?


Did you know that Ottawa intends to reduce requirements of residential developers to provide parking spaces for the houses and apartments they build?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering introducing an Ottawa vehicle registration fee of $118 per vehicle per year, on top of what the province charges?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering increasing the tax on all private parking lots by 24%?

Did you know that Ottawa plans to require most houses to be retrofitted, even though the cost could be $150,000 per unit?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering increasing development charges by $234 million per year to pay for its climate measures?

Did you know that Ottawa is considering introducing a new Land Transfer Tax raising $130 million per year to pay for its climate measures?

After all this is done, Mr Lyman says, actions by the City of Ottawa would only reduce annual global emissions by 0.014%, an amount too small to be measured, and have zero impact on global temperatures or weather patterns.

Former head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Catherine Swift recently described Energy Evolution as a “fantasy strategy.” That may be but the fact is work is being done on it NOW, and money—your money—is being spent.

The municipal election is coming. Ask candidates now if they know about Energy Evolution and whether they support it. As a tax-paying citizen, you deserve an answer.

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


*Check the list of “partners” on pages ix-x. Many are organizations that stand to profit from Energy Evolution demands. The list includes the Canadian Renewable Energy Association or CanREA, formerly the Canadian Wind Energy Association or CanWEA—their goal is to advance the interests of wind and solar power developers, not fix the environment.

**Several councillors denied this, despite staff being very clear.

***This is a peevish political statement as well as being inaccurate. Ontario’s power grid is more than 90-percent emissions-free. Also, more intermittent wind power means MORE natural gas as backup. If you actually want electricity, that is.

Read the Energy Evolution document here.


Ottawa Energy Evolution a “fantasy”: former CFIB head


Plan to be funded by increases in taxes and tolls which will affect business and all residents, says Catherine Swift

Ottawa’s climate action plan will lead to huge costs and tax increases. [Photo: Wind Concerns Ontario]

Ottawa’s climate change action plan will lead the city to huge costs for business and citizens says Catherine Swift, former CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and current president of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Business. Her opinions appear in The Niagara Independent.

An excerpt:

“…more and more experts are stating what some have always believed to be obvious – that the transition to net-zero by 2050 is not only terribly ambitious, but impossible with current technology.  Despite this overdue acknowledgement of the many difficulties and hardships imposed by governments’ attempting to achieve net-zero, some jurisdictions are still proceeding to make decisions on the future of their energy security based on beliefs that these extreme environmental goals are still attainable. 

A recent example was the City of Ottawa, which late last month decided to intervene in what should have been a fairly routine proceeding at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Enbridge had applied to the OEB to replace an old and deteriorating natural gas pipeline that had served Ottawa for 65 years with a new, reliable, updated version. The current older pipeline is actually at some risk of failing in the near future. This situation was pointed out in an article in The Epoch Times by Patricia Adams and Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe entitled “Ottawa is Committing Suicide”. 

Enbridge was likely shocked to find that an application it considered a no-brainer ended up being rejected as Ottawa city planners and other environmental organizations intervening in the hearing prevailed such that the OEB rejected Enbridge’s application for the St. Laurent pipeline replacement. Enbridge estimates that it has about three years to deal with the aging pipeline before some type of catastrophic event occurs.  

Currently, Ottawa depends on natural gas for roughly half of its household and business energy needs.  Adding to the irony is that about 15 years ago, natural gas was touted by environmental advocates as a wonderfully “green” replacement for coal as it accounted for about half the emissions of the more polluting fuel. Now that coal has been phased out in Ontario, natural gas is next on the chopping block. 

Instead of refurbishing the pipeline, Ottawa continues to believe in a fantasy strategy it calls its Energy Evolution plan, which is geared toward moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and achieving the Holy Grail of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Cost is clearly no object to Ottawa government officials, as while the new gas pipeline would have cost $124 million, the city foresees its Energy Evolution plan weighing in at a whopping $52 billion for extensive solar and wind infrastructure.  Ottawa officials expect increases in a variety of taxes, road tolls, etc. will cover off this massive cost and not create any particular problems for Ottawa residents and businesses in the process.  

Unfortunately, Ottawa is not alone in these pipe dreams. Fully 32 Ontario municipalities have bought in to the notion that they will be able to phase out natural gas in the coming decades while doing no credible planning on exactly how reliable, relatively affordable gas can be replaced by unreliable and costly renewables. Elsewhere in Canada, other municipalities are following suit. Calgary has recently one-upped Ottawa with a net-zero by 2050 plan estimated to cost fully $87 billion, with city taxpayers, businesses and other levels of government expected to ante up.  

As the years go by and every single climate goal and emissions target is consistently missed by a mile, it is worth asking what it will take before governments realize the completely unrealistic nature of the net-zero objective and the pain it continues to inflict on Canadians by pretending these goals are achievable despite all evidence to the contrary.  

Ottawa is a very cold place in the winter, so perhaps some freezing in the dark, more energy poverty and the breakdown of an essential pipeline will be needed to finally call net-zero for what it is – impossible.”

Actually, the authors of Energy Evolution think that the costs will be covered by funding from all three levels of government—forgetting of course that there is only one taxpayer—and even go so far as to thinking they can make money by installing wind power projects. The plan claims a $4B investment in wind will pay off double, and reap $9B.

That didn’t happen when the Ontario government launched its wind power disaster (not mentioned or reviewed in Energy Evolution). What did happen was a doubling of electricity bills and the debut of a new term, “energy poverty.”

Heat or eat!

Candidates in the coming municipal election should be asked whether they are aware of the Energy Evolution plan, and whether they support it.

Wind power: a no-show in summer (winter too)


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How does Ottawa’s Climate team expect to run Ontario’s second largest city on power that’s just not there?

Industrialization of Ottawa rural areas planned: for what? [Photo: D. Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

July 15, 2022

At 5 p.m. today, the province-wide demand for power was just over 19,000 megawatts on a warm summer afternoon.

The closest wind power plant to Ottawa is at Crysler (Finch, Berwick). At that hour, the 100-megawatt facility was generating just 7 megawatts of power. Next closest is Amherst Island’s Windlectric project, also producing just 7 megawatts of power.

Wind in total that hour was producing 395 megawatts of power.

Ottawa city staff on the climate team have made it clear they think Ontario’s second largest city can run on “predominately wind and solar.” On May 17th, section manager Andrea Flowers told the environmental protection committee that “we have explicitly said that [the energy resource for the city] would include renewable energy generation both wind and solar”.

Commentator and former international banker Parker Gallant has made much of Ontario’s unavailable wind power supply in recent days. He says, if you completely shut down Ontario’s wind power fleet, you wouldn’t notice a thing. Why?

It’s not there.

Here’s what he had to say about one day’s performance earlier this week:

“Yesterday, July 13, 2022, was one of those; not so hot summer days in most of Ontario so according to IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) peak demand at hour 16 only reached 18,135 MW during a five (5) minute interval.  At that hour those IWT (industrial wind turbines) with a capacity of 4,900 MW were contributing 108 MW or 2.2% of their capacity and 0.6% of demand. Had they been absent they wouldn’t have been missed!”

Gallant also wrote an article for The Financial Post this week in which he described wind as a “fickle energy friend.” In a day not unlike today, July 13th saw wind producing a few hundred megawatts of power while demand was more than 19,000 megawatts.

Who did show up for work that afternoon? Gallant answers the question:

“What sources did the work at this peak-demand hour? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Nuclear                9,529 MW
  • Hydro                   5,222 MW
  • Natural Gas         4,336 MW
  • IWT                          332 MW
  • Solar                        207 MW
  • Biofuel                     115 MW”

Ottawa’s Energy Evolution document, the “action plan” for the Climate Change Master Plan and the first step in implementation, actually calls for Ottawa to get its own 3,200 megawatts of wind power, which they translate into 710 wind wind turbines ( Energy Evolution, page 45).

The model states that those are the MINIMUM required for the city to get to “Net Zero” and electrify everything — a worthy goal, but not going to happen with wind power. No cost-benefit analysis was included.

Ottawa voters need to ask election candidates a few pointed questions leading up to the October municipal election.

Are you aware of the Energy Evolution plan?

Have you read it?

Do you support more than 700 wind turbines in Ottawa’s rural communities, effectively turning them into industrial power plants?

Oh, did we mention the Energy Evolution is priced out at $57 billion?????

Time to ask questions.

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

Health returns for North Stormont residents as wind turbines silenced


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House amid industrial wind turbines in the Nation Rise Wind Farm: noise emissions can affect neighbours [Photo: Dorothea Larsen for Wind Concerns Ontario]

The huge wind turbines in the Nation Rise wind farm have been off for 9 days—and residents couldn’t be happier

May 30, 2022

Ottawa–The 29 wind turbines that power the Nation Rise wind farm in North Stormont, 40 minutes south of Ottawa, have been quiet for nine days, since just before the “derecho” chain of thunderstorms that rampaged across Ontario .

The blades on the wind power generators, which are more than 600 feet tall, or equal to 60-storey office buildings in height, are turning gently, but not creating any electrical power.

The result? QUIET. And peace in more ways than that, as not just the audible sound of the turbines has gone, but also the inaudible emissions that humans perceive as pressure and vibration.

People who live inside the power project are experiencing a retreat of the physical symptoms that suggest poor health, including headache, ringing in the ears, a sensation of pressure in the chest, and elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

Best of all, say the people who have contacted us, they can sleep.

Long-term sleep disturbance is well documented as a factor in poor health and can have serious consequences including heart disease.

Wind turbines are not a non-emitting source of power. They are known to produce a range of sound emissions, some audible, some inaudible. Ontario’s noise regulations and setback distances for wind turbines — unchanged since 2009, despite more powerful wind turbines — only deal with audible noise.

I can sleep!

Residents contacting Wind Concerns Ontario have commented that since the wind turbines halted operation, not only have symptoms such as headaches and racing heartbeats retreated, they are finally able to sleep at night, and have more energy.

“I used to have to have a nap every afternoon,” said one resident, who said she usually feels exhausted all the time from being wakened frequently in the night. Since the turbines have been off “I have slept unbelievably well.”

Others under the care of cardiologists for what they describe as “racing” heart beats and, in some cases, evidence of heart attacks, also say they are feeling better this week, and feel that their heart health has improved.

One person living near Crysler who has not only turbines but also the transformer substation nearby reported: “all heart palpitations are gone, NO STINGING PAINS Heart is beating normal blood pressure is normal all in 4 days as the turbines stay off“.

Symptom disappearance an indication of harm

According to a paper written by physician Dr Robert McMurtry an medical researcher Carmen Krogh, published in 2014, there is a list of symptoms that are suggestive of harm being done by exposure to wind turbine noise emissions.

And, a key indicator that harm is being caused could be what happens when people leave their home environment. Krogh and McMurtry wrote: “Significant improvement away from the environs of wind turbines and a revealed preference for sleeping away from home serve to distinguish between AHE/IWT from other conditions.

Ottawa ignoring adverse effects

It is worrying that the City of Ottawa, perhaps 40 minutes away from Nation Rise, has created a strategy for electrification and “Net Zero” in its Energy Evolution document. A model in the strategy calls for 3,200 megawatts of wind power or more than 700 industrial-scale wind turbines in the rural areas of that city.

And the Government of Ontario will soon release a Request for Proposals for 1,000 megawatts of new power generation, some of which might be from wind energy.

Meanwhile, the problems with existing wind turbines have not been addressed: the government (under premiers McGuinty, Wynne and Ford) has thousands of files* of reports of noise pollution and other effects from wind turbines, but enforcement is lax.

Wind Concerns Ontario did a review of operating wind power projects to determine the status of the required audits to verify compliance: only 43 percent have completed and accepted audits.

It is a violation of the Environmental Protection Act or EPA of Ontario to cause an adverse effect. “Adverse effect” is defined in the Act.

“adverse effect” means one or more of,

(a) impairment of the quality of the natural environment for any use that can be made of it,

(b) injury or damage to property or to plant or animal life,

(c) harm or material discomfort to any person,

(d) an adverse effect on the health of any person,

(e) impairment of the safety of any person,

(f) rendering any property or plant or animal life unfit for human use,

(g) loss of enjoyment of normal use of property, and

(h) interference with the normal conduct of business; (“conséquence préjudiciable”)

Co-owners of the Nation Rise power project are EDP Renewables and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan who have a contract extending to 2041. Obviously, the wind turbines will start operating again, but it is unknown what the effects will be for people living near Nation Rise wind turbines as the turbines resume operation.

People are reminded to report any effects to the Ontario environment ministry by calling 1-866-MOE-TIPS or by using the online reporting tool here Report Pollution | ( Be sure to include descriptions of any health impacts or harm being experienced.

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).