Gilead Power wants to put a wind energy project at Ostrander Point, which is possibly the worst place to put one – right in the middle of an Important Bird Area, and right in the middle of a major migratory route. Ontario owns the property with the Ontario MNR overseeing it. The Ontario MOE voluntarily opened up the project to public comment, citing the “harming, killing and harassing” of two endangered species (Blanding’s turtle and the Whip-poor-will) who had found the Point to be suitable habitat.
The comment period was ended yesterday, February 19, and I imagine they got hundreds of comments, many of them well-researched and documented. One very powerful submission was a letter from Ian Dubin, along with a longer more detailed Information Note. They are both suitably-written for a general audience and are worth the time.
Dubin, Ostrander Point Letter
Dubin, Ostrander Point Information Note
I also emailed in a submission, not nearly as well-put-together as Dubin’s. Who knows, maybe something will get traction. If Ostrander point is sacrificed, why stop there? White Pines is next, followed by Amherst Island, etc etc.
Gulden, Ostrander Point Submission
It is often said that one picture is worth a thousand words, and often that is true. And words don’t do justice to the wind turbine build-out going on in the Chatham-Kent area in southern Ontario. So I’ve gathered up the coordinates of the wind turbines for a number of projects and placed the turbines on Google Earth with kml files. The picture below shows the spread south from the 401 to Lake Erie, and even the picture doesn’t do it justice. There are 462 push pins on the picture, one per turbine, and many of them are not visible in this overall picture. Upon request I can send the kml files so you can import them into your Google Earth to get the entire effect as you zoom on in. The picture below is clickable, thank goodness, but even that doesn’t really show everything.The yellow mass is roughly 100km long and 20 wide at its widest, and aside from the empty section SE of Chatham it is pretty much saturated with wind turbines. Also, I know there are more turbines north of the 401 that I’m not showing, so if anyone out there can get me some of those turbine locations (or tell me where to look) I’ll add them to the picture.
One thing I discovered as a result of creating this picture is that there are 8 turbines within 300m of the 401 itself, with the closest just 155m away – almost as close as the turbine is tall. I wonder how much insurance they carry.
UPDATE, March 21, 2012. There’s now a follow-up to this posting.
New Zealand, like many countries around the world, has been encouraging the installation of wind energy projects. Unfortunately, also like many countries, the residents who end up living next to these projects have been complaining about the noise, after having been assured that it would be minimal. NZ has noise regulations that predate wind projects, but like many countries they have developed special noise regulations uniquely customized for the wind industry – something called NZS 6808. The previous version of this Standard (1998) didn’t protect the neighbors – there were hundreds of complains while the developer could plausibly claim to be following the standards. So they formed a committee and came up with 6808:2010. One person on that committee, Philip Dickinson, refused to agree to the new standard and went public about his reasons. Continue reading No Consensus in NZ
William Palmer continues to gather facts about Ontario’s electrical grid and the uselessness of wind energy in it. This is very much unlike Ontario’s government and any number of ENGO’s, who simply repeat their slogans over and over until enough voters believe them to keep them in power. This time he has put together two charts and a longer paper showing Ontario’s generation mix for the last quarter-century and they pretty much put to rest two of these pervasive slogans: (1) that wind energy is eliminating coal generation, and (2) that coal generation is related to asthma and respiratory deaths.
UPDATE – Feb 29, 2012. Palmer has also started a series at MasterResource that expands upon this topic. Part two.
Continue reading Coal Reductions and Health