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Foes and friends of wind energy blew into wpd open house

At Thursday night’s White Pines Wind Project open house, the number of people in attendance to oppose wind turbines in Prince Edward County far outnumbered the number looking to welcome them. But though the pro wind camp was small, its words were powerful for one life-long County man who observed the two camps wave their placards, chant and march, as the open house continued inside the high school auditorium.
“That seemed so unreal to me,” the South Marysburgh resident said. “The topping on the cake was (a man) telling me to move back to Toronto! He was in my homeroom a couple of times at least (here in Picton). I’ve read that the County will never be the same, now I’m afraid I believe it.”

“Many were there in solidarity with the residents of South Marysburgh to demonstrate their strong opposition to a 29-turbine industrial installation that will forever change the face of the County,” said Karen Empringham.

The County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) launched an extensive campaign with its website, flyers, posters and advertisements. The group organized a motorcade of about 50 vehicles honking and beeping while passengers shouted and waved signs pleading for a turbine-free County. The drivers met at the Waring House, paraded through town and drove by the high school a few times.
“It should be our right, in the County, to make our own decisions,” said Charlie Vincent, of Milford, who dressed as a town crier, rang his bell and read a proclamation. “And that’s why I’m here. Other than that, I have a pretty voice.”
He said this last open house that wpd is required to host is a mockery.
“I call it a mockery because it’s not a meeting where you can raise concerns, it’s a bunch of tables where you look at exhibits. It’s political because McGuinty’s government has sponsored the Green Energy Act – it has stripped all municipalities of the right to vote yes or no. And this company is about to seek final approval to go ahead with a good number of turbines in the area in which I live.”
Vincent does not count himself a member of any of the wind groups in the County and noted he supports wind energy – “in the right places”.
“I share the concerns. I know many of them. I don’t agree with with everything all of them say but I do agree with the anti-democratic concern that we have. If this today, what tomorrow? And I won’t even bring up the teachers who are going through the same anti-democratic issues. It’s just further proof that we are losing control.”

Setting up for his Town Crier gig, he noted he was a “Resident of South Marysburgh where all this is happening – at least most of it.
“Oyez, oyez, good citizens who desire democracy and honesty from our politicians. Welcome to this mockery of a meeting at the White Pines open house where there’s no opportunity for all who come to gather collectively, to listen and to speak. Even if our collective voice has been stifled by our host’s design, we can still make our concerns heard and trust that our public voice will be heard and repeated by Ontario citizens who are concerned about self-serving politicians and the increasingly anti-democratic decisions being made in the halls of provincial power.
“If you approve of wind turbines, tell White Pines so. If you share the concerns and opposition of so many of us, tell them so as well. Know that over 540 landowners of South Marysburgh – much affected by having these great towers beset upon them – have voted 90 per cent against their imposition. Know that the vote was not about the virtues of wind power. It was about the stripping of our rights, and of our local municipality,  to be able to make decisions about actions that affect our lives, our lands and our livings. The Green Energy Act is not green when it defeats democracy. The Green Energy is black.”

Deborah Hudson, of Black Creek, disagrees.
“It is really important to reduce global warming, to start with new technologies to generate our electricity. We can’t keep on with coal fired. Have you noticed the smog lately? This heat wave, and even with the south winds, the air’s not blue, it’s smoggy. I don’t remember that when I was a kid and I was born and raised here. I want to see it change and how we generate energy needs. Feel this wind. It’s the perfect place for wind renewable energy.”
Angela Lammes, of Royal Road, was in attendance in support of wind turbines. A turbine is designated for her land, and though they sold the property for other reasons, “we will still get 50 per cent of the income.
“My (Earth Day) T-shirt says it all. We have to stop global warming and wind, solar power is the way to go. It’s 27 degrees at 5:30 p.m. and we’re in a drought and there might be a level 3 low water issued. We have to do something.”

“Those who oppose the project may be a bit more vocal than those who are supporting it but everybody has a chance to have their say,” said Kevin Surette, wpd’s communications manager. “We’ve done the studies and prepared the reports we have to submit as part of the application, so this second open house is presenting to the public what those reports say… and that’s the purpose of what tonight is, for people to provide feedback whether it’s positive or negative.”
The ministry of the environment will review all the reports and when satisfied, will post to its Environmental Bill of Rights website for 30 days for further public comment. If approved, wpd could begin building next year.
Wpd will also back leaseholders facing a $17-million lawsuit from a group of more than 20 residents who are seeking damages related to reduced property values, an inability to sell properties located within 2km. The plaintiffs also seek punitive damages from the defendants and an injunction that would stop the project from moving forward.
“We were surprised that they would include the landowners. They just felt this was a way they could help sustain the family farm, saw it as an additional income. They really believe in what they are doing, that’s why they signed on.”
Surette said wpd is evaluating the documentation to decide next steps.
“We do intend to defend ourselves vigorously and as a corporate citizen we decided to let our participating landowners know that we are supporting them as much as we can in this lawsuit. We are working with them, not only did we provide them independent legal counsel, we have assumed all of the legal risk associated with the project. That’s some relief, but it’s still an issue for them. We want to make this process as easy and as quick for them as we possibly can.”


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  1. Paul A. says:

    “fed up” writes: “Although the SCIENCE of storing wind and solar energy is still a developing thing, I believe the mechanisms necessary are just a short while off. We need to be ready for the future, not caught off guard by it. I don’t want my future determined by those who don’t understand science.”

    Might I respectfully suggest that you are confused? The *science* is firmly established. The laws of conservation of energy date back more than two thousand years and are confirmed in relativistic (Einstein) mechanical theory and quantum (Planck/Noether) physics.

    It is the *technology* that is lacking. Wind and solar power are intermittent, and to some (variable) extent unpredictable, hence the practical difficulty of feeding them into the grid. Storage, even very short term, of the quantities involved is extremely challenging, if not impossible with today’s *technology*. Pumping water “back uphill” into hydroelectric systems (dams) is possible, but expensive and inefficient. Hydrogen (as a fuel) production is still an environmental dream and economic disaster. Chemical (battery) and mechanical (flywheel) storage for the numbers involved are unthinkable.

    I am a scientist, not a gambling man, but am tempted to step out of my normal bounds and state fairly categorically that no industrially viable storage solution will be found in the foreseeable future. Please do not use the term “science” in exculpatory statements for our current government’s energy policy.

    Thanks – Paul

  2. Ashley says:

    Has anyone tried to build a campaign on change.org or avaaz.com ??

    Could be a great idea. These online campaigns can be quite powerful.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    Hudak will probably be gone soon. We have a good member here in Prince edward Hastings. However by the time of he next the present riding will be split into 3 different areas. However this is a topic for another blog. Here we are concerned about WPD and Ostrander Point. We can only hope that McGinty got the message and will cancel the IWT development.

  4. Anon says:

    Maybe the Libs didn’t get it, but a riding that the Conservatives held for 22 years got taken away from Tim Hudak by the NDP. Doesn’t say much for Hudak’s leadership skills.

  5. Doris Lane says:

    Well Mc Ginty’s trick to get Elizabth Whitmeyer an excellent job and get that concservative seat out of parliament so maybe a liberal could win it and he would have a majority did not work. The NDP got it so Mc Ginty is where he started. What effect will this have on his decision about Ostrander Point?

  6. David Norman says:

    PEter… upon reflection on my last comment I felt I neglected to point out the likely “survival” scenario, that if I wanted to profit/prosper (perceptually enhance my survival)in this respect in a decidedly manipulative way, I would support, endorse and promote an energy technology that I knew was going to fail to meet the grade, like wind turbines and solar, while clandestinely investing in coal and nuclear that folk will come to view as begrudgingly necessary.

  7. David Norman says:

    PEter… you’re giving both McGuinty and Rifkin far too much credit. Rifkin, in his TVO conversation (book promotion) is either just being incredibly naive and facile in his presentation of “New Era Capitalism”, or trying to score brownie points with the crony capitalists who control the NERC. Given his background I suspect the latter. I would not be surprised if Rifkin, in his role as an advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkell is intimately implicated in that Country’s current energy debacle, particularly as it relates to so-called renewables.

  8. Doris Lane says:

    Peter

    I heard Mr Pitkin on TV the other week talking about the 3rd Industrial Revolution and how the world is changing.
    Certainly we have all seen enormous changes in our life time(certainly in mine)
    I was very confused by this interview but maybe because I do not have the knowledge to understand, I do think everyone who can should listen to this. I would like to see Treat Hull’s and Gary Mooney’s comments on it

  9. PEter says:

    I agree, in part, that money is the driving force behind the installation of Industrial Wind Turbines in Prince Edward County. It’s always about the MONEY! However, I suspect there’s more to the picture… much, much more! There has to be. Dalton is a seasoned politician!! He certainly understands the political repercussions when a community becomes divided on an issue of policy. History has taught us that it only takes one piece of legislation, proposed or real, that can spell the end to a politician’s career, at the same time damaging the party he or she represents. All this, and yet he continues to move forward on the file. It’s time to start asking the question, why?

    To start, I think we need to be engaging the feds via Mr. Kramp on this issue. Force him to engage. We need to make the connection here to the issue of energy on a national scale… and how it influences energy decisions in Ontario. You might be surprised. Mr. Kramp can help us with that. From what I can tell, there seems to be a movement afoot in North America to the “continentalization” of energy. I suspect this issue is perhaps the real driver behind the ‘push the policy at all costs’. Has Ontario committed to energy generation targets via the North America Electric Reliability Corporation? If so, could our involvement with NERC be influencing Ontario energy policy? Again, perhaps Mr. Kramp can help us find the answer.

    Finally, I have posted a link below to an interview whereby Mr. Rifkin talks about “continentalization”. Listen to the video from minute 14 to minute 17 as I think it directly supports my point.

    http://ww3.tvo.org/video/179809/jeremy-rifkin-new-era-capitalism

    Cheers,
    PEter

  10. Chris Keen says:

    @Brock – When I read the article in your post, two phrases immediately came to mind – “Emperor’s new clothes” and “elephant in the room”.

    I had this picture of McGuinty, the Emperor, surrounded by sycophants from foreign-owned energy companies assuring him that wind power is free, and plentiful. It doesn’t occur to him for a minute that the reason they are here is that subsidies have ceased at home where it is clear that the projects built do not produce either reliable or reasonably priced electricity.

    The “elephant in the room”? After ten years and billions of Euros the turbines in Germany operate only 16.3% of the time – half of what had been promised! And 22 coal-fired plants need to be constructed to rectify this disaster? Now there’s a number that should get McGuinty’s attention. It’s too bad that the members of his Cabinet won’t try to disabuse him of the folly of his green energy “plan”.

  11. fed up says:

    Re rights to revenue from wind power—I suspect the legalities will be very similar to the ones governing the sale of mineral, gas, and oil rights on private property.
    (which go back a very long time)

  12. Dayton Johnson says:

    @ Gary: what happens if in those twenty years the new owner files bankruptcy,or becomes deceased and the estate is then sold again by his survivor/heir after his death?
    Is it possible the new property buyer could cancel out the deal because he didn’t want the turbine?
    Who covers the lawyers fees on this?
    Too many big IFs and loopholes and 20 years ia a long time.

  13. Brock Kirkpatrick says:

    I thought everyone on this thread would be interested in this article.The company behind the WPD is German is it not? This perhaps explains their interest in PEC now that Germany has seen the folly of wind and solar generated electricity.
    Is it not typical of Canadian politicians to jump on the bandwagon just as others have seen that the wagon has four flat tires and is going nowhere.
    http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0912/0912germanyrenew.htm

  14. Chris Keen says:

    This Lammes deal is very odd, and I assume it happened before the lawsuit? Right now, though, 50% of nothing is nothing.

  15. Gary Mooney says:

    Doris, I just happened to check out the site right after your post.

    When someone allows a lease on their property and then sells the property, it is possible to structure things so that the lease revenue goes to the new owner, or the old owner, or even partly to each. If any part remains with the old owner, the legal situation is more complicated, but it can be done.

    This is a similar situation with microFIT (homeowner) installations of solar, on roof or on ground. Given the future stream of revenue, the vendor would want a higher price for the property, but the purchaser may not want to pay more than for a property without solar panels. So the vendor might have to retain the ownership of the panels and the revenue from them. Again, this would complicate the sale and control of the property from a legal point of view.

    In general, if a propety owner gives any rights to his property to another party (e.g. through a lease) his use and control of the property will be compromised. It may result in a reduced ability to borrow against the property and/or to sell it. When it’s a deal that continues for 20 years, extreme caution is advised.

  16. Doris Lane says:

    Sue 3 it certainly is confusing how someone x=can sell their and still receive money form the contract or whatever
    You would think that the contact would get sold with the land
    Stranger and stranger by the day–it sounds like a big rip off business to me
    Right fom the beginningthe wind companies have been doing strange things with those contracts
    Maybe Gary Mooney could help straighten this out. He seems to have a lot of knowledge about such things.

  17. Sue3 says:

    Question regarding Angela Lammes – the article states that “a turbine is designated for her land, and though they sold the property for other reasons, “we will still get 50 per cent of the income.” Does this mean that the wind company purchased her property, or is there a clause in their contract whereby the original owner would receive a percentage just for agreeing to sign (or both)?

  18. David Norman says:

    Bye the bye, I arrived a early to this event and got some great candid photos. One of the best was when six security guards that had been hired by WPD for this “open house” arrived in a van, I snapped a photo of them getting their gear from the back of the vehicle. I was loudly and aggressively threatened, in the presence of several witnesses by one of the security guards, with the confiscation of my camera… upon which I promptly snapped several more photos while the threatening security guard covered his face with his hand. The only thing I found disturbing about this incident was that I wasn’t quick enough off the mark to use the reply “I’ll give you my camera (gun) when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!”… a play on the phrase made famous by Charlton Heston when he served as President of the National Rifle Association.

  19. David Norman says:

    Thought for the day:

    It’s amazing what a disgruntled employee of CanWEA can tell you about the Industrial Wind Turbine industry!…!Imagine!

  20. Energy Expert says:

    I note that several good citizens believe that wind energy will save us from global warming. The fact is that there is zero scientific proof that wind energy does anything consequential regarding global warming.

    Other conscientious citizens think that wind energy is clean. The reality is that the construction and operation of wind energy has horrific environmental consequences.

    These and other misleading ideas are promoted by self-serving marketers whose sole objective is to make a fast buck on the back of a gullible public.

    Closely look at EnergyPresentation.Info for a scientific perspective.

  21. Marie says:

    To Doris,

    Regarding size of council…We had the chance in the last municipal election to get a question on the ballot, and the one we decided in one way or another was regarding the size of council. As you can see, this information gathering has been completely in vain. I took a quick look at the county’s budget on the website, and I am including the mayor here, but the cost of council divided by the number of members was only $30,000.00. I then divided the cost of a councillor by the overall budget and came up with a number of .0006. So if we began a process by which we as a community decided to make council smaller (or larger for that matter) we would be playing with the budget in half of a thousandth percentage points.
    I’m wondering if a better question in the last election would have been about turbines. It seems everyone is quoting the 90% results of the SM survey.

  22. Administrator says:

    Ha Ha Ha that one goes in the funny typos box. Ok will fix it.

  23. Charlie Vincent says:

    As the “Town (Hamlet?) Crier” I want to thank you for the coverage of the WPD Open House event last Thursday. Here’s just one more cry: As if wearing a Tricorn hat isn’t eccentric enough, I want to assure the informal ‘Mayor of Milford’ that I am not claiming to be the “President” of South Marysburgh . . . just a “resident”.

  24. David Norman says:

    Garth, if you had read the wonderful piece of “tabloid” journalism by Nicole Kleinsteuber in the Aug.30/2012 issue of the County Weekly News, you’d realize that the issues presented by the plaintiffs are irrelevant. The article, under the headline “Lawsuit:’heartache for a lot of old people’ went to great length to point out that the real issue is that “a lot” of those who leased their land to the WPD for Industrial Wind Turbine development are just old and disabled folk who, despite the fact that they do not live in the County and have all legal responsibility and costs covered by WPD are suffering horribly. After all, they only want to honor the “green” desires of their departed loved ones and the future for their grandchildren. We should pity them and abrogate what few rights of social justice left to us for their needs. Better we suffer or have their well financed heartache upon us.

  25. Doris Lane says:

    The Councillor for SM was written up in the paper and it sounded as if she was more pro wind–it did not seem that she paid much attention to the vote in .
    SM. I know the councillor for NM is not in facvour of the turbines
    I think council is too busy thinking up ways to spend our money for things we do not need.
    I wish they would get off this tied vote thing and restructure the council–we could save a few dollars if we had less councillors to pay.
    Anyway the CAO wants to make all the decisions so we don’t need very many people.
    The lawsuit is a private matter and I don’t think council should or will get involved in it.
    It is certinly too bad that it has had to come to this but I lay most of the blame on Dalton for this. He should not have taken municipal control away as far as the IWT’s are concerned. It is a great big mess all through Ontario.
    Too bad that Ontario is now a have not province.
    Lets just hope that someone soon sees the light

  26. Mark says:

    And where is the County Council on this? Has anyone heard a peep? They were elected to represent, are they? Now that there is litigation they will say we cannot comment due to the legal process. Great out for them rather than displaying courage and taking a stand for the community they represent.Mayor Mertens stated he preferred dialogue with the provincial government over protest. How is that dialogue going Mr.Mayor?? Care to provide the citizens an update.This council is in dire need of an enema!

  27. Doris Lane says:

    Garth good to hear from you. So the taxpayer will be stuck with more handouts re the turbine issue. Anyone who supports this boongoggle needs to think twice about it.
    Our costs are going to be so great that it might be time to go back to oil lamps and candles.
    Lets hope that Dalton loses the by-elections in Vaughan and Kitchner-waterloo–we don’t want to let him have a majority
    David Norman good to see you back on County Live we have missed you.

  28. Referring to County Live’s well balanced coverage, the OPP estimated the number of vehicles in the Motorcade at between 70 and 80, not 50. As to Kevin Surette’s comments for wpd that “he was surprised that the plaintiffs included the landowners” he is both a master of spin and no doubt conveniently forgot to mention that both wpd and landowners leasing it turbine sites have already been sued at one of wpd’s other unfortunate factory projects. Nor did he disclose that if indeed wpd is “supporting” the South Marysburgh turbine site lessors that the cost of doing so will ultimately come from public funds paid by all Ontarians through taxes and hydro bills and received by wpd as inflated payments under the FIT program. Unlike the gutsy plaintiffs,whose legal costs will come directly from their own pockets.

  29. L. Griffin says:

    @ Anon — and erecting industrial wind turbines in Prince Edward County is going to affect that how???

  30. Mark says:

    FedUps future will be determined with IWT’s in the County. Huge energy cost increases and the southern district will become an industrial zone with very few residents. That is the future.

  31. Anon says:

    Regarding the comment about distance to the closest coal fired power plants – there are coal plants in New York State on the Lake Ontario shoreline, considerably closer than 400km.

  32. David Norman says:

    @ fed up… you “(!!!)believe(!!!) that the mechanisms ‘for storing wind and solar energy’ are not far off”, yet you “don’t want” your “future determined by those who don’t understand science”. How do you justify the dichotomy, dissonance in the affective word usage in these competing statements?… and, what is it that you understand about science that you do not see reflected by others with whom you disagree?

  33. fed up says:

    Although the SCIENCE of storing wind and solar energy is still a developing thing, I believe the mechanisms necessary are just a short while off. We need to be ready for the future, not caught off guard by it.
    I don’t want my future determined by those who don’t understand science.

  34. fed up says:

    Although the science of storing wind and solar energy is still a developing thing, I believe the mechanisms necessary are just a short while off. We need to be ready for the future, not caught off guard by it.
    I don’t want my future, determined by those who don’t understand science.

  35. Marie says:

    The fact that the Green Energy Act took away local governance on this issue, leads to an even greater importance to have a fair and open discussion at an open house as “required” for this groups application.
    This meeting should have been in a question and answer format with microphones, recorders and 200 chairs for those in attendance. The fact that this company has been allowed to divide those in attendance by virtue of having an “information seminar” with a bunch of signs is as others have called it a “sham”
    All the more reason to write more letters, and expect to see the results of those letters as public information.

  36. Doris Lane says:

    When the wind does not blow( or it blows too hard) and the sun does not shine, then all the millions that we have put into wind and solar were just a waste of money but everyone(or nearly everyone) EXCEPT DALTON KNOWS THIS.
    What should have happened was the money should have been invested in individual places and each landowner should have their own wind and solar ( like Cherry Valley organics) and then their excess will go into the grid. No need for fields of panels and IWT’s
    I think 2 or 3 members of APPEC proposed something like this awhile back and then we would not have all the problems we have today
    You don’t just jump on someones band wagon–things need to be dealt with causiously and slowly so we have a plan for where we are going.

  37. loulee says:

    Are you people nuts, it has nothing to do with green energy it has to do with the fact the Liberals are making millions off wind energy contracts. It is a way of bankrupting industrial Countries. Follow the money. It is all run on government subsidities. It is bankrupting countries in Europe.
    We are not in global warming. Read the Cloak of Green
    Remember Maurice Strong bankrupt Ontario Hydro when he was head of it , Rae government he bought all this rainforest in Brazil with hydro money. Maurice Strong is now living in China. Carbon Credits is bs, don’t be so gullible.

  38. Shall I mention that Germany which is a world leader in renewables has currently 23 coal plants in the works. Denmark also is powered by 20% wind and 80% coal. Yah we are being scammed and you know what, maybe if people here in Ontario are too lazy to look beyond their wallets and their arrogance maybe we deserve it. Our rights are being stripped away and I have seen so much laziness and complacency from my neighbors who obviously do not really care what is happening right under our noses that we get what we deserve. We are being robbed and duped by the very people we elected to act in our best interests and to protect us from the very act that is occurring here in rural Ontario. You can blather on about coal and the enviroment and whatever else I have read and heard but it will never change what we will all soon be facing. And eventually no matter how deep the sand is that you stick your head into it will still bite you in the behind.

  39. L. Griffin says:

    Coal accounts for less than 3% of our energy supply. We don’t need it and we don’t need wind. After we shut down our last coal plant, what excuse are the wind proponents going to use then?

    Coal has been a non-issue since it was mandated that they have pollution control devices installed back in the 70’s, but those who are ignorant of that fact, like to keep using coal as the scapegoat for pouring billions of dollars down a useless, inefficient and unreliable energy source like wind.

    On the hottest days this summer, when power consumption in Ontario was topping 22,000 MW per day, wind was contributing a pathetic 1/10th of 1%. For all of the billions and billions of dollars we’ve sunk into wind energy, we get 1/10th of 1% for our money.

    Sure hope those in favour of wind aren’t counting on keeping their families warm with it this winter. ‘Cause if the wind blows too hard (over 30k), they have to shut the turbines down.

    Yep, that’s what we need, more wind power.

  40. fed up says:

    Distance has nothing to do with impact from fossil fuels.

  41. fed up says:

    You’re unbelievable.

  42. L. Griffin says:

    Re: Debbie Hudson — COAL????? COAL???? The closest coal plant in Ontario is more than 400 km away. WTH is she talking about? The ignorance of the sheeple who blindly follow along kissing McGuinty’s feet is staggering.

    Re: Angela Lammes — Nice to see she’s taking the money and running. Don’t stick around Angela and live next to the turbine you had installed on your property like your neighbours will have to do.

    Absolutely UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    To the people suing the landowners and wind company for loss of property value….GOOD LUCK!! Nail the B*#$^@#D’s to the wall.

    This is McGuinty’s dream. To turn rural neighbours against each other and those landowners who signed on are his convenient pawns.

  43. Doris Lane says:

    Excellent coverage–you have done it again–always there to record events and then off to the fire–Kudos to you
    Sue and Amber

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