Articles from Canada
Ontario's natural resources ministry has been so overwhelmed with applications to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes that it has stopped accepting them - at least until March. Minister Donna Cansfield, speaking at a conference in Toronto, said more than 100 applications have been received representing more than 500 projects on the Ontario side of the lakes. "The window for applications has been temporarily closed," she said.
The debate raged for over an hour in council chambers; yet it soon became clear that, when it comes to wind power development in Sackville, a compromise might not easily be reached between the two sides. Several councillors expressed concerns over the aesthetics and potential health effects of wind turbines; while others pointed to not only the environmental benefits but the economic opportunities that come with wind energy. A couple members of council remained unsure of which way to turn.
Nova Scotia's electricity consumer advocate is questioning Nova Scotia Power's proposal to spend $120 million on a wind farm. "Is it a good deal?" asks Halifax lawyer John Merrick. "Because ultimately it has to be paid for by ratepayers." The power company has applied to government regulators for permission to build and develop a 22-turbine wind farm at Nuttby Mountain, Colchester County.
Arran-Elderslie is likely to impose a one-year moratorium, with a possible one-year extension, on construction of large wind turbines. Council is expected to pass an interim control bylaw Oct. 26 despite being told by the provincial government such bylaws are not allowed. "There are a lot of people with some real concerns about these turbines," Elderslie ward Coun. Mark Davis told council.
A Big Island resident who hopes to take the Ontario government to court to quash legislation governing wind farms says the basis of his case boils down to common sense. Ian Hanna filed an application for judicial review earlier this week in the hopes he can get the provincial government to look into certain sections of its Green Energy Act. Hanna said plans by Skypower to erect at least nine energy-producing wind turbines on Big Island - as well as in other parts of Prince Edward County - need to be properly examined before any development occurs.
Ian Hanna said his application for judicial review, being called the first of its kind, is his latest appeal to the government after petitions failed to stop plans for five turbines about 900 metres away from his property on Big Island in the Bay of Quinte. The community of about 100 homes will be overwhelmed by the turbines, he charged. "My parents taught us when we were growing up that we should stand up for what we thought is good and right and whether that's for my family or for my neighbours, I intend to do that," he said.
Nova Scotians may face higher electricity costs in the short term as the province moves toward cleaner and renewable energy, says the man in charge of overseeing Nova Scotia's renewable energy strategy. Dalhousie University's David Wheeler said Monday it is inevitable Nova Scotia Power customers will face a jump in prices ..."If we end up with a global carbon energy tax, then producing energy from coal is going to be very expensive for Nova Scotia consumers," Mr. Wheeler told reporters.
A Prince Edward County man is going to court over Ontario's new setback rules for industrial wind farms. Lawyer Eric Gillespie, acting on behalf of client Ian Hanna, a resident of Big Island, has launched the first legal challenge to the Ontario government's Green Energy Act which requires wind turbines be located a minimum 550 metres from homes.
"The Green Energy Act, 2009 and its regulations clearly do not appear to meet the requirements of law in the province of Ontario," said lawyer Eric Gillespie today in a news conference at Queen's Park. On behalf of his client Ian Hanna, Gillespie explained that a court application was filed earlier today for judicial review of the Green Energy Act, 2009 based on the Precautionary Principle as it applies to industrial wind turbine installations.
A farmer in Prince Edward County is taking the Ontario government to court over its plans to boost wind farm development across the province. The Ontario government has proposed building a wind farm containing five turbines within 900 metres of Ian Hanna's home on Big Island in the Bay of Quinte, just south of Belleville. His community of about 100 homes will be overwhelmed by the turbines, he said.
Wind turbines are turning neighbour against neighbour and Essex town council is caught in the middle. Farmers who have signed property leases for wind turbine projects spoke of them at a special meeting Monday as a renewable energy of the future that should be embraced.
There's a farmer in Northumberland County, east of Oshawa, who wants to build a house for his daughter on his farm, but he can't because he's on the heavily protected Oak Ridges Moraine. But it's OK to lease his land to a company that will put up multiple wind turbines and turn his property into a wind farm. And they'll pay him five figures a year to do it. That's just one of many contradictions emerging as wind project proposals multiply like rabbits across Ontario.
The battles over wind farms in Ontario and New York state have had no shortage of press coverage. The battle lines are most often drawn between those who place a premium on scenic and historic preservation, property values and other quality-of-life factors, versus those who place a priority on the personal and municipal income the wind projects offer. But the processes that decide these battles are seldom fair or transparent, and are skewed in favour of the few over the many.
The Supreme Court of P.E.I. has denied a request by Entegrity Wind Systems for an extension to devise a plan to avoid bankruptcy. The wind turbine manufacturer owes $11 million to creditors and has been trying to put together a business plan to prove it can turn the company around. It has been under court protection from creditors since August.
Wind farm opponents plan to gather at Queen's Park this month to pressure provincial politicians to support MPP Bill Murdoch's bid to halt further turbine projects until Ontario investigates alleged health effects. "This might be our chance to make a statement," Georgian Bluffs resident Wendy McKee told a crowd during a community meeting on wind turbines and health. She said she will try to reserve a bus to transport concerned Grey-Bruce residents to Toronto for the Oct. 29 vote.
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch is calling for a province-wide moratorium on wind turbine projects and is introducing a resolution at Queen's Park later this month. Through his resolution, which he expects to be debated on Oct. 29, Mr. Murdoch will call on the province and its chief medical doctor to state whether or not wind turbines cause health problems for people who live near them. Mr. Murdoch said the government has a responsibility as well as a mandate to investigate such claims.
A group of Alnwick/Haldimand Township residents are banding together to oppose a proposed wind farm in their community. On Sept. 24, the Castleton Community Centre was overflowing with residents at a public information forum hosted by The Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills. Speakers opposed to the plan talked about serious potential negative health effects, ranging from sleep disturbances to vertigo and nausea.
It wasn't her place to speak, but Tignish resident Mary Rae Lambert managed a one-word response Tuesday when Tignish Municipal Council voted against allowing wind turbines in the community. "Hallelujah," Lambert gasped before showering the council with applause. They voted 5-0 against a proposed official plan amendment to allow windmills in Tignish. It was Lambert who was most vocal against windmills during a public meeting two weeks ago.
The answer is blowing in the wind, at least for the provincial government. Local residents aren't so sure, if a meeting held last week in Walkerton is any indication. And now they're getting backing from MPP Bill Murdoch, who announced he plans to ask for a moratorium on wind turbines until health impacts are looked at. The province's Green Energy Act, passed on May 14 of this year, streamlines the approval process for wind turbine projects. The provincial government is committed to eliminating its coal operated electrical generating plants, and promoting green energy projects is a key part of the plan to make that happen.
Recently, Innisfil council sent a letter to the provincial government, expressing concerns over the regulations. The letter encouraged the province to accept recommendations from the town's Innisfil Alternative Energy Ad Hoc Committee, which call for changes to setbacks for renewable energy projects, clean-up requirements and other aspects of the Act. The Act also gives jurisdiction over project approvals to the province, said Jackson.