Friday, 30 September 2011

Wind, Water, and Solar Power for the World

Nix nuclear. Chuck coal. Rebuff biofuel. All we need is the wind, the water, and the sun.
IEEE Spectrum
September, 2011
Mark Delucchi

We don’t need nuclear power, coal, or biofuels. We can get 100 percent of our energy from wind, water, and solar (WWS) power. And we can do it today—efficiently, reliably, safely, sustainably, and economically.
We can get to this WWS world by simply building a lot of new systems for the production, transmission, and use of energy. One scenario that Stanford engineering professor Mark Jacobson and I developed, projecting to 2030, includes:
  • 3.8 million wind turbines, 5 megawatts each, supplying 50 percent of the projected total global power demand
  • 49 000 solar thermal power plants, 300 MW each, supplying 20 percent
  • 40 000 solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants supplying 14 percent
  • 1.7 billion rooftop PV systems, 3 kilowatts each, supplying 6 percent
  • 5350 geothermal power plants, 100 MW each, supplying 4 percent
  • 900 hydroelectric power plants, 1300 MW each, of which 70 percent are already in place, supplying 4 percent
  • 720 000 ocean-wave devices, 0.75 MW each, supplying 1 percent
  • 490 000 tidal turbines, 1 MW each, supplying 1 percent.
We also need to greatly expand the transmission infrastructure in order to create the large supergrids that will span many regions and often several countries and even continents. And we need to expand production of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, ships that run on hydrogen fuel cell and battery combinations, liquefied hydrogen aircraft, air- and ground-source heat pumps, electric resistance heating, and hydrogen for high-temperature processes.
For the complete article, click here

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Electric industry making great strides integrating wind and solar

ISO/RTO Council Releases Briefing Paper on Variable Energy Resources

TORONTOAug. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - The ISO/RTO Council today released a briefing paper on Variable Energy Resources, System Operations and Wholesale Markets. This paper looks at the efforts being made by independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) to integrate variable energy resources.
Renewable resources - primarily wind and solar - are the resources most likely to fulfill the objectives of state and provincial renewable energy targets, feed-in tariff programs, as well as national and regional climate policy goals.
The variable nature of these resources is prompting changes in market design and system operations. Conventional electricity generating resources are relatively stable, schedulable and controllable, and markets and system operating procedures were originally designed around these characteristics. Effectively and reliably integrating variable resources has spurred the industry to develop new approaches, new processes and new tools.
"As an industry we are making great strides in harnessing the power of variable energy resources," said Paul Murphy, President and CEO of Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and 2011-2012 Chair of the ISO/RTO Council. "Effectively integrating this new supply is a long-term process that requires us to refine our respective systems, modify our operating procedures, and make adjustments to our markets for energy, operating reserve and ancillary services."
The briefing paper is available on the IRC website at A more comprehensive paper has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and is available at
The ISO/RTO Council (IRC) is an industry organization consisting of representatives from independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) across North America. In aggregate, the 10 member organizations serve two-thirds of electricity consumers in the United States and more than half of Canada's population. The IRC works collaboratively to develop effective processes, tools, and standard methods for improving competitive electricity markets across North America. Its goal is to balance reliability considerations with market practices, resulting in efficient, robust markets that provide competitive and reliable service to electricity users.

Ombudsman clears International Power and Grey Highlands Council

On June 27, 2011, Grey Highlands Council was scheduled to receive two draft by-laws involving a number of permits and agreements with Plateau Wind Inc.  Apparently, during the lunch hour, members of Council and a member of the Grey Highlands staff were seen having lunch together with persons from Plateau Wind (International Power) at a local restaurant.

Subsequently, a complaint was lodged with the Ontario Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman released his report on September 21.  To view the complete copy of his response, click here.

In his report, the Ombudsman observes ....

"According to the information provided to our Office, three members of IPC arrived at the same restaurant where you were having lunch, shortly after you arrived.  They were invited to join you at your table.  We understand that the discussions that took place over lunch were mainly casual in nature, but that some of the conversation may have involved general discussions about the wind turbine project.  We also understand that the items that were on the agenda for the June 27 afternoon Council session were not discussed over lunch."

.... and then concludes ....

"Under the circumstances, we did not conclude that the lunch gathering constituted a "meeting" for the purpose of s. 239 of the Act.  When we spoke on September 21, however, we noted that Council members meeting informally could attract speculation about the nature of the discussions taking place, particularly when those discussions take place in close proximity to official council meetings.  Council members should be vigilant in ensuring that a casual social conversation does not drift into improper areas."

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Thamesville family taking heat over lawsuit

Chatham Daily News

September 26, 2011
Ellwood Shreve

To get the full flavour of this report you absolutely must watch the video.  To find it, click 

Family taking heat over lawsuit

Claiming wind farm is causing health problems

THAMESVILLE — The Michaud family is standing firm in their conviction that wind farms can have a negative impact on human health, despite some backlash they are receiving.

The Thamesville-area family has been the target of much criticism, accusations and insults via social media since going public last Wednesday about launching a $1.5-million lawsuit against Suncor Energy's Kent Breeze Wind Farm, located near their Dew Drop Road home.

The lawsuit claims the Michaud family, which includes Michel, 53, Lisa, 46, and their adult children, Elisha, 25, and Josh, 20, have suffered such symptoms as vertigo, nausea and sleep disruption due to the effects of living near the eight-turbine wind farm.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The wind farm, the first to be approved under Ontario's Green Energy Act, was also the subject of an Ontario Environmental Review tribunal earlier this year, which ruled in favour of allowing the project to proceed.
Lisa Michaud said many people have the impression "we're these money grabbers going for $1.5 million.
"That's not what it's about," she added.

She said the $1.5 million is a "number to raise awareness so people can understand the government needs to change these regulations and setback laws that they have."

She added the wind turbines are being "planted" in rural residential areas and she believes people are going to get sick.
"We've heard from a number of people who don't believe us, but mostly the ones that have no names on the Internet," Michaud said.

She said some people who have spoken to them directly say they have a family member who doesn't like the turbines.
"But nobody's really ready to come forward . . . look at the flak we're getting," she added.

The family was tired of being sick and they felt nobody wanted to do anything about it.
Michel Michaud said, "we put up with it for a bit, but then after the two kids started getting sick . . . that's the last straw, we got to do something."

The Chatham Daily News spoke with other people in area, including some residents living closer to the turbines, who have not suffered the same health problems as the Michauds.

Alfie Rose, who lives on Dew Drop Road, about a kilometre from the Michauds, said the turbines "don't bother me.

"I'd like to have a couple of them on my place," he added.

Tina Pumfrey's home on Longwoods Road is less than 600 metres from a turbine.

She said she hasn't suffered any ill effects, noting, "occasionally I feel it in my ear, but it's not enough to bug me."

However, she doesn't doubt some people are affected by the turbines, adding her family is lucky they are not.

Pumfrey said if the turbines are pointed in a certain direction, she can hear them through the window.

She added if the window is closed and the ceiling fan is on, it solves the problem.

Her 13-year-old son Tate said, "the cars on Highway 2 (Longwoods Road) are louder than the turbines."

Some other residents on Longwoods Road, who didn't want to be identified, said they can hear the turbines make a "woosh" sound if they are pointed in a certain direction.

However, they say they have not felt any ill health effects from the devices.

One man who spoke with The Daily News doesn't doubt some people's health does suffer due to the turbines.

"Everybody is not the same," he said. "Everybody is going to have a different way of it affecting them."

The Michaud property is just over a kilometre away from the closest turbine.

Michel Michaud said their house is the last property in line with the turbines.

"It's called a tunnel effect, that's what we're getting," he said.

He said Rick James, an acoustician, who did studies on the Kent Breeze project, and gave testimony during the recent environmental review tribunal, said their property would be affected the most.

Michaud said some days the wind turbine noise is loud, but that's not what concerns him most.

"It's what you don't hear, it's the low frequency (sound)," he said is what he believes is causing the problem

Monday, 26 September 2011

What if turbine noise doesn't make people sick?

Letter to the Editor 
Collingwood Connection  
September 15, 2011
Robert Knox

What if turbine noise doesn’t make people sick?

In his column in the Connection on September 15, Ron Hartlen says that wind
opponents and wind supporters have been arguing about the impacts of wind turbines
ad nauseum. It’s tedious alright but if people say inaccurate things, we should try to
correct the public record.

For example, Mr. Hartlen says that the first and only thing we need to resolve health
issues is effective sound measurement.

The recent Environmental Review Tribunal review of a project in Chatham Kent found
that noise from wind turbines that meet Ontario’s regulations does not cause serious
health problems.

Research shows that some people find turbines annoying. This can be stressful but this
is not a health problem caused by turbines but by individuals’ reaction to turbines.
As a practical example that living near turbines doesn’t necessarily cause health or other
problems, there appears to be little or no complaint from over 1000 host landowners and
their families.

Since this is the case, more research is required to establish if there is any relationship
at all between wind turbines and human health and then address those issues if they

Mr. Hartlen says that wind power isn’t available when it’s needed.
No one expects wind power to be around only when it is needed any more than we
expect nukes to be turned off and on at a moments notice. Wind is part of Ontario’s
electricity system functioning with other forms of generation to meet demand as

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) doesn’t find wind power a

In the IESO report on electricity production in 2010, the CEO, Paul Murphy, said wind
generation is starting to play an important role in meeting Ontario’s energy needs.
"Energy production from new renewable resources is accelerating, and we are revising
our operating policies and processes to integrate this new supply. At the same time, we
remain reliant on conventional sources of electricity, which provide the flexibility we need
to manage the grid."

The initial letter from Mr. Ron Hartlen follows:

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Stop tilting at windmills

Letter to the National Post
September 24, 2011
Dr. W. David Colby, acting medical officer of health, Chatham-Kent, Ont.

Re: Rural Family Sues Energy Company, Claiming Ill Effects From Wind Turbines, Sept. 22.
When I became the acting Medical Officer of Health for the municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ont., little did I know that I would be swept headlong into controversy about harnessing the wind. Three years ago I was asked to help make sense of the conflicting information about the effects of wind turbines on human health. After extensive research, I found no scientifically credible evidence that wind turbines eroded human health.
It is, admittedly, a complicated topic. Wind turbines do not produce unique sounds in terms of intensity or characteristics. There is also no convincing scientific evidence of an epidemiologic link between wind turbine sound exposure and health problems.
However, a very small number of people believe otherise. Wind-power opponents continue to make claims about sickness caused by "industrial" wind turbines, a term that sounds more threatening. However, 10 reviews have confirmed that there is no evidence of direct adverse health effects from wind turbines, when sited to comply with Ontario's noise regulations.
Furthermore, all the power-generation alternatives except solar energy are clearly worse. According to a study prepared for the Ontario government, coal plants cause nearly 250 deaths and more than 120,000 illnesses each year in the province.
So while I am sympathetic to concerns raised by local residents and agree that projects must be sited in a way that minimizes impact on local residents, when it comes to energy choices for healthy communities, I am confident that we shouldn't be tilting at windmills.
Dr. W. David Colby, acting medical officer of health, Chatham-Kent, Ont.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Sierra Club says that turbine health concerns are unfounded

The Real Truth About Wind Energy
Sierra Club Canada
August 18, 2011

For a pdf file, click here.

"Recently in Ontario, there has been backlash and opposition to wind power. As a leading Canadian environmental organization, Sierra Club Canada sees this reaction as an indication of the need to further evaluate the safety and value of wind turbines and wind farms. After a thorough review of the science we are confident in saying there is no evidence of significant health effects that should prevent the further development and implementation of wind turbines, wind farms and wind energy. In fact, the further development of wind energy as a growing portion of our energy supply will reduce direct carbon emissions, improve the quality of the air we breathe, and generally improve the health and well-being of Canadians, our families and the environment in which we live."

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

U of Waterloo announces wind turbine health study

Here's an important announcement about an independent wind turbine health study.  You can find the announcement here

The Noise about wind turbines

People who live near wind farms often report that noise and vibrations caused by wind turbines are creating sleep disruptions and other health-related problems. Yet, there is
an absence of convincing evidence in scientific literature to support the assertion that wind turbine noise does indeed cause significant adverse health effects. Philip Bigelow, an
environmental epidemiologist, and Stephen McColl, a risk assessment researcher specializing in environmental health, are joining forces with renewable energy specialists in
Waterloo’s Energy Research Centre and other experts across campus to investigate potential impacts of renewable energy technologies on the health of rural populations.

“We’ve assembled a multidisciplinary team in order to carry out one of the first in-depth
clinical and epidemiological assessments on the human health eĆ ects of both audible and low frequency sound from wind turbines,” explains Bigelow. “By including nursing professionals and other specialized health expertise on the team, we’re hoping to use clinical and biological markers of stress to examine the association of exposure to wind turbine noise with sleep disturbances, fatigue, headache, depression, and other psychophysiological problems.”

Bigelow and McColl acknowledge that wind turbines are the fastest growing renewable energy technology in Canada and believe their research will be vital to better understanding the impact of wind power on the health of individuals and communities. Their goal is to
contribute to the development of less intrusive energy technologies, and help to inform
planning and practices that address potential health issues.

Martin Cohn's great new phrase: "turbine truthers"

The Star
September 19, 2011
Martin Regg Cohn

Energy flashpoints and the politics of power

That's the title of a recent article exploring the issue of electricity in the upcoming Ontario election.  In the article, Martin Cohn questions the objectives of those who want to undermine the whole green energy program:

"That’s the objective of a hardy band of mostly rural protesters and transplanted urbanites who shadow McGuinty across the province, berating him for pressing ahead with wind turbines. No credible studies show evidence of harm, but these righteous turbine truthers have forsworn the science, swear by their headaches, and harangue anyone who questions their questioning."

Monday, 19 September 2011

New study confirms: no link between wind turbine noise and "physiological health effects"

Yes to Renewable Energy
September 18, 2011
Ben Courtice

new study “Health Effects and Wind Turbines: A Review of the Literature” has just been published in the academic journal Environmental Health (14 September 2011).
The review, by  Loren D Knopper and Christopher A Ollson, reviews the peer-reviewed scientific literature, government agency reports, and the most prominent information found in popular literature on the subject. As the abstract notes, “People interested in this debate turn to two sources of information to make informed decisions: scientific peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals and the popular literature and internet.”
In a classic understatement, the abstract notes that “conclusions of the peer reviewed literature differ in some ways from those in the popular literature.” On the one hand, “no peer reviewed articles demonstrate a direct causal link between people living in proximity to modern wind turbines, the noise they emit and resulting physiological health effects.” On the other, “In the popular literature, self-reported health outcomes are related to distance from turbines and the claim is made that infrasound is the causative factor for the reported effects, even though sound pressure levels are not measured.”
“While it is acknowledged that noise from wind turbines can be annoying to some and associated with some reported health effects (e.g., sleep disturbance), especially when found at sound pressure levels greater than 40 db(A), given that annoyance appears to be more strongly related to visual cues and attitude than to noise itself, self reported health effects of people living near wind turbines are more likely attributed to physical manifestation from an annoyed state than from wind turbines themselves.”
The abstract concludes that “assessing the effects of wind turbines on human health is an emerging field and conducting further research into the effects of wind turbines (and environmental changes) on human health, emotional and physical, is warranted. “
Read the rest of Ben Courtice's blog here

Sunday, 18 September 2011

First wind turbines in Grey Highlands

Here are a few pictures of the first turbines in Grey Highlands.  Only eight more to go.

Please help Tyler Hamilton

“A brilliantly written page turner…” James Hoggan, chair David Suzuki Foundation 
“This book’s strong appeal should transcend all borders.” Library Journal 
MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Morrison PHONE: 416-856-9807 E-MAIL: WEBSITE: 
Harnessing electricity from tornados. Beaming solar power from outer space. Neil Young’s electric-vehicle dreams. 
Journalist and green technology expert Tyler Hamilton explores some unconventional attempts to solve the world’s energy crisis in his new book Mad Like Tesla
TORONTO (Sept. 19, 2011) – A new book on energy innovation by award-winning columnist Tyler Hamilton goes behind the headlines to explore the risky, sometimes whacky but highly promising technologies that could wean the world from fossil fuels and help humanity avert the worst effects of climate change. 
Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and Their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy (ECW Press) tells the stories of entrepreneurs and inventors who are thinking outside the box and putting it all on the line to solve the world’s energy crisis. But it also highlights their enormous struggle to be taken seriously in an increasingly sceptical world and the many barriers they face along their journey. 

Meet Louis Michaud, a retired engineer who wants to create – and ultimately harness the energy from -- monster tornados using the waste heat from industrial facilities. 

Get to known Michel Laberge, who quit his high-paying job in the technology sector when he turned 40 to embark on a mission to build a nuclear fusion reactor on the cheap. 

Learn about Gary Spirnak’s plans to launch a massive solar power plant into space by 2016 and beam the energy back to earth using microwaves. 

Find out why Canadian rocker Neil Young approached an inventor in Ottawa who claims he can build the seemingly impossible: an electric car that charges itself during acceleration. 

Whether discussing algae that “fart” ethanol or household fan blades designed to mimic shapes commonly found in nature, Hamilton – also an adjunct professor of environmental studies at York University and editor-in-chief of Corporate Knights magazine – celebrates the art of risk-taking at a time when we need it most. His book also recognizes that the willingness to fail is the best path to successful technology breakthroughs, even if the journey can drive some mad. 
For more information please visit or, to arrange an interview with Tyler Hamilton, contact Kevin Morrison (phone: 416-856-9807; e-mail:

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Ontario farm property values hit record levels

September 14, 2011

Ontario farm property values hit record levels contrary to claims by opponents to wind energy 

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) today welcomed news that the majority of Ontario's agricultural regions have enjoyed a significant increase in prices for farm land over 2010 prices. The RE/MAX Market Trends Report - Farm Edition 2011 released Sept. 12 found rising agricultural commodity values and tight inventory levels have contributed to a significant upswing in the price of Ontario farmland in 2011.

For the full story, click here

Friday, 16 September 2011

Dufferin Wind Power holds first open house

The early crowd at the Dufferin Wind Power/Farm Owned Power (Melancthon)’s first public information session Monday appeared more intent on learning about the proposal than criticizing it, but an undercurrent of opposition nonetheless appeared evident

Read the full story here

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bird glass collisions kill up to a billion per year

New York Times
September 15, 2011
Lisa Foderaro

New York is a major stopover for migratory birds on the Atlantic flyway, and an estimated 90,000 birds are killed by flying into buildings in New York City each year, the Audubon group says. Often, they strike the lower levels of glass facades after foraging for food in nearby parks. Some ornithologists and conservationists say such crashes are the second-leading cause of death for migrating birds, after habitat loss, with estimates of the national toll ranging up to a billion a year.

Read about some possible solutions from the complete story here

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Can coal come clean or is wind the future?

The Globe and Mail
September 12, 2011
Josh Wingrove

It was seven years ago that Ontario farmer Bruce Ribey first considered the notion: Would he allow wind-power
turbines to be built on his land?

There'd be money in it, but wind power was largely uncharted territory for Mr. Ribey and his neighbours near the
shores of Lake Huron. His family worried about noise, wildlife welfare and health impacts.

All that was outweighed, however, by another factor - Mr. Ribey's nephew has asthma and suffered on the smoggiest
of Ontario's summer days. As the province looked to ditch coal power and clean its skies, Mr. Ribey wanted to be a
part of it. Three 80-metre-high turbines now stand on his farm.

Follow Bruce Ribey's story here.

WCO publishes that wind profits are negligible

John Harrison, a retired Queens University physics professor has just published an analysis showing that wind turbine developers in Ontario are just scraping by.   

This finding is in stark contrast to claims made by Wind Concerns Ontario's (WCO) John Laforet that "[Those who push industrial wind .... are mere puppets for someone's profit...]".   Ironically, Harrison is a Director of Research, Association to Protect Amherst Island - an organization that is closely associated with WCO.

The paper, that can be accessed here, poses the argument that:

• the optimistic predictions of the wind energy developers are unlikely to be met or sustained
• there are significant risk factors associated with wind energy in Ontario
• despite the above-market prices offered by the Ontatio Government under the RESOP and FIT programs and despite the 20-year length of the contract, investors are unlikely to see the long-term return on investment that they might expect for a development with such risk factors.

Obviously, Dr. Harrison is trying to scare wind power investors away from Ontario.  However, what we are seeing in Ontario is continued investment by sophisticated organizations with long histories of renewable energy development in many jurisdictions.  So, who is right and who is wrong?

Future postings on this blog will explore Dr. Harrison's paper with an eye to answering that question.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Next steps for Dufferin Wind Power & Farm Owned Power

Orangeville Banner
September 7, 2011
Chris Halliday

Chinese wind company eyes Dufferin

Many talk of the Boston-based hedge fund eyeing Melancthon, but what about a Chinese corporation supported wind farm proposed for Dufferin?
Dufferin Wind Power Inc. and Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) Ltd., which entered into a share purchase agreement with China Longyuan Power Group Corporation Limited in July, is proposing to develop a 100 MW wind farm, north of Shelburne, in Melancthon. 
After setting up a North American subsidiary corporation for the project, the Chinese company and its partners are hoping to bring a wind farm of about 45 to 55 turbines online, according to Mingyu Tang, senior vice-president of Dufferin Wind Power Inc. 
“I can give you a ballpark number like 45 to 55 (turbines),” Tang said. “It depends on the regulations according to the province.”
Furthermore, the wind project’s study area is currently about 6,000 acres in size. In addition, the project would require an about 34-kilometre 69 kV powerline to run from the wind farm in Melancthon through Mulmur and Amaranth, before connecting to the province’s electrical grid in Mono.

Continue reading ....

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Turmoil over Melancthon Council's meeting procedures

Orangeville Citizen
September 08, 2011
By Wes Keller

A local citizen has accused Melancthon Council of improperly going into in camera session to discuss a local wind project.

An independent report has now stated that there were irregularities in the meeting.  Mr. Osyany, counsel for Melancthon, countered that there were several inconsistencies between the findings of the investigator and the written record of the proceedings.

The investigation only concerned Council procedures and not the validity of any action arising from the session.

Read the full report ....

Wes Keller speaks out against WCO

Orangeville Citizen
September 08, 2011
Opinion by Wes Keller

Wes Keller responds to allegations by WCO that he had unfair access to documents from the Ministry of Environment.  He also clears the air on how wind generators are paid for their production.

Continue reading...

Public Meeting for 100MW Project in Melancthon, Sept. 12

Orangeville Citizen
September 08, 2011
By Wes Keller

The first public meeting for the proposed Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) Ltd./Dufferin Wind Power Inc. project in Melancthon has been set for this coming Monday, Sept. 12, in Horning’s Mills Community Hall at 6 p.m., followed by further sessions in Amaranth, Mono and Honeywood on successive evenings.
The 100-MW project had been described by original proponent 401 Energy as the largest community owned wind farm in Ontario. Toronto-based Dufferin Wind has since purchased the interest of 401 Energy in the project.

Anti-winders called "goons" and "foreigners"

The Star
Friday, September 09

Balanced reporting from John Spears at The Star including a good interview with Jutta Splettstoesser, President of Friends of Wind Ontario, and some of her neighbours in the Kincardine area.

Continue reading ...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Grey Highlands Councillors forgot interests of ratepayers

Orangeville Citizen September 9, 2011
Letter to the Editor

In response to Ernest Horvath’s letter in your August 25, 2011 issue: We get the government we deserve if we don’t speak up.

In his letter, Ernest Horvath of Meaford says an ad the Ontario Highlands Friends of Wind Power ran in the Dundalk and Flesherton weeklies about the antics of four Grey Highlands councillors made him angry.

We didn’t mean to make Mr. Horvath angry. We only meant to remind the ratepayers of Grey Highlands that four councillors have forgotten about their interests.

Mr. Horvath is confused as well as angry.

He seems to think all the ratepayers in Grey Highlands are wind opponents. We are pretty sure that wind opponents are a noisy minority that care about their own interests not the community’s.

Read more here

Wind opponents hate truth

Orangeville Citizen, September 9, 2011
Letter to the Editor

The first thing that your readers should understand about Lorrie Gillis (“Families have walked away,” 01.09.11) is that she is a wind opponent.

The second thing is that she lives nowhere near wind turbines, although a project was proposed near her, has no technical knowledge about turbines but she has made it her business to harass and intimidate anyone who is interested in wind turbines or supports wind development.

The third thing is that she uses stories about people she says are suffering from wind turbines to pretend that turbines make people sick.

Read the rest here

Eccles stares down WCO's Laforet

Shouting and blowing whistles, wind opponents try to prevent Liberal candidate, Kevin Eccles, from answering questions at fundraising event Wednesday evening.

Click here for the full story.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It ain't always easy being green, but it's damn important.

This email is from Don Ross, a Friend of Wind.


Ontario’s election is beginning, and the future of our clean energy economy is at stake. Thanks to Ontario’s world-class Green Energy Act, thousands of people across our province have new, well-paying jobs creating clean energy for our economy, our communities and our future.

Yet, just as this landmark legislation is building economic momentum for Ontario, some candidates are threatening to rip up the Green Energy Act if they get elected. Gutting the Green Energy Act would kill thousands of clean energy jobs and halt billions of dollars of investments. Worse yet, it would make Ontario more dependent on dirty, expensive and unjust energy sources that pollute our air and heat up our climate. It’s actually a life and death issue: air pollution from dirty power in Ontario contributes to thousands of premature deaths, alarming asthma rates, and lung disease, especially among children.

In this election, we can do something about it. The bottom-line is simple: the candidates want our votes, and that gives us a lot of power if we act together.

More coverage on London event

The Orangeville Citizen
September 1, 2011

The Orangeville Citizen reported on the lineup of speakers for the Friends of Wind Ontario public information session being held in London on September 8.

Click here for details.

Jutta Splettstoesser, President of Friends of Wind Ontario responded to questions about allegations that her husband had removed anti-wind signs.

The article stated that the "South Bruce OPP said that three complaints of sign theft have been called in since July 1 but that Mr. Spletstoesser's name was not connected to any of the complaints or investigations."

Wind advocates look to London for support

Jutta Spletstoesser, President of Friends of Wind Ontario, is featured in this article from the Londoner, September 1, 2011

Friends of Wind Information Meeting London Sept 8, 2011

The next wind energy information meeting will take place Thursday, September 8th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Wolf Performance Hall Central Library London, 251 Dundas Street.

Speakers will include:

Open Minded toward Wind Energy – Jutta Splettstoesser, President, Friends of Wind Ontario

Why Doctors Support Wind Power! – Gideon Forman, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Ontario is looking for a Green, Prosperous Future – Paul Seccaspina, CEO of Oraclepoll Research Limited

Impact of the WindEEE Institute at UWO for the Southwestern Ontario Region - Horia Hangan, Director of UWO Wind Tunnel & Project Lead, WindEEE

Potential of Renewable Energy in London – Vinay Sharma, CEO, London Hydro

Click here for details of the event.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

REpower to supply turbines for Grey Highlands project

REpower Systems has been awarded a contract with WindWorks Power Corp. for a total of 25 wind turbines for five projects in Ontario. Five turbines are destined for the Grey Highlands project that has already been awarded a Feed in Tariff (FIT) contract from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). For more details from REpower, click here.

For more detail of the Grey Highlands Wind Park click here.

Jutta Stands up to WCO


Jutta Splettstoesser, President of Friends of Wind Ontario attended a WCO meeting in Stratford, where she was quoted:

"Why do we need more studies when there are many people all over the world living with wind turbines that proves there are no health effects."


As published in the Owen Sounds Sun Times September 2, 2011

On August 24, you published a letter from Lorrie Gillis of Grey Highlands. She wants your readers to believe two things.

She wants them to believe that wind turbines harm people’s health and there is new evidence, published in a peer reviewed scientific journal that proves this is so.

Ms. Gillis is wrong about both these things.

There is absolutely no evidence that properly sited wind turbines directly harm people’s health.

This is what an Environmental Review Tribunal found as part of its review of Suncor’s Kent Breeze Wind Farm Project. The Tribunal’s purpose was to determine if turbines in Ontario could cause serious harm to human health.

Ms. Gillis claims that the Tribunal actually found that they do.

It did no such thing.

Specifically, the Tribunal said the following:

“The evidence presented by the Appellants, in totality, establishes that there may be an association between exposure to noise from wind turbines and certain indirect health effects, but the evidence is not sufficient to establish a causal connection at the distances and/or noise levels for this Project.” (page 192-193)

“In this proceeding, the Tribunal finds that there is insufficient evidence to establish that noise predicted to be produced at the Kent Breeze Project will cause indirect harm to such a serious degree that will cause serious harm to human health.” (page 197)

In summary, the Tribunal found no evidence that turbines directly harm people’s health or will indirectly cause serious harm to human health.

Ms. Gillis claims that a survey, WindVOiCe, produced by wind opponents, Wind Concerns Ontario, is a “valid health survey.” This document was part of the evidence the Tribunal considered but it did not convince them there were any health problems caused by wind turbines in Ontario.

The problem with the survey is that it isn’t a survey at all. There is no control group. It is a summary of reports from people who say they suffer non-specific symptoms they think are caused by wind turbines.

There is no “new” evidence in the special edition of the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society that Ms. Gillis suggests show that turbines harm human health. It’s effectively the same material that the Tribunal discounted in making their findings.

You won’t find references to the “Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society” in places where you should find them such as Thomson-Reuters, the firm used by universities to assess their researchers. In other words, it’s not a recognized scientific journal.

Even the peer-review process appears suspicious because the Bulletin’s editor stated his anti-wind bias in the preface and the special wind edition of the Bulletin was rushed into print in a fraction of the time most journals require.

All journals require a Conflict of Interest statement. The authors fail to declare that they are members of anti-wind advocacy groups

The fact is that there is no evidence that wind turbines that meet Ontario’s regulatory requirements either directly or indirectly harm people’s health.

You have to wonder why Ms. Gillis and other wind opponents continue to say things about wind turbines that are not true.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Response to Peter Gillis


August 31, 2011

It seems that the Ontario Highlands Friends of Wind Power’s ad that appeared in your paper two weeks ago has provoked wind opponents to new levels of outrage and hyperbole.

In his letter, Peter Gillis talks about “tax grabs” and “industrial wind tax subsidy troughs.” It is colourful language but meaningless because Mr. Gillis doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Here are the facts.

Wind power generators receive no tax dollars. Let me repeat that - wind power generators receive no tax dollars.

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) contracts to buy power from generators. If the generators don’t produce power that OPA buys and sells to consumers, then they don’t earn any money The generators invest their money and take the risk that they have calculated the strength of the wind and other things that may limit the power they produce.

Power users pay for the power only if they receive it.

There is no difference between the OPA contracting to buy gas powered electricity (at 11¢/kWh) or wind powered electricity (at 8.5 to 13.5¢/kWh). This is the cost to generate power from the units being built to replace obsolete coal units. It will be even higher when it comes time to pay for the new nuclear units.

Mr. Gillis also implies that people who support wind power destroy signs, shoot mail boxes and harass wind opponents. This is a serious allegation. Presumably, Mr. Gillis has evidence that it is true. If not he should be careful what he says.

We understand that someone recently shot at Mr. Gillis’s mail box. This information is on the Municipality of Grey Highlands public record.

We know how that feels. Someone took a shot gun to a colleague’s mailbox three or four years ago. This is more than mindless vandalism. It feels like a threat and it should not happen to anyone. My colleague had no reason to assume wind opponents were responsible for this vandalism. Neither should Mr. Gillis assume the vandalism in his case has anything to with those who support wind.

Wind opponents have harassed, intimidated, and threatened those who support wind for years, by telephone, by messages left in their mail boxes and in person.

It is standard tactics for wind opponents to disrupt information meetings by wind companies and to picket them so that folks who are legitimately interested in finding out the facts about wind are hindered.

It may be natural for Mr. Gillis to assume that people who support wind would resort to the same tactics but he would be wrong to so.

Mr. Gillis does not do our community any good by making baseless allegations. People who have been, and are being, harassed and intimidated by wind opponents know well how this feels and are unlikely to do it to others.

I will be living close to five of the Plateau turbines. I have known my neighbours for twenty years. They will also be living close to them.

After talking to many landowners in Melancthon and other municipalities with wind turbines, I have no concerns for our health or our property values and neither do my neighbours.

Contrary to Mr. Gillis’s ill-informed comments, there is no particular risk to his or his neighbours health and well being.

The taxes on wind turbines will help the community; as will the royalties received by my neighbours. Most of those royalties will be spent locally. As the old saying goes, "Give a farmer a dollar and he'll keep it circulating.”

Malcolm Hamilton

Proton Station