SouthPoint Wind jumped the gun! Oh for heaven’s sakes!

Wind turbine forums premature, MPP says

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Credit:  By Gary Rennie, The Windsor Star, 16 April 2010

Essex MPP Bruce Crozier says the proponent of a multibillion-dollar
700-turbine wind energy project for Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair never
got approval to access either of the lakebeds.

Crozier said there isn’t even an official application to the province
for what would be the biggest renewable energy project — 1,400
megawatts — ever pitched in Canada.

Leamington’s SouthPoint Wind should never have begun the public
consultation process that’s generated so much controversy, Crozier
said in a telephone interview Thursday. “There is no application at
this time.”

Without a “site release approval” from the ministry of natural
resources, the company can’t even make an application to the Ontario
Power Authority for a renewable energy contract, Crozier said. “These
are Crown lands.”

Without an application to the OPA, holding public meetings is
premature, Crozier said.

In newspaper advertisements by the company about its March 27
meetings, ministry logos were wrongly used to give the impression that
a required consultation process was underway, Crozier said.

Crozier said the confusion about the approval process caused by
SouthPoint raises the need for additional regulations under the
province’s Green Energy Act. Some screening process may be needed to
eliminate projects from public review that have no hope of proceeding,
the MPP said.

Lakeshore councillors complained earlier this week that more than 300
of their residents couldn’t get into a 30-seat room booked for its
public meeting on the project. “Those meetings were a sham,” said
Lakeshore Coun. Al Fazio.

But in a letter to Leamington council, SouthPoint Wind president Jim
Liovas described the meetings “as extremely successful in giving the
public an overview of our project description as well as determining
the major areas of concern for local residents.”

In the coming months, Liovas promised to “begin to amass the studies
required” to make an application.

Crozier is warning county municipalities and the Essex Region
Conservation Authority not to spend $250,000 or more on consultants to
study a proposal that hasn’t gone beyond the idea stage.

“I don’t want to see any public funds spent,” Crozier said.


Filed under 1, YOTF Tour Blog

11 responses to “SouthPoint Wind jumped the gun! Oh for heaven’s sakes!

  1. MA

    Bruce Crozier fails to mention that his government has already allotted huge portions of the great lakes and particularly the Lake Erie shoreline for wind development. McGuinty is pushing this with all his might.

    Perhaps Southpoint won’t be the company to do this but Canadian Hydro Developers bought the rights from Wawatch Wind to build massive projects right where Southpoint was aiming too.

    It is not a matter of IF, with the GEA in place, it is a matter of who and when.

  2. MA

    Please note the new Wolfe Island offshore project has already been approved by the OPA….even before any guidelines are in place. This is also directly on a very important Migratory route.

    No one in the area had any idea this project was even in the works. Why alot precious grid capacity to this huge project without the presumption that it will be pushed through, no matter what.

  3. McGuinty and company have sold out the rules and regulations of Ontario so that corporate investors can get their hands on basically “free money” that belongs to Ontario Taxpayers!

    No regard for wildlife, landscapes, Health issues, communities not to mention the “mortgaging” of our children and their children’s future with deficits in the billions so that he can boast that Ontario is the “Renewable Capital of the World”!

    Nice legacy………..shame on all those who condone this in the name of FAKE GLOBAL WARMING!

  4. MA

    See map of planned wind development in Ontario….

    For people in Pigeon Bay to say that they are special are really missing the big picture here.

    • Mike Barnard

      As always, take MA’s interpretations with a large grain of salt. This is an assessment of potential sites with identification of the better ones under a limited assessment methodology, not a plan.

      (or you could take MAs exaggerations at face value and increase your stress levels, but unless you’re entertained by that, I wouldn’t recommend it)

      • MA

        You haven’t been following the applications, Mike.

        You really have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. The massive Wolfe Island offshore project was given OPA approval on April 8 without anyone in the community being aware of it.

        There are projects, like the Scarborough Bluffs offshore project that aren’t even recommended on these maps. being pushed through.

        A “little” bit of education and alot of arrogance seems to have made you an pseudo-expert on this issue. Cheers!

  5. I wouldn’t take too much comfort in Mr. Crozier’s comments…

    “Without a “site release approval” from the ministry of natural resources, the company can’t even make an application to the Ontario Power Authority for a renewable energy contract, Crozier said.”

    Afterall, the Wolfe Island offshore wind project was approved for a Feed In Tariff even though there are still no regulations in place and

    “Windstream must still obtain site lease approval for Crown land rights to the 19,200 hectares beneath Lake Ontario from the Ministry of Natural Resources.”

    If one project can get approved without MNR’s site approval and no offshore regulations in place… why can’t the other?

    Are we being fooled?

  6. marg09

    Answer to Bullfrog Power inquiriy: From Bullfrog Power:

    The short answer to
    your question is that to date we only partner with EcoLogo certified
    generators, and part of the criteria’s requirements are to study and
    mitigate impact on birds. However, we would like to tighten the Ecologo
    standard on several fronts.

    • MA

      The Melanchthon II and Wolfe Island projects were EcoLogo certified. They certainly DO need to tighten their standards…drastically.

  7. windaction

    A good article re: wind turbines on the lake:
    Thankfully people like Dr. Scott Petrie are speaking up. He takes his job as executive director of Long Point Waterfowl seriously…we need more people like him in this province.

    • Mike Barnard

      As the article says, “He [Dr. Petrie] pointed to Danish radar research that showed birds avoided turbines.” This would be the best infornation available internationally on waterfowl and wind turbines. It shows that they know to avoid them.

      Song birds, acknowledged to not be his area of expertise, migrate at 1000-4000 feet, hundreds to thousands of feet above wind turbine upper limits.

      Raptors do not migrate across bodies of water, but go around them.

      Bats are a more interesting question, as the data points in general are lower. Bats generally fly below the lowest height of moving blades (40-50m), but there is evidence of both roosting and attraction to insects around moving propellers. Bats generally migrate or hunt over open water only in low wind conditions (<9kph), when turbines aren't generating any energy (the standard GE 1.5MW/H wind turbine doesn't generate electricity until over 12kph.) More study is required where endangered species of bats migrate past wind farms, and mitigation approaches including delayed blade start up are probably reasonable with no impact on generation.

      His other concerns about vibrations and electrical currents are not based on any studies I've seen. Studies show that commercial and sport fishing increases around offshore windturbines due to the artificial reef effects increasing fish populations.

      Cause for further study? Sure. Cause for thinking through the implications? Sure. Cause for alarm, or evidence that wind turbines shouldn't be sited in the lakes? Not really.


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