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Ministry approves 27 wpd turbines in ‘unwilling host’ County

Approval for 27 of 29 industrial wind turbines has been received by wpd White Pines Wind Incorporated (wpd Canada) for the White Pines project in South Marysburgh and Athol wards.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) announced approval Thursday for the $195-200 million 20-year project.

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff called the news “disturbing” and stated the county remains an unwilling host. He is “appalled the provincial government continues to ignore rural Ontario municipalities.

“Let me make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that we in Prince Edward County do not want industrial wind turbines. Period. We remain an unwilling host and to date the province has ignored us and wpd has ignored us. In fact they’ve hid behind the GEA (Green Energy Act) and are hell bent on ruining the peace and joy of our residents that live here.”

Quaiff is a member of the Wainfleet Working Group supporting 90 “Unwilling Host” municipalities in Ontario to help address their concerns with industrial wind turbines.

Controversy has surrounded the wpd project, just as it has the nine turbine Gilead Power project at Ostrander Point which is heading back to the Environmental Review Tribunal to make a case for “remedy” that would protect the threatened Blanding’s Turtles. The Ontario Court of Appel reversed a lower court ruling regarding a REA approval. The decision reinstated the initial finding of the ERT that turbines would cause the turtles “serious and irreversible harm”.

Myrna Wood, president of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, said members are astounded that the government is going ahead with approvals of industrial developments in a significant wildlife habitat area which was brought to light by their tribunal appeal.

“A broad swath of land on the Prince Edward County South Shore, essential to wildlife survival, will be destroyed because the provincial government will not live up to its responsibility for preserving Endangered Species,” she said. “The province should allow conservancy trusts to preserve this land which is important to the County’s nature-based economy and move energy generation projects to brownfields where they belong.”

wpd is hoping for smooth sailing. Since 2012, wpd has been involved in a neighbour against neighbour $14 million civil lawsuit that was later dropped and a judicial review.

“We’re hopeful we can begin construction this fall or next spring,” said Kevin Surette, wpd spokesman. “Our application was submitted to the MOECC in September 2013 and we are confident it has undergone a comprehensive review.”

Public Consultation on the proposal was provided for 60 days, from March 11, 2014 to May 10, 2014. The Ministry states it received a total of 155 comments: 95 comments were received in writing and 60 were received online.

Any resident of Ontario may require a hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) within 15 days after July 16, 2015 by written notice.

Click here for full details on the decision, on comments and concerns and addresses.

The REA requires wpd to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility with 21 conditions:

-comply with the Ministry’s noise emission limits at all times
-submit an updated acoustic assessment report for the approved turbines that excludes turbines T07 and T11 within 10 days of the date of the approval
-carry out an acoustic emission audit of the sound levels produced by the operation of the equipment and the wind turbine generators
-submit a site-specific Stormwater Management Plan and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, as outlined, to the Ministry at least one month prior to the commencement of construction, and to not commence construction until the plans have been approved in writing by the Director
-monitor turbidity levels, as outlined
-collect water samples to be analyzed for total suspended solids, as outlined
-not take more than 50,000 litres of water per day
-design, construct and operate a spill containment system, as outlined
-implement the post construction natural heritage monitoring program, which includes bird and bat monitoring
-contact the Director and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry if any of the bird and bat mortality thresholds -are exceeded and implement the operational mitigation measures, as outlined
-ensure that activities requiring authorization under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 will not commence until necessary authorizations are in place
-follow avoidance techniques for Blanding’s Turtles, as outlined
-implement the recommendations for the protection of cultural heritage resources and protected properties, as outlined
prepare a Traffic Management Plan to be provided to Prince Edward County and enter into a Road Users Agreement
-make reasonable efforts to keep Prince Edward County informed of construction and operation activities associated with the facility, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that all commitments made to Prince Edward County are met
-prepare an Emergency Response and Communications Plan to address each Project phase (construction, operation and decommissioning)
-properly address any archaeological resources discovered
-create a community liaison committee with members of the public and with the Applicant
-maintain ongoing communication with interested Aboriginal communities
-maintain records of the operation and maintenance of equipment and inspections and complaints related to the facility, and
-notify the Ministry of complaints received alleging adverse effect caused by the construction, installation, operation, use or retirement of the facility.


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  1. Elsie says:

    These turbines are the wrong kind of green. $$$. Simple as that.

  2. Chuck says:

    Hey Wynne, over half of the $21,000,000,000 provincial sales tax goes to pay the interest on your +300 Billion debt. So let’s offer new manufactures a free turbine for starting up business in Ontario. Oh, you say we would but they cannot provide reliable power! Well then just stickem in a tourist and ecosystem sensitive area and pay someone else to take our excess power! Ok, makes perfect sense.

  3. Susan says:

    What are we 300 Billion in debt and throwing away more to foreign profit makers for an ill conceived product. They must be good salesmen or saleswomen.

  4. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Ah Sam your quote is more than appropriate a huge part of the debate is “do the best you can until you know better …” best and better are in question with this government and how it implemented the GEA. According to The Auditor generals report in 2011:

    Although the Ministry consulted with stakeholders in developing the supply-mix directives, the LTEP, and the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, billions of dollars were committed to renewable energy without fully evaluating the impact, the trade-offs, and the alternatives through a comprehensive business-case analysis. Specifically, the
    OPA, the OEB, and the IESO acknowledged that:
    • no independent, objective, expert investigation had been done to examine the potential
    effects of renewable-energy policies on prices, job creation, and greenhouse gas emissions;
    • no thorough and professional cost/benefit analysis had been conducted to identify
    potentially cleaner, more economically productive, and cost-effective alternatives to
    renewable energy, such as energy imports and increased conservation.

  5. Marie says:

    There was a local plebiscite in Milford a few years ago in which 90% of South Marysburgh residents voted AGAINST having wind turbines near their houses. Since then not one land owner who plans to rent his land to White Pines has come forward to back out of the agreement. He would be a hero to the community and also be probably sued to the gills by the wind company. I’m sure his neighbours would have a bake sale to help with his legal costs though

  6. Olmanonthemtn says:

    There was 6% difference in the popular vote between the Liberals and the PC’s yet the Liberals received double the seats which were highly concentrated in urban areas and in particular in the GTA. How does this represent the unique needs of all regions of Ontario
    and ensure we have government that is responsible to all its citizens.

  7. Sam says:

    Ok Old Man, you don’t like democracy, what do you propose? Is it our democratic system that you don’t like, or are you just angry because the system is not working for you?

    It is not just people in the GTA that support renewable energy. A Quinte News poll from a few days ago with over 1000 votes showed 80% support for the White Pines wind farm. People are getting tired of only being part of the problem. A generational shift is happening. Renewables are being embraced by people, governments and corporations around the world. TV and print ads are featuring wind turbines in background images while advertising totally unrelated products. Sole of the large fossil fuel energy providers, recognizing that they are working with a resource who’s time is nearing an end, are switching to wind, solar and geo-thermal power generation. There is a better way.

    You like quotes, so here is one for you: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou.

    Renewables are better. They don’t run 100% of the time, but when they are available they are reducing our usage of fossil fuels. And with our current supply of less than 10%, the grid doesn’t require any more backup supply than it would without renewables. There is always the need for spinning reserve so that when any of the conventional generators cutout unexpectedly the entire grid does not suffer a cascading failure, like in 2003.

    Once we get some grid-level storage online things will really open up and renewables will have the ability to take a much larger role in powering our province.

    Things are changing. We are no longer burning coal in Ontario. We are starting to do better. The majority want the change.

  8. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Right on Susan! I’ve quoted Lord Acton before but I guess it bears repeating:

    “The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”

  9. Susan says:

    Perhaps. But when the will of the GTA masses turn a blind eye to rural Ontario and use them as a food supplier, a playground and a place to devastate that environment with no regard to local views there just may be a problem with the process.

  10. Sam says:

    “Democracy is being trampled, ignored and removed”.


    Power generation policy falls within the jurisdiction of the provincial government. There have been two provincial elections since the Green Energy Act was introduced in 2009. The Liberals ran on a policy of renewable energy and the PCs ran against renewables. The Liberals now hold the majority. Sounds like democracy to me.

    If it truly is undemocratic then somebody would challenge it in court.

    Just because you don’t like something doesn’t automatically make it undemocratic.

  11. Susan says:

    I read it. One of the biggest scams ever to make it. $$! Coming to Prince Edward County soon.

  12. Chuck says:

    Link didn’t work Hmmm. Just google “dangers of wind turbines”. Easy, good read that says a lot.

  13. Chuck says:

    I will just leave this;

  14. Emily says:

    Democracy is being trampled, ignored and removed. $$ have to be the reason. Follow the $$’s they say and there will lay the answer.

  15. Marie says:

    Shame on the landowners who sold out their neighbours for some quick cash and kudos to those few farmers who resisted White Pines “easy money”

  16. Gail says:

    It isn’t Green. It is costing taxpayers and driving out businesses from Ontario. Want to go Green….put up your own solar panels and in 20 yrs. be self sufficient. We don’t benefit in PEC from the Turbines(Industrial) and their energy to us. Nature and habitats as well wildlife, property values, quiet and peaceful enjoyment of peoples property and of course……do you think tourists want to see Industry where they vacation and get away from it all? For Farmers, they depend on credit to farm for equipment….what happens when they are devalued because a neighbour signed on? Earth worms vacate the soil due to vibration….cement instead of agricultural soil if not aerated.
    HUGE… a place where WATER is dear…. they use 50,000 litres of water each per day. Where is that coming from? We live on limestone and rock. Will a neighbours well be affected. This needs to have some serious studies before proceeding. “All that Glitters is not Gold” nor is it “GREEN” Definitely not democratic when we have voiced, “Not a Willing Host”. If you haven’t seen them go north of Shelburne or down in Chatham. They are overwhelming. When they don’t move they depend on Gas/oil and when they do and there is to much, we give it away. Hmmmm……some more thought before putting in 4 acres of cement and rebar plus a structure we will see like Waupoos to Wolfe Is. 35 miles away

  17. Susan says:

    Yes I knew they were widely used. Not convinced by the website. No rage just dismayed.

  18. Sam says:

    Susan, your information is incorrect. The rare-earth elements (properly known as neodymium iron boron) are used in some of the smaller direct-drive turbines, typically less than 100kWs in size. The modern multi-megawatt turbines use either synchronous generators or double-fed induction generators. Both of these use copper wound rotors and stators. You can verify this information on the turbine manufacturer’s web site.

    With a little research, you will also find that the rare-earth magnets are also used in things like computer hard drives, hospital MRIs, stepper motors in machining tools, guitar pickups, cordless drills, cell phones and ear-bud headphones.

    This would be a good time to redirect your rage toward Best Buy and Home Hardware. They both sell items containing rare-earth magnets.

  19. Chad says:

    I was recently in the Manitoulin Island’s where wind turbines have now been erected. I took notice during our week long stay that there were no bats flying around at dusk unlike our previous visits to the area. Some local residents informed me that the bats left shortly after the wind turbines were turned on. The area where we were at was located across the water a fair distance away from the turbines and still no bats in the area. The mosquito population was in full effect though and residents had also informed me that the amount of mosquito’s was significantly higher than before the wind turbines were installed. So with that said… how many diseases are you willing to put up with that mosquito’s carry. If their population increases so does the risk of disease… NO THANKS!

  20. Chuck says:

    Given that the governments Environmental Review Tribunal has rejected a wind turbine site next door why would this be approved? Is the ERT just a shill and the government already knows they will persevere?

  21. Susan says:

    Industrial Wind Turbines contain rare earth minerals primarily made in China. Areas where these minerals are mined are now ghost towns due to the horrific polluted sites. And the sellers of the snake oil will tell us it is Green! Lol

  22. Sam says:

    You want to see a hole? These renewables are nothing compared to the hole we are about to dig with the refurbishment of the nuclear fleet. Wind at $0.135 per kWh is going to be the best deal around in 5 years. Our current minor “electricity surplus” will soon be a major electricity deficit when Pickering Nuclear is mothballed. And it will be the same people complaining that the government should have anticipated the need for new power generation that are currently complaining about the the “surplus”. Shortsighted reasoning only works if you are a politician or you are not planning on being here for another 10 years.

  23. Mark says:

    When a government has racked up a debt beyond comprehension and continual down a road of needless spending i.e. energy we do no require it is like cutting off their nose despite their face. When you have dug a hole this large logic would tell you to stop digging! Insane.

  24. David Norman says:

    Condition # 12
    “follow avoidance techniques for Blanding’s Turtles, as outlined”

    Why, there must be at least 50 ways to avoid harming or killing a Blandings turtle… I can think of six off-hand;

    -keep your turbines at bay, (Ian) MacRae
    -don’t be in such a hurry, (Ray) Curry
    -put the turbines on stall, (Brent) Hall
    -play a little more fair, Khlaire (Parre)
    -don’t send Emys to heaven, Kevin (Surette)
    -try not to be turtle mean, Charlene (Reekie)

    and there must be more.

  25. wevil says:

    will be nice to see some wind turbines

  26. Emily says:

    @Lyn, I wonder what happens when the wind doesn’t blow like today? Are you suggesting wind power can be stored?

  27. Chuck says:

    It is divisive. Some community friends and neighbours will become enemies. Especially when you can”t sell your life savings property next to a turbine.

  28. Vic says:

    Funny no one has mentionned the “willing hosts” – the landowners who agreed to rent their land to the industrial wind turbine folks. Who are they and does money mean more than their friends and neighbours? If they had said “No!” then we would not be having this discussion. Greed does funny things to folks!

  29. Lyn says:

    A couple of County owned wind turbines would keep us all in power and off the OPG system. While travelling through the west of America, many small towns have a wind turbine and supplies their hydro. Countries such as Norway gets 140% of its hydro from turbines and sells the extra to other European countries.

  30. Mark says:

    I heard Gary Mooney on the radio this morning calling for citizens to get involved. We need to step up and show our objections.

  31. Susan says:

    I wish someone could track the $$ trail on this. It makes no conservation or economic sense so it has to be a government money deal. We do not require the energy as those costs have driven away manufacturing, we do not want and can sustain the costs and why oh why would you pollute a natural environment? This will be a war.

  32. Chris Keen says:

    This is what is in store for the South Shore if either of the proposed projects goes through!! The destruction constructing these IWTs is staggering.

  33. lou lou says:

    alternative, green energy is all great.its not about that………Its about WHERE they are doing it ……is this issue.

    why are they calling it White pines?…thats a joke.
    those things dont blend into the environement like a tree.

    just trying to find grounds for them

    I Bet muskoka million dollar homes would not be getting these

  34. Chris Keen says:

    @Gilbert – wpd is a German company … their website is .de. They may have a few actual employees, the rest are hired guns. The oversight is telling indeed!!

  35. Jennifer says:

    I’m happy that the county is getting wind turbines!!!! I’m all for them.

  36. Elsie says:

    I noticed that on their website as well, Gilbert. It’s not a small detail. It just shows how little they care for our communities.

  37. Gilbert says:

    This might be a small detail but to my mind highlights a complete lack of respect from the company to the place they are using for profit: The White Pines website says the turbines will be built in Atholl and South Marysburg. They managed to spell both place names wrong. There are signs. Have they even visited the location?

  38. Sandy Blackford says:

    Have I missed something here? What happens when the turbines are past their prime and need to be dismantled? In some of my travels I have seen old turbines in varying degrees of disrepair just littering the countryside. Do we really want this to happen in our beautiful County? And …what’s in it for us?

  39. Elsie says:

    Except these are neither environmentally friendly or financially stable… The cost will outweigh the benefits.

  40. Sidney says:

    Happy for windturbines! We need to be more environmentally friendly and stable.

  41. doug says:

    so much for wynne and her inclusion policy.

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