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Residents ask council to rewind turbine decision

Turbine piece being moved through Picton  before the project was cancelled.  

Several residents addressing council’s committee of the whole Thursday afternoon want the County to change its industrial wind turbine designation from “unwilling” to “willing” host.

Don Chisholm addressed wind energy in relation to the County’s recently-declared climate emergency.

“We’re in times of climate emergency without the wind in our sails,” he stated.

“Energy is central to our problem, energy is central to its resolution. We are in one of the best areas of Ontario to capture the free flowing wind energy. Surely it’s time for PEC leaders to reverse unfortunate decisions of the past and to state that we acknowledge the climate emergency; we are now willing hosts for wind energy development; and we petition our province to re-engage the intent of the Green Energy Act.”

Rod Holloway added his support for council to change to an unwilling host and support the development of turbines, purchase electric cars, or fuel-efficient, for County use, and get moving on the environmental action committee.

“Now we need to act,” he said. “We have to stop dumping carbon into the atmosphere… We have about 10 years to change and you have to lead us. The other levels of government have dropped the ball.”

There are four turbines erected of the nine that had been approved for the White Pines development in South Marysburgh before the provincial government terminated the project last July.

“Tell the government you’ve changed your mind and will accept wind energy in the County,” said Holloway. “Allow the completion of all nine turbines. This will do a significant amount stopping carbon from going into the atmosphere. If we activate turbines at Milford, it will create affordable, clean renewable energy, reducing our reliance on carbon.”

Jennifer Ackerman, who has one of the cancelled turbines on her property, also requested the County revisit allowing turbines.

Her deputation sought a County-wide vote on the issue and wants people to hear about “devastating environmental impact of destroying the turbine sites, as well as the benefits offered by White Pines Development to help birds, turtles and farmers in the County.”

Gary Mooney, making a comment from the audience, reminded council of the vote in South Marysburgh in which 90 per cent of its residents did not want turbines built in the environmentally sensitive, and protected, area.

“We also raised $1.5 million in the fight against turbines – $10, $50, $250 at a time. That does not come from a small group of people. There is no significant support for turbines in the County.”

One of the first actions of the newly-elected provincial government in 2018 was to introduce legislation to cancel energy contracts, including wpd’s project that had been under development, and under fire from the community, for a decade to fight putting industrial turbines in the middle of a nationally-recognized wildlife area.

The German wind company’s initial plan was for 29 turbines but following years of legal battles, led by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, over protection of species at risk and heritage preservation, the project was reduced to nine. Only four of the 100-metre tall turbines were erected, but were not put into service before the legislation.

Adam Bramburger, constituency assistant for MPP Todd Smith, said Thursday he believes negotiations are ongoing with wpd in terms of decommissioning and compensation.

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    They are coming down, folks. The final regulations for their dismantling were posted today.

  2. Ron W. says:

    NO NO NO

    Turbines are killed and are to remain dead period. Knowone want to be looking at an array of WindMills in the skyline. We want Trees!! Green lush terrain. Electromagnetic effects is an issue to anything living in its proximity. People, wildlife etc.

    We have Megawatts of power moth balled due to low demand and a brand new additional Power Plant being built by Ontario Hydro at Napanee adjacent to the current one. Sustainable power is what is needed not climate whims from puffs of wind. These massive unit cannot be allow to be online if there a station outage for that reason as is solar cannot be feeding the grid so you lights are off when a grid source failure is in effect. Hence unreliable for that and many other reasons.

    As mentioned Quebec has ample power much of it from Hydro generating station of waterfalls which used to and likely still feed Haliburton area for example. Some small local efficient sources were taken off line and replaced with higher new carbon based stations merely because they could be controlled like a gas plant but cost more per KW production.


    Build your own in your backyard if you must have yours!

  3. Very little information coming out of the Ford government has been reliable or trustworthy.
    We witnessed with horror how the Ford government turned its back on environmental corrections in this province, when it scuttled the 50 million tree replacement program that would correct the destructive colonial practices of clear cutting, that reduced Ontario woodlots from 67% (1851) to 16% today.
    Thank “goodness”, that the Feds jumped in with some money to keep the tree replacement program going until we elect an environmentally responsible and ethical government.

  4. Susan says:

    Kinda ironic that when these unreliable turbines were being constructed, the proponent never objected to the mega tons of cement and rebar, truck after truck and heavy equipnent. Now a sudden concern!

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    The idea of passing the cost of removal onto the Liberal Party of Ontario is an interesting one. Can you imagine how much the Conservative Party would owe for their selling of Ontario Hydro and for reimbursing hydro users all that money we paid for “Debt Retirement?” Not forgetting of course how much Mike Harris cost us for amalgamating towns and cities, closing hospitals and schools, etc.. – oh and Walkerton!

  6. Rob #2 says:

    The bill for the removal of the turbines (if it ever actually happens) ought to be delivered to the Liberal Party of Ontario.

  7. Jennifer says:

    The same old outdated information still drives these anti wind people,The turbines are up,,, whatever environmental damage caused by erecting them or manufacturing them has already been done. To take 56 tons of intertwined iron and cement out of the ground nine times . will cause approx. 4 months of hoe rams , pounding the earth , relentlessly from dawn til dusk, will emit tons of emissions into the atmosphere, from approx. 1000 dump truck loads of wasted materials, to be loaded by bulldozers and diggers that all contribute to the use of fossil fuels, The roads will be full of loud smelly trucks,all throughout tourist season , On route to some land fill, these trucks will no doubt kill numerous forms of wildlife that will be on the roads , including turtles,,,,The deniers think that the land will be put back the way it was, and how do you suppose that could happen.? Can anyone explain how a tree that was removed during construction can be stood back up and brought to life, There were trees taken down , some dead ones , some old cedars, and , yes some nice maples, as is done with all construction, like the never ending cottage resorts and housing developments. That doesnt seem to concern APPEC at all. It seems it is more just the money people are bitter about, ( that your neighbour might actually benefit from a turbine,) then consider the amount you will be paying each month for many years to come, that is going to be added to your hydro bill, The cost to tax payers , that is owed to WPD is 100 million dollars, or more, That money that the Ford govt, is throwing away should be used for something beneficial to the planet, , ANYTHING at all , and NOT going backwards to create more pollution !! As far as the overused excuse that turbines hurt turtles, I have never seen a flying turtle, so how is it possible that, now that the construction of these turbines is done ,, that a turtle could be harmed by them ??
    , There are not turtles of any kind in an area where there is no water , no pond habitat, no aquatic plants , no water beetles or fish , for a turtle to eat ,,,,,,,,there are no turtles on scrub land. There are no turtles around the built turbine sites. As far as bird deaths go, we already know that your domestic cat kills more birds than any other cause of death in birds. and , wind turbines are lowest ., even less than your windows or cars, but I don,t see any one doing away with any of those, The majority of County residents were never invited to vote in the segregated South Marysburgh poll , many years ago. We all know it was set up and organized by the “NO” group, and we also know that the main argument back then was to keep turbines away from areas where there is wildlife ,, a bird migration path and wetlands. That was when Gilliad, was proposing a wind farm project there and when White Pines had a few turbines going up in that area , That died a long time ago , and the proposed number of turbines went from 28 to 9, and Gilliad was cancelled completely. The nine erected turbines today are not near that area, These turbines , once they are destroyed, and the damage to the land during destruction, is finally over, a new government will be voted in, and once again the debate will arise as to , is the County a willing host for wind or not, It won.t matter if we are or not, this little tiny County has no right to decide the fate of the planet because of a few selfish uneducated deniers , Next time , unfortunately , the world will be in such a poor state, and we will all be suffering from the effects of climate change that no one will even care , because there won,t be a reason to care, everything will be on it,s way to extinction. People are afraid of things they dont, understand, or that change the way they do things , it doesn,t mean that the “new ” thing is bad. or that it should be destroyed just in case it might be, That is why Jesus was killed and why the second he died the people knew what a terrible thing they had done. As with so many other things destroyed by humans”Forgive them Father , they know not what they do ” . Now . live with what you are about to do.

  8. Dave Nixon says:

    I don’t claim to be a credible expert on anything. I’m interested in herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) as hobby. I know from personal experience that PE County in general, and the south shore area in particular, is Blanding’s turtle habitat.

    We’ve bulldozed 70% of the wetlands in southern Ontario in the interest of so-called economic prosperity. The end result is that turtles are experiencing a housing crisis. In the process of destroying turtle habitat we’re also in the process of destroying the biodiversity on which we all depend.

    Wildlife is disappearing at an alarming rate on a worldwide basis. This has to stop or there may be a mass extinction of all living things on the planet. Think I’m an alarmist? Look up “Holocene extinction” in Wikipedia. Thousands of gravid female turtles are slaughtered on Ontario’s roads every June by people who are in a hurry to get to the beer store.

    7 of Ontario’s 8 species of turtles are on both the federal and provincial species at risk lists. A couple of species may disappear on our watch. In my opinion, this is a disgrace.

    COSEWIC (google it) has recommended that the federal government upgrade the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population of Blanding’s turtles from threatened to endangered. They’ve also recommended that painted turtles be declared a species at risk.

    Google green sea turtles in Hawaii. They’re in the same boat as Ontario’s turtles (all turtles are slow reproducers). They’re protected by the US federal government. People have been fined and gone to jail for harassing green sea turtles.

    What does it take for people to get the message that destructive humans, and their junk, has to be kept out of what’s left of southern Ontario’s remaining wetlands? Prince Edward County, and it’s remaining wetlands, is turtle habitat big time.

    In Canada, we have the federal Species at Risk Act to protect endangered species. Enforcement is somewhere between non-existent and a disgrace. The federal government needs to get with the program. Now.

  9. Eugenia Venchiarutti says:

    The cement plant in our County is part of a handful of industries worldwide that is a significant source of greenhouse gases.
    In Canada 🇨🇦 there is a potential solution for helping this plant greatly reduce their impact on the environment.
    Pond Technologies is presently working with St.Mary’s cement company. Pond Technology operates on site to capture the gases and through pipes and send them to another part of the plant to produce algae for industrial uses.
    Can we all work together to encourage them to look into adopting this technology to provide an innovative way to address our climate emergency?

  10. Fred says:

    Just very pleased WPD cannot continue to contribute to çlimate change with the extreme CO2 cost to build these things. Costly, unreliable, environmental harmful.

  11. Theresa Lennon says:

    Rob #2, excellent post. Thank you.

  12. Rob #2 says:

    Eleven months ago I felt that there was a real good chance that those turbines would never turn. Today I think there is a better than 50-50 chance that they will at some point down the road.

    Who would have thought a year ago that the momentum about “climate change” would have picked up so much? When it comes to progressive causes repeated parroting around the continent subtly turns the tide in their favour almost overnight, before anyone perceives it. And when they do perceive it it’s too late because criticism at that point automatically gets you labeled, scolded and neutralized. Unless your name is Donald Trump I suppose.

    The worst thing that Council did was get sucked into the climate emergency trap. As if we as a County can do much to modify the climate. I suspect that many of those beating this drum also run off to Costco every couple of weekends to load up on various crud that isn’t environmentally friendly while burning gas to get there. I suspect that they get on airplanes to get pictures in Rome to send back to friends.

    We’ve pretty much thrown in the towel on our County ever being a significant contributor to an industrial economy. Rather we are all about tourism and food hubs. The lineups on the bridge on 49 these days are much longer than a couple of months ago when the work began. The tourists are coming, each of them burning fossil fuels. Seems a little bit of confusion and hypocrisy exists to declare a full climate emergency when we are increasingly looking to bring more people here for short-term visits. Teleportation would be cleaner but cars are needed to make the journey for the near future anyway.

    It’s little wonder that we struggle to get good politicians. Saying no to a crusade is tough unless you have a thick skin. Some of these people need to be told to go pound sand. Easier to serve out the term and let it go I guess, or be wise and not get involved at all. That’s me I suppose.

    I predict the folks in favour of drop-in-the-bucket wind energy from Milford and its immediate surroundings will continue to piggyback their personal desires to see those things turn on top of the greater “climate crisis”. We will see governments change and possible pressure from the industry itself and sooner or later those things will turn. By then local politicians and residents opposed will have been neutralized – labeled as fools, villains and maybe even criminals.

    Step one. Identify the opposition to the progressive initiative

    Step two. Mount a fervent campaign against this opposition. Label them, repeat loudly until they are neutralized and destroyed.

    Step three. Do Step two loudly and aggressively enough to make sure no one ever tries to defy them again.

    This is cynical as heck but age and observation has done this to me.

  13. Paul Cole says:

    The White Pines Wind Project Termination Act, 2018 was passed on July 25th 2018, how can it be retroactive to an earlier date (July 10th) ??? Was there a stop work order or a court injunction or was White Pines honoring a contract until it was officially terminated…

  14. Gary Mooney says:

    When the government passed the Termination Act regarding White Pines, it offered reimbursement of costs, subject to limits, but only for construction prior to July 10. As of that date, only one turbine had been built. Wpd proceeded to build three more turbines after that date, for reasons known only to themselves. So they won’t be compensated for them.

  15. Rahno Boutilier says:

    Isn’t this issue dead already?? Only those who blinded by greed cannot accept these facts. They are hoping newly elected officials, who they believe are naive will pick up the sword on their behalf. Wind turbines do not belong in populated communities…people across Ontario continue to work to prevent projects like these from continuing or occurring at all. They disaster’s waiting to happen.

  16. Chris Keen says:

    @ Shana Greatrix – we should also be actively seeking to negotiate deals with Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador to purchase hydro power from them.

  17. Dennis Fox says:

    The wind turbine issue fell off the track because the “decision making process” on the part of the provincial government was wrong and locally we had councils that wavered on this issue for years – the bottom line is that there is really nowhere in the County where IWTs can be placed without a major disruption to either people or to our natural environment. PEC just isn’t a good place for them- BUT that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in IWTs – there certainly is, in the right location.

    What does concern me are the comments about how greedy and wrong some people are for wanting them. To me, there is no difference between a farmer who wants them to make a profit from his land and a homeowner who doesn’t want them because IWTs might impact on the selling price of their home. It seems that money making for individuals is driving the decision making process – it shouldn’t be.

    Doing the right thing for our planet, at some point, has to take president over both – but when and where?

  18. Angela says:

    What part of NO do these supporters of wind turbines in the county fail to understand? It was thumbs down. We don’t want them and have declared ourselves unwilling hosts. Let is go, Jen, you are beating a dead horse.

  19. Shana Greatrix says:

    Check the usefulness of wind turbines on the independent electricity reports daily. At present, the entire province has 4332MW of possible capacity to produce. The reality is that it is producing 154MW from all of the wind turbines in Ontario as I write. It is a pathetic waste of money as well as harmful to the environment for residents, birds, bats, and the groundwater as we have seen in Chatham-Kent. I am originally from Prince Edward County and I am so glad PEC was well informed by the Field Naturalists there to do the battle against this insanity. For those who believe in going greener, you only have to look at the Marmora pumped storage project for 400MW, using our best resource, water, which was put on the sidelines by the Liberals. Pumped storage is already supplying the grid at the Adam Beck facility in Niagara. It would be the best green option in eastern Ontario to support that rather than any more wind or solar which have proven to be out of synch for needs and incapable of producing when actually needed. Pumped storage works.

  20. Jim V says:

    Windmills in an important migratory bird path? Clearly the motivation is not for the environment.

  21. doug says:

    The liberal government used the clean energy act to over ride approx. 14 provincial statues that would have stopped W.P.D.from erecting these monsters in sensitive areas .The residents of South Marysburgh voted 95% against this project and thank the council for maintaining the unwilling host position .

  22. Michelle says:

    The County and Provincial government have both spoken on this matter. It’s time those 4 turbines come down.

  23. Janice says:

    There won’t be any bats, birds and endangered species if we do not change from fossil fuels to clean energy. In fact, there won’t be any humans either!
    Do the 400 people who voted against turbines represent 90% of South Marysburg population? A vote or plebiscite of the entire County should be taken today.
    It doesn’t surprise me that $1.5 million was raised to fight turbines. There is so much wealth in the County with the NIMBY attitude and “who cares about the future” attitude—just plain greed and self-interest!

  24. Gary says:

    Several deputants including a former Councilor have a financial interest. At the end of the day, the Province has ruled. End of story.

  25. Susan says:

    My thoughts exactly Mark. Why do these Councilors not ask a question. So many deputants had a financial interest.

  26. Mark says:

    Was really surprised that not one Councilor when offered questions to the deputant, did not ask if they had a financial interest.

  27. Chris Keen says:

    If this project were to be reinstated, not only would we pay wpd/landowners tens of millions to produce minimal amounts of power, we would then have to pay the Americans to take it off our hands since we don’t need the power! Then there’s the damage caused to birds, bats and endangered species, problems with infrasound and health, contaminated wells, etc… etc…
    Good riddance.

  28. Argyle says:

    As much as I believe these residents are concerned about carbon in the atmosphere, I think most are more concerned about the loss of personal revenue from having a turbine situated on their property………that’s what really hurts…….

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