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White Pines project deemed complete; application moves to review

wpd Canada, the renewable energy company developing the 29-turbine White Pines wind project in South Marysburgh, received word from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) that the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) application for the project has been
deemed complete. The process will now proceed to the technical review stage before it can be determined if a REA will be issued for the project.

The proposal has now been posted for a 60 day public review and comment period ending May 10, 2014. Comments are to  be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry of the Environment if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in the notice and reference EBR Registry number 012-1279.

“Meanwhile, in order to keep to potential project timelines, wpd continues the planning process for possible construction and operation activities,” said Ian MacRae, wpd Canada president.
“This is a first but important step in achieving the Renewable Energy Approval for the White Pines project. Our staff and consultants have been working with various ministries and members of the community for nearly four years to ensure that the application meets the vigorous requirements of the permitting process”.

MacRae said if he project is permitted to proceed, White Pines will feed an estimated 169,464,000 kWh annually into the electricity grid – equivalent to the average annual power usage of 9,683 homes.

“Electricity generated by wind projects has the ability to provide stability to electricity prices,” added MacRae. “The fuel input – wind – is free, and is not subject to speculation, market fluctuations or political instability. Wind is a clean source of energy that will not be depleted, and does not discharge harmful emissions into the atmosphere.”

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Susan when White Pines is up and running then South Marysburgh will be a place to leave
    When Wynne has all the IWT’s in the province up and running none of us will be able to afford to use hydro.
    Re John he should not be spraying harmful substance into the air–it is going to kill the bees

  2. BH says:

    The White Pines project will place 12 turbines on the same Important Bird Area where Ostrander Point is situated. The current 550 metre set back from homes seems meager, given health concerns for people living near the planned 29 turbines.

    By increasing the distance of iwts to 1.5 or 2.0 km away from homes and not placing wind turbines on environmentally sensitive areas, County citizens could work together with government in support of wind energy.

    A setback to 1.5 or 2.0 km would reduce or eliminate property value, tourism, and heritage protection issues. It is not the government’s job to maximize profit for corporations.

    Instead, the Liberal government is causing societal conflict, jeopardizing the health of people, and harming nature.

  3. Sam says:

    Wind energy supporters are not supposed to quote the article commissioned by Environmental Defence because it is one-sided, but opponents have no problem quoting articles by the fossil fuel funded Fraser Institute? Good job at being credible.

  4. Susan says:

    Sam and John Thompson, I so appreciate you contributing the facts about renewable wind energy while braving this anti-wind site!

    Hopefully when White Pines is up and running, all this negativity will be blown away.

  5. Chris Keen says:

    Another interesting article on Ontario’s “Green” Energy Plan by Robert Lyman:

    “The Ontario government has to date committed almost $60 billion over the next 20 years to building industrial wind turbines and solar power generators. In the case of wind turbines, the construction of hundreds of plants across the province has given rise to major conflicts between those who stand to benefit from the huge electricity ratepayer subsidies and those whose health and property values are threatened. Ontario’s electricity generation capacity is already 40% above the peak requirements, and yet the provincial government continues to contract for more power. When those concerned about the economic, social and health impacts of adding so much “green” energy complain, they are often confronted with an argument expressed with almost religious conviction. Supporters of green energy insist we need it to “save the planet” from the threat of climate change….”

    “The Fraser Institute published a report in 2013 entitled, “Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act”. Here is an excerpt from that report:

    “Electricity supply is divided into base-load capacity, which comes from sources like hydroelectric and nuclear that deliver a fixed amount of power that cannot easily be adjusted up or down on short notice, and peak capacity, which can be scaled up and down as system demand changes through the day. Ontario power demand currently averages about 18,000 MW and reaches a maximum annual peak of about 26,000 MW. Using figures from the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Provincial Auditor General projects average demand to decline to about 16,000 MW and peak demand to fall to about 24,000 MW. Nuclear and hydroelectric facilities alone currently provide 18,000 MW of base-load capacity. In addition, Ontario has 9,500 MW of gas capacity as well as 4,500 MW of the coal-fired power plants much of which is unused. The AGO estimates Ontario will have at least 10,000 MW of surplus generating capacity through 2025.”

    In other words, Ontario’s electrical generating capacity already so far exceeds needs that the coal-burning power plants (the principal sources of GHG emissions) could have been shut down without adding a single new wind or solar plant.”

    The rest of the article is found here:

    http://freewco.blogspot.ca/2014/03/can-ontarios-green-power-program-save.html

  6. Chris Keen says:

    @John Thompson – Here’s Parker Gallant’s take on the Globe article you cite.

    ” Environmental Defence, one of those environmental charities being investigated by the CRA, released a report March 14, 2014 prepared by Power Advisory. The consulting firm is where Jason Chee-Aloy formerly of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), now works. Mr. Chee-Aloy’s clients at Power Advisory include Samsung, Pattern Energy Group and NextEra; interestingly, his role at the OPA was Director of Generation Procurement, where he was responsible for procuring over 13,000 MW of generation.

    With that background in mind, it is easy to assume that Power Advisory’s report commissioned by Environmental Defence would weigh in on the side of wind and solar generation, and come to a conclusion that would put those two sources of power generation on the climate change pedestal.

    That is exactly what Power Advisory’s report did. And it did so by completely ignoring other facts associated with wind and solar power.

    The Globe and Mail opened its article on the report with this: “The cost of green energy has a relatively small impact on residential electricity bills in Ontario, a new study to be released Friday suggests, and that will not change significantly even as renewables take up a bigger portion of power generation.That should be a lesson for other provinces considering the shift to renewables, says the study’s sponsor, Environmental Defence Canada, because it shows Ontario’s pro-green energy plan is not as costly as some critics claim.”

    The rest of his comments are here:

    http://freewco.blogspot.ca/2014/03/environmental-defence-report-on.html

  7. Gary Mooney says:

    Daily peak demand is easily managed in energy generation, except when it reaches maximum available supply — most likely during the hottest days of summer due to air conditioner load. Ontario’s available supply is way above peak annual demand.

    On other days, peak demand is handled by intermediate generators which are dispatchable — i.e. output is readily adjustable. The most versatile / quick to adjust are hydro and natural gas.

    The least useful power generators are wind turbines, because they produce the most power when least needed (spring and fall, and at night) and can’t be relied upon when additional power is needed (e.g. summer).

    In this regard, solar is more useful than wind in summer, and it doesn’t produce during the night. But the cost of solar is about six times the blended cost of other sources.

    With at least 75% of our power produced by sources that don’t pollute and don’t generate CO2 (nuclear and hydro), Ontario has one of the cleanest supplies of power in the world. If the U.S. and China were to meet our standards, the problem of pollution and excess CO2 production would be solved.

  8. John Thompson says:

    Every day has it’s peak demands. In the great lakes region, the wind tends to be light first thing in the morning and pick up during the morning and into the afternoon. Those of us who do field spraying live with this reality. This would explain why the system operator notes a downward pressure on peak demands but the armchair quarterbacks have not.

  9. Gary Mooney says:

    John Thompson said: “Although a statement of the obvious, the ISEO recently stated that renewable wind and solar power has put downward pressure on peak demands on the electricity system without impacting reliability.”

    In any given year, Ontario’s peak demand is typically during the hottest days of summer (due to air conditioning load), during which time the wind hardly blows.

    Throughout the year, wind blows more during the night than during the day, which does nothing to reduce peak loads.

    The words “wind turbine” and “reliability” should never be used in the same sentence.

  10. Chris Keen says:

    Here’s an absolutely brilliant letter by Christine Hall to the MOE that sums up all the reasons why this madness should stop.

    http://ccsage.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/pec-resident-pulls-no-punches-in-letter-to-moe-re-amherst-island-36-turbine-wind-project/

  11. Doris Lane says:

    Pamela is correct.
    The reason we are in this IWT mess is because of big money, big business and big oil.
    The electricity business is controlled by the \ceo of big business and government is afraid to go against them
    if you think his is a democracy -think again
    Somewhere on face book is some little Spanish towns they want to give away–looks good and anyway PEC oounty used to be called “Little spain”

  12. Chris Keen says:

    @John Thompson – If what you say is true, then the “Delivery Charge” line, which on my Hydro One bill always exceeds the charge for electricity used should drop significantly. We both know that isn’t going to happen. Except for the landowners, there is absolutely zero benefit for Country residents from these monstrosities.

  13. Sam says:

    Mark, I didn’t say that there were only slight increases to electricity rates, I said “slight increase in electricity prices due to the integration of renewable energy”.

    Yesterday’s articles in The Star and The Globe And Mail:

    http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/03/14/renewable_energy_not_to_blame_for_high_bills_report.html

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/green-energy-costs-minimal-for-consumers-study-says/article17484685/

  14. Pamela Stagg says:

    Somehow in this argument, Niagara Falls seems to have been overlooked. There it is, with the hydro infrastructure all built, able to supply electricity at 5 cents per kilowatt hour. But the Ontario government, in its (lack of) wisdom, has decreed that when wind power is being generated at more than double that cost, water may “have” be diverted away from the Niagara power plant in order to give wind power producers first dibs at our grid.

    It would be cheaper to buy Quebec’s surplus hydro-electricity than it would be to build more wind power. Those who favour renewable energy should be satisfied, since hydro-electricity is the original green energy.

    I don’t have a degree in economics, but if I’m offered a commodity at two different prices, I’ll take the cheaper version. The Ontario government is doing exactly the opposite, choosing super-expensive wind energy over cheap hydro-electricity and driving our industry to Quebec. And those of us who don’t have the option of moving to Quebec or the United States are going to be paying through the nose.

  15. Doris Lane says:

    Read all the comments with great interest.
    Check Gary Mooneys comments seem to be closer to mark.

  16. Mark says:

    I don’t know where you are getting your electricity from but if you can claim they are slight increases I would like to know your supplier as I am sure millions other would. Projections of an additional 40 per cent increase the next 4 years to support the payments to foreign companies for our renewables!

  17. Sam says:

    Enbridge has requested a price increase of 40% for natural gas. The price of propane (if you can even get it) has skyrocketed. Fuel oil has increased over 15% between September and January. Municipal water and sewer rates have become difficult to swallow. Municipal taxes increase several percent per year. But all of this is OK because the slight increase in electricity prices due to the integration of renewable energy is the only thing that is making our lives financially difficult.

    At least the increasingly more expensive fossil fuels offer the advantage of global warming to help offset our future heating needs.

  18. Mark says:

    “Downward pressures on peak demand”. So we can look forward to reduction in energy costs right. Hmmmm.

  19. John Thompson says:

    Wpd’s power would connect to the high voltage transmission line at the Elmbrook station. As electrons take the shortest route to demand points, the County would get supplied first and any surplus will move into the provincial grid. Ostrander Point if built will connect to the local distribution side of the system so the power will be locked into the County for our use. Local power production has the same effect on the grid as reduced demand which translates into conserving gas at the gas plants.

    Although a statement of the obvious, the ISEO recently stated that renewable wind and solar power has put downward pressure on peak demands on the electricity system without impacting reliability.

  20. County Steve says:

    It’s funny how the pro- and anti-wind people are sold on their own propaganda. Perhaps we should read each others!
    Nothing will change Sam’s mind, until we’re 10 years down the road, and we get to offer a lame “I told you so.” After our wallets are empty and our ground is completely covered.
    Sam seems to be up on the facts, so how about some info about how natural gas is needed as a backup/startup source for wind generators?
    How about some facts on how the province of Ontario spends more than any other province or state in all of North America … which clearly is going to increase to laughable, and painful, amounts.
    And if you think wind will replace nuclear in Ontario, or even gas-powered turbines, then you got your engineering degree out of a cereal box!

  21. Dan Wrightman says:

    @Sam Google “Generators Output and Capability Report” Under each wind generator if the actual Output is lower than the Forecast output than curtailment is occurring and Ontario is paying the wind developer to not produce wind energy. The IESO switched reporting to Forecast from Capability which allows indication of curtailment. Today the Greenwich wind plant has been paid to not produce wind energy for most of the morning.

  22. Sam says:

    Dan

    Keep in mind that we are comparing new generation to old generation. Once Pickering Nuclear is mothballed and new generation is needed, do you really think that conventional generation (new nuclear or new gas turbines) will be willing to provide power for the same rate that the old stations are accepting? Also, I see now that the price of power in Ontario is up to $89.88 per mWh. Getting closer to the wind rate. Finally, you stated that “Ontario has been paying some wind developers to not produce wind energy for most hourly periods today.” I would like to have a look at that information. Do you have a link to a site that shows when wind producers are paid not to generate? Thanks.

  23. Dan Wrightman says:

    @Sam and the ratepayer loses for every MW of wind energy produced. The hourly Ontario energy price today has ranged from a low of $9.97MW to a high of $44.46/MW. Meanwhile FIT contracted wind energy (like the White Pines project) is paid $135/MW. To add even more salt to the wound, Ontario has been paying some wind developers to not produce wind energy for most hourly periods today.

  24. Sam says:

    According to Sygration, right now wind is producing 10% of Ontario’s power. 1.86gW out of 18.6 gW total. It is only the 10:00 report, but so far wind is producing more more power every hour today than the total of all the gas fired generators in Ontario. Blown away!

  25. Chris Keen says:

    @ Gary Mooney – The same New York state that is actually courting businesses in Ontario to relocate there in order to take advantage of their cheap electricity rates! Utter madness.

  26. Gary Mooney says:

    If built, wpd’s 169,464 MWH fed into the grid will be 100% unneeded, due to Ontario’s oversupply of electricity.

    We consumers’ will pay wpd $23 million per year (at $135 per MWH) and Ontario will sell the unneeded power to neighbouring jurisdictions for $5 million per year (at $30 per MWH), for a net loss to us of $18 million per years.

    Oh, and the 9,683 homes that wpd mentions? They’ll actually be homes located in New York State, which will have gratefully accepted the cheap power offered by Ontario.

    Alternatively, wpd’s power will supply manufacturers in New York State, including some that will have relocated from Ontario to access affordable power.

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