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White Pines turbine project draws hundreds to first open house

With security at the doors, plain-clothed police on duty and a line up in the hallway, several hundred people made their way into the  PECI high school auditorium Thursday night to ask questions and gain information about wpd Canada Corporation’s White Pines Wind Farm  proposed for southern Prince Edward County.

Most viewed supplied maps to see how close turbines would be to their own and others’ homes.  County residents against the project surrounded wpd representatives, including president Ian MacRae, to ask pointed questions and chant phrases when they didn’t hear suitable responses to their concerns. A group of pro-wind supporters who donned “Responsible Renewable” lapel buttons and posed for a photograph together, quickly dispersed as a media rep tried to photograph them.

“It is so sad to see how this issue has divided the community,” said one to another. “Now neighbours are hiding from neighbours if they don’t agree, or don’t know how the other feels about turbines.”
Another couple complained that the open house seemed disorganized as there were too many people, too much going on and “we can barely hear what anybody is saying anyway so we’re going home.”

“I am pleased that 290 people were able to come to our open house and get information about our project for themselves,” said Ian MacRae, President of wpd Canada. “Our staff and consultants report that discussions with residents were respectful and engaging.”

The wpd project area is generally bounded by Brummell and Bond roads to the north; Lighthall Road to the west; Gravelly Bay Road to the east and Lake Ontario in the southern end.
The project location and infrastructure is on privately-owned land, where landowners have entered into a lease agreement with wpd, and municipal road right-of-way. The basic components of the project include 29 wind turbine generators, tranformers adjacent to each, an underground electrical power line system, transformer station and about 15km of turbine access roads. Routing of overhead electrical line connecting the project to the Picton Transformer Station is under negotiation with Hydro One.

Options have been obtained on other properties and phase two could bring an additional 45 turbines for a total of 74 turbines. The nearby Gilead Wind Project is for nine turbines.
wpd’s project schedule notes technical studies ongoing through to early 2012. Draft reports are to be ready for the public by next summer when there will be a second open house. wpd’s website: http://canada.wpd.de/wpd-think-energy-home.html

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  1. Jack says:

    @ Mark, you seem to be harbouring some built up hostility, why don,t you let it all out. You might feel better and think a little straighter.

  2. Mark says:

    Jack, maybe you could bully people into getting on your side, just like you did to get a free roadway down to your house when you moved here.

  3. David Norman says:

    @ bad Mark,
    “disagree” “taking an interest” “passing judgment”… by posting a condescending flippant remark you are justifying expressing these notions? I do not want to see McGuinty dead… nor have I ever expressed or inferred that. One similarity that McGuinty’s Green Energy Act has with many Middle East government edicts is the dictatorial undemocratic manner of its enforcement. And, what we are, by rejecting Industrial Wind Turbines is trying to prevent PEC from becoming a troubled area like so many unfortunate areas in Ontario and globally that have become home to these financial and ecological disasters.

  4. Mark says:

    By the way, burning or hanging an effigy of a politician from your own country is absurd.

    That’s pretty much saying (without actually saying it), that you would like to see McGuinty dead. They do those things in the Middle East and some other troubled areas on the planet. One step forward, unlimited steps back.

    Forgive me if I think THAT is absurd.

  5. Mark says:

    Yes, I’m clearly absurd because we disagree on something. That is the problem with online forums like this. Whether you agree or disagree on any issue, no matter what it is, people pass judgement.

    Gasp, I’m under 30 and taking an interest in local matters! I know THAT is truly absurd around here.

  6. David Norman says:

    @ bad Mark… I refer to you as “bad Mark” to distinguish you from the anti Industrial Wind Turbine “good Mark” who comments on CountyLive. To use the phrase “So long and thanks for all the fish”
    is an irreverent callous act. I consider the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” to be my bible and as such consider the misuse of Douglas Adam’s words to be an ACT OF LITERARY WAR! What is apparent is that you clearly did not understand the nature of the absurdity that this statement by Douglas Adams represented. Although to give you some credit you are clearly an absurd individual.

  7. Mark says:

    Sometimes all I can do is shake my head and laugh. Hanging effigy of a politician in Canada. Its come to this.

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

  8. Brock McKay says:

    You know what, Mark (and no, I don’t know which one), I’d usually agree with you that an effigy of the Premier would normally be extreme.

    However, given the Premier’s obstinancy and his unwillingness to listen, something has to make him clue into the damage this policy is creating. The guy had like 100 mayors and councillors walk out on him over it, he didn’t change a damn thing. He lost three cabinet ministers (including one we gleefully booted here in PEC) and hasn’t learned. Something has to get through to this guy.

    Do I think this is it? Probably not. But maybe it takes something this extreme

  9. Mark says:

    I don’t think it is a bit much at all. Dalton is sending us spiralling down a slippery slope of debt and ill thought out energy plans. If I lived in South Bay and Milford areas and knew my life was forever changing for the worst an effigy of the premier would be quite in order.

  10. Mark says:

    LOL at Jo Anne Slaven

    Are you serious? You are going to hang an effigy of the premier at this rally? I’m the only one that thinks thats a biiiiiittt much? You may disagree with this wind thing, but leave that kind of BS at home. But hey, it may get you on the news, right?

  11. Chris Keen says:

    @Anon – I’m an equal opportunity quoter. 🙂

  12. Ken Globe says:

    Marie, please tell me of a “local” security company, or other than Through The Cedars, a “local” sound company. Strum closed back in the early fall, so the nearest place with sound gear to rent commercially would be Belleville, Trenton, or Napanee.

  13. Brock McKay says:

    Quoting the Toronto Sun is no more inviting a charge of bias than quoting the Toronto Star is.

    On this one, even the best paper of record in the country – the Globe and Mail – has sided against McGuinty.

  14. Renee says:

    @ Anon
    Biased or one sided perhaps – kind of like on ‘open house’
    meeting by WPD

  15. Anon says:

    Quoting a Toronto Sun article is like quoting FOX news – a bit biased, no?

  16. Chris Keen says:

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/23/mcguintys-green-death-march

    An excerpt:

    “A psychiatrist might say McGuinty and his caucus are in denial about their green energy fiasco and that they have disassociated themselves from reality.

    The only thing they appear to be capable of doing now is to continue marching themselves over a cliff.

    McGuinty insists the public should be thrilled because: (a) Ontario is getting rid of its coal-fired electricity plants by 2014 (which it could have done without building one wind turbine or solar panel); (b) green energy producers support his program (hardly surprising since they’re making a fortune out of it); (c) environmentalists are happy (few of whom, one suspects, work in Ontario’s beleaguered manufacturing sector, where high electricity prices kill jobs.)

    The realpolitik here is that, having committed Ontario to his mad green energy experiment, McGuinty has apparently concluded admitting he made a mistake would be worse than continuing it.

    And so he blunders on, a man with no plan, insisting he has one.”

    Lorrie Goldstein – Toronto Sun

  17. Marie says:

    what a sham that was…

    There was no formal presentations or Q&A, they tried to divide and conquer us by placing a dozen or so “agents” around the room amidst no less then 24 formal placards with their version of information (or misinformation) if one has done the research.
    Very rarely did any of these “agents” loose their “smile” Basically, we were telling them, that they were set to destroy our quality of life, and all they could do is smile back at us, and tell us that there project falls within the laws that govern Ontario.
    These agents were all from out of town, Guelph and Mississauga mainly. The security guards were not local, nor was the company that provided the sound system for their propoganda. I would imagine that they all stayed in a hotel in Belleville after. Other than holding the event at PECI, there was no local component.
    What was truly effective was the “human PA system.” Quite simply, en masse we all asked questions together in unison, and again repeated the agents answers.
    On this night, we realized that at the very least, that we weren’t alone, that our neighbours are as equally concerned about these outsiders (Dalton included) coming in and stomping on our environment, our homes and our heritage.

  18. Jo Anne Slaven says:

    Jack, we are going, but we are driving up the night before and staying with friends. Taking the bus wasn’t going to work for us.

    But I’m busy making plans for a mock turbine, with an effigy of Dalton hanging from it. I’m thinking a Ken doll with a Dalton face attached to the front. I’ll have to research how to do a hangman’s noose.

  19. Jack says:

    WHAT IS GOING ON??. There is a bus going to Toronto on April 3rd to show our opposition to these monsters. 23.00 return and only 20 people can go!!!. C,mon . Nothing will happen unless you get off your butt and make noise. I don,t want them , you don,t want them !. The bus will be cancelled , like our opinion,i!!! Iif you sit back and watch. Contact Duncan Fischer drfischer@sympatico.ca. He needs an answer by March 27

  20. David Norman says:

    @ John Thompson
    I repeat, the nature of the voltage capacity of the hydro lines from the Ostrander and WPD Industrial Wind Turbine developments, is an irrelevant distraction. What possible difference can a couple of mm of thickness in the cable at the top of the hydro poles that will alter the landscape by requiring that many trees and other shrubs be removed to accommodate their erection and servicing, be! Please explain the reason for your “technical” obsession in this respect?

  21. Mark says:

    Thanks, Mark that is not me, for answering the question that was not meant for you.

    Hard to believe there are two Marks out there.

  22. Kathy Felkar says:

    This was definitely a “tick in the box” meeting which did not address public concerns but continually repeated the mantra,” we will submit our application to the Ministry of the Environment and they will decide whether we will be able to proceed” In other words, we don’t care what you believe, we will proceed. Very frustrating.

  23. John Thompson says:

    North Marysburgh has been off of the list for wind development for quite a while now because of DND concerns. That issue does not apply to White Pines or Gilead and to repeat, the power would flow to the TS at Elmbrook at distribution voltage and require boosting at the high voltage line.

  24. Doris Lane says:

    ACCording to the latest news White Pines can not go ahead with the project in North Maysburgh because DND says it is to close to their radar operations but when I look at a county map, I think that South is just as close to the DnD radar

  25. Mark says:

    That is not the Mark (me) that has no use for industrial wind turbines,is not intimidated by the CSG calling us easy targets and fully understands how Jack’s quality of life is already and will more dramatically be affected without having to ask him how.

  26. Mark says:

    @Jack

    What exactly is happening to ruin your quality of life? Serious question.

  27. Jack says:

    @ John, if vulgar is what it takes , then vulgar it will be. I make no qualms , I resent them, I don,t want them. Acceptance is not up for discussion. I will fight till the end. They should go away. It is absolutely absurd what these assholes are doing to my quality of life

  28. David Norman says:

    @ John Thompson
    It was just a couple of weeks back that you publicly stated that there was only enough “unconstrained” land available for 60 turbines. Information from this meeting exposed that just the second phase of the WPD project alone would total 74 Industrial Wind Turbines. With Gilead’s 9 IWTs and the options already in place by three other IWT developers, the count is in the hundreds. Now you state that the hydro line to and from the WPD substation is not high voltage but distribution voltage… this not only is technically incorrect, it is an irrelevant distraction… a sign of desperation.
    What is really interesting in this article is, and I quote, “A group of pro-wind supporters who donned ‘Responsible Renewable’ lapel buttons and posed for a photograph together, quickly dispersed as a media rep tried to photograph them.” This is inappropriate and juvenile behavior which clearly illustrates the mindset of members of the County Sustainability Group who took part. It was is my opinion a vulgar display of arrogance and disrespect for the genuine concerns of others… members of our shared community I might add!

  29. John Thompson says:

    Gary, you should stop referring to the transmission lines as high voltage, as that definition starts at 230 KV. The lines would be at distribution voltate, ie 44 or 66 KV and be boosted to high voltage where conncected at the Elmbrook station.

  30. Gary Mooney says:

    Of the hundreds of people who attended the public meeting, it appeared that the vast majority were (and are) opposed to the project.

    The representatives of WPD and Stantec were unable to answer all but the most basic questions. In particular, they couldn’t tell me how many houses (which they insist on calling “receptors”) will be within 1.5 km or 2.0 km of a turbine (a GEA requirement).

    They couldn’t confirm the route of the 29-km high-voltage transmission line that connects the project’s substation to the Hydro One substation north of Picton. BUT they now have Maypul Layn Road pencilled in as the route within the project footprint.

    Ian MacRae, the CEO of WPD Canada couldn’t provide me with any information on the cost to construct the turbines, much less the percentage that would be spent locally. He couldn’t tell me how many permanent operations and maintenance jobs would be created. And yet their information touts “benefits to the community”.

    They had a doctor in attendance from an environmental health consulting firm. He suggested that only 10% of the closest residents (exposed to the maximum 40 dBA level) will be annoyed by the turbines, and that this annoyance is mostly psychosomatic, due to being in a situation not within the individual’s control.

    As far as the project’s impact on the natural environment, WPD has indicated that they won’t release their study until about two weeks prior to the final public meeting, scheduled for this summer. This will give local naturalist groups very little time to prepare their response.

    The comment that I heard most often from people expressing their views at the meeting was: “We don’t want more information; we just want you out of here”. I couldn’t agree more.

    Attending this meeting was an exercise in frustration. But it was necessary to ensure that WPD and MOE appreciate the extent of the opposition to this project.

  31. Doris Lane says:

    A bit confusing and not as well organized as Skypower and Gilead.
    They seemed to be quite far on in their plans for a first meeting–much further than the other wind companies at this stage
    Too bad they (white pines] have to ruin South Marysburgh

  32. chris says:

    a funtime had for sure, interesting show.

    top photo = 20 on 1 format, not 1 on 1

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