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White Pines Wind Project wants 30 turbines in South Marysburgh

NOTE: Picton Bay is incorrectly identified as West Lake.

WPD Canada Corporation has given notice of a draft site plan and proposal for a 30-turbine White Pines Wind Project south of Milford and throughout much of South Marysburgh.
WPD Canada is planning to engage the renewable energy project pending required Renewable Energy Approval. The project is subject to the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act of Ontario and the notice is being published in local newspapers prior to an application being submitted and assessed by the Ministry of the Environment.
If approved, the facility would consist of 29-30 turbines, electrical collector lines, a transformer station, an interconnection line and other ancilliary facilities such as access roads.
A written copy of the draft project report, titled White Pines Wind Farm – Draft Project Description Report is located at the project website under the Project Section at www.wpd-canada.ca; at Shire Hall and at the Milford Public Library.

Note: WPD has just published a legal notice in local newspapers that frees them from having to adhere to the 550-metre minimum setback in respect of any new home built in the future (after today) in their project area – i.e. most of South Marysburgh and part of Athol.  A copy of the notice is available at http://canada.wpd.de/fileadmin/pdfs/White_Pines_Notice_of_Draft_Site_Plan_3_17_2011.pdf.

The following, compiled by Gary Mooney, of Concerned Citizens of Prince Edward County,  is an overview of the project based on information obtained from WPD Canada and Stantec Consulting.

Footprint in South Marysburgh / Athol

The footprint of the White Pines project covers the majority of the area of South Marysburgh and extends west into Athol:

  • From Walmsley / Bond / Murphy Roads in the north to Lake Ontario in the south.
  • From Lighthall Road in the west to Lake Ontario / Gravelly Bay Road in the east.

More specifically, the 30 turbines will be distributed throughout South Marysburgh / Athol as follows:

  • 10 turbines between Walmsley / Bond / Murphy Roads in the north and Royal Road in the south.
  • 8 turbines between Royal Road and Army Reserve Road.
  • 12 turbines between Army Reserve Road / Lake Ontario in the north and Lake Ontario / Gravelly Bay Road in the south.

There will be a hydro substation located southwest of Milford (1.2 km from Hicks General Store) and this will also be the location of the turbine closest to Milford.

The County roads in South Marysburgh to be used by WPD, both during and after construction, will be: Johnston, Bond, Maypul Layn, Royal, Murphy, Brewers, Hilltop, Helmer, Bablyon and Whattams Roads.

Two maps provided, both prepared by WPD:

  • A basic map showing turbine locations and the transmission corridor.  Note: Picton Bay has been mislabelled as West Lake.
  • A detailed map from Appendix A of a report by Stantec Consulting (see below) showing turbine locations, access roads and houses.  N.B.  Zoom in for more detail..

Important Bird Area

WPD has sited 20 turbines within or near the south shore Important Bird Area designated by IBA Canada:

  • 12 turbines within the IBA, between Army Reserve Road / Lake Ontario in the north and Lake Ontario / Gravelly Bay Road in the south.
  • 8 turbines just outside the IBA, north of Army Reserve Road between Lighthall Road and Dainard Road.

Adding in Gilead Power’s 9 turbines at Ostrander Point, there will be 29 turbines located within or near the south shore IBA.

Here is a map of the designated IBA  provided by IBA Canada:  http://www.ibacanada.com/maps/sites/ON003.pdf

WPD’s timetable

Here is WPD’s anticipated timetable, with one item added (marked “estimated”)

1.       2010.  Contract awarded by Ontario Power Authority.

2.       May, 2011.  First public meeting.

3.       July, 2011.  Draft REA reports available.

4.       September, 2011.  Second public meeting.

5.       October, 2011 (estimated).  Submission of REA application.

6.       Spring, 2012.  REA approval.

7.       Fall, 2012.  Start of construction.

8.       Spring, 2013.  Start of commercial operation.

Project overview by Stantec

Here is a link to an overview of the project prepared by Stantec Consulting for WPD Canada:  http://canada.wpd.de/fileadmin/pdfs/White_Pines_Wind_Project_-_Draft_Project_Description_Report_-_Full_Report.pdf.  This report includes GPS coordinates for each of the turbines, thereby allowing precise siting on interactive maps (e.g. Google Earth, Microsoft Streets and Trips).

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  1. Jim Hair says:

    Henri, don’t you think it’s time for compromise? We can’t all have everything we want. Couldn’t you just be a little bit wrong?

  2. Henri Garand says:

    Hazel,

    The difference between GAP and Industrial wind power is that the former really meets users’ needs. GAP-produced electricity is either consumed when produced or stored in batteries. The electricity is not wasted. Industrial wind power, when intermittently available, can displace hydro power or be sold to the United States. When wind power is not available, consumer demand is met by gas plants.

    Since GAP was developed by an electrical engineer, I’ll trust his math over yours or mine.

    But sticking to my own expertise, I will provide another lesson in logical thinking. Why should Ontarians accept an inefficient, unreliable, and, in Ontario’s case, unnecessary form of electricity generation? Why should we pay for duplicate systems — industrial wind power and gas plants? Most importantly, since there are already numerous clinical reports of ill health and sometimes abandonment of homes, how is it responsible to put more people in jeopardy rather than waiting for an epidemiological study to determine what is safe?

    Let me put this as simply as I can, Hazel: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    If we are going to correct a wrong, surely we should choose wisely the solutions that really work.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    WE can generate all the electricity with solar and wind but we still have pollution from the engines of cars and trucks. A great deal of the pollution in this County comes from the Cement Plant.
    The problem with solar and wind is it is not a consistent source of power so we have to back it up with Natural Gas, which is a fosil fuel.
    At this point in time we do not need more power. We are selling our surplus to the States for 3 cents a KWH and we pay around 19 cents for wind and 60 cents for Solar.
    The electricity generated from White Pines is going into the grid on county rd 5
    This is the main line from Lennox which never runs as it is a backup plant and we do not need it.
    Unless we all go back to oil lamps and candles we are all using fosil fuels and the candles have to be bees wax as the other kind pollute.
    At this point in time we do not need more electricity. It is all a scham of the McGinty Government to have more Green energy??? than any other province

  4. Hazel says:

    Henri, the ‘wrong’ in question is the burning of fossil fuels to the detriment of the environment. Since you participate in that consumption, you are part of the ‘wrong’; therefore, it is indeed incumbent upon you (and all of us) to participate in the correction of that wrong.

    If you do the math on GAP, it fails miserably because the small wind and solar it proposes would not generate enough power to even run the geothermal. As well, small wind turbines are not efficient, are very noisy, and have high maintenance issues.

    Virtually every fossil fuel conservation solution backs into the need to generate more electricity. Whether it be geothermal, railroad electrification, or plug-in hybrids, they all require more electricity.

    Your GAP solution has some gaps.

  5. Henri Garand says:

    For a non-industrial approach to generating electricity, see the Green Alternative Plan, tgap@wordpress.com, devised by three County residents.

    I have to point out, however, that demanding an alternative to wind energy is an instance of a logical fallacy called the false dichotomy. It’s not incumbent upon someone who opposes a wrong to find an alternative. We didn’t stop hanging people so we could execute them more humanely.

  6. Hazel says:

    It would be helpful to the discussion of energy what exactly the anti-wind people want. We know what they’re AGAINST, ie green energy produced in their own backyards, but what are they FOR? More nuclear installations like Japan!? Coal-fired plants!?

    They must believe that they are entitled to the ‘good life’. They must believe that they can consume energy at will, preferably generated elsewhere out of their sight, with no thought to the planet, the future, or the next generation. Such entitlement!

    We never seem to read about any alternative solutions provided by or sustainable examples set by these ‘anti-greens’.

  7. Doris Lane says:

    Maria thank you for your report. Brian it is not difficult to get to Wolfe Island, I have been there 4 times. Mostly people line up for the ferry to go to or come from work.
    Whenever I was over there I was the ony one looking at the turbines
    About half the people live on the East end of the Island where there are no turbines.
    They are mostly in the middle and on the West End. Of course the people who have turbines on their property are in favour of them–it is a money thing.
    I talked to a couple of people over there who did not have turbines and they seem hesitant to say much. They don’t want to get into an argument with their neighbours.
    I noticed in the report which Maria quoted that a farmer who has turbines on his property felt that his health was not as good as it used to be.
    Wait until they have been up several years and then do a report on how it effects peoples health

  8. Henri Garand says:

    I find it strange that all the comments on the White Pines project are coming from non-residents of South Marysburgh. (Full disclosure: I am not a resident either, but I have a lot of friends who are.)

    How about asking some of them how they feel about living INSIDE a wind project and being SURROUNDED by industrial wind turbines?

    And just how many landowners, especially non-resident, are going to host the 30 turbines? Is it the same number as in the Byran wind project, when only 7 out of 76 participants won the lease lottery?

    As for informal surveys of tourist opinion, how trustworthy are the statistics? Personally, I wouldn’t reveal my true feelings if some wild-eyed supporter of wind development asked for my opinion.

  9. Maria says:

    March 2011

    Wolfe Island divided on wind turbines

    By Patrick Meagher and Jessica Sims

    WOLFE ISLAND — The 86 wind turbines on Wolfe Island, in full view of downtown Kingston, may have caused some discontent on the island but appear to have a positive or no impact on the vast majority of residents, a Farmers Forum survey suggests.

    A survey of 200 Islanders — 14 per cent of the island’s 1,400 year-round inhabitants — found, however, that 28.5 per cent of respondents thought community spirit had gotten worse since the 80-metre turbines with their 45-metre blades were erected in 2009.

    Farmers Forum conducted the survey on the morning of Feb. 22 as Island residents lined up in their vehicles to get on the ferry to Kingston. This is the largest survey we know of a community with wind turbines in Canada. The wind project is the second-largest in the country.

    Noted one male respondent, who said the project does not affect him: “It (wind turbines) became a crowbar issue, producing division between friends and family that will linger for some time.”

    Despite some cases of families at odds over the turbines, many respondents to the survey reacted positively to the wind turbines. An impressive 79 per cent of respondents say they either approve (53 per cent) of the wind turbines or that they don’t affect them or aren’t sure (26 per cent). At the same time, 21 per cent said they were opposed to the wind turbines. That’s 42 of 200 people polled, not a number easily dismissed.

    Of the 107 (53.4 %) of 200 respondents who approved of the wind turbines, here are their reasons: Environmental benefits (72 people), economic impact on the island (64), “no harm to me” (62), tourism (50), I like the look of them (40), creates jobs (3), puts island on the map (1), “more hydro needed everyday” (1).

    One respondent approved of the wind turbines but said it has worsened community spirit, noting that those who don’t like them need to “get over it.” Another respondent said the wind turbines don’t affect him and “the only ones who are opposed are the people who haven’t got one.”

    Here are all the reasons why 42 respondents opposed the turbines: Unpleasant to look at (29 people), land devaluation (29), noise (29), health concerns (27) threat to wildlife (4), process of installation (3), flickering/blinking lights (3), inefficient (3), blade shadows (2), setbacks (2), no hydro advantage (1), cash grab (1), increased used of ferry (1).

    Many respondents were opposed for numerous reasons, including 6.5 % (13 people) who circled all four survey options (noise, health concerns, land devaluation, unpleasant to look at).

    The survey also found that 11 per cent of respondents (22 people) said they have noticed changes in their health since the wind turbines were erected. Of the most common issues, 12 of these 22 people said they suffered disturbed sleep patterns, 9 from headaches, and 6 from ringing in the ears. Sixteen of these 22 people also oppose the project because of “land devaluation” and 13 because they are “unpleasant to look at.”

    This brings into question (argued by wind turbine proponents), whether or not some respondents might suffer from psychosomatic illnesses (physical conditions with mental causes), provoked by their opposition to the wind turbines.

    Perhaps the most telling comment was from one respondent, a man in the age category of 16-24, who said that his health concern was “anger which leads to stress, which is a major health concern.”

    Two respondents, however, said their illness had been linked to the wind turbines by a medical practitioner.

    The survey also interviewed 19 people who have a wind turbine on their property. None were opposed to them, although one, a male between ages 40-55, said he noticed changes in his health since the wind turbines were erected. He said he suffers from “disturbed sleep patterns” and “stress or anxiety” and experiences this once a day.

    Here are some of the results:

    Approve of wind turbines: 53%

    Not affected/not sure about wind turbines: 21%

    Opposed to wind turbines: 21%

    Wind turbines on your property: 9.5%

    Health changes since wind turbines erected: 11%

    Main health concern – disturbed sleep: 6%

    Medical practitioner linked health concerns to turbines: 1%

    Wind turbines are an environmental benefit: 35.5%

    Don’t approve due to noise, land devaluation: 14.5%

    Wind turbines improved local spirit: 22%

    Wind turbines worsened local spirit: 28.5%

    How we surveyed

    The survey was conducted between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m on Feb. 22 by Farmers Forum editor Patrick Meagher and reporter Jessica Sims as drivers lined up to take the ferry to Kingston. We asked each adult if he or she lives on Wolfe Island and only handed one-page surveys to people at least 18-years-of-age or older. It was a captive audience and we stopped after three hours when we received 200 responses. Two people declined to take the survey.

    All surveys have their weaknesses. In our case, we surveyed a high number of people leaving the island for work and were less likely to survey farmers and others who live and work on the island. Also, we mostly surveyed year-round residents, not summer

  10. John Thompson says:

    Similar to Mr. Marisett asking his farm stand customers, we have been asking our Guest House tourist for two years now about their views on wind development in the County. Most were positive, some were neutral and no one would consider it a deterrent to return visiting.

    The bird/bat issue is taken seriously as is evident from reading through the environmental review binders for Ostander Point. The same studys for White Pines will be available in due course.

  11. Chris Keen says:

    And further down the Wikipedia article quoted above:

    “Although many species migrate at night, they often collide with even brightly lit objects like lighthouses or oil platforms. Birds of prey are diurnal because, although their eyes are large, they are optimised to give maximum spatial resolution rather than light gathering, so they also do not function well in poor light.”

    Putting any turbines up in a recognized Important Birding Area, an area known as a breeding area for species at risk, and a staging area for monarch butterflies and bats is simply not sensible. Helping one part of the environment – air quality – by erecting turbines and destroying or seriously damaging an ecologically sensitive area, its inhabitants and its avian visitors is not what “green energy” is all about.

  12. Brian Marisett says:

    Having read the study on the tourism impact of wind turbines in PEI, I would have to agree with Mr. Thompson.
    Personally I would welcome a wind turbine development at the Sandbanks Park.
    We operate a certified organic farm market stand on County Rd. 11 en route to the park and a good percentage of our customers are the high end tourists that the anti green lobby claim will cease to come here. Like the operator of any tourism related business I would be concerned if that were the case so I have taken the time to ask my customers if wind turbines in PEC would be a deterrent to them visiting PEC. So far after three years of asking I have yet to have one customer say yes that would be a deterrent. In fact the majority have said that it would be one more reason to return here. When asked what would deter them from coming here I have been equally impressed by the consistency in their replies; large scale commercial tourism development in rural areas leading to the loss of rural character.

    I believe the local Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has also surveyed their membership with similar results on the impact of wind turbines question.

    I visited Wolfe Island during the later stages of construction of the wind farm development there. I have tried to revisit in the past year, but every time I go Kingston the line up for the ferry has been excessive.

    The greed in this debate is in the hands of land speculators that have convinced themselves that there will be a loss of return on their investments if our wind resource is developed as in my opinion it should be..

  13. John Thompson says:

    A University of PEI study has determined that tourists actually wish to see more wind development. Furthermore, the lineups of cars heading to the beach on Wolfe Island are quite long now, providing anecdotal evidence towards the same conclusion. Expect tax revenue, ammenities agreements, and local employment to benefit in addition to progress towards a more sustainable environment.

    The environmental review binders for Ostander Point are available for reading to those who wish to study the issues.

  14. Maria says:

    What a disgrace!

    This all seems to me to be more motivated by greed by a few land owners and developers than a genuine interest in green energy or the environment.
    If we really want to help the environment, the best thing we can do is leave it alone and stop messing with it.
    One of the biggest industries in the county is tourism. Tourism benifits all the shops and stores, the B&B’s and lodges, all the farm stands and markets and many more.
    I think if we are to proceed with turbines in PEC, then the very first turbine should be erected at Sandbanks Park. I am sure that the staff at sandbanks has records as to how many vistors come each year. We could then accurately track how detrimental these things will be to the rural economy as a whole in PEC.

  15. Paul Cole says:

    I’ve spent many summers at Prince Edward Point as a boy scrapping the barnacles off my Grandfathers tugboat.The Point was known as Point Traverse back then and was a big part of the fishing industry which is all but gone.I think with all the potential problems with nuclear energy and the polution from coal fired plants wind energy is the safest alternative.
    The lose of a few birds which would most likely be the case considering as Wikipedia explains that “Vision is the most important sense for birds, since good eyesight is essential for safe flight, and this group has a number of adaptations which give visual acuity superior to that of other vertebrate groups; a pigeon has been described as “two eyes with wings”.” With proper oversight and consideration for both wildlife and human safety as well enviromental impact Wind Turbines are the way to go..

  16. Doris Lane says:

    With all the reference to the IBA it is hard to believe that more turbines are scheduled to be put up in this area. Does no one understand the importance of this area.
    Maybe everyone should come out to Prince Edward Point and look up close at these brave little birds who have travelled so far to go to their nesting grounds. What a shame that some will be caught in the man made blades.

    Gary looking at the map of the tranmission line that comes in towards Picton , do you know where it crosses highway 33 etc. It looks as if it goes to the hydro substation on County Road 5 from Elmbrook to Demorestville

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