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Winegrowers support OFA call to suspend wind turbine development

Members of Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association have voiced support of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s position statement to suspend development of industrial wind turbines in the County until conditions laid out in the OFA statement are met.

“Members of the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association (PECWA) have attended meetings with residents, local businessess and real estate professionals throughout the County who are concerned about the impact of wind turbine development,” association chair Lynn Sullivan said in a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty. “Many of our members are concerned about the possible negative impact these installations will have on our industry.”

In the fastest-growing and second largest Designated Viticultural Area (DVA) in Ontario, there are more than 30 wineries in Prince Edward County now open to the public.

“The proposed Ostrander Point and White Pines Wind Energy Projects which consist of 133-meter high industrial wind turbines, crane pads, foundations,  substations, electrical lines and service roads pose a threat to the thriving ‘rural renaissance’ that has sprung to life in the County as the wine region has grown in reputation and numbers,” Sullivan states. “Clearly, this and other wind energy development projects do not sound like a positive step for the development of the County. Furthermore, PECWA has grave concerns about the significant negative effects that wind turbines in the County would have on our property values and future opportunities to grow and prosper.”

The construction of large-scale industrial wind complexes seems counterintuitive, PECWA states.

“Our municipal government’s Economic Development Plan is paying dividends as new and appropriate businesses are attracted to the County and Tourism continues to grow year round. PECWA has had the opportunity to provide input into the proposed plan for 2012 and beyond, encouraging the County to pursue businesses and small industry that are a suitable fit to our landscape,” said Sullivan. “We believe that tourism is the key in encouraging potential new residents and investors to see the County for the first time and sets out a future path for economic development.

“Escalating concerns about industrial wind turbines have prompted the Ontario Federation of Agriculture to urge the province of Ontario to suspend further development until farm families and rural residents are assured that their interests are adequately protected. PECWA shares these concerns and looks forward to a positive outcome. The winery owners and grap growers look forward to a response that ensures that the concerns of our members are being addressed by our provincial government.”

The full OFA position statement on industrial wind turbines here: http://www.ofa.on.ca/uploads/userfiles/files/ofa%20position%20statement%20on%20industrial%20wind%20turbines.pdf

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  1. Gary Mooney says:

    Dawson, there is an alternative to selling and moving (which is now problematical if you live in South Marysburgh within the 2-km footprint of a proposed wind turbine).

    And that is to help with the fight against wind turbines. There are a lot of smart, committed and hard working people iinvolved, and more are joining the battle every week.

    Perhaps the first thing to do is to join APPEC, the Alliance to Protect Prince Edwqrd County. You’ll receive regular news about development at both the provincial and local developments, as well as local initiatives.

  2. David Norman says:

    Dawson, yours is the most profound and least deceptive statement (including my own) that I’ve encountered on this issue! Eyes wide open!

  3. Dawson says:

    I am sad at the prospect of having to live in an “industrial” turbine farm through no choice of my own. Your verbiage doesn’t help, inform or console. If you like them, come buy my house so I can get the fuck out of PEC.

  4. Marnie says:

    You’re welcome, David. You’re a good sport who makes many interesting points.

  5. David Norman says:

    Marnie & virginia, thank you for the verbal “slap”… I needed that. And Marnie, I’m more accurately a “certifiable” communicator.

  6. Marnie says:

    Virginia and David, both of you have emphasized more than once that you are certified communicators but do either of you actually speak plain English? You appear to be locked in a duel of four-syllable words and sentences that are panting for breath by the time they finally collapse in relief at a period. Remember the ABCs of effective communication – accuracy, brevity, clarity.

  7. virginia says:

    I’m guessing you see yourself as a humourist. Let’s just say we don’t share the same sensibilities in that area.
    ciao

  8. David Norman says:

    virginia, my intuition about you tells me to accept your gratuitous obfuscated assumptions and pay deference to your accomplishments and affiliations… otherwise this absurd, out of context commentary may provoke you to defer to John Thompson and the metaphorical turbine blades of opinion will continue turning and making their noise.

  9. virginia says:

    “contrived and incomprehensible”? No, indeed. If I had made the sweeping assumptions and obfuscations that you did in your last message, you would have jumped all over me. My message to you was to avoid assuming you know the minds of others. In addition, it seems that you are using the idea of intuition in an odd way. Frankly, I don’t really understand what you meant by that, at all.

    You mention in another forum that you have a strong background in PR. I’m sure you both deserve and get respect in that field. I would never poke fun at that, the way you did at my saying I had a degree in English. That was gratuitous at best. My degree is what helps me to express myself clearly, as I’m sure you would credit your educational background for your accomplishments.

    In addition, as a former farmer, a former member of OFA, and a former public servant, I can actually comment with some actual experience and knowledge on related topics and issues. Of course, I defer to Mr. Thompson for the up to date and current.

  10. David Norman says:

    virginia… thank you for your well written yet contrived incomprehensible rebuttal to the irrelevant points in my comment. The real insight to be had is not in what I said, nor particularly in how I said it… but why and to whom. Your comment, my comment, and the comment of John Thompson are in reality nothing more than irrelevant distractions in respect to the issue of Industrial Wind Turbines… a manner in which to express the emotional frustration we feel when some aspect of life that intrudes on our consciousness conflicts with our intuition about the way our environment should be ordered. In my perspective it does not necessarily matter who is “right” or who is “wrong”… the important aspect is whether we learn from it… improve upon our intuitive accuracy so to speak. This I feel is the only true “renewable” energy that humans can develop. In my experience I have found that Farmers, John Thompson being one, have extraordinary intuitive expression, not unlike Artists, that I truly respect. I sense in your expression a need for recognition of your frustrations. Let me offer some to you in the recognition that I actually look forward to your comments, not in judgment, but in the challenge they often represent to my own sensibilities. This is not an attempt to bambozzle you with verbosity… it is a genuine recognition of you as an individual.

  11. virginia says:

    Public servants are the primary objects of both governments cut backs, and of pension reform. As independent businessmen and businesswomen, farmers are not in either category.

    Also, non OFA members are not privy to the inner workings of the organization, and certainly have no insight into the mind of the president of same.

  12. David Norman says:

    @ John Thompson
    You have not recognized “the inconvenient truth”. It is not an issue of “fact” or “opinion” but of understanding what was stated. This position statement by the OFA is remarkably well written. I understand why Mark Wales would state they were not asking for delays in the wind projects which have contracts. Wales has a constituency to serve and I’m sure, despite his initial courageous request for a moratorium, in retrospect he would not want to jeopardize the programs they benefit from through the Ministry of Agriculture. And, I would suspect that the Government was quick to reply and point this out to him. In this time of fiscal restraint, Farmers would be as subject cut backs as Teachers and Doctors are being scrutinized for. The critical phrase in this position statement is; ” the Ontario Federation of Agriculture respectfully and strongly recommends that the province of Ontario suspend the award of FIT contracts for industrial wind turbine development projects pending resolution of the following:” If you then read the recommendations you should realize that they apply to and must be determined by, all existing developments. Hence there is no reason to state this as a request for a moratorium since if the Government were to comply with these recommendations there would not be a need. Wales knows that existing Industrial Wind Turbine developments , from which “pending the resolution of the following” concerns could not stand up this scrutiny.

  13. John Thompson says:

    David, the position statement says suspend the award of FIT contracts. For those who might think that request applies to contracts awarded, President Mark Wales has clarified that they were not asking for delays in the wind projects which have contracts. Those are not my words but Mark has told me that personally and I heard him repeat that on a radio interview. I’m sure he would offer that clarification to anyone who would care to check as he has done that many times already. Maybe an inconvenient truth to some but just the facts, not an opinion.

  14. David Norman says:

    @ John Thompson
    To provide accuracy of interpretation, the quote from the OFA statement reads; As a result, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture respectfully and strongly recommends that the province of Ontario suspend the award of FIT contracts for industrial wind turbine development projects pending resolution of the following:” (These conditions apply to all Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) developments)

     Because IWT projects can have a significant and lasting impact on neighboring farm businesses with regards future expansion and succession planning, the Ontario government must enable an acceptable level of planning control for IWT at the municipal level.
     Prices paid for IWT power (and indeed, all renewable power) should not exceed the expected price of peak power imports six years in the future, to ensure a long term supply or reasonably priced power.
     The province must require IWT developments to secure the capacity to provide dispatchable power using battery or other such environmentally acceptable storage.
     Wind turbine developments must be required to use sufficiently gauged service lines and sufficiently high capacity transformers to eliminate current inducement in adjacent lines or buildings by IWT collection lines.
     Rural residents’ health and nuisance complaints must be immediately and fairly addressed.
     Because varying conditions and larger generating equipment can create exceptions to a maximum of 40 dba at a minimum setback of 550 meters for an IWT development the province must conduct a comprehensive analysis using local empirical data and international studies on adequate setback distances for IWT based on the technology employed.
     The regulation governing participating receptors must be amended to require the appropriate minimum setback, determined through analysis, for all IWT developments.
     To directly address the real issue of noise levels and to ensure that the 40 dba guideline is achieved across Ontario, the provincial government must develop and implement a protocol to measure noise from IWT developments, including continuous tone and low frequency noiseojects pending resolution of the following:
     Because IWT projects can have a significant and lasting impact on neighboring farm businesses with regards future expansion and succession planning, the Ontario government must enable an acceptable level of planning control for IWT at the municipal level.
     Prices paid for IWT power (and indeed, all renewable power) should not exceed the expected price of peak power imports six years in the future, to ensure a long term supply or reasonably priced power.
     The province must require IWT developments to secure the capacity to provide dispatchable power using battery or other such environmentally acceptable storage.
     Wind turbine developments must be required to use sufficiently gauged service lines and sufficiently high capacity transformers to eliminate current inducement in adjacent lines or buildings by IWT collection lines.
     Rural residents’ health and nuisance complaints must be immediately and fairly addressed.
     Because varying conditions and larger generating equipment can create exceptions to a maximum of 40 dba at a minimum setback of 550 meters for an IWT development the province must conduct a comprehensive analysis using local empirical data and international studies on adequate setback distances for IWT based on the technology employed.
     The regulation governing participating receptors must be amended to require the appropriate minimum setback, determined through analysis, for all IWT developments.
     To directly address the real issue of noise levels and to ensure that the 40 dba guideline is achieved across Ontario, the provincial government must develop and implement a protocol to measure noise from IWT developments, including continuous tone and low frequency noiseojects pending resolution of the following:
     Because IWT projects can have a significant and lasting impact on neighboring farm businesses with regards future expansion and succession planning, the Ontario government must enable an acceptable level of planning control for IWT at the municipal level.
     Prices paid for IWT power (and indeed, all renewable power) should not exceed the expected price of peak power imports six years in the future, to ensure a long term supply or reasonably priced power.
     The province must require IWT developments to secure the capacity to provide dispatchable power using battery or other such environmentally acceptable storage.
     Wind turbine developments must be required to use sufficiently gauged service lines and sufficiently high capacity transformers to eliminate current inducement in adjacent lines or buildings by IWT collection lines.
     Rural residents’ health and nuisance complaints must be immediately and fairly addressed.
     Because varying conditions and larger generating equipment can create exceptions to a maximum of 40 dba at a minimum setback of 550 meters for an IWT development the province must conduct a comprehensive analysis using local empirical data and international studies on adequate setback distances for IWT based on the technology employed.
     The regulation governing participating receptors must be amended to require the appropriate minimum setback, determined through analysis, for all IWT developments.
     To directly address the real issue of noise levels and to ensure that the 40 dba guideline is achieved across Ontario, the provincial government must develop and implement a protocol to measure noise from IWT developments, including continuous tone and low frequency noise

    Seems to me that PECWA understands the OFA “position”! And nowhere in that statement does it infer as you state that “the President has made it clear that they are not asking for delays in the wind farms which now have FIT contracts”. These are your words, not those of the OFA.

  15. John Thompson says:

    It would seem that PECWA did not really check on the new OFA position which does not say “suspend development of …”. Rather the statement called for the Province to “suspend the award of FIT contracts”.

    This is a big difference and the President has made it clear that they are not asking for delays in the building of wind farms which now have FIT contracts.

  16. David Norman says:

    I’ll drink to that! Cheers!

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    The support of the 30+ member wineries/grapegrowers gives the pro-County forces a big boost. PECWA has major (and well-justified) concerns about the adverse effects of uncontrolled wind energy development on tourism, farm families and rural residents.

    CCSAGE appreciates and welcomes the support of PECWA.

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