Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nature Canada Dismayed by Decision to Grant Green Light for Ostrander Point Wind Power Facility

A few minutes ago we issued a statement in response to today’s announcement from the Province of Ontario that a 9-turbine wind generation facility has been approved at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Here it is:

We are dismayed by Minister Bradley’s decision to approve a wind energy project on publicly owned Crown land within one of the most significant areas of bird and bat migration in Ontario. 

Ostrander Point is in the heart of the globally significant Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area, and is well-known for its significance to migrating and breeding birds. A wind energy plant at this location poses a high and permanent risk to birds and other animals, plant life, animal life and the natural environment. It is particularly shocking that an announcement of this significance would be made as Ontarians turn their attention to family and friends for the holidays. The public now has 15 days during this holiday period to submit a formal request for appeal.  

While we support the government’s intention to expand the use of clean and renewable sources of energy through the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, it must not come at the expense of protecting wildlife and intact ecosystems to enhance landscape resilience. Protecting wild species and wild spaces is vital if we are to buffer the effects of climate change and provide options for wildlife as they cope with our changing climate.

We strongly believe there are sound, science-based reasons for rejecting a wind power facility inside this Important Bird Area, and we intend to press for a reversal of this unfortunate decision during the current appeal period.
If you're a reporter and you want further comment you can reach our national bird conservation manager, Ted Cheskey at or 613  620-5324 (cell).


thebiggreenlie said...

At this rate this once great province won't be fit for even human's!!!

SegueC said...

"While we support the government’s intention to expand the use of clean and renewable sources of energy through the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, it must not come at the expense of protecting wildlife and intact ecosystems to enhance landscape resilience. "

The sad truth is that the expansion of the land-devouring "unreliables" under the anti-democratic GEA is the opposite of enhancement of landscape resilience. It takes only a bit of back-of-the-envelope math to realize that unsustainable subsidies are responsible for non-renewable land being wasted on an impossible scale for GREEN ILLUSIONS, read book of that name by Ozzie Zehner. He shows that climate alarmists should be the first to reject unfounded and grossly wasteful illusions.

For a look at an example of the "sacrifice zones" now being dedicated to Big Energy check out Lake Superior's threatened watershed

"The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark", by Gordon Hughes is a report based on performance data , WEAR AND TEAR HITS WIND FARM OUTPUT AND ECONOMIC LIFETIME( ) which indicates the countries which have "been there done that" should be an object lesson because the technology fails and keeps failing.."the economic life of onshore wind turbines is between 10 and 15 years, not the 20 to 25 years projected by the wind industry itself, and used for government projections."

It is perhaps time Ontario Nature actually did a proper performance evaluation of the Ontario grid or you could just ask the Auditor General for Ontario, he seems to be able to do the math.

Millbrook Jane said...

Nature Canada should be more than dismayed about this announcement. Dismayed is such a polite term for such an egregious all out assault on the environment and sensitive ecosystems in particular. Aside from launching an appeal, it is hoped that Nature Canada raises a huge, huge public stink and shames those who claim they care about the environment but stood quietly by and allowed this to happen.

Ted Cheskey said...

Well, you are right, dismayed does not convey my sense of utter disappointment - even outrage - with this decision. In the long term, decisions like this will only undermine the intent of their policies, and completely lose any support from the naturalist community. The decision to even allow the company to apply in the first place seemed incomprensible to me, and now this. . . This is not the last you will hear from us on this issue. We will not turn our backs on the birds, the bats and the naturalists who are fighting to protect their habitats. - Ted

Millbrook Jane said...

I am glad to hear that Nature Canada intends to fight this decision. After all, there is another project White Pines intended for the adjacent area. Some facts below about turbines. Couldn’t find specific info on the GE XSL 2.5 models that will be used at Ostrander …

These are the specs for Repower MM92 model that is planned to dominate another fragile ecosystem, the Oak Ridges Moraine via multiple wind power plant projects and are likely similar to the GE model.

Just think what 9 of these will mean to Ostrander and the cumulative effect as more and more of these are placed in the path of migratory birds and bats. Not to mention that the MOE and MNR presume an 'overall benefit' by placing multiple species at risk in harm's way is just fine. Outrageous!

1. The steel tower for each turbine is 100 m or 328 feet tall. Each tower weighs 66 tons.

2. From the base to the very top of the turbine measures 145.2 m or 476 feet.

3. Each blade measures 45.2 m or 148 feet long. Each blade weighs 7.9 tons.

4. Each rotor weighs 40.7 tons. Each nacelle (housing that houses all of the generating components in a wind turbine, including the generator, gearbox, drive train, and brake assembly) weighs 69 tons.

5. The area that will be swept by the turbine blades per turbine will be 6720 sq.m or 72,333 square feet. This link may give one an idea of how large an area this is:

6. The blades will turn with a maximum tip speed of 72.6 metres per second or 162.4 miles per hour.

7. Each concrete base will be 18 m or 60 feet in diameter.

Ted Cheskey said...

As said in the orginal statement, we support wind energy in principle, and recognize that many, likely most projects, have negligible impacts on wildlife. There are bad ones though, and Ostrander Point is probably one of the worst locations I could imagine for this type of project in terms of risk to life. We have problems with a policy that encourages companies to propose projects on sensitive public lands. I think that most people, regardless of their position on wind energy, would agree that ecologically sensitive public lands in globally signficant sites are not places where we should be encouraging industrial activities that destroy sensitive habitat and threaten to kill wildlife in perpetuity.

SegueC said...

"As said in the orIginal statement, we support wind energy in principle,"

Saying you support wind energy is like saying you support sunshine! It is WIND POWER which is the problem; it requires all the "externalities" of conventional generation including a vastly greater spatial footprint for an expensive and unreliable adjunct.

Why do you persist in accepting what is basically a marketing slogan over actual performance data and the Laws of Thermodynamics?

Your desire to protect wildlife and habitats is laudable but completely dissonant with the promotion of "wind energy" which is demonstrably only the power of puffery.

Millbrook Jane said...

Well said Segue.....puffery the perfect descriptor! The problem is that Nature Canada is endorsing an industrial energy source that has been turned into a mythological panacea for all our climatic woes. For reasons that defy logic, there is a constant refusal by groups such as Nature Canada to recognize that these monstrous machines will not wean the world off fossil fuels or ameliorate weather events. Unless one wants to hearken back to the world of the Lord of the Rings, and fashion turbines in the depth of Mordor, each one of the thousands of turbines poised to desecrate rural Ontario require copious amounts of fossil fuel for their creation, transport and maintenance. What this entire windy fiasco truly is - is a horrendous money grab through an industrialization and destruction of the landscape not seen since the colonial period. .. and Nature Canada needs to recognize this, not offer platitudes. Where on earth have industrial projects ever caused only 'negligible harm' to native flora and fauna?!