Category Archives: WI Shoals

A Big Bird Kill

The Kingston Field Naturalists have been concerned for quite some time about the planned proliferation of wind turbines around the eastern end of Lake Ontario.  Below is a picture of what they are talking about, from ontario-wind-turbines.org.

Under their auspices, two naturalists studied the bird traffic that flies through the above area every year.  No surprise, lots of birds – huge likely slaughter.  The Kingston Whig-Standard has an article  on their findings.

Whig-Standard, a Big Bid Kill

Backup Link

WI Shoals – Harrison Responds

John Harrison has been studying the propagation of noise over water for some time.  The recent push to get the moratorium lifted and use the project as a “test bed” is a cynical attempt to get this project in, and once it’s in the developers are betting (probably correctly) that no matter how destructive its operation is it won’t be shut down.

He has prepared an 8-page report that details just how loud this project is likely to be on the neighboring islands, Wolfe and Amherst.

Harrison, Sound Propagation from Off-Shore Wind Turbine Arrays

WI Shoals – Whig Article

Today the Kingston Whig-Standard published a short article about the latest maneuvering of Ian Baines.  He is the president of Windstream, the company proposing the Wolfe Island Shoals project.  Ontario has a moratorium on projects in the Great Lakes pending doing some scientific studies to see what their impacts might be.  Baines says they need a project in place to do these studies, and he is offering his project (once it is built) for that purpose.  He is being so generous, don’t you think?

Link to the Whig article

Backup copy

WI Shoals – the Moratorium?

The online version of the Daily Commercial news had a brief article about the PC energy critic, Vic Fedeli, writing a letter to the Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley.  Fedeli was wondering, given all the orders Windstream has been placing for turbines etc in preparation for the WI Shoals project, if there are plans to lift the moratorium.  Bentley denied that there were, and reiterated that the project cannot proceed without the REA (Renewable Energy Approval) and the Province is not issuing while the moratorium is in place.

We’ll see.

Link to the original article

WI Shoals – Big Order Placed

Ian Baines’ company, Windstream, has just placed what is apparently a binding order for 130 Siemans turbines for their Wolfe Island Shoals project.  Since there is still a moratorium on wind turbines in the Great Lakes one wonders if they are being reckless, or do they know something we don’t?  A third option occurs to me – maybe they are positioning themselves for a major lawsuit. Continue reading WI Shoals – Big Order Placed

Dec 7, 2011 – East Lake Ontario

Below is a click-to-enlarge composite of the 4 wind energy projects that are at least far enough along to have definite numbers and placements of turbines.  The 4 projects are Wolfe Island, Amherst Island, White Pines and Ostrander Point.  All of these are Important Bird Areas.  And Ontario isn’t done.  There are plans for additional projects in the remaining gaps.  Look and weep.

WI Shoals

In a move that surprised all of us on Amherst Island, Ian Baines’ company, WindStream, was awarded a contract under the Ontario FIT program to supply power to the Ontario grid for a fixed price of 19 cents per kw-h, about 5 times the current wholesale price. Plus escalators over the years. Who is WindStream? From their web page, they have 5 employees. One is Ian Baines and another is his wife. Yet somehow they now control 48,000 acres of Lake Ontario. Nice work, if you can get it.

Reverse Chrono Listing
February 11, 2011. This was either a very good or a very bad day, depending on your viewpoint. For Windstream, it was very bad. Ontario announced a moratorium on offshore wind energy projects, including Shoals. I wrote more about the moratorium at windfarmrealities. Since Shoals has a contract to sell power to the OPA (to date the only offshore project that does) it affects them directly. The Kingston Whig-Standard had this article [backup copy] about their reaction.

February, 2011. The developer issued a jobs and economic impact report. I critiqued that report at windfarmrealities. It is curious that the number of turbines doesn’t agree with the IESO report, below.

November 8, 2010. The IESO has published the System Impact Assessment Report, which details how the turbines and substation will be connected to the grid. The main news out of this report is that the project will use 100 3.0MW Vestas V112 turbines. They have 55-metre blades.

September 5, 2010. John Harrison submitted his comments on noise propagation over water and how Ontario yet again sets inadequate setbacks.

July 27, 2010. We finally have a picture of the Wolfe Island Shoals project. A Canadian company named Ortech has apparently been named project manager. They also have a second web site. At a recent conference in Cleveland they gave a 35-slide presentation on the Shoals project. If all you’re interested in is the turbine placement, here is a small picture.
If you want a bigger picture (3.8mb!), click here. I also have the complete presentation in powerpoint and open office formats – go over to my windfarmrealities.org site and look for the appropriate “wi-shoals” files, way at the bottom. They are very large, 20mb.

June 29, 2010. Several weeks later Murray prepared a longer report for Council. It runs 16 pages, of which only 5 are his report and the last 11 are the recently proposed Ontario regulations for offshore projects. One question that should be on everyone’s mind was asked by Council: At the June 28, 2010 meeting, Council asked how a company like Wolfe Island Wind Shoals could negotiate to secure 48,000 acres of the lake bed, without going through a public process.

Murray’s Project Description, 5.5mb

June 15, 2010. Loyalist Township, which includes Amherst Island, is potentially the closest local government to the project. The Township Council is thus pretty interested in what WindStream is doing. The Township planner is Muray Bickel, and he has prepared this report for Council.

Project Description, per Loyalist Township, 1.7mb

April, 2010. It didn’t take long for folks to respond. Here’s a list of articles about the project. Unfortunately, the newspapers removed the articles and I hadn’t yet gotten into the habit of creating backup copies. So I’ve removed the links. Maybe they can still be googled, if you are interested.

  • April 28, 2010: Project to Cost $1.5B
  • April 23, 2010: Gone With the Wind Power
  • April 21, 2010: Unanswered Questions
  • April 20, 2010: Towers, Towers Everywhere
  • April 17, 2010: Regulations Needed
  • April 15, 2010: Uncharted Territory

April 8, 2010. The OPA offered contracts to buy power from 184 large projects. Among them was The Wolfe Island Shoals Wind Farm, for 300,000MW capacity and somewhere around 100 turbines, yet to be decided.