Tag Archives: Notices

Other Submissions

People send me stuff all the time.  Generally I assume they want me to post it on this site.  If something is well-written and makes valid arguments I will likely post it even if I don’t agree with all of the points.  I seem to be a serious skeptic, even of my own opinions.

The public comment period for the Windlectric Amherst Island project is coming to an end and there will no doubt be hundreds of submissions concerning it.  If anyone wants theirs posted, I’ll be only too glad to do so.

Submissions

Hall

Who Runs the MOE?

On January 2, 2014, the MOE posted the Amherst Island project on the EBR for public comment.  This is a significant step forward for the project, as the MOE now regards the draft documents Algonquin submitted as complete, in spite of widespread submissions that the draft documents were anything but.  Within 10 days of the posting, Algonquin was due to post their final documents, and the 60-day window for public comments would begin.

But a strange thing happened.  Within the description of the EBR posting, the area being studied was listed as Lots 29 to 76 in Concessions 1, 2 and 3.  If this were true, it would reduce the project to a fraction of what it was originally – of the 36 turbines in the draft plan only 16 are left.  Below is a clickable picture with the original turbines in red and the “new” project area in green.ai-ebr-pic-140105

For the human residents of Amherst, this new picture was very good.  It eliminated most of the turbines that were close to the far more numerous shoreline properties.  I and most of the anti-wind campaigners didn’t put much credence in this picture, as it almost certainly would have made the project non-viable.

However, the lot and concession numbers were not accidental.  If the MOE wanted a project that protected the residents as opposed to one that provided Algonquin with profits, this is what they’d likely come up with.  So maybe, just maybe, the MOE finally decided to stand up to the wind industry and actually protect the neighbors.

Numerous inquiries were made of all the appropriate parties.  By Monday the 6th, it was reported by Algonquin (not the MOE, curiously) that the EBR posting was inaccurate and that the project remained basically unchanged from the draft documents, and that the posting would be corrected.  Dutifully, on January 7 the January 2 EBR posting was replaced with the offending location now changed to “Various locations, Loyalist Township, County of Lennox and Addington”.  Algonquin’s deadline was also moved back, as was the 60-day public comment period.

“Various locations”?  Are they kidding?  The MOE posts it and isn’t aware, apparently, of the locations where the project will have impacts?  This entire episode raises a number of questions.  What was the intention of the MOE by posting it?  You cannot creditably claim it was a typographical error.  Perhaps the MOE had several alternative project plans and grabbed the wrong folder when it came time for the posting.  But that’s a pretty significant miscue on the MOE’s part, indicating at the least that the MOE is fundamentally incompetent.

Other explanations are worse.  Was the January 2 posting a surprise to Algonquin? Did Algonquin call the MOE to complain?  Did the MOE, in response to the call, make the changes?  If this scenario was the case, we shift from fundamental incompetence to outright corruption.  Or, was this the MOE’s idea of a sick joke, something to give the natives some hope before dashing it.  Now we’re into psychopathic corruption, something North Korea seems to be fond of.

Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario premier, has made noises about running a more transparent government, particularly with regard to the wind turbine issue.  So far, that’s all it’s been – noises.  This would be an excellent time for her to show us all that she means what she says; by performing an investigation that supplies us with truthful answers to these and other questions about this affair.  I am not holding my breath.

AI – November 1, 2011

Two notices were mailed around to AI residents informing them of the first of two public meetings that are required by the GEA.  This meeting is part of Ontario’s “consultation” with those living around the project.  Unfortunately, so far the developers and the province have interpreted the work “consultation” differently than most of us would.  I think I can safely predict there will be no meaningful 2-way conversations at these meetings.  The developers don’t have to take anything we say into account, and they won’t.  Below are clickable scans of the notices.

The first one is from Stantec.The second one is from Windlectric/Algonquin

AI – May, 2011

May 18, 2011. John Harrison, as part of the APAI, sent this letter to the Amherst Island residential mailing list. Like everything John writes, it is clearly written and quite accurate. Most likely it won’t change anyone’s mind, but I guess there’s no harm at this point in trying. There’s still no word on who has signed what, where the turbines will be, where the substation will be, and maybe most importantly, where the dock will be.

May 13, 2011. Algonquin Power Co, the developers of the AI project, mentioned it in one of their press releases [backup copy]. The “class III turbine” they mention must refer to an IEC 61400 class designation – they are made lighter than class I or II turbines, and thus can extract more energy out of lower wind speeds. The tradeoff is they are not able to tolerate higher wind speeds,not to mention higher capital (and maybe operating) costs. They are estimating it will generate 247GW-H per year. That’s 37.6% CF, which would make it the most productive wind project in Canada, by far. I wonder where they are getting their wind data from.

AI – Late February, 2011

February 25, 2011. The Kingston Whig wrote an article about the announcement, which included a short interview with John Harrison. [Backup Link.]

Algonquin Power released a short statement about the OPA FIT award on Amherst Island. No new news in it. [Backup Link.]

February 26, 2011. Here’s a short article about Algonquin’s response to the contract offer. [Backup Link.]

February 28, 2011. John Harrison has been busy in response to the recent OPA announcement. First, he put out another APAI Newsletter, the fourth one in the series. Then he wrote, on behalf of the APAI, a letter to Sean Fairfield of Algonquin Power.

AI – April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010. This letter from Gaia was sent around to the Island residents. As an update it was nice of them to do this. Algonquin still is mentioned as the project developer, but in their annual report the only mention of something that could be Amherst was an 80-mw project in southern Ontario. It is unknown to me if that is our project or someone else’s. I had generally assumed that any project on Amherst would be made as large as possible due to the cost of the underwater cable to the mainland. 200-mw seems to be the Ontario upper limit, but maybe they had to retrench. At the now-higher price under the FIT maybe they can make a profit. All these questions, but no answers yet.

AI – February 24, 2009

February 24, 2009. As mentioned above on October 15, 2008, the Loyalist Township Council passed a resolution that tightened the noise limits. The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing rejected this resolution and reinstated the original Ontario limits, which have been shown to be inadequate. CPAI is now appealing that ruling. On a different track, the Ontario Green Energy Act was introduced this week which may make all this moot, as the Province seems determined to roll over any and all objections.

AI – January 23. 2009

January 23, 2009. The OPA has announced the six winners of this RFP, and Amherst Island was NOT among them. So the Island gets a reprieve until the next RFP is issued. I assume the next RFP will have to pretty much start the process from scratch, as new proponents will be entering the bidding process. Hopefully this will take a year or so; the OPA hasn’t announced its schedule yet.

AI – October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008. Loyalist Township council passed the following resolution to be sent to Ontario. It was based upon the Ramakrishnan report and perhaps the Harrison response. I thank the Council for making every effort to get all the facts before making what could be a disastrous decision. In other action, the council deleted the inclusion of “the associated transformers and power transmission lines” in the definition of the system and replaced it with “Wind Energy Generating System Accessory Facility”, along with some temporary construction facilities. I would hope the new definition continues to include the transformers and lines, so I don’t know if this is more or less restrictive. We’ll see.