The Kingston Whig has a short article with APAI’s (in the person of Peter Large) reaction to the Environmental Review Tribunal’s reversal of the Ostrander Point project. He said most opposition people were happy that, finally, a project got turned down. Whether that will help or even possibly hurt the chances of stopping the Amherst Island project remains to be seen. A case can be made either way.
Kingston Whig-Standard, July 5, 2013, Wind Farm Opponents Bolstered by Decision
Amherst Island has been in the news a lot recently. The Heritage Canada listing, the blade disposal headline, and now a TV news story, titled “After years of dismissing rural opposition, the winds of change appear to be blowing in Ontario”. The reporter interviewed 3 members of APAI (Peter Large, John Harrison and Mark Raymond) and none of them indicated they thought enough had changed to prevent the project from going ahead.
CKWS-TV, News Story, June 28, 2013
Wind turbines are indisputably large industrial machines and just because they can produce “green” energy doesn’t mean that they are themselves in any way “green”. Quite the contrary. As just one example, think about the blades. They are large and made of non-recyclable materials. There’s lots of them and they wear out fairly quickly. How does one dispose of them? Other than dumping them alongside a road, that is.
APAI has written a letter to the MOE asking about these issues and so far hasn’t received a reply. No surprise there. The Kingston Whig picked the story up and it made front page headlines.
The article’s byline emphasizes that the protestors on Amherst are “trying a new tack” in their efforts to get Algonquin to abandon the project. This makes it sound like they will try anything and everything to stop it. That is certainly so, and there is a danger that by raising lots of objections none of them are taken seriously. The problem is that wind turbines have a large number of downsides to them, all of which are substantive. So I presume APAI will continue to point them all out, even at the risk of dilution. Certainly the disposal of the blades is something for which no plan currently exists in Ontario.
Kingston Whig Standard, article, June 28, 2013
The second and final public meetings that Algonquin is required to have occurred earlier this week. I didn’t bother attending – there’s nothing to learn there, and nothing of importance will be discussed. Algonquin knows that the Province will use its powers to roll over the locals, so there’s no reason to waste any more time with them than is necessary to check off the regulatory steps.
There was an article in the Kingston Whig with not-so-veiled threats to slow down the truck traffic going through the island’s only town, Stella. I’m betting that the OPP will become a constant presence on the island during construction. I’d ask my readers to think through what that potential says about this project, and what it says about how the Ontario government regards its rural residents.
A second article indicated that Randy Hillier, the MPP for the riding that includes Amherst Island, would support this type of civil disobedience.
There was also a report on CKWS-TV.
In the December edition of Framers Forum magazine there was a short article about Amherst Island. Bruce Caughey, Dave Willard, Peter Large and Duncan Ashley were all quoted. As it happened, I was in Bruce’s office when the call came in from the reporter, and so I can first-hand verify the his quotes appear to be accurate.
Farmers Forum, The Big Chill, December 2012
Talk about being prophetic. Back in July I posted a letter from APAI to Algonquin warning them about the difficulty of fighting a fire on the Island, and how it isn’t that uncommon for a wind turbine to start a fire. Well, it wasn’t a wind turbine. It was an ATV whose hot muffler got it started. Compared to a wind turbine starting one, pretty small potatoes. Still, it quickly became rather large and required three fire departments – two from the mainland – to put it out. Story in the Whig.
Continue reading Amherst Island Fire
Last July the Kingston Whig published an article about the announcement of the Federal health study of wind turbines. As part of that article they printed a response from John Garrison, who was Kingston’s MPP when the Wolfe Island project went into service. He supported that project to the extent that he cited a conflict of interest when he, as the Minister of the Environment at the time, was called upon to approve it.
The Whig, Enough studies on wind turbines, Kingston’s MPP says, July 14, 2012
APAI, a group of Amherst Island residents that opposes the pending project there, wrote a response to that article to the Loyalist Township Council.
APAI, Response to Council, July 17, 2012
A few days before this exchange, APAI had put out a press release concerning the federal health study.
APAI, Press Release, July 12, 2012
APAI has also published comments and a letter to the federal health minister.
The Kingston Whig-Standard had a recent article the featured Brian Little and Amherst Island. He lives sort of in the middle of the Island, as opposed to most of us who live on the shoreline. From there he is able to observe more of Algonquin’s activities than many of us are, plus he works on the ferry and sees who is coming and going.
He noticed that crews hired by Algonquin are doing a fair amount of drilling on the island already, well in advance of any approval for their project to go ahead. As Janet Grace commented, it is hard to determine if what they are doing constitutes “construction”, which would be illegal, or simply “research”, which would not. Whichever, I can tell you first hand that some of these activities are already impacting the residents of the island.
Whig-Standard: Jumping the Gun on wind turbine project
It seems that the delays to this project reported a couple of weeks ago didn’t set well with NY’s Public Service Commission. Their staff is now suggesting that the entire project be scrapped.
Original report, from WYNF
The Watertown paper had a short article about the Galloo Island project being delayed due to low electricity prices along with the prospect of the ITC not being renewed.
Watertown Daily News article, July 7, 2012
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
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.
Link to the original article
April 16, 2011. The Whig-Standard carried another article [backup copy] on Amherst Island, this time about the lack of money being paid to the township by the project. In the past, local councils approved the projects, which gave them leverage to get some added revenues. With the Green Energy Act the province took over the approvals, and there was no longer a need for the developers to bribe the locals.
April 8, 2011. The local newspaper, the Whig-Standard, carried this article [backup link]. Unless the birds get in the way, I figure the project is a done deal. The article mentions that Algonquin signed the contract and it must be in operation by February 2014. Of course I’ll continue to follow its progress here, followed by the effects on the birds, people etc.
March 3, 2011. The local TV station, CWKS, aired this report [backup link] on the project on Amherst Island. In it they mention that construction will start next summer. They don’t say where they got that information.
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.