Tag Archives: Maps

Hatch’s Map

Some members of APAI (the anti-project group, the Association to Protect Amherst Island) decided to send a one-pager to all the island residents letting them know what to expect in terms of noise and flicker.  As they dove into the developer’s noise map and flicker study they quickly discovered that the noise map was largely unusable and the flicker study made no sense.

As a result, one Deborah Barrett, who fairly recently moved to the island, wrote a letter to Doris Dumais at the MOE, stating that in view of such shoddy work the application ought to be deemed incomplete and returned to Windlectric/Algonquin.  The letter is six well-written pages long and is very readable, and it gives you a sense of just how uncaring/careless/arrogant/entitled (your pick) the wind project developers are.


Barrett, Letter to Doris Dumais

Windlectric/Stantec/Hatch, Design and Operations Report.  The map in question is on pdf page 124 of the 147 pages.

Windlectric/Hatch, Flicker Study.  Their table B.1 lists the amounts of flicker the affected receptors get, and it makes no sense.

I Have Pictures!

On my WFR site I created Google Earth maps with pushpins showing where there are (or will be) wind turbines. To take that one step further I have now created a 3-D model of a wind turbine that reflects how it will actually look. Below are some screen shots of sample viewpoints.

For those who can run Google Earth you are in for a treat (in an obscene sort of way). I’m in the process of creating KMZ files for each project which can be opened by GE and allow you to fly around the projects and see what they will actually look like from different vantage points. To see which KMZ files are available, go to my reference materials page, scroll down to the kmz’s and download at your pleasure. Initially I’ve got Amherst Island, Ostrander Point and White Pines, and I’ll be adding more as time permits. If you have a project that you want displayed quicker than my random rate, please let me know.

To use the KMZ files, here’s a general step-by-step:

  1. Download the kmz file(s) from my reference materials.
  2. If you want you may be able to open the file directly from GE.
  3. Remember where you saved them!
  4. Open up Google Earth.
  5. Wait until the opening globe stabilizes.
  6. Upper left corner, “file” – “open”.
  7. Navigate to where you saved the kmz file.
  8. Open the file(s) you want. Magic then occurs.

I’ve found it easiest to zoom into about 3000 feet then tilting, using the upper circle in the upper right corner. It does take some practice learning to fly around, but after a few minutes it starts to become easier. Have fun! If you can…

These are screen shots of what it looks like. Click to enlarge.

AI on Google Earth

With the publication of the draft plan, Algonquin/Stantec released the UTM’s – that’s the Universal Transverse Mecator grid system – that locates “exactly” where the turbines will be located and locates “exactly” where the receptors are located.  We may consider ourselves real human beings, but to the developer we’re merely “receptors”.  Nice, eh?  I’ll admit, the definition of receptor includes things besides homes and humans, namely vacant lots.

I’ve taken the UTM’s (roughly 700 of them on AI) and created a Google Earth map of the Island with all the turbines and receptors located per the draft plan.  The turbines are yellow, the existing homes are red, the vacant lots are green and those locations I haven’t sorted yet are gray.  Here’s the overall picture (clickable, thank goodness, but still too small):For the first time, we can now see where Algonquin has officially located the turbines and where they consider the vacant-lot receptors to be located.  Recall that according to the GEA, the developer gets to pick where they think you should build your house.  Of course they will pick as far from their turbines as possible, so as to keep the noise level down.

There are some things you need to be aware of with Google Earth.  Unfortunately, they only have fairly low-resolution pictures for Amherst Island.  That’s a shame, because often you can’t really tell where the “thumbtack” is located.  Additionally, Google has to splice together different pictures and sometimes where the pictures meet is off a little.  Again unfortunately, there is such a jog in between T6 and the school, so if you use the ruler to measure the distance it will indicate shorter than it is, by roughly 50m.

In addition to the Google Earth map, I’ve got a spreadsheet that calculates the distances from all the receptors to all of the turbines, using the UTM’s supplied by the developers.  This spreadsheet uses just the numbers from them, so if there is a mistake it is with their numbers.  If you want find out how far you are from the nearest turbine, as well as the others, send an email to wayne@amherstislandwindinfo.com with your receptor number and I’ll get back to you.

If you have Google Earth (or can install it) I can send you the kml file that creates the map.  This way you can zoom in on your neighborhood and see where Algonquin located your home (within Google’s limitations) as well as placed your future home on a vacant lot.  Again, email me as above.  It is quite easy to bring these definitions into your copy of GE.  And if you spot something that is incorrect please let me know and I’ll check it out.

I have to comment on the pathetic quality of the numbers Algonquin provided.  There just isn’t room to recall all the errors I found.  There were any number of missing receptors especially for vacant lots and erroneous indications of what was vacant and what was not.  There were also numerous differences between the preliminary draft noise report, released on December 6 at the open house, and the final draft report, released February 1st.  It seems that Algonquin was so eager to shut down the filing of new building permits that they rushed in a crappy unfinished plan.  In any other line of business, work of this poor quality would probably end up in the trash, but in Ontario wind developers can do no wrong.

AI – The Draft Site Plan

Today Algonquin released the draft site plan for the Amherst Island project.  It looks surprisingly similar to the preliminary draft site plan that was released on December 6, 2011 at the open house.  There are 37 turbines, still at 2.3MW each, for a total of 85.1MW, far above the OPA contracted 75MW.  Earlier Algonquin was saying that they were planning on releasing this plan sometime mid-year, but I guess they decided to move it up.

While Algonquin (of course) is not commenting on why they decided to release it now, I assume they got wind (pun intended) of some efforts to file building permits on adjacent properties, which would potentially force the movement or even elimination of some of the turbines.  The Ontario rules state that for vacant lots, Algonquin gets to pick the location for any future residence to suit their project, as long as it is “consistent” with ordinary building practices.  If you look at the map, the gray squares are where Algonquin placed the virtual receptors.  Where the actual owner of these properties might want to build is not a factor.  Now with the filing of the draft plan (as opposed to the previous preliminary draft plan) those virtual receptors are fixed, and the adjacent property owners can no longer choose to build where they want.

The main value for me in the draft plan is that the receptors and turbines and their UTM’s are revealed.  UTM’s are coordinates, in meters as opposed to degrees, of where the turbines and receptors are.  I have a spreadsheet that takes these coordinates and calculates the distances.  Given the numbers, their distance and the value of the properties, I certainly hope the noise consultant (Hatch, I believe) does a good job with the noise study.  Many of the Amherst residents are fairly well-to-do, and are willing and able to contact acousticians and lawyers, and I’m betting any noise non-compliance will end up in court.  And noise non-compliance is almost a certainty with this project plan.

In a particularly egregious example, the AI Public School is 573m from T6, downwind most of the time.  The playground is even closer.

Here’s the numbers.  There are over 600 receptors on the island itself, and another 900 on the mainland.  I think almost 1500 receptors is a new Ontario record. Of the Island receptors, here’s the distances and numbers of receptors:

  • Less than 550m: 10
  • 551 to 600m: 30
  • 601 to 650m: 37
  • 651 to 700m: 43
  • 701 to 750m: 54
  • 751 to 800m: 52
  • 801 to 850m: 68
  • 851 to 900m: 51
  • 901 to 950M: 44
  • 951 to 1000m: 38
  • More than 1000m: 200

Certainly the 427 receptors that are within a km of a turbine are at great risk for health problems and non-compliance, but the 200 receptors outside of that aren’t out of the woods. There have been credible reports from a number of projects that homes up to several km’s can have problems with noise.

UPDATE, same day.  I’ve been working on assigning the Receptor numbers to actual people’s homes, and it has already become apparent that this plan was put together quickly.  The UTM’s don’t match up very well with actual locations.  As an example, the Caugheys have two existing receptors shown on their property.  The first is their home at R350.  There is also the horse barn at R194.  I’m just sure the horses fell better already.  Ross Haines’ home should be R431, but that is shown as a vacant lot, with the receptor placed down by the water.  R289 is in Caughey’s vacant 200 acre “lot” across the street, but the virtual receptor looks to be in the Front Road right-of-way. And all of this is just from one small part of the Island.


Draft Site Plan

Backup Link

Just the Map from the Draft Site Plan

Draft Site Notice

Backup Link

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.

AI – The Maps

Algonquin/Gaia/Windlectric had their first open house last night, Dec 6, 2011, on the Island.  I didn’t attend, but I’ve talked to several people who did and they all agreed that it was quite a meeting.  Demonstrations, chants, placards.  A couple of plainsclothes were on hand, and it was probably just as well.  The proponents can no longer claim that their project has “community support”.

I was most interested in finding out if the developers were far enough along that they could show the locations of the turbines, substation and “temporary” dock.  They did have maps, which showed 37 turbines spread across the length of the island.  But wait, 37 turbines times 2.3mw each (per the latest draft, Nov 2011) is 85.1mw.  Since the OPA contract was for 75mw, something is amiss.  Either they have to go back to smaller turbines (like 50 1.5’s) or they have to get rid of 5 turbines, or they have to put a current limiter in the substation.  So I don’t put a lot of stock in these maps.  Still, here they are.

The first map is from the meeting (all of these can be clicked to enlarge).  John Harrison superimposed the likely wake zones of the turbines – zones that increase thumping and decrease efficiency.  The yellow circle is the temporary dock, while the substation and laydown area are the squares.

The second map is a preliminary noise contour map.  Presumably anything in the green areas would be non-compliant with Ontario standards.  Unfortunately, there are several non-participants who appear to live within the 40dB circle.  I’m not sure what Algonquin plans on doing about them.

This third map shows the locations, as marked on a Google Earth picture of the Island – these are only as close as I could reasonably get them.  If anyone wants the kml file with my preliminary coordinates let me know.

UPDATE.  There was a second meeting in Bath the next night, Dec 7.  The Whig wrote an article about it [backup copy].  Note that they mention 33 turbines which, at 2.3mw, is still one too many. Algonquin is claiming that they value the input of the locals, but I’m pretty sure the “locals” translates to just the participants.  Also note that the participants have zero interest in a debate.  No surprise there.  With their 30 pieces almost in hand, why bother to listen to their neighbors?

UPDATE.  The Napanee Guide published the same article as the Whig did.