Wind Farm Projects Contested in Ontario

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Protrucio Protrucio's picture
Wind Farm Projects Contested in Ontario

Wind Conerns Ontario seems to be commenting on every wind farm and or wind turbine project in Ontario.

At first I thought this group were advocates promoting wind power as an alternative source of energy. In fact, it seems as if Wind Concerns are concentrating on everything that either has or can go wrong with the development of wind power in Ontario.  

There seems to be a lot of opposition to alternative power source initiatives in Ontario. There are also some scandals. 

Would kind Rabble readers please share  insights with me about the greening of Ontario because it's getting difficult to sort out the issues.  I'm hearing about a lot of tesion between wind project promoters and the communities these projects are intended for.

Thank you.

Issues Pages: 
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Interesting perspective.  In fact it seems that they think bigger is not better.  Hard to disagree with much in their assessment.



Rankings of Electricity Generation Sources
The following table shows the ranking of conservation and electrical energy sources for the most benefit considering low environmental impact, climate change benefits, sustainability, and renewability with each being given equal weight and valued as 1 or 0. The relative size of beneficial impact or amount of electricity produced is the last category and has a value of 2 or 0. A value of 2 is given for those sources with significant positive impacts and 0 for relatively small impacts, as described above. This analysis is the authors and is provided to illustrate the relative ineffectiveness of alternative energy sources, and to invite discussion on the matter.

conschart31 This table can be summarized as follows:

  • The clear winner is conservation
  • Hydro is a close second, but the opportunity in Ontario for significant additional hydro resources is limited. It is probably 1,500 MW. In any event, in Ontario, it beats out small scale wind and solar on the basis of the size of the electricity being produced. As discussed above, even assigning an intermediate value of 1 in the “Size” column to small scale wind and solar would make these equal to new hydro. This would require installing wind and solar capability on hundreds of thousands homes in Ontario. However, this is not out of the question, but would take a large provincial government program, including significant incentives.
  • Small scale wind and solar outrank nuclear fission plants for the reasons shown. Nuclear fission plants remain the strong next choice because of its very large electricity generation capability. Today 50% of the electricity energy in Ontario is produced by nuclear plants. Without nuclear plants, Ontario would be burning coal.
  • Industrial scale wind with hydro backup, biomass and the fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) rank equally in fifth place, even though the fossil fuel generation capability is quite large by comparison. Hydro backup for industrial scale wind power in Ontario may not be feasible because of the limits to our hydro resources and hydro’s base generation role, which may not allow it to be diverted to wind backup. The plans for Ontario are for large increases in gas turbine generation, which is a strong indication of the likelihood of this being the wind backup of choice.
  • Fossil fuel generation beats out industrial scale wind with fossil fuel backup, because of the need for almost 100% backup requirements for wind, which would be fossil fuel based. Clean coal plants could deliver the same benefits of wind backup using clean coal technology. Similarly gas turbine can reduce emissions over coal by about 50% and deliver the same benefits when used as wind backup. In short there are no emissions reductions benefits by the introduction of wind into the generation portfolio. A credible source in the UK has called for industrial wind power to be re-classified as non-renewable. Specifically the Royal Society has expressed concerns over setting targets for renewable energy sources as percentages of total generation capacities, and states that a target set in terms of maximum mass of CO2 emitted from electricity generation would be more appropriate.
  • Alternative energy sources are not capable of significant impacts and should not be looked to for commercialization for the foreseeable future. Continued research and development support would be a better use of funding in these areas. Solutions might lie in these areas in the future, and solar energy looks to be the best bet.


Protrucio Protrucio's picture


You are so right. Deep in my "gut" I know that conservation is the first priority. I see energy waste all around me. Thank you for the breakdown; for the chart. This gives me the kind of raw data I needed to back up my intuition, concerning the importance of conservation!!!
So where are the interprovincial conservation online networks I wonder. Do you have any leads "well oiled" Kropotkin?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I actually didn't link to the above chart because it is from the website you linked too. 

I found the site quite interesting.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

I have not had time to navigate the site. I have just been following the headliners they send to me often, via email. I am looking to document test cases. I will examine the site more thoroughly. It's nice not to have an ego that is easily cowed and made to feel dumb and  stupid! Anyway send more leads if they pop up, if it happens. How's that for free wheeling anarchy?


Conservation  has a lot of potential but it by itself is not going to solve the problem. In the future we will probably need a lot of electricity to power transportation, if we want to stop using fossil fuel.

My personal preference is a combination of wind and hydro. With the base load coming from wind and hydro filling in the peaks and low wind periods.  For that we need large water reservoirs to built potential energy during surplus wind generated electricity, by pumping water into these reservoirs for use during slack wind periods. Hydro power is easy to get on and off line.

remind remind's picture


RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture





A population cap in Canada (Say, 35M) would help immensely. More people will mean more electricity consumption, regardless of any other conservation efforts. Staggering hours of schools and businesses (offer tax incentives) would even-out power useage, improving efficiency. More use of Combined Heat, Cooling and Power ('cogeneration') for institutional and even residential use saves gobs of energy (waste heat is used for heating and cooling, instead of dumped into the atmosphere, or a lake). Organic waste (polyethylene, paper, slaughterhouse offal and forestry byproducts) can be burned for power in existing plants, instead of coal.

There have been reports of health effects associated with wind turbines. The low-pressure wakes their blades also pop the lungs of bats and birds. When the 'environmental' Kennedys don't want them on their Martha's Vinyard compound, that says something. Turbines are also ugly as sin, erratic and costly to maintain. Neither is nuclear power an option: it's dangerous, the waste issue hasn't been solved and the total life cycle costs are horrifying (CANDU's have cost 400-500% more to decommission than to build). In the long term, very radical technologies should be invested the Fusor, Dense Plasma Focus, and so forth.


Protrucio Protrucio's picture

PW member 20301 Oh brave new world.  What you have written makes sense. I will follow through on some of your leads. If you have any links that you could share they can be pasted in the new comment window.

Thank you for the insites.


With so many problems with regards to climate change and its consequences in other countries,it is probably unrealistic to cap Canadas population at 35 million.  Climate change will probably force a lot of people to seek places where they can survive.

Sure wind turbines are ugly, but so are the cars, highways and those three garage door bungaloes that litter our landscape. Do we have the time to develope new technologies to deal with the CO2 problem? It are the local people in communities that are the resource that have to be used to remodel those communities towards a sustainable existence. Relying on the Monsantos of this world to deal with these problems would be utter stupidity, since sustainability and profit are incompatible. 

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

I have been receiving many feeds from "Wind Concerns Ontario" such as, "Jason and Ann Wirtz and their four children used to reside in a home on Highway YY in the town of LeRoy which was situated within the FWEC. According to the complaint, the Wirtzes suffered both physical and financial hardships from living near the wind turbines. "The Wirtzes were forced out of their home by the noise and vibration of the wind turbines," said Edward Marion, the family's lawyer. "So, they lost all the money in their house, and they lost the value of their livestock which is a herd of alpacas."  Please see:

The State of the World Forum Site seems to be worth looking at since water issues, climate change and environmental degredation are interrelated I think. Please see



We, as a sovereign country, have a choice in how many people are allowed to settle here. There is a limit to how humanitarian we can be, especially with societies that have irresponsibly-high birthrates. Transfering more people from the warm 'South' to the Great Frigid North essentially means more heat... (Even 'hydro' isn't environmentally-friendly, either.) GM crops haven't been able to squeeze more than a few percent more output out of crop yields. Water supplies are worrisome, too, meaning reduced crop yields. Restarting global family planning has to be done, to reduce the population--before nature does it for us.

Cogeneration is hardly a 'new technology'. Many campuses, businesses, and other institutions use this. So can you: it's nothing more than a generator, with the exhaust and cooling waste heat either warming your house, or running a cooling (AC) system. Basically, the ~30% of energy thrown away as waste heat (or wasted, making heat) is used for a productive purpose. A 'high-efficiency' furnace is actually wasting energy that could be first used to make electricity, with heat as a byproduct. The big, industrial cogenerators usually use gas turbines, but a natural gas-fuelled piston engine works for small installations (houses). Geothermal heat (heatpump) systems are well-proven, along with solar thermal. And there's a lot of real estate on the roofs of those 'ugly' bungalows and the sides of those office towers for photovoltaic cells... (Even on wind-powered yachts, people prefer solar panels to flakey wind turbines.)

Also, staggering commercial and school hours would help immensely. Flattening out peaks in consumption would improve the overall efficiency of powerplants and the electric grid. There would be other, non-electrical benefits, too, like reduced crime and less need for huge roadways that are all-but-vacant outside of rush hour.


Have a look at this.



Sure some countries have an irresponsible high birthrate, others have an irresponsible high consumption rate, what is in your opinion the reason for our CO2 problem?

I know little about plasma fusion, making it difficult to evaluate your link. It seems to still have a high degree of uncertainty as to how we can apply it.

Cogeneration has a place in some situations, but most of them depend on fossil fuel, thus they are still part of the problem. Also internal combution engines are very high maintenance machines when compared to electric motors or generators. With a low efficiency to boot.


Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Protrucio did have a look at : articles and website looks very interesting. I'll need some time to grasp it. I will. Thank you for this!

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Bubbles and other dialogical contributors, I have a problem with hydro power these days when it depends on dams.This is because there are environmentalists who argue that dams are not sustainable and contribute significantly to environmental degradation. I spent part of my teenage years in San Francisco -even though I am a Canadian. Recently I discovered a radio program broadcast from SF that focuses on hard core environmental concerns in a unique way. There are some audio files on the negative impacts hydro dams have on the environment that anyone can download on the site.

Perhaps typical to the Bay Area in good'ol California, the radio program is called TUC  or Time for Useful Consciousness!!!!!

Here is the link:

There is also a Michael Parenti audio file archive on the site.


In Canada we have a lot of lakes that can serve as natural reservoirs. For example one could pump water from Lake Ontario, with windmills, back into Lake Erie and then collect the power as needed Through the power station at Niagara Falls. All one would have to figure out how much fluctuation one can tolerate in the lake levels to determine how much backup power one can draw on.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Excerpted from:

What went wrong with Ontario's energy policy: comparing spin and reality by Compiled for Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns Ontario by Keith Stelling MA., McMasterDownload: What Went Wrong with Ontario's Energy Policy? Compiled for Central Bruce-Grey Wind Concerns Ontario By Keith Stelling, MA, (McMaster) MNIMH, Dip. Phyt., MCPP (England), 10 April, 2010

"By referring to the economic experience of those European countries that have vigorously promoted wind energy over the lasttwo decades, this report demonstrates that the decisions of the Ontario Government did not take into consideration the actual reality of introducing large scale industrial wind energy onto the grid. In fact, the government's enthusiastic claim to embrace cheap, "clean", environmentally benign electricity at the same time as diminishing CO2 emissions appears to have ignored much of the information that was available to them, leaving an energy policy based on little more than a leap of faith. "



Protrucio Protrucio's picture

I am going to post another discussion topic called Ontario's energy policy what should it be?



The big problem in Canada is that it's cold (so we need to burn fuel to heat ourselves)...but we don't have access to hot geothermal energy, like Iceland (spectacularilly in the news, today!), or rely on nukes (like France, Sweden, Switzerland). This means more CO2 output. Don't forget that a large population means 'consumption', too, in terms of food and water. India is a warm country, but uses half of its (largely fossil-fuelled) electric output just to pump groundwater for irrigation, from non-renewable 'fossil' aquifers. These are already faltering and there have already been food riots in some areas, which makes future political stability worrisome. China and South Korea, along with Gulf states like Kuwait are buying up/leasing agricultural land in other countries, including Canada. Unlike Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, most of the world (including rich countries, like Saudi Arabia) simply have unsustainable birthrates.

Cogenerators can work off of natural gas. NG engines in pumps and the like run with less maintenance (oil contamination and spark plug fouling is reduced). No more than changing the filter on your furnace, or draining sediment from your water tank. Even though fossil fuels are still used, gas is less carbon-intensive than oil, or coal, and the overall efficiency is improved. Geothermal heat pumps can use no fossil fuel energy. Fusors and Dense Plasma Focus are interesting, because they're already runing at near break-even (even amateur versions), unlike Tokamaks and laser fusion. If a fraction of the roughly 1B wasted annually on dead-end tokamak, or laser fusion research was spent on fusors or DPF, we might see results in a few years. And scheduling changes (eliminating rush hour peaks) doesn't need any technological breakthrough.





You should check the per capita carbon footprint. Canadians have an output of around 17 tons of carbon per year. The average person in India has an out put of 1.5 tons, Each Canadian is more then ten times more destructive on our climate then a person from India. Can you see that blaming the high birthrate is a bit of a red herring when it takes more then ten kids from India to do the climate damage of one Canadian new born? Mind you that might be a good reason to restrict immigration, not to indoctrinate more people to our destructive lifestyle. Maybe we could make a deal with India, reduce your birthrate to ours and we reduce our per capita carbon footprint to yours. I wonder what that would do to our birthrate?


They have been claming to have a fusion reactor in the near future for many years now. We can see about its application when it happens, but till then we have to do with what we know that works.


So how long would a small natural gas engine be able to run between major overhauls? 4000-6000 hours?


Geothermal is an option for heating, because you can triple the equivalent heat output from a windmill.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

About wind farm noises, lights, and..... Check this out.... pretty spooky.......  But does this mean that wind farms are never any good?????

I am wondering about the effects on wild life - of all that noise?????


That video is your evidence??  A dude sticking a camera outside a car door, on a foggy scene, recording his engine running and what sounds to me like a high speed drill reaming into metal, or something similar.  It's a regular sound around farms. 

And how come the sound doesn't change when the dude is taping the windmills wind at his back and then wind in his face?


When I stand almost directly underneath the HUGE windmill at the foot of Dufferin St, and nearby there's TTC buses, the GO trains, the planes from the island airport, and the traffic from the Gardiner Expway and Lakeshore, the whooshing sound of the windmill is about the quietest thing around.

Maybe we city folk have damaged ears.  But I could totally deal with more of these, especially if it means less coal being burned, and less nuclear.


Bubbles--CO2 emissions and food/water consumption are entirely separate, but really important issues. But bringing lots of people to a cold country won't help.

The jury's still out on the health effects of wind turbines. One theory is that they produce a flicker that makes people ill. This is like the coalbed methane issue. You can't just dismiss people's concerns out of hand. And all the big proponents of wind power suddenly go NIMBY when somebody wants to build them in their backyards. There was a University of Calgary study that proved wind turbines are responsible for large numbers of deaths of birds and bats, when the low pressure wake from their blades explodes their lungs.

I don't know why solar thermal isn't explored more. It's efficient and can use tricks, like molten salts or Na/K to store thermal energy for running when the sun goes down. Wind turbines are just too flakey for reliable power and chemical batteries are very inefficient and expensive for off-peak storage. I remember an article years ago, in Popular Science, where (get this) Kuwait was testing a small solar thermal Stirling generator to run pumps for oil pipelines, so they wouldn't waste exportable oil products running them.




Maybe the whooshing sound is not all that noticable within the normal din of city life, but in the country I can at times hear the train  fifteen miles away. Because the background noise is so much less.

I went to a few of these windfarm meetings, and there are real concerns with these 400 some odd feet high wind turbines. The ontario government and the power corporations are making a huge mistake not addressing these issues. Let the locals decide how, where, when and who builds these wind turbines.


Sineed, yes all the turbines are HUGE.  It's just that there's a couple hundred of them spinnig quite a distance outside downtown TO.  And they do make a constant noise when they spin.  I would suggest starting a petition to have turbines installed all along the Lakeshore in the GTA.  Wonder how far that'd get? 

I spoke with a man who lives right on Lakeshore road outside of Port Burwell.  His house was surrounded by turbines and he didn't have a problem with them, but as Bubbles says, many people do feel the turbines affect their health or comfort of living. 

The Green Energy act means no NIMBYISM.  I was there when McGuinty announced parts of the plan in London.  But, as it's turning out, the only people getting wind turbines in their backyard are rural people.  And where is the power most needed? 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I live in Hamilton, and I'd be delighted to have wind turbines lined up along the lake shore, or the mountain (Niagara escarpment). In my neighborhood we have noise from trains, buses, fire trucks, ambulances, and other urban realities 24/7. We just learn to live with it. I think the concerns about birds and bats are valid, but the complaints by humans just sound like whining to me.



My best guess is that the infra sound from a wind turbine might effect some people but not others.  However, I think such an idea could be refuted or verified by a double blind study, but I've not seen either side of this part of the debate undertake such a thing.

Farmpunk makes the most salient point about the location of wind turbines.  The GTA shore needs to be lined with them-- if they are such a great idea-- before they install another one anywhere else.

And, I think we need to be more agressive in conservation.  I think we'd all be better off on a lot of levels if illuminated advertising was illegal, just for starters.   And maybe there aught to be a size limitation on T.V. screens.


Which introduces the elephant in the room.   On all environmental issues, if the degradation of the environment is as bad or likely to be half as bad as projections indicate, then all these "grass roots" initiatives are a joke.   Things aren't going to change until government starts regulating business in a big way.




I would favour wind turbines all along the Lakeshore, and more in the city in general.  They are, IMO, actually less offensive to people in the city because the ambient city noise drowns out the low sound they make, and it's more efficient to have power generation closer to where it is used the most.

Health hazards would be extremely hard to prove because of all the confounders.  The anxiety generated by people claiming adverse health effects from wind turbines can in itself cause adverse health effects - stress has an enormous impact on the human body.

And yes; conservation needs to happen.  In my workplace, it's cold as a meat locker in summer, and a sauna in winter - that cancels out any paltry attempts I make at conservation at home (programmable thermostat, hanging clothes on the line in summer, etc).

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Ok then so both sides in the Ontario debate lack compelling evidence for or against the use of wind farms and turbines. The Ontario ggovernment has launched its green energy wind turbine projects with insufficient research data while the opponents of wind generated energy seem to lack hard core scientific evidence that for example wind turbines are a health hazzerd.  

Many new wind farm projects were started in the Canadian prairies and many are being planned for England etc. Is it the wind turbine companies themselves that are providing the scientific evidence? Is this evidence reliable or would it be biased in favor of wind power?

Some people love them! 

I am not sure what to think. Maybe one is OK and ten are an imposition ie. too loud? Maybe some wind turbine designs are no good??

What's the difference between a windmill and a wind turbine.?

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

What about the design issues. Check out this propeller free wind spire for private homes:

and other alternative designs:

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

I know!  In Toronto, we could have a long row of wind turbines just off-shore, and the wall of condos between the city and the lake will block the noise...

Wouldn't work?  Damn!


What is worse the low feq sound or respiratory inducing(and all the health related costs) illnesses of coal plants? Because it's not like transporting hydro from NWT to my city would be cheaper than the abbundance of wind we have here. We also have nuclear and we have already seen all the problems that happens from that mess. Floods can be bad, turbines can be torn down, but radiated soil is there for a very very long time.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Looks like Ontario may already be heavily invested in smart grid technology. Smart grid technoloy would allow new unspecified alternative technologies to be plugged into the grid.


" Canada as a whole is prime development territory for a smart grid. The country needs to upgrade its infrastructure just as other countries do but the manner in which the country's population is concentrated at the southern border presents another challenge. Much of the plentiful hydroelectric power is located in very remote areas to the north.

Ontario is home to several firms that are developing smart grid technology. One of these is Ruggedcom that specialises in building networking equipment that will function under the harshest conditions - such as those within a power substation. Ordinary networking hardware would be rendered useless from a power surge and in a smart grid information needs to be shared from the point of generation to the point of consumption, including power substations.

Overall Ontario, along with the state of California, is leading the way in smart grid technology development in North America. Hydro One spearheaded an effort to convince Industry Canada, the Canadian government entity responsible for business development, to dedicate a wireless communications spectrum for use by utilities to monitor their power grids. This forward-thinking move creates a standard throughout Canada. Standardisation is crucial for developers to have a development framework."Canada won't stop with smart meters either. Canada seeks to install a full-blown smart grid that will allow for homeowners to generate power on site and feed excess power back into the grid, along with plug-in hybrid vehicle integration, among numerous other services.

Hydro One
185 Clegg Rd.
Markham, Ontario L6G 1B7

1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019-6754




There's a guy in Kintore who's had a backyard windmill for years.  I noticed this weekend while driving by that he's upgraded substantially.   Must be paying.

One other annoying thing about wind turbines is the red flashing light, for those that like the night sky.    They are very intrusive, and I'm not at all convinced they are necessary.


Another element in all this is transmission loss.   The further the consumer of electricity is from the generation, the less efficient the transmission.  In some places, this loss can amount to 15%, depending on the infrastructure.   This is yet another reason why wind turbines should be located all along the shore of the GTA, and tied to that market. 

I'm very sceptical about "smart" technology, particularly the so called "smart" meter.    If it doesn't tell me in real time what the price per kilowatt hour is, then it's useless.  Perhaps worse than useless.  

The only effect I see this gadget having is to shift the peak hours.   We won't be paying less.   


Ah, and that's another thing that has to change in Ontario.   When demand is high, prices rise.  When demand is low, prices rise.   



Check this out. I guess, if a plane doesn't hit the tether... Surprised

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

PW I `loved` the link; energy generating kites!!!!!

Here are some more cool links.



Thank you.


Many of their arguments do not hold water. The noise is an issue though, and I hope future wind turbines are far enough away from residences to not bother people living there.

In reading some of the protest sights I saw that they keep bashing the Denmark wind power experience.

Here is Wiki on Denmark, which I think refutes the protestors point:

The Danish wind turbine industry is the world's largest. Around 90 percent of the national output is exported, and Danish companies accounted for 38% of the world turbine market in 2003, when the industry employed some 20,000 people and had a turnover of around 3 billion euro.

Wind power provided 19.7 percent of electricity production and 24.1% of capacity in Denmark in 2007,[1] a significantly higher proportion than in any other country.[2] Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s, and today almost half of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas.[3]



There is the issue of "wasted wind power" due to the problems of balancing demand and supply on the grid. They have a point there, but the solution is technological fixes. Denmark, for example, has it all figured out and they waste almost no wind or conventional power in balancing the grid.

When electric cars are more common, they will serve as the great reservoir for over-supply periods.

Another fix for over supply is to use excess electricity on the grid to power water pumps that push water uphill to be stored, and then let that water run downhill through a generator when demand rises. Simple. Cheap. No problem.


Lets get on with it!! When we have enough wind power and electric cars, there will be significant CO2 reductions, no doubt in my mind.

[but will the Canadian government ever allow electric cars? Currently [no pun intended] the law restricts electric cars to 40kms hr. {and that is just plain Silly.