Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BC Wind Projects

Wind is getting a lot of backlash elsewhere in North America, W5 just did a thing on the 'horrors' of wind power in Ontario. There is a lobby group there against wind power called Wind Concerns Ontario. Meanwhile we have very little happening in BC with wind power, but I am sure that if something goes ahead, there will be no end of attacks against it.

Many of the best sites in BC have been selected by companies to consider wind development. Most projects are all the edge of the Rockies in the Peace Country.

Wind development in BC suffers from the fact that it costs a lot to develop and the rates paid in BC are not very high. Micro hydro is a much better investment.


Approved Wind Projects:
Earth First Power has a number of projects in BC, first are the ones that have been approved to be built:

They are looking at locations on the coast and the southern interior as well. The company is in creditor protection and it is not clear if any work is going ahead.

AltaGas Income Trust has the Bear Mountain Wind Park Project 16 km south west of Dawson Creek. Construction started in December of 2007 and is supposed to open in November of 2009.

The Holberg Wind Energy Project was approved in October 2004, but has since been canceled by the owner.

Seabreeze Power Corp
has the Knob Hill Wind Farm Project on the north end of Vancouver Island. I suspect there has been very little work on this project because the costs outweigh the benefits. The company has been focusing on transmission line projects between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Seabrezze is looking at several locations around BC, though nothing within the assessment process.

That is it for approved wind projects in BC.

Wind Projects Under Serious Consideration:
Finavera Renewables has a number of projects in the BC. The following are in environmental assessment:
Finavera is being built up to be a major renewable energy company over the next decade.

Premier Renewable Energy has within the environmental assessment process the Nicomen Wind Energy Project 12 km south east of Lytton. They also have Marten Ridge Wind Energy near Fernie.

Fred Olsen Renewables have two projects in the environmental assessment process. This is a large Norwegian company with operating wind farms in Europe. They also operate ferries, cruiseships and the worldest largest ship, the Knock Nevis, which is now only used to store oil and not ship anything anywhere. Their pockets are deep enough to build any approved projects

Nomis Power Corp has the Nahwittee Wind Farm Project in the assessment process. The project is 50 km north west of Port Hardy. The project has been in the EA process for over four years now.

Naikun Wind Development
has the NaiKun Offshore Wind Energy Project in the assessment process. The project is off of Haida Qwaii. The project has been in the EA process for over five years now. The project is huge, but I can not see it happening anytime soon. The capital costs are simply astronomical.

Epcor has the Quality Wind Project in the assessment process. The project is near Tumble Ridge.

Aeolis Wind Power Corporation has one project in the assessment project, Thunder Mountain Wind Park 33 km south east of Tumbler Ridge.

Katabatic Power/North Coast Wind Energy Corp has the Banks Island North Wind Energy Project in the assessment process. This is 90 km south of Prince Rupert. Katabatic also has the Mount Hays Wind Farm, but it has been stalled. This project is small enough to not need to go through the assessment process. They are planning on building this project in the next year.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe there is some controversy because proper health and safety regulations are being ignored. Maybe there is some controversy because wind power has extremely poor reliability and does not deliver the goods. Maybe you should try to educate yourself on why people are against it before you pooh pooh any opposition.

Bernard von Schulmann said...

I watched the W5 piece, I read the issues on the website and I do not see any substantive issues that make any sense to me.

Everything anyone does, no matter how good a thing it is, gets opposed.

Wind power is a good part of the mix for electrical production if you do not have significant hydro resources to rely on.

The advantage that big powerplants built by government utilities is that they are normally out of sight for most people and the government has a much lower standard of consultation for their projects than private developers do.

Bubble's Mama said...

People are experiencing real health problems across Ontario from noise, sleepness and stray voltage. Several homes have been bought out by the developers because they have become uninhabitable. Entire neighbourhoods have been turned into electrical generating plants. You don't see anything substantive because you don't want to acknowledge this.

You have it wrong....these projects have next to NO restrictions or proper standards for consultation. The Ontario government has turned over rural land to the wind developers with NO independent studies or proper due diligence. They see our communities like 3rd world countries ready for exploitation. I'm sorry, I am trying to be respectful but you are operating on completely false assumptions.

Bernard von Schulmann said...

If there is a noise issue, why is no one documenting how loud they are? Are you saying that they are loud enough that people are kept awake?

Stray voltage, what does that even mean?

In all the reading I have done on this indicates that Vibro-Acoustic Disease may exist and occurs with noises that are low frequency and high decibels. Nothing indicates the volume of wind turbines is high enough to induce VAD.

Sound reduces in an inverse square relationship to distance, given the distances involved, the turbines would have to be VERY loud to have any impact.

There are perfect test subjects out there to see if VAD is happening, livestock. There are numerous instances of livestock being directly under the turbines, but no one is talking about impacts on them.

In fact the latest peer reviewed research has not shown any data for problems with wind turbines. The data is simply not out there.

The problems people are suffering would suck to have them happen to me, but the nature of what they are and the fact that only a small amount of people suffer from it, points to it being something similar to the placebo effect.

You want me to understand, find some good peer reviewed science that shows there is an issue. I certainly have not been able to find anything online that indicates a health problem.

As I understand it, the construction in Ontario is on private lands and not on Crown Lands. It is up to the local government and the property owner for private land development issues as long as provincial standards are followed.

Anonymous said...

People are documenting how loud they are. The wind companies will only accept readings from experts that they hire. One lady has had 4 different testings done in as many weeks. If the wind companies don't get what they want, they insist on doing it again and "averaging" the results. In cases where they cannot dispute that the noise is too loud, the people are bought out and made to sign an non-disclosure agreement and in some cases the homes are bull dozed.

YES, people are being kept awake. Constantly. One lady said she hasn't had a good night sleep in 3 months (since the turbines became operational). It is affecting her health, both emotionally and physically.

"Stray voltage, what does that even mean?" Stray voltage is the excess power off the transformers that cannot be absorbed by the grid. It is then released to the ground. Surely you have heard of problems with farm animals and stray voltage? This is now happening to people. The readings have been taken by professional technicians and were through the roof! Suncor evacuated seven families for a short time, buried the cables and told them problem was solved. Only it wasn't! Now they are consulting lawyers and pleading with their Council to help them. Many are considering abandoning their homes.

You won't find any info on low frequency with wind turbines because the developers are very careful NEVER to take those readings! The noise guidelines in Ontario disregard low frequency noise. It is not tested for and it is not in the equation. How can we know if it is not being monitored?

"Sound reduces in an inverse square relationship to distance, given the distances involved, the turbines would have to be VERY loud to have any impact."

300 meters away from where humans sleep? That is completely reasonable for noise to have an impact. Dr. John Harrison, Professor of Physics at Queens is working with us. He explains noise behavior is much more complex than what you describe.

"There are perfect test subjects out there to see if VAD is happening, livestock. There are numerous instances of livestock being directly under the turbines, but no one is talking about impacts on them."

Yes, we certainly are talking about impact on them. Not with VAD because they don't live long enough for this to really take affect but certainly with stray voltage from the turbines. Look at the Wind Concerns Ontario website on the story of the Brindley's who lost their entire herd and have been left with basically nothing since the turbines took over their area. They are now trying to sue the wind company. They have no choice.

If you are getting your information from CanWEA, little of what they claim is "peer reviewed". Don't believe everything you read on a slick brochure. The latest peer reviewed studies are in fact leaning towards what I'm saying. Click on the Health link on the WCO website. The first link was just received yesterday. Very compelling.

"The problems people are suffering would suck to have them happen to me, but the nature of what they are and the fact that only a small amount of people suffer from it, points to it being something similar to the placebo effect."

Perhaps it is only a percentage of people who show symptoms. That is true with many environmental syndromes or diseases. Don't you find it coincidental that 70-90 people living near turbines in Japan just came forward with the exact same symptoms as those in Ontario are experiencing?

Have you read the excerpts from Nina Pierponts book?

"It is up to the local government and the property owner for private land development issues as long as provincial standards are followed."

THERE ARE NO PROVINCIAL STANDARDS. Nothing...other noise guidelines that allow up to 60 Db (or more on a sliding scale) with no low frequency testing. A complete joke.

You seem to be under the assumption that the "government" is taking care of people. Just the opposite. The province has left it up to small town local Councilors who do not have the resources or knowledge to set the rules. Do you honestly think Councilor Joe Bubblecluck from The Booneys, Ontario has the knowledge to set the health guidelines for this issue? Of course not...but does the Province care?

There are no environmental restrictions either. There are now 9 Important Bird Areas in Ontario on Canada's busiest migration route including globally significant areas that are slated for massive turbine development (thousands of turbines). No full environmental assessments have been allowed on any of the 18 projects to date.