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Resource Documents: Ontario (92 items)


Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.

Date added:  December 9, 2022
Ontario, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Estimation of spatiotemporal trends in bat abundance from mortality data collected at wind turbines

Author:  Davy, Christina; Squires, Kelly; and Zimmerling, J. Ryan

Abstract: Renewable energy sources, such as wind energy, are essential tools for reducing the causes of climate change, but wind turbines can pose a collision risk for bats. To date, the population-level effects of wind-related mortality have been estimated for only 1 bat species. To estimate temporal trends in bat abundance, we considered wind turbines as opportunistic sampling tools for flying bats (analogous to fishing nets), where catch per unit effort (carcass abundance per monitored turbine) is a proxy for aerial abundance of bats, after accounting for seasonal variation in activity. We used a large, standardized data set of records of bat carcasses from 594 turbines in southern Ontario, Canada, and corrected these data to account for surveyor efficiency and scavenger removal. We used Bayesian hierarchical models to estimate temporal trends in aerial abundance of bats and to explore the effect of spatial factors, including landscape features associated with bat habitat (e.g., wetlands, croplands, and forested lands), on the number of mortalities for each species. The models showed a rapid decline in the abundance of 4 species in our study area; declines in capture of carcasses over 7 years ranged from 65% (big brown bat [Eptesicus fuscus]) to 91% (silver-haired bat [Lasionycteris noctivagans]). Estimated declines were independent of the effects of mitigation (increasing wind speed at which turbines begin to generate electricity from 3.5 to 5.5 m/s), which significantly reduced but did not eliminate bat mortality. Late-summer mortality of hoary (Lasiurus cinereus), eastern red (Lasiurus borealis), and silver-haired bats was predicted by woodlot cover, and mortality of big brown bats decreased with increasing elevation. These landscape predictors of bat mortality can inform the siting of future wind energy operations. Our most important result is the apparent decline in abundance of four common species of bat in the airspace, which requires further investigation.

Estimación de Tendencias Espacio-Temporales en la Abundancia de Murciélagos a Partir de Datos de Mortalidad Recolectados Alrededor de Turbinas de Viento

Resumen: Las fuentes de energía renovable, como la energía eólica, son herramientas esenciales para la reduc- ción de las causas del cambio climático, aunque las turbinas de viento pueden representar un riesgo de colisión para los murciélagos. A la fecha, los efectos a nivel poblacional de la mortalidad asociada a estas turbinas sólo han sido estimados para una especie de murciélagos. Para estimar las tendencias temporales en la abundancia de murciélagos consideramos a las turbinas de viento como herramientas para el muestreo oportunista de los murciélagos en vuelo (análogo a las redes de pesca), en donde el esfuerzo de captura por unidad (abundancia de cadáveres por turbina monitoreada) es un sustituto para la abundancia aérea de murciélagos, después de considerar la variación estacional en la actividad. Utilizamos un conjunto grande de datos estandarizados del registro de cadáveres de murciélagos alrededor de 594 turbinas al sur de Ontario, Canadá, y corregimos estos datos para justificar la eficiencia del muestreador y la extracción por carroñeros. Usamos modelos de jerarquía bayesiana para estimar las tendencias temporales en la abundancia aérea de los murciélagos y para explorar los efectos de los factores espaciales, incluyendo las características del paisaje asociadas con el hábitat de los murciélagos (p. ej.: humedales, tierras de cultivo y bosques), sobre el número de muertes para cada especie. Los modelos mostraron una declinación rápida en la abundancia de cuatro especies dentro de nuestra área de estudio. Las declinaciones en la captura de cadáveres a lo largo de siete años variaron desde el 65% (Eptesicus fuscus) hasta el 91% (Lasionycteris noctivagans). Las declinaciones estimadas fueron independientes a los efectos de mitigación (el incremento en la velocidad a la cual las turbinas comienzan a generar electricidad de 3.5 a 5.5 m/s), lo cual redujo significativamente la mortalidad de los murciélagos, aunque no llegó a eliminarla. La mortalidad a finales del verano de las especies Lasiurus cinereus, Lasiurus borealis y Lasionycteris noctivagans la pronosticó la cobertura de los lotes boscosos, mientras que la mortalidad de E. fuscus disminuyó conforme incrementó la elevación. Estos elementos pronosticadores del paisaje pueden utilizarse para informar al momento de elegir el sitio para la actividad eólica en el futuro y así evitar la mortalidad en murciélagos. Nuestro resultado más importante es la declinación aparente en la abundancia de cuatro especies comunes de murciélagos en el espacio aéreo, lo cual requiere de más investigación.

Christina M. Davy, Biology Department, Trent University, and Wildlife Research and Monitoring Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Kelly Squires, Tau Ecology, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada
J. Ryan Zimmerling, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Conservation Biology, Volume 35, No. 1, 227–238. doi:10.1111/cobi.13554

Download original document: “Estimation of spatiotemporal trends in bat abundance from mortality data collected at wind turbines

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Date added:  July 27, 2022
Aesthetics, Environment, Ontario, PhotosPrint storyE-mail story

Henvey Inlet – construction photos

Author:  Pattern Canada, Pattern Energy GroupPattern Canada, Pattern Energy Group

Control building footings

Substation foundation

Drilling rock anchors of turbine foundation


Substation excavation


(87 3.45-MW Vestas V136 wind turbines)

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Date added:  July 1, 2020
Noise, Ontario, TechnologyPrint storyE-mail story

Confirming Tonality at Residences Influenced by Wind Turbines

Author:  Palmer, William

For 5 years, since the start-up of an array of 140 wind turbines, residents have filed complaints with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (the regulator), and K2 Wind (the operator). Residents complained that the turbines produce a tonal sound, and that the irritation this produced impacted their sleep, their health, and the enjoyment of their property. To confirm tonality from the wind turbines, this research examined over 200 data examples from two families. These families collected data by two independent methods, a continuously recording system, and by making selected audio recordings. The recorded data was correlated with the wind turbine operational performance, and local weather conditions. The correlated data was analyzed for tonality using international standard evaluation methods. The analysis confirmed over 84% correlation between complaints of irritating conditions, and tonality from 5 dB to over 20 dB. The research also identified deviation between the recommended method for assessing wind turbine tonality of an expert group panel for the industry and the method for compliance monitoring now prescribed by regulations. The deviation can incorrectly reduce tonality calculated to significantly below the actual tonality. Finally, the results showed that the assumption of the regulator to only require assessment of compliance when the resident was downwind of the nearest wind turbine was incorrect. Most complaints arose from other wind directions. Neither was the regulator’s assumption correct that curtailing the wind turbine operation to continue operating at only partially reduced outputs would give remediation. The research concludes that tonality arises consistent with the wind turbine operation, identifying a critical need to revise the practices to prevent chronic irritation.

William K.G. Palmer
Independent Researcher, TRI-LEA-EM, Paisley, Ontario, Canada

Journal of Energy Conservation, Volume 1, Issue 3. DOI: 10.14302/issn.2642-3146.jec-20-3359

Download original document: “Confirming Tonality at Residences Influenced by Wind Turbines

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Date added:  March 5, 2020
Noise, Ontario, RegulationsPrint storyE-mail story

Industrial Wind Turbine Seismic Source

Author:  West, Michael


Despite their generally positive reputation as sources of clean, safe energy, Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) do have their critics. For years, residents living in the vicinity of IWT clusters have reported a variety of physical ailments which they attribute to the sounds and vibrations emanating from wind turbines (Kelley, 1985; CBC.ca, 2011). Noise bylaws, setback distances and other regulations applied to IWTs appear to be based on analysis methods used historically with industrial applications, where noise tends to be constant or semi-constant and in the audible range. The noise generated by IWTs is quite different – spiky and high amplitude – like an exploration seismic source pulse, and mainly found in low frequencies not detectable by human hearing (i.e. infrasound or “below hearing”). This article looks at the signals generated by IWTs from a geophysicist’s perspective. …

The pulse travels down the support column and through the near-surface as shown, while the air-pulse travels directly through the air. Seismic and air waves spread spherically outward in all directions while the amplitude envelope for the air wave may be higher downwind. Multiple copies of the pulse arrive at different times through different paths to create the time-series at the geophone receiver by summation.


The analysis of the operating IWTs on the ground and the seismic and air-pulse recordings confirms that large horizontal axis Industrial Wind Turbines act like airgun seismic sources that create low frequency pulses approximately once per second. The audible part of the air pulse makes a sound like “whump” so, as per geophysical industry tradition, we should name the IWT a “whumper” seismic source (as opposed to a thumper or puffer which would require a faster rise-time on the pulse). Most of the amplitude of the pulse exists at frequencies below the audible range, so a person stopping by the roadside to listen to an IWT may not hear anything and is likely to think that they make no significant “noise” at all.

Two aspects of IWT-generated noise do not appear to have been adequately accounted for in the creation of regulations for the IWT industry: that the noise contains many spurious, high amplitude spikes, and that it is mainly found in the low, infrasonic frequencies. An impulsive noise source such as an IWT requires amplitude measurements over short time windows like 1 second and little or no averaging of data during analysis. Long analysis time windows and averaging amplitude over 1/3 octave band frequency ranges is an acoustics industry testing method appropriate only for higher frequency “whirring” machines like diesel generators or milling machines. Current Ontario Government regulations do not include testing frequencies lower than 31.5 Hz. “Noise” testing procedures for regulation of IWTs should be revised to include all low frequencies created by the IWTs because the low frequency events contain the most power and highest amplitudes.

Conversion of non-weighted peak pulse amplitudes from the microphone recording in Figure 9, at 550 meters offset in 20 kph winds including the full frequency range to 1 Hz, revealed peak Sound Pressure Levels of 65 dB or more. Additionally, the SPL noise limit specification should not be increased with increased wind speed as this makes no sense. Governments and agencies tasked with the regulation of IWT installations should review and revise their testing protocols, so that regulations that reliably protect the health of people and animals living in the vicinity of IWTs can be implemented.

Michael West, P. Geoph., B.Sc., GDM

Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists | Recorder, Jun 2019, Vol. 44, No. 04

Download original document: “The Industrial Wind Turbine Seismic Source

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