December 8, 2010
Letters, Ontario

Where is the green energy in the Silcote wind turbine plan?

The Sun Times, 8 December 2010

Over whose property are the transmission lines for the industrial wind turbines going to go? Will they come from the direction of Owen Sound, Meaford, Walter’s Falls?

Please help me to understand because I just don’t seem to see the ‘green’ in this project.

How did a British company find little Annan, Ontario? Well, I do know the answer to that. It’s only because of the massive subsidies our Ontario government pays this company to locate industrial sized wind turbines.

But how “green” is it when you are removing land from agricult u re, using enormous metal structures that aren’t even manufactured in this country, and employing imaginable amounts of concrete to support these structures? Especially when some experts say they are working at a limited effectiveness of about 25%. Help me see the “green” in that?

As far as the 26 wind turbines go, is that the number because that’s all the company is allowing? That is, for now. When transmission lines of undetermined size need to be constructed for the Annan and Balaclava area, over whose property are they going? From which direction will they come: Owen Sound, Bognor, Meaford or Chatsworth. It’s probably not because the company doesn’t know, it’s more likely not sharing the routes being considered. Would you build an entire new extension of transmission lines to pick up electricity from only 26 wind turbines? I think not. And these are major metal structures, not hydro poles. This environmental issue is not limited to the Annan Balaclava area. We might get the wind turbines, but you may have to live with the transmission towers.

The only “green” I see here is the mindboggling amount of Ontario taxpayers’ dollars given to this offshore company. Now I see the green. There’s money in that. And for those having wind turbines on their property, it’s also pretty green. Many wind turbine companies pay about $12,000 per wind turbine, per year, for often a 10 year contract, that is extendable. Yet it looks less ‘green’ for the community more likely to see both a decrease in enjoyment and value of their property.

The Annan Balaclava area isn’t likely the only place in our municipality that a company is planning wind turbines. This is happening all over our province. How is it in Ontario this veil of secrecy permits entire neighbourhoods directly impacted to be ignored and rejected from even taking part in the process? What has our premier done with our democracy? How is it that the rights of Ontarians are not as important as the rights of an offshore wind turbine company? What about the citizens who have lived, worked, and contributed to this community for decades? We don’t count? This is not a consultation process; the sudden inclusion of these wind turbines is an announcement. Note that I do not call them ‘wind farms’ because I think that is an insult, in my view, of what a farm in my community is, or has been.

Deborah Kennish- McCoubrey


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