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A solution to the turbine issue?  

Credit:  Orangeville Citizen, www.citizen.on.ca 3 may 2012 ~~

With all of the debate raging about wind turbines, I have a very simple suggestion that I think would solve the entire issue.

It appears the vast majority of residents of the GTA, Burlington, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and all the way out to Oshawa. are in support of Premier McGuinty’s Green Energy Act, which has stripped away the rights of local government and rural citizens to decide whether they want these 600 to 1000 foot structures blanketing the countryside of Ontario. The shorelines of Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie have already taken on their fair share of turbines.

Here’s my suggestion: If all of the other Great Lakes are so perfectly suited to industrial wind turbines, why are there not an equal number dotting the shoreline of Lake Ontario, specifically in the Toronto area? There is already over 1500mw worth of turbines in Ontario. McGuinty’s goal is 10,000mw. You could easily fit 2,000, 2.5 mw turbines if not more right from Hamilton to Oshawa, thus attaining Premier McGuinty’s goal in one fell swoop. Plus, it would solve many problems.

First of all, the power would be produced closest to where the greatest use and need for energy is …. the GTA. Thousands of turbines producing power all along the Toronto harbour front and all places east and west, could really offset the GTA’s dependency on fossil fuels and help to reduce it’s carbon emissions footprint, as well as improve the poor air quality that is apparently so prevalent in that city. You wouldn’t have the transmission problems and costs because you could tap directly into the grid right where it’s needed most. City residents who favour turbines have never been shy to say that they’d be “happy” to have a turbine “in their back-yard”. This would be their opportunity to back up that statement.

Secondly, Premier McGuinty wants to be known as a world-leader in the green energy movement. What greater feather to put in his cap than to be able to state that one of the largest cities in Canada, is powered by it’s OWN turbines, set up right in front of the city. Imagine the glory that Toronto could bask in, pointing to these turbines and boasting that the electricity from them is powering it’s water treatment plants, it’s subways, streetcars and LRT’s and major highway lighting. You have an international airport right there. Every day, thousands of planes would be flying over these symbols of Toronto’s true commitment to green energy.

I’m not talking about a dozen or so turbines. I mean build one every 500 feet (from Hamilton to Oshawa), just like they’re doing all over rural Southern Ontario. And if you zigzag them, you could put in twice as many. The Ontario Place property would be the perfect spot for a half-dozen or so. And not little 300 foot turbines like the one at Exhibition Place. They should be the same size as in rural Ontario – 600 feet tall. Or even better the newest size – 1000 feet tall. Imagine the power you could generate with those.

Third, there would no longer be the need for the FIT program, which pays farmers billions of dollars over 20 years for the use of their land. Since the GEA can arbitrarily decide where it’s going to put these industrial structures, why can’t the Liberal government expropriate all of the land or even just off-shore, along the northern Lake Ontario shoreline (again from Hamilton to Oshawa – where the need for energy is highest) and build turbines to it’s hearts content? Look at the money that would be saved with no more FIT contracts! We could be well on the road to eliminating the debt if we discontinued the FIT program.

Why are we putting these wind turbines so far from the place where consumption is the greatest? It only makes sense to put them right at the spot that they are most needed.

Fourth, it would satisfy all of the environmentalists in the GTA who accuse rural Ontario of nimby’ism. They could lead by example and show that they’re willing to make the same commitment to green energy that they expect of rural residents. They could sit each morning, with their cup of espresso, gazing out their condo windows over the sea of turbines along the shoreline and feel that sense of pride in their contribution towards the reduction of Global warming. Rural Ontario has already done it’s part. Isn’t it time for the largest urban areas of Ontario to do the same?

And finally, it would preserve the muchneeded fertile farmland for food production and eliminate the need to encroach on fragile ecosystems and nature areas. Rural residents can once again turn their attention to the farming of crops and livestock and urban residents can do their part by producing it’s own energy. With all of these positives, why has it not yet been done?

When are the residents of Toronto and the GTA going to put their money where their mouths are and start petitioning the McGuinty government for full turbine construction all along the GTA shoreline (as well as off-shore)? Why does the responsibility, for providing the GTA with its vast demand for power, rest in the lap of rural Ontario? Can anyone answer these questions?

I’ll wait….

Lori Griffin

Port Elgin, ON

Source:  Orangeville Citizen, www.citizen.on.ca 3 may 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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