September 26, 2012
Blogs, Ontario

Inappropriate ‘contest’ Big Thunder Wind

Posted by: Dan Fiorito | September 25, 2012 | Nor'Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee |


On the weekend, the Big Thunder Wind Park put a postcard with contest entry as an insert inside Thunder Bay newspapers.

The contest is for a trip for 2 to Nova Scotia to see their Horizon Maryvale Wind Project- or 100$ cash
The postcard includes a survey regarding your support for the wind farm project

The giveaway contest, the survey and apparently inaccurate information provided on the card are all cause for concern

Ask yourself if these are appropriate in a supposedly open and fair process.

Anyone who is concerned should contact their MPP, the MOE and others

The big thunder website has been updated – after 15 months! –it looks nicer, but it is just some fresh paint on stale info

It also includes a contest for a trip to the east coast (supposedly to look at wind turbines)

If you think it is wrong to have contests and giveaways to try to sway public opinion then write to MOE and Bill Mauro (and others as you think appropriate)

If you have other issues- then write about those

one topic/issue per letter is best – even if it takes a lot of letters

some points others have expressed are the following:

inaccurate information on contest card

  1. states that turbines are double the required distance- this is not correct for this size of project, they are in fact just at the limit based on their own noise studies and MOE sound limits – the 550 metres setback is for lower noise level turbines, and for smaller (less turbine) projects
  2. states the number of turbines was reduced by 2 and moved to reduce visibility – we all know it was part of the lawsuit settlement where the City took 4 turbines out of the project (and Horizon put 2 back in). In fact they only need 14 turbines to provide for their original 27 MW project – not 16 turbines – they actually increased the size of the project (from 27 to 30, now 32 MW)
  3. states the turbines will not impact birds migratory paths or sugar maple stands- yet the turbines are in the middle of a sugar maple forest, and there are peregrines and other birds there. There will be impacts on birds, but perhaps not on the “path of the birds“
  4. says there is a new website with latest news and information- but the same old reports from 2011 are posted, not the updated reports submitted to the MOE in early September

The Honourable Jim Bradley
Minister of the Environment
77 Wellesley Street West
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
Toronto ON
M7A 2T5

It is important to let the MOE and government know your concerns

If people don’t speak up then the MOE/politicians won’t care

Please send a copy of any letters or emails to it is suggested you remove all personal references – and we can share the letters with everyone

Background Information on 
The Maryvale Project

The Maryvale project is 6 MW , 4 turbines, has smaller turbines (1.5 MW), the closest home is 1.5 km away, in a rural area with low population density, in an area of rolling hills, located on private property with agreements with those landowners

Big Thunder Wind is initially 32 MW , 16 turbines , ultimately at least 80 MW and 40 towers (all 5 phases applied to OPA), with the smallest turbine 2MW, the closest home is 1.1 km away, is immediately adjacent to many homes and a City, and located on public land atop 200 metre rock cliffs

These are totally different projects

From Maryvale WInd Project EA

– information regarding visual impacts of the small 4 tower project far from population in Nova Scotia

The population density within 20km is quite low and the resulting impact on viewscape to residences and passing motorists is considered very low when compared to other wind farm communities. The interesting point about installing turbines on rolling hills is that at closer vantage points, fewer turbines are visible as they are hidden behind tree cover and hill tops. As the vantage point gets farther away, the visual impact is greatly reduced due to the overall size of the turbines appearing smaller. Visual impact is very much a subjective matter.

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