The Township of Wainfleet has gained support from 51 other municipalities in Ontario who have endorsed the Townships resolution calling on the Ontario government to not award more Feed-In-Tariff contracts for power generation from wind.
In a press release issued by the Township of Wainfleet, “The resolution was based on December’s Auditor General Report which reported that Ontario has a surplus of power generation capacity and, under existing contracts, is paying double what other jurisdictions are paying for wind power. Adding more surplus generation capacity would add to the already high costs of disposing of surplus electricity.”
According to the release, the cost of electricity is a concern for Ontario residents, straining household budgets and it states that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce noted that high electrical costs are affecting their members’ ability to grow their business which will affect their ability to create jobs in Ontario.
“This suggests the need for a full, cost-benefit review of the renewable energy program before committing Ontario electricity users to even more surplus power,” the release says.
“This quick response from other municipalities to the circulation of the resolution indicates that wind turbines are still front and centre as an important issue in rural Ontario,” said Wainfleet Township Mayor April Jeffs in the Wainfleet Township release.
It continues on to say that Mayor Jeffs is reporting that citizens reports of deteriorating health is a cause for concern, the reports coming in since the beginning of operations for one of the two projects in Wainfleet.
“We did have a family come to us before Christmas and had reported that they were suffering many health effects from the wind turbine near their residence,” Mayor April Jeffs said in a follow up interview. “The main complaint was sleep deprivation caused by infrasound created by the turbine.”
Since the complaint, the family has since sold their house in Wainfleet and moved to Port Colborne.
Jeffs pointed out that Huron County Health Unit has now begun an investigation into health complaints from industrial wind turbines in their community. They will be surveying resident’s complaints of several symptoms including headache, ear pressure, nausea, anxiety, pressure in the head, bloody nose, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, vertigo and sleep disturbances.
“Appropriate long term health studies weren’t done before putting the things up, now they are there and people are noticing problems,” Mayor Jeffs said.
“We have also had some people in Wellandport starting to complain of constant headaches that they are wondering if they can be attributed to the turbines,” she said.
“All we can do right now is to tell people to keep documenting it with their physician,” she said.
Jeffs is particularly concerned over the second project currently under development in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and eastern Haldimand County according to the release. This project involves 77 3.0-megawatt wind turbines, these more powerful turbines are located within 2 km of sizeable populations, affecting an estimated 2,000 households.
“The project will operate under one of the older, expensive FIT contracts criticized by the Auditor General. The Wainfleet resolution asks the government to review options under the contract to cancel the project,” the release says.
It also states that the government should meet it’s carbon reduction goals for the electrical power system in Ontario using carbon-free hydroelectricity and nuclear power, therefore giving the province time to look at renewable generation alternatives “that have less impact on the host communities.”
The government would be protected from law suits from the bidders if it changes its direction at this time and it doesn’t issue any wind contracts, clauses to this effect are in the 2015 RFP documents form the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) the release says.
The list of communities who have supported the resolution from the Township of Wainfleet are:
- Coleman Township
- Loyalist Township
- Municipality of Bluewater
- Municipality of Brooke-Alvinston
- Municipality of Charlton and Dack
- Municipality of Dutton-Dunwich
- Municipality of Grey Highlands
- Municipality of Kincardine
- Municipality of Morris-Turnberry
- Municipality of North Middlesex
- Municipality of North Perth
- Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula
- Municipality of Red Lake
- Municipality of Tweed
- Municipality of West Elgin
- Municipality of West Grey
- Municipality of West Perth
- Norfolk County
- Town of Amherstburg
- Town of Blue Mountains
- Town of Bruce Mines
- Town of Erin
- Town of Gananoque
- Town of South Bruce Peninsula
- Town of Thessalon
- Township of Alberton
- Township of Amaranth
- Township of Armour
- Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh
- Township of Blandford-Blenheim
- Township of Calvin
- Township of Carling
- Township of Cavan Monaghan
- Township of Chatsworth
- Township of Enniskillen
- Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen
- Township of Howick
- Township of Huron-Kinloss
- Township of Ignace
- Township of La Vallee
- Township of Macdonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional
- Township of North Frontenac
- Township of North Kawartha
- Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan
- Township of Pelee
- Township of Perth East
- Township of Severn
- Township of South Algonquin
- Township of Warwick
- Township of West Lincoln
- United Counties of Prescott and Russell
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