Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Village of Donnelly, Town of Falher, Village of Girouxville, M.D. of Smoky River, Village of Nampa, Town of McLennan, Central Peace – Notley MLA Todd Loewen, and Peace River – Westlock MP Arnold Viersen, and other parties, and published with permission from the authors.
RE: Wind farms to supply 65,000 homes with electricity
There are five communities that have been severely impacted in Ontario as a result of the wind turbine farms that have been set up. The government in its drive to go green are not doing the due diligence on wind farms. The full transparent disclosure from government and the wind industry is not happening in the government’s tunnel vision of go green and the wind companies’ desire to capitalize on making money.
Simply watch the documentaries that are out there on wind turbines destruction of communities. [For example: Down Wind]
There are three major flyways in Northern Alberta for migratory birds. The proposed windmill farm is located under the flyways.
The flyways are identified as the Pacific flyway, Central flyway, and the Mississippi flyway and they all converge in the Smoky River M.D. The flyways converge and the migrating birds stop over to feed in the grain fields and they use Kimiwan Lake, Lac Magloire, Winagami Lake, Rat Lake, and the Smoky River. Millions of migrating birds converge and roost on the four lakes and the river.
The single biggest threat to birds is windmill farms. The company looking to build this windmill farm has chosen a location that puts their farm right by a major transmission line for moving the generated electricity out of the proposed wind farm to southern Alberta to provide electricity. Unfortunately, their cost-effective choice is dead centre under the flyways and on the direct flight paths off of Lac Magloire where in excess of 50,000 migratory birds will fly through the windmill farm to and from the fields.
There are many migration periods throughout the year. Tundra swans, sandhill cranes, eagles, geese and duck migrations starts late August and ends in late October annually. In the spring we have millions of smaller birds migrating in and out of our region.
The Peace River Region, is world reknown for the waterfowl migration. The Smoky River Region is the bird capital for waterfowl migration in all of North America. They estimate that over a million migratory birds come through these flyways annually. We are speaking of geese, ducks, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, eagles, and all the shore birds. We have 223 identifiable birds that use the Smoky River Region for nesting and habitat year-round. In June was have thousands of birds on their nests and we have recorded numbers of 5,000 Franklin gulls nesting in the Smoky River Region. Our owl population is significant and would be impacted by the wind farm.
How will this impact our ecosystem, and how will this impact our tourism in the region?
We are also the Honey Capital of Canada with millions of bees that fly our region gathering pollen from the farming fields. The windmill farm will have a direct impact on the bee population harvesting their pollen. Noise, stray voltage, air pressure changes, turbulence, and electromagnetic fields caused by the windmills. Bees and insects are dramatically impacted by windmill farms.
The Peace Region and the Smoky River is world reknown for its big game hunting and the noise, stray voltage, air pressure changes, wind turbulence and electromagnetic fields are extremely impactful to big game.
The Smoky River Region has a significant number of bats as a result of the habitat having an extremely high number of insects. Bats navigate by sonar. The electromagnetic field is different. Where the impact to the bats becomes obstructed and disorienting is the wind mills create wind vortexes that create disorientation in the physical vibration of particles that are used for their sonar navigation. This results in the deaths of millions of bats by windmill farms.
These two waves are different in nature; sonar waves are caused by a physical vibration of particles and electromagnetic waves are caused by interference in an electromagnetic field.
The devaluation of property in a 15-km proximity to windmill farms is 15-50 per cent of value. The property values will be impacted in Falher, Nampa, Girouxville, McLennan, the M.D. of Smoky River. We struggle to encourage people to relocate to the Smoky River Region, the addition of a wind farm will devalue our communities and the region’s appeal as a place to call home.
The entire company profitability model is to locate beside a huge transmission grid to facilitate sending power for 65,000 homes. Why would the Smoky River Region ever allow a company to come into our region, destroy our landscape, increase noise pollution, devalue property in all our communities to supply electricity to Southern Alberta? They are looking to build this wind farm here because the more densely populated areas in the south are a hard no to wind farms. Why? Noise, environmental impacts, ecosystem impacts, property value impacts, and the unsightliness of the wind farms.
There are more and more indications that wind farms are causing health issues for the communities that are located near them. The unrelenting noise from the wind turbines. There are greater incidents of headaches, health issues as a result of the constant noise from the turbines, the vibrational changes are creating health impacts. Blood pressures issues, ringing ears, sleep disruption issues. The turbulence from the wind turbines sound like huge freight trains or 747s hovering above, the vibration from the turbines people can feel inside their bodies.
We live in this region. It is an economically depressed area, with low housing prices, and a constant struggle to encourage people to relocate to our region.
There are also the fiscal issues around wind turbine farms with the significant level of subsidies that come from our tax dollars. It is evident that wind farms are struggling to be profitable and are heavily dependent on government subsidies. The set up requires tons of concrete to set up the turbine poles. These are massive units that can range from 200-500 feet and the air displacement as a result of hundreds of turbines turning have 25-year life expectancy and these massive units are then taken to landfills. How is this eco-friendly?
Please, it is important that the Smoky River Region undertake due diligence and begin by asking Northern Sunrise County why they have declined to allow wind farms in their county.
We need to have a full due diligence done around this project.
Ontario is at war in multiple communities to stop wind farming because of the detrimental impacts that every community is suffering as a result of allowing wind farms in their area.
The significant piece is urban Alberta needs electricity and they refuse to have wind farms in their communities. The rural communities are being used to supply the electricity for these urban areas. We need to join Northern Sunrise County in saying no, not in our Smoky River M.D.
Thank you for taking the time to understand why we cannot support this project.
Wind farms don’t run on wind, they run on government subsidies.
Kevin and Patti McNeil,
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