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What's the story on the giant wind turbines that have sprouted up all over Ontario?

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Living in Toronto, I am familiar with the giant wind turbine located in or near the Exhibition grounds and never really gave it much thought - except to wonder why it hardly ever turns, in spite of the wind.
On a few recent trips around the province I began seeing more and more of them, and last week, ion a trip to the Grand Bend area, and Goderich, I saw fields of them. I never really realized how big they actually were until I saw one that had a pickup truck parked at the bottom of the stem (if that is what it's called). The stem was as thick as the length of a full-size pickup truck!
I am wondering about these windmills...

Who owns them (the power company or the land owner)?
How much do they cost to buy and install?
How much electricity does each generate? Enough for 1 house/ 10 houses? a hundred houses?
Are they made in Canada or are they made elsewhere?

Just throwing this out there in case any of you TRIBErs with engineering backgrounds know anything about them...
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
Some statistics... Ontario has the largest installed base of wind turbines in Canada with over 4,360MW generating capacity. Quebec has 3,260MW, and Alberta has 1,500MW. The rest of the provinces have numbers in the hundreds.

The total capacity as of December 2015 was 11,205 MW.

In Ontario there are over 2,300 turbines, with more being installed every day. Driving North up the 400 you see the trucks with enormous turbine blades or pylon sections frequently.

Lots of tinfoil hat people really don't like wind turbines. they think they emit radiation or kill massive numbers of birds. They also think they make a lot of noise. Locally, when you see a cluster of wind turbines, driving around the area you will see one farm with a turbine in the field and the farm across the road has a "NO WIND TURBINES HERE!" sign or similar.

I myself think they're beautiful, they do contribute clean power to the grid and they don't actually make that much noise. If I had a farm in an area that had suitable wind flow I'd be happy to have one installed. I don't know what sort of kickback the farmer gets for the land lease but it's probably quite generous given this is a growth market.
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
Agreed. Don't understand how they can be considered ugly. I think they look elegant and graceful.
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
Also info regarding the one at the ex:

Windshare

It's actually a community co-operative.

Is the first urban-sited turbine to be constructed in North America. Turbines are not often put into cities because buildings, zoning issues and dense residential areas tend to interrupt a “laminar” flow of wind required for wind speeds to generate power.
Is the first community-owned wind power project in Ontario. Community power is locally owned, renewable energy generation scaled to the size and characteristics of the host site. The community power model is gaining support as an alternative to large-scale developments which are experiencing some local opposition due to their size and local visual impact. By becoming power producers, co-operative members can benefit directly from a wind energy resource and move towards more sustainable and secure energy future.
Is made in Ontario. Almost all of the turbine parts, including the tower and blades, were manufactured in province. Only the converter at the base of the turbine and the nacelle were manufactured in the Netherlands.
 
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Saw a doc about the Big Wind lobby on TVO a while ago. The story was the turbine manufacturers (Samsung, etc) got basically carte Blanche when it came to density & how close they could build to farms & humanity. There was some nasty implications to some people, with little to no recourse for those it affected. It was a really tragic set of stories. Ppl and livestock getting shocked, sick, and dying.

It had this air akin to the controversy over Fracking. Lots of shit going down when installed on land near ppl.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
The government made energy contracts to buy "green" power at certain rates which guarantees a profit for the involved. I think I read somewhere Samsung or some other company was going to sue because a contract of wind farm fell through... this is part of the whole electric rate thing and is part of the reason why Ontario electricity costs have doubled.

I think they look great, and wish there were more, but as a government program it reeks of insider profiteering. Did anyone see that show about the windmill placed between two skyscrapers?
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
Yes they kill birds. But in orders of magnitude less than other things that we already accept.

here is one chart:


Man-made structure/technology
Associated bird deaths per year (U.S.)
Feral and domestic cats
Hundreds of millions [source: AWEA]
Power lines
130 million -- 174 million [source: AWEA]
Windows (residential and commercial)
100 million -- 1 billion [source: TreeHugger]
Pesticides
70 million [source: AWEA]
Automobiles
60 million -- 80 million [source: AWEA]
Lighted communication towers
40 million -- 50 million [source: AWEA]
Wind turbines
10,000 -- 40,000 [source: ABC]

I've seen some figures that put the number of birds killed at up to 600,000 annually. Still far far less than other common man-made structures.

Agreed about the shady deal though with Samsung. But a shitty business deal doesn't mean the tech is bad and shouldn't be pursued.
 
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
The doc Big Wind has an Anti Turbine agenda, that was sure. That said, it raised enough concern on enough points for me to get off the fence and say the Govt & the Lobby had done a bad deal for the people of Ontario.

Big Wind | TVo_Org
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
The doc Big Wind has an Anti Turbine agenda, that was sure. That said, it raised enough concern on enough points for me to get off the fence and say the Govt & the Lobby had done a bad deal for the people of Ontario.

Big Wind | TVo_Org
Totally agree it's a shitty deal. But the tech is good and concerns regarding bird deaths and health issues don't hold up.
 

SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
Yes they kill birds. But in orders of magnitude less than other things that we already accept.

here is one chart:


Man-made structure/technology
Associated bird deaths per year (U.S.)
Feral and domestic cats
Hundreds of millions [source: AWEA]

100 million -- 1 billion [source: TreeHugger]
I don't care about birds, but some of these stats are a joke.

"hundreds of millions" "100 mil to 1 billion"

lmao
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I watched that TVO documentary and it was pretty informative, although slanted toward the No Turbines people. Aside from the issues around health effects of the low frequency noise throb, which doesn't seem to be clear, there are pretty big property rights issues that are pitting neighbor against neighbor.
From what I understand, the farmers get $10,000 per turbine on their properties per year, however once a turbine is installed, nothing can be built in a certain radius around the turbine. If one farmer puts his turbine close to his neighbors property, he is basically expropriating portions of his neighbors' land - without any form of payment going to the neighbor. This does not seem fair at all.
Also, it was pointed out that wind energy is so unreliable that it actually promotes fossil fuel use... Which I never considered before.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
From what I understand, the farmers get $10,000 per turbine on their properties per year, however once a turbine is installed, nothing can be built in a certain radius around the turbine. If one farmer puts his turbine close to his neighbors property, he is basically expropriating portions of his neighbors' land - without any form of payment going to the neighbor. This does not seem fair at all.
This doesn't make sense. You can't contract away things you have no authority over. From above, the first farmer would be infringing on the neighbour (the third party), as this would otherwise restrict the third party from making full use of their title. Doesn't this seem illegal?
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I finally found an answer to the question: How much electricity does a wind turbine generate?

"An average onshore wind turbine with a capacity of 2.5–3 MW can produce more than 6 million kWh in a year – enough to supply 1,500 average households with electricity."
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
"wind turbine syndrome" = "wifi syndrome"


Powerful nocebos maybe, but nothing about wind turbines or wifi actually *makes* people sick, just we are good at creating stories about things that people obsess over and make themselves sick.

The Link between Health Complaints and Wind Turbines: Support for the Nocebo Expectations Hypothesis
wifi people who have obviously survived the latent added radioactivity created by atmospheric nuclear testing? and the constant bombardment of cosmic rays from who knows where?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
wifi people who have obviously survived the latent added radioactivity created by atmospheric nuclear testing? and the constant bombardment of cosmic rays from who knows where?
Or just what comes out of the rocks around us naturally?

The wavelengths aren't of a size to even interact with us biologically. But nocebo is powerful - we are seeing its impact on gluten recently but before that it was MSG.

You don't need a plausible biological mechanism -just the belief that it will make you sick and confirmation bias.
 
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