Emotionally and businesswise, I believe all renewables and energy conservation are good BUT I am increasingly troubled by BIG Wind.
The first time I saw the Shelburne, Ontario wind farm was on a bright, clear, starry moon lit night driving across the county road with light blowing ground level snow and the big sweeps were magnificent shadowy beasts coming through the misting snow. I had a meeting in the nacelle of the Toronto Hydro wind machine at the CNE, the view across Toronto was spectacular, the soft sound of the blades was soothing and the little motors and computers rotating the prop direction were fascinating toys for boys.
But all is not well with the big machines!
The big machines are generating their best electrical energy at night and in the spring and fall when winds guaranteed take a pay rate of 11 to 14 cents per kWh -- about 4 to 5 times what base load nuclear energy can supply without needing other generation sources. The big machines are not required to be paired with either storage and/or alternate generation like a gas powered electrical generation facility plant so that wind machine supply package is 24/7/365 part of the electrical energy supply.
The regulated 500 meter minimum set back from a residence is questionable at best. The Grey/ Bruce County Medical Officer of Health‘s interim report documents the negative impact 24/7/365 low level noise/ air pressure change is having on people’s health. Farm animals can’t talk to the vet but productivity issues are surfacing. The federal government has a major health impact study to be completed years forward but the damage will be done, and who is going to pay to move the machines?
Denmark, the world’s leader in wind energy, with some 20% of electrical generation from off shore wind farms now has people/animal issues as wind farms get located on land near residential and farm buildings.
It is time for a time out on Big Wind before the damage becomes too big to fail.