September 9, 2022 · 0 Comments
Calgary-based power developer and operator TransAlta Renewables announced last week that the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator has extended the contract for power from the Melancthon 1 wind power project until 2031. The contract was originally due to expire in 2026.
The wind power generation facility has 45, 1.5-megawatt wind turbines and is located near Shelburne.
The project has a long and controversial history, due to hundreds of complaints of noise pollution from residents, so severe that some people abandoned their homes. Our own findings from documents received under Freedom of Information is that the Melancthon power project was number one in Ontario for noise complaints related to the turbines and a transformer.
The problems were documented in a CBC news story (www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ont-wind-farm-health-risks-downplayed-documents-1.1122648) in 2011, quoting the supervisor of the Guelph environment ministry office who warned that the ministry did not have the technology or capability to accurately measure wind turbine noise emissions in order to confirm compliance with regulations.
A noise abatement program was ordered for the project but apparently never executed. The problems were so severe that in 2013 Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, then in Opposition, called on the McGuinty government to halt any further wind power approvals until problems with Melancthon and others were resolved.
So now, in 2022, when we know that wind power is an intermittent, weather-dependent form of power generation that is not “emissions-free” due to noise pollution, the operator is rewarded with an extended lucrative contract? Was there any notice to the community? Any new environmental assessment of present and potential impacts?
Ontario needs reliable and affordable sources of electricity that improve, not harm, the environment, communities, and the economy.
Jane Wilson, RN, B.A.
President of Wind Concerns Ontario