Divisional Court dismissed APAI's appeal of the Environmental Review Tribunal decision on Tuesday January 31, 2017. Counsel for APAI has submitted Leave to Appeal.


Windlectric/Algonquin, the company granted approval to blanket Amherst island with 26, fifty storey turbines, has commenced dock construction on Amherst Island. The Company has not submitted a Marine Safety and Logistics Plan required by MOECC nor has it submitted an Operations Plan acceptable to Loyalist Township. No acceptable Emergency Response and Communications Plan is in place. No Roads Use Agreement with the County of Lennox and Addington has been approved.


In its first weeks of work the company blatantly disregarded commitments to only use the Island ferry for dock construction, to not disrupt the ferry schedule, to give notice of traffic disruptions and to consult with Amherst Island Public School staff and parents concerning road safety by the school. Not a good beginning!


Construction also ignores a Road Use Agreement between the Township and Windlectric signed in October 2015. The Agreement stipulates that “Windlectric will host a Town Hall meeting to obtain feedback from the public and address concerns to minimize the level of disruption, disturbance and inconvenience to the Municipality’s residents.”


Call to Action


Please request Premier Wynne (premier@ontario.ca or 416-325-1941) and Minister Murray (minister.moecc@ontario.ca or 416-314-6790) to cancel the project without penalty because of the company's inability to achieve its Commercial Operations Date and because it's absolutely the right thing to do.


We are being bullied AND we are resilient, tenacious, and absolutely committed.


Decommissioning – Amherst Island

Decommissioning of industrial wind turbines in Ontario is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. The Association to Protect Amherst Island advised the Minister of the Environment that Windlectric/Algonquin in its decommissioning report proposes to cut up and dispose of wind turbine blades after twenty years in regulated municipal landfill sites. The Association pointed out that even a small blade contains about 10 tons of epoxy resin made with dangerous Bisphenol A known to damage human health.

APAI asked the Minister where these “regulated municipal landfill sites” are located, where the regulated sites are with capabilities to cut up turbine blades, and whether BPH is permitted in Ontario landfills.  To date, no answer has been received.

Decommissioning will cause as much environmental impact on the Island as construction.

Amherst Island residents are concerned about Windlectric/Algonquin Power’s decommissioning plans for the 36 wind turbines in our community. We’ve seen examples in Hawaii and California – both early adapters to wind energy – of what abandoned, derelict fields of industrial wind turbines look like when their former owners walk away.

abandoned wind turbines

We keep reminding the Ontario Government that the project is proposed for an ISLAND where every component has to be transported to and from the project by barge at great cost.

Funding?

While Windlectric/Algonquin Power acknowledges that the cost of decommissioning is to be borne by the project owner, the ‘decommissioning plan’ fails to address a number of key issues leaving the community and the environment at risk.

Wind energy developers in Ontario are not required to set money aside to pay for the removal of structures and the restoration of land when the life of a wind project ends. This is unusual, if not unique, in the western world. Mining and forestry companies are required to set millions of dollars aside to prepare for decommissioning of projects. We face a future when massive, obsolete turbines will be left to fall apart in our fields because land owners and municipalities will not be able to afford to clean up after the developers leaves.

Salvage?

More recently, Windlectric/Algonquin has advised that the company  will cover the cost of decommissioning by selling the parts for salvage.

Windlectric/Algonquin’s consultant STANTEC in its report on ‘Decommissioning’ says that the decommissioning component of the proposed wind-turbine project will be similar in nature to the construction i.e.: ‘Many activities during decommissioning would be comparable to the construction phase, including the use of heavy equipment on site, restoring constructible areas around all Project infrastructure and preparing staging areas.’

Considered a mirror image of construction, the decommissioning cost has been estimated at $100 million.

Dr. John Harrison, physicist and APAI Vice-President, estimated the scrap value of the turbines proposed by Algonquin. Dr. Harrison’s calculation sheet is attached, based upon three major components of a turbine, and assuming 33 turbines in the project (all at to-day’s prices):

¾   The scrap value of steel:                                                     $3.0 million

¾   The scrap value of copper:                                                 $2.7 million

¾   The scrap value of rare earth in a turbine magnet          $0.6 million

Total:                                                                                             $6.3 million

Conclusion

The scrap value of the Windlectric project would be far below the cost of decommissioning, which reinforces the conclusion that this project would be a bad business deal.  The immediate risk factors before approval include the nationally and internationally recognized stature of the Island’s cultural and natural heritage.  If approved, the cost and difficulty of construction on an Island, the very high community opposition to the project, the significantly lower energy output than Algonquin claims, and the high cost of decommissioning will result in a negative return on investment for Algonquin Power’s shareholders.

The Process

To review APAI’s response to Windlectric/Algonquin Power’s ‘decommissioning plan’ please click here:

APAI Resonse to Decommissioning Plan for Windlectric Proposal