bad wiring: renewables in Ontario

I do often write about the limitations of variable renewable energy sources (vRES). Wind and solar in Ontario seem to have an additional problem: wiring.

A tweet alerted me to news from Manitoulin Island and “the most expensive wind electricity captive ratepayers are forced to buy”:

McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm will be laying a new submarine cable across the floor of the North Channel this summer due to issues with the existing cable.

“When we first put it (the submarine cable) in (in 2013), we had some issues, a short to ground,” explained McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm Manager Rick Martin. “We made the repair, but now we have decided to lay a new one, leaving the old cable as back up.

I suspect they’ll be leaving it there as garbage.

I wrote McLean’s Mountain Wind Joke isn’t funny in August 2015. A comment attached to that article, from LSARC, discussed the transmission issues. In that article I noted the performance of the generator trailed the performance of other projects built in the same period.

I’ve extracted current data summarized by month, and while McLean’s Mountain has been the worst site to enter service since 2012, perhaps due to the transmission issues, the Grand Wind Farm is not too far behind.

Samsung’s Grand Renewable project also has transmission issues.

I noticed there was no solar output the other day, and tweeted a not-so serious question to the system operator: “is Samung’s Grand Renewable Solar project offline for refueling this week?”

I didn’t hear back from the system operator yet, but I did receive an e-mail from a local Haldimand resident:

Samsung’s solar and wind project transmission lines from the substation that run to the grid outside of Hagersville (21 km of high voltage wires) are under repairs.   My neighbor who is one of the people who has transmission lines just steps her front door.  We were talking at the grocery store and she told me at the lines were snapping and crackling worse than usual in the recent cold, high winds and wet weather.  Shortly after the repair crews have been out.  They are also chopping all the tree limbs (some of which the trees are on private property)

Haldimand.pngShe and several others have complained to everyone about the hum etc from the wires. Article in local paper can be read here:

She had also testified at an OEB hearing  about the route prior to them being installed and as a presenter at the ERT (her daughter is delayed and just recently been moved into a group home on an emergency basis.  The exposure to the transmission lines were a factor as her daughter has seizures that are triggered by even minor everyday sensations and the lines are closest to the bedroom she had at her mum’s house.

My neighbour lives just down the road from the attached photo on the right hand side of the road.  Her neighbor across the road turned down the offer from Samsung for $1,500 for his troubles with tv and phone reception as it came with the condition he couldn’t claim any further complaints.   He can stand at end of his driveway and the fluorescent light bulb lights up and his hand held voltage meter reads as live wire.  He is a retired electrician.

As I write this it appears locals are finished their brief respite as Samsung’s industrial wind turbines and solar panels are again showing output on the system operator’s website.

I have mostly written on wind from an analytical perspective with data as the foundation for my arguments, but the Haldimand resident’s e-mail is only the latest to grab my attention in a more compelling way.

I met this morning with some residents who are badly affected by the turbines in the K2 project in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh.

They had a terrible winter with unbearable noise but it seems to have diminished even though the winds have been strong.

Is there anything showing up in the output from this project?

And there was.

My estimation routines had shown Samsung’s K2 wind project massively curtailed in March.


I realize there are many Ontarians skeptical of the claims of negative impacts from poorly sited industrial wind turbines – and many, many more entirely disinterested in whether or not they harm people when casting their ballots. The type of evidence I write of here won’t move many of those people, but maybe some will recognize it is they that have been wired wrong.

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