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Wind turbines for the north shore.....................


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Toronto Hydro chartered Captain Wayne Andrew’s 52-foot fishing yacht, The Last One III, for the day on Thursday, but not to troll for salmon.

Instead they loaded the craft with two dozen journalists at the foot of Spadina Avenue and Capt. Andrew set a course east, steaming for two hours through the choppy teal-blue waters of Lake Ontario to a spot about a kilometre off the foot of Markham Road. Here three white steel poles jut out of the lake to the height of about three storeys.

On the polls is a platform, and on top of each poll is a small wind turbine capable of producing one kilowatt of electricity. Two of the three turbines spun merrily in the noon breeze yesterday.

This $1-million Toronto Hydro Anemometer Station, erected to measure wind speed, went into service last week. It looks innocuous enough, but the city-owned utility has bigger plans. Toronto Hydro has leased from the province a 25-kilometre long, two-kilometre wide swath of the lake bed, stretching from the Leslie Street spit east to Ajax.

For two years, the little cups spinning on the platform here will measure the wind. If the wind is favourable, Toronto Hydro wants to erect a wall of about 70 wind turbines in the lake here, about two to four kilometres off the shore, at 500-metre intervals. Each mammoth turbine would produce about five times the power of Toronto Hydro’s lone existing turbine at Exhibition Place. The project, costing perhaps $700-million, will produce enough power to supply a city the size of Guelph.

“There is a lot of work to be done,†says Joyce McLean, Toronto Hydro’s director of strategic issues. “We’re talking four or five years before we’d see any wind turbines here.â€

She notes that the utility is already generating a little power with its three small turbines here, to power the equipment that feeds monitoring information back to the utility.

“I’ve been out here three times and it’s been windy enough every single day, that I wish I brought a hat.â€

Wind is not lacking. But support for this project may be harder to locate. Ms. McLean confesses that, “We have some very vocal opponents, and we were surprised at the velocity of their opposition.â€

Chris Tyrrell, chief conservation officer at Toronto Hydro, adds that, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“I visited Denmark and I saw 5,100 wind turbines in a country no bigger than Manitoulin Island,†he said. “They were onshore, offshore, it was amazing: people living right beside them.â€

But here at home, opposition is crystallizing. John Laforet is a candidate for city council in Ward 43, Scarborough East, on a platform of tilting at the windmills. He writes on his web site, savethebluffs.ca, that, “There is not a single offshore wind plant in the world installed this close to a large residential community. In fact, the closest setback for any offshore wind plant worldwide is 7.5 km, while most are greater than 20 km offshore.â€

A colour computer monitor on the bridge of the Last One III displays results from a depth sounder on the yacht’s hull, explaining why, in this case, such setbacks are impractical. Lake Ontario is only about 12 metres deep along a shelf that runs to about 4 km off the shore here. When we veer southeast, off the shelf, the lake is suddenly 60 metres deep; erecting a turbine platform in that depth of water is unaffordable, the utility says.

I asked Ms. McLean what she thinks of the pledge by Rocco Rossi, the mayoral candidate, to sell Toronto Hydro and use the proceeds to build subways. She opposes Rossi’s platform, because she believes a privatized Toronto Hydro would ditch its renewable energy plans and abandon efforts to serve “the greater good.â€

But there is another way to look at all this: even if we get the turbines by 2015, it will have taken Toronto Hydro fully 13 years between its first turbine, at the Ex, and its next wind project. If wind power makes sense, a privatized utility would perhaps be able to turn this around a little more quickly.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/11 ... nto-hydro/

http://www.savethebluffs.ca/

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At least their concept of cost is closer to reality than the current wind mill plans on the southern shores. They clearly state that building these structures is affordable in 12 meters,roughly 36 feet,but unaffordable in 60 meters,180 feet.

Around the southern side of the lake the plans are for structures in 150 of water.

Or are we on the USA side just being misled and will the plans for out generators really turn out to be in 40 feet of water??

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Rolmops - The NYPA GLOW proposal calls for them to be out to a MAXIMUM of 150FOW and a minimum of 50 turbines per area.

If you look at any of the turbine company sites & studies, they say the best spacing of offshore turbines is a minimum array of 5 x 10 spacing. That means they will be in staggered columns. Minimum spacing is 5 rotor diameters perpendicular to the prevailing winds (N & S) and 10 rotor diameters with the prevailing winds.(E to W) Rotors are 90m in diameter (approx 300ft)

turbinearray.jpg

Note: what I have drawn is the absolute minimum spacing & E-W scale is small.

http://www.nypa.gov/NYPAwindpower/GLOW% ... 9%20LR.pdf

Yes they will come much closer to shore than NYPA puts in their sales pitch. If you look up the GLOW proposal and the AWS Truewind siting studies, NYPA says 70% of the wind potential comes from less than 50FOW, so that is the real area they are targeting.

Check your navigation map. 50 turbines off Rochester will put the area from shore to 150 FOW and from Round Pond to Webster Park out of bounds for fishing. (with the exeption of 1/2 mile swath for the Stephen B. Roman directly north of the Genny.

Tom B.

(LongLine)

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Is my math correct here? 700 million dollars for 70 turbine wind farm. That's 10 million a turbine!!!! No wonder private utilities don't go after wind energy, how are they going to make their money back??

I think green energy is important, but I don't think, right now, wind energy is the answer.

I think NYPA really needs to do the math, and tell us the truth.

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Took these images from my truck on I-65 in Indiana. This is a MONSTER of a field of these things. Imagine now, that there is no farmers fields under these wind mills and there is the beauty of the lake under there......silently running ..... no sounds of boats..... lots of lakefront property for sale CHEAP.....No $20 million per year plus in tourism coming in from the attraction of the lake. .........YUCK!!!!

Soon maybe I will be able to post pics of the ones that California has that have been around for about 15- 20 years along the Tehachapi Mountain pass on rte 58 coming out of the Mohave desert. A lot of those are decrepit pieces of junk...tipped over, twisted rusting and just plain sick looking.

Mark

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