July 24th, 2021

Throwing caution to the wind turbines in Cypress County

By Letter to the Editor on June 13, 2020.

Re: Cypress Wind hopes to lessen footprint during delay – Collin Gallant, June 9, 2020

A number of industrial wind energy projects have been proposed and/or approved in Cypress County which may have a devastating negative impact on local residents. The total number of turbines proposed exceeds 500 within the county.

Globally, wind turbines produce power at about 30 per cent of nameplate capacity. Every one of these turbines will require near 100 per cent fossil fuel backup for times when there is no wind or too much wind. The concerns of area residents must be weighed against the variable nature of the wind and unreliable power it produces.

According to E.ON Energy Research Center (2013), property values can be reduced from 11 per cent to 30 per cent within 3.5 km of the nearest turbine, and can have less dramatic effects up to 14 km away.

In addition, this and other studies showed that over time, proximity to turbines stunts annual property value growth. This means that should these projects go ahead, property values may be reduced to below the outstanding mortgage value, making it difficult to renew mortgages or to sell the home for enough to cover the outstanding mortgage balance.

Wind turbine-caused fires also pose a very real danger to the greater community. Wind turbines can cause fires through lightning strikes, mechanical failure, electrical failure among others. The turbines contain many gallons of flammable liquids as well as flammable components, such as blades. Blades can throw flaming material hundreds of meters, causing grass fires. We have seen over the past number of years significant grass fires caused by lightning, human carelessness and other reasons. Cypress County, despite best efforts, has been challenged by some of these recent fires, and is ill-equipped to handle fires at the height of the proposed turbines.

The projects which have been proposed by a pair of related French (France) companies are placing our community at both financial and physical risk. It is not about the environment; it is about money. It is about industrial wind energy being rejected in Europe and these foreign corporations needing to find a place to peddle their wares. It is about foreign companies benefiting at the expense of you and your neighbours.

Paul & Twyla von Huene


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