Don Quixote tilted at windmills; a group of Huron-Kinloss residents would rather see them torn down.
Sandy MacLeod led a delegation at Huron-Kinloss council to discuss health problems they have suffered since the construction of wind turbines near their homes.
MacLeod said she has chronic ringing in the ears, headaches and higher blood pressure since the Suncor wind project began producing electricity last year. Glen Wylds, another land owner living near a turbine, said he suffers from similar symptoms.
The group wants council to look more closely at the health concerns caused by Suncor and Acciona’s decisions on how to transport the generated electricity. The residents said they have spoken with the two energy companies but have received no response to their problems.
David Colling presented council with a large document showing data on energy readings taken from the homes of affected landowners. He said the stray voltage – which he calls electrical pollution – has serious health effects.
The short-term health problems associated with electrical pollution, according to Colling, include headaches and ear problems. Over several years, exposure can lead to hypersensitivity and a susceptibility to allergies.
“The companies know about this,” Colling said. “I’m trying to establish with people that this is real.”
Colling took readings from at least four residents while the turbines were in full operation and discovered high levels of stray voltage in each case. He also managed to take a reading while the turbines were down and then compared the numbers in his package for council. Colling declined to give the same ipackage he gave to council to the media present at the meeting.
When the wind farm was constructed, the companies involved buried 30 km of the collection lines that transmit the electricity. Another nine kilometres were left above ground. It is these lines, and the way the electricity mixes with each property’s distribution lines, that causes a major portion of the stray voltage.
“You can understand our frustration,” Colling said.
Colling travels across the province speaking on the issue of stray voltage. The Huron-Kinloss group wants council to help pressure the energy companies into doing a number of health studies, voltage reports and to bury the remaining lines.
Colling urged council to move quickly to put a hold on any further construction before the provincial government takes control of the wind farms from municipalities.
“There is big money pushing behind this,” he said.
Council asked for some time to review the information Colling presented. The matter will be discussed at a later meeting.