John Milner — London Free Press — October 25, 2014
Ontario wind farms have made enemies, enemies prepared to cross legal boundaries.
That’s becoming a serious new challenge for police in Southwestern Ontario, where the majority of the province’s wind farms are located.
In the past few weeks, there has been a spate of attacks on industrial wind farms and construction equipment with tens of thousands of dollars in damage but no arrests.
The problem for police trying to thwart the vandalism is that wind farms cover a massive rural area, with many of the giant turbines located in remote, isolated locations.
The Bornish Wind Energy Centre in North Middlesex, a moderate-sized wind farm north of London, for example, has 45 turbines spread across nearly 5,200 hectares.
“We do have challenges with the large area we have to police,” Huron County OPP Const. Jamie Stanley said.
Huron County, where a wind farm equal in size to the largest built in Ontario is now under construction, has seen the most recent incidents. They’ve escalated from rocks thrown through windows of construction equipment and lights broken, to a break-in at a turbine tower and destruction of computer control equipment.
Jay Shukin, a spokesperson for the giant K2 Wind Farm under construction north of Goderich, referred to the rock-throwing and damage to excavation equipment as “minor incidents.”
But the forced entry into a turbine tower, and deliberate attempts to disable or damage the equipment, is more serious.
“We are still assessing the cost, but damage will be in the tens of thousands of dollars,” Shukin wrote in an e-mail. (Continue reading here…..)