Enbridge - Where energy meets people
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Responding To Your Questions (FAQ)

Enbridge works with landowners and municipal, provincial, and state government representatives to understand and manage any public concerns about our renewable energy projects.

We encourage community members to share their concerns with us, and we take all concerns seriously. We always aim to respond promptly to all operations-related questions, concerns, and complaints.

For Enbridge contact information, please see the section: Renewable Energy Contact Information.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Wind

How are wind farm sites selected?

Wind energy generation is most suited to areas where winds blow, on average, at greater than 13 kilometres per hour. Wind turbines are typically located in places where winds are above this speed 70 to 80 per cent of the time. Proximity to transmission infrastructure is also an important consideration.

To select a site, wind measurement devices called anemometers are placed in areas where frequent and consistent winds are believed to occur. Together with wind vanes, anemometers measure wind speed, direction and seasonal fluctuation. Data from anemometers are interpreted by specialists and an indicative turbine layout is prepared. Turbine layouts often are modified to accommodate landforms, property line setbacks, construction restrictions and environmental restrictions.

What are wind turbines?

The main components of a wind turbine include a tower, three propeller-like blades, a rotor, a shaft, and a generator.

Newer, larger turbines allow increased efficiency and slower blade movement, helping to reduce possible impacts of raptors and other birds.

Depending on the turbines available at the time of construction, the turbine/tower combination may be as high as 146 metres (480 feet). The towers are usually made of steel and the blades are made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester or wood-epoxy.

Are wind farms compatible with current land use?

Yes. For instance, the small footprint of a wind energy project allows cultivation of crops among turbines and results in minimal loss of productive lands.

Wind energy development on agricultural lands allows farmers to continue to farm the land and prevents sell-off of agricultural lands and reduces the need to earn off-farm income.

Is wind energy generation efficient?

Using a free and infinite source of fuel to generate electricity – the wind – is about as efficient as one can get.

The technology is efficient, too. Modern wind turbines are operational 70 to 85 per cent of the time and generate, on average, up to 35 per cent of the theoretical maximum output over a year’s time. This is known as a load or capacity factor. The exact figure is dependent on the location, technology, size, turbine reliability and wind conditions. By comparison, the load factor of a conventional power plant is on average about 50 per cent.

What effect do wind projects have on land values?

A study commissioned by the U.S. government found no evidence of wind farms negatively impacting house prices. The study conducted by the Renewable Energy Policy Project indicated no change in property values of 25,000 homes within a five-mile radius of various wind farms.

Do turbines cast electromagnetic fields?

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) emanate from any wire carrying electricity and North Americans are routinely exposed to these fields in their everyday lives. EMFs produced by wind energy generation and electricity collection will be no greater than what is experienced by normal overhead lines.

Are wind farms unsightly?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whether one thinks a wind turbine is attractive or not will always be one’s personal opinion.

However, studies regularly show that most people find turbines an interesting feature of the landscape.

On average, 80 per cent of the public support wind energy, less than 10 per cent are against it, and the remainder are undecided.

Surveys conducted near existing wind farms have consistently found that most people there are in favour of wind energy.

What is the risk of ice forming and being thrown off turbine blades?

Similar to ice forming on any surface, (trees, wires, roofs), ice can form on wind turbine blades. A risk assessment undertaken by Enbridge on this issue has evaluated the risk of a member of the public being struck by ice as being significantly lower than being struck by lightning.

Despite this extremely low risk, Enbridge takes public and work safety very seriously. For example, at our Enbridge Ontario Wind Project near Kincardine, Ontario, Enbridge has developed a Safety Protocol for Icing and Extreme Weather Conditions to provide additional protection to the public, and to ensure a safe work environment during potential icing periods. The protocol involves a public awareness campaign, including signage warning of risks at the entrances of turbine access roads. Also turbine operation will be restricted when necessary.

Solar

How are solar farm sites selected?

Solar farms are located in areas that receive high levels of sunlight.

Sites are also chosen on basis of their proximity to connection points to the electricity grid.

Does Enbridge own or lease the land on which its solar farms are located?

Enbridge purchased the land for its Sarnia and Tilbury solar farms and is leasing the land for the Amherstburg Solar Project.

What does a solar energy facility cost?

Enbridge invested about $400 million in the 80-MW Sarnia Solar Project and about $90 million (collectively) in the 5-MW Tilbury and 15-MW Amherstburg projects.

What kind of technology do the three projects employ?

They use thin film photovoltaic technology.

Who is buying/will buy the power produced by the Sarnia, Tilbury and Amherstburg II Solar Projects?

Enbridge is selling/will sell the power output from the projects to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) pursuant to 20-year power purchase agreements under the terms of the Ontario Government’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.

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Enbridge Companies

EGD

Enbridge Gas Distribution

Canada's largest gas distribution company. Serving 1.9 million customers in Ontario, Quebec and New York State.

Enbridge Gas New Brunswick

Enbridge Gas New Brunswick

Distributing natural gas to institutional, commercial, industrial and residential customers across nine New Brunswick communities.

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Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc. (ENB) is a publicly-traded corporation on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.

Enbridge U.S.

Enbridge's U.S. operations - a leader in energy transportation in the Midwest, Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast regions of the United States.

Enbridge Energy Partners

A U.S. master limited partnership with oil and gas delivery assets.

Enbridge Income Fund Holdings

Enbridge Income Fund Holdings

Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. (EIFH) is a publicly-traded Canadian Corporation that invests in low-risk energy infrastructure assets.

Enbridge Technology

Provides pipeline and natural gas distribution consulting and training services internationally.

Midcoast Energy Partners

Midcoast Energy Partners

Midcoast Energy Partners (MEP) serves as EEP’s primary vehicle for owning and growing its natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) midstream business in the U.S.

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Emergency Contacts

Pipeline Emergencies

CANADA:

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (incl. Norman Wells Pipeline)
1-877-420-8800
Enbridge Pipelines (Saskatchewan) Inc.
1-888-420-4357
Enbridge Pipelines (Athabasca) Inc.
1-888-813-6844



Natural Gas Emergencies in Ontario

Enbridge Gas Distribution Customers
1-866-763-5427
(1-866-smelgas)


UNITED STATES:

Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Eastern Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Pembina County, North Dakota:
1 (800) 858-5253

North Dakota, Eastern Montana, Polk County, Minnesota:
1 (888) 838-4545

Texas, Western Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas:
1 (888) 650-8099

Louisiana:
1 (877) 548-1800

Western Montana (electric transmission line):
1 (888) 780-8831