Wayne County isn’t getting much attention from developers looking to put in wind farms. So a group of citizens went looking for a way to bring the alternative energy sources to their hometowns.
According to Keith Pitman, Lyons is the perfect place for a wind turbine. He runs Empire State Wind Energy, a company founded by Paychex billionaire Tom Golisano.
The company’s not out to make money. It just wants to break even and convince communities like Lyons to invest in alternative energy, even if they’ve been passed up by big wind farm developers looking for only the most lucrative projects.
“There may be, in fact, millions of dollars that can be pumped into an economy with a project that a traditional investor or a traditional developer may see as a marginal return for their risk,” Pitman said.
Terry VanStean heads up the Alternative Energy Task Force that invited Golisano to town.
“We need a spark. And I think this is a realistic, viable spark. It’s environmentally sound. I mean, you can go right down the list. It just makes sense,” he said.
On Monday, Golisano brings his pitch to the Ohmann Theatre. He’ll give Lyons residents a choice between a number of projects, from a mega wind farm to home-by-home projects.
Without a specific site picked out, organized opposition to wind power here is hard to find.
Alternative Energy Task Force member Mark DeCracker said, “We haven’t heard it. They’re calling, [saying] ‘I’ve got land, when can I have a windmill on it?’ It’s the greatest thing going.”
Pitman has been travelling the state pitching Golisano’s wind-friendly message. He says the grassroots support in Wayne County is stronger than anyplace else he’s been.
Golisano and his company will make their presentation to the community at 7:00 p.m. Monday at the Ohmann Theatre in Lyons.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding