Many Wayne County Supervisors attended a special ‘Town Meeting’ in Lyons last month to hear about the possibilities of wind energy. Billionaire Tom Golisano was there to discuss his new company, Empire Wind Energy, LLC, and expressed interest in a project here.
The Alternative Energy Task Force hosted the event. When Supervisors met Tuesday, Task Force Chair Terry VanStean of Lyons, told them that one of the sites his group had identified as having wind energy possibilities was on Nye Road. According to VanStean, the County Complex on Nye Rd. uses a ‘tremendous’ amount of energy, but that the site also holds ‘tremendous’ wind potential. VanStean suggested that supervisors consider measuring the wind from the top of the water tower there.
The information could be collected and recorded, perhaps even by school students, he added. ‘We need to collect some hard facts.’ He said that currently, wind is being measured at Sodus Central Schools and district officials believe they may be able to provide up to 75 percent of their own energy. The discussion continued to include green industry, conservation and energy alternatives.
One visiting student from Newark High School’s Participation in Government class asked a question. The young woman wanted to know what impact wind turbines would have on the environment. ‘There is virtually no environmental impact,’ said VanStean. He said there are three considerations. One is noise, but he added that the noise is minimal and equated it to a low hum. The second is contact with birds and or bats. VanStean told the girl, ‘(Your) cat has a bigger negative impact on the bird population.’ Thirdly, VanStean said he thought some may see a problem with the ‘visual impact’ of the tall turbines and likened them to tall buildings.
One resident asked about residential options. VanStean said there are companies who do work with private residents and named one in particular in Flagstaff, Arizona, Southwest Wind.
Van Stean then offered help from the Task Force if any of the supervisors would like to begin enacting wind energy ordinances for their towns. Some Wayne County towns have already taken such action. He also volunteered to bring the discussions to any of their town board or zoning board meetings.
Supervisors took no formal action.
By Donna Comella
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