The Preservation League of New York State has jumped into a wind-project controversy in Jordanville, naming the Holy Trinity Monastery to the group’s annual list of New York’s most-threatened historic resources: “Seven to Save.”
The nonprofit group says tranquility at the monastery, which sits on 750 acres in southern Herkimer County, would be ruined if a proposal to site about 50 wind turbines in the area ever moves forward.
“The Holy Trinity Monastery is of extraordinary historic, religious and cultural significance, but it is currently threatened by an industrial-scale wind energy project,” Jay DiLorenzo, the nonprofit organization’s president, said Friday.
Panoramic views and contemplative quiet will disappear from the surrounding countryside if wind tubines are erected as proposed by Iberdrola, DiLorenzo said.
The Spanish wind-turbine firm had planned to erect 68 turbines in the wind-rich towns of Stark and Warren.
The proposal generated some local opposition, and Cooperstown-based Otsego 2000 has been working with opponents, noting that some of the wind turbines would be visible from Otsego Lake and the Glimmerglass Historic District.
Last summer, the state Public Service Commission ruled that 19 of 68 proposed turbines, those most visible from the lake, had to be dropped from the project.
And last month, state Supreme Court Justice Donald Greenwood annulled special-use permits that would have allowed Iberdrola to erect the remaining 49 wind turbines.
Greenwood ruled that Warren and Stark had not adhered to guidelines in the State Environmental Quality Review Law when the project was reviewed.
The judge also wrote that on two occasions, the Warren Town Board violated the Open Meetings Law and “improperly entered executive session in violation of the statute.”
However, many people in the area still support the project, according to horse farmer Kay Sheldon Moyer of Jordanville.
Moyer is a member of Friends of Renewable Energy, a group based in central New York with “about 400 members,” she said Monday.
“I don’t believe there is any threat to the monastery,” she said. “And I think we should be taking advantage of the sustainable, renewable energy that we have here.”
Moyer said the Preservation League’s bid to prevent a wind project will be answered by local residents, who believe a well-designed wind project would be good for the area.
FORE members promote solar, wind and other sustainable energy projects, she said, and believe that most residents in Warren and Stark want to see a wind farm built.
By Tom Grace
Cooperstown News Bureau
8 January 2008
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