- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Will town opposition block offshore turbines?

The Greece and Webster Town Boards have formalized their opposition to a potential Lake Ontario offshore wind project. So have a minority of Monroe county legislators, all of them Republicans.

But will that be enough to sway state Power Authority officials, who are facilitating a process that could put wind farms in Lakes Erie and Ontario? An authority spokesperson wouldn’t give a firm answer early this week. She also wouldn’t say what sort of weight the towns’ resolutions carry.

“The Power Authority is keeping its options open concerning the project location in order to continue listening to the greatest amount of public input possible,” said NYPA spokesperson Connie Cullen.

Before the authority asked for proposals, its consultants identified some spots that might be conducive to offshore wind development. One of them stretched from Greece east past the Wayne County line. Wayne County’s Board of Supervisors also opposes the project.

Power Authority officials said early in the process that they wouldn’t advance proposals along communities that oppose the projects. So Greece, Webster, and the Republican county legislators are playing into that promise in hopes of preventing wind towers from going up within their sight. Whether that works, it seems, will depend on how the Power Authority determines whether there’s community opposition.

There’s one other variable in all of this: Irondequoit. Town officials haven’t taken a position yet. During a recent meeting, town Supervisor Mary Joyce D’Aurizio instructed the board to study on the issue. If the town supports NYPA’s efforts, or at least doesn’t oppose them, that would give NYPA a friendly location.