Apparently the wind’s gone out of the sails of the push to place wind turbines off the shores of Lake Ontario.
But there’s no official word, and who can be surprised, given the secrecy with which the New York Power Authority has operated this project all along.
At its July 26 board meeting, NYPA trustees should publicly assure shoreline communities that there’s little to worry about. After all, a recent NYPA timeline had promised a decision by June. In the last year or so, elected leaders in Greece, Irondequoit and Webster and the Monroe County Legislature have anxiously signed onto non-binding resolutions against the turbines.
Their fears were stoked by a close-mouthed NYPA that refused to release even basic information about the five proposals under consideration for Lake Ontario or Lake Erie.
Town boards were skeptical that NYPA President Richard Kessel meant what he said, that turbines wouldn’t go where they were not wanted.
NYPA board chairman Mike Townsend, a Perinton lawyer, told this page that the board has directed NYPA staff to significantly scale down what’s been contemplated due to economic concerns; the staff report is due in September. But if trustees know that putting turbines in the lakes is too costly given the return on investment, they should just say so now.
The outcome of the lakes project shouldn’t deter efforts to utilize wind as an alternative energy source where it makes economic sense.
Meanwhile, signs are pointing to Gov. Andrew Cuomo replacing Kessel. He should pick a leader who is committed to transparency. Kessel isn’t.