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Offshore wind factory meeting draws large crowd

Around 100 residents of Charlotte and neighboring areas gathered at the Roger Robach Community Center at Ontario Beach Park on Monday night for a meeting on concerns about the Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project proposed by the New York Power Authority.

Five speakers, including Monroe County Legislator Rick Antelli, R-Greece, discussed different economic, social, environmental and visual concerns about the possibility of wind turbines on Lake Ontario.

Topics addressed by all speakers included the unreliable efficiency of wind energy, the requirement of back-up power from conventional power sources, and debunking the notion that wind energy is clean and reliable.

Alan Isselhard, one speaker, said that “wind is not free,” and the construction of wind turbines would hike up electric bills while sending the power downstate. There’s also concern about the loss of viewshed of property owners along the shoreline.

“Doesn’t the spectacular view you enjoy have value?” he said, calling an offshore wind factory “a steel forest of lightening rods.”

One statistic presented claimed that the 33,700 wind turbines in the United States power grid produce about 1 percent of the electricity.

Mary Kay Barton, one of the speakers, who is an environmental activist with Citizen Power Alliance, likened the situation to the old saying, “if something is too good to be true, it probably is.” Wind turbines, she said, do not have any capacity value, or the reliability of producing energy when demand is highest.

“Unfortunately, your state and nations energy policies today are being driven by corporate lobbyists and a lot of wishful thinking, not science,” she said.

Multiple flyers, news articles and websites were distributed at the meeting, urging attendees to information on greatlakeswindtruth.org and bewarenywind.blogspot.com.

Greece resident Rino Pappano said that while most of the attendees at the meeting were shoreline residents, inland residents, too, should share concern.

“It’s not just an issue for people on the lake,” he said. “We have to educate the people inland because the people will pay more.”

But any concern about the potential for wind turbines near the Charlotte harbor and their subsequent is . Michael Saltzman, a spokesman for NYPA, said the GLOW project is still under review by trustees.

“At this time, our trustees have not taken additional action regarding the proposed Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project,” he said.