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Four towns consider $200 million wind farm

CATLIN, N.Y. – “It doesn’t do anything that would affect me other than set in front of my house and looking ugly but what are you going to do?” said Catlin resident Don Voorhees.

It’s a metering tower. Catlin town officials put it up about two months ago to test wind speed.

It’s the first in a series of studies being done for a $200 million wind farm, proposed by NextEra Energy.

“This is a clean and renewable project. It will be using the wind to generate electricity. And a wind project has no air or water pollution,” said Mary Wells, a spokesperson for NextEra Energy.

The Watkins Glen Wind Farm would include 50 to 70 wind turbines spanning the towns of Catlin, Dix, Hector, and Catharine. It would add eight to ten permanent full time jobs and up to 200 jobs during construction.

It’s so windy up here, my eyes are tearing. But officials said that’s why they’re looking at this region for a wind farm project.

“Everybody’s looking for ways of helping the environment but yet you still have people that are against it. Why would you be against something like this?” said Catlin Town Supervisor Catherine Edwards.

Catlin Town Supervisor Catherine Edwards said if she could, she would put the turbines in her backyard. Even Don Voorhees, who’s got that view of the tower, agrees with using alternate energy sources.

But he’s still skeptical about what it will do to the land and his view.

“Does it look nice on the hillside? No,” said Voorhees.

A number of environmental studies must be completed before a decision is made.

It will be at least a year until the towns approve or reject the proposal. If passed, the wind farm would go up in 2014.