A Virginia company has submitted plans to erect what might be the tallest wind turbines yet in New York state, in Orleans and Niagara counties.
It’s the first time in years that a new wind farm has been proposed near the Lake Ontario shoreline in western New York. Other proposals never came to fruition.
Apex Clean Energy, which has wind projects in operation or development in 20 states, would generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity with its Lighthouse Wind project. That’s enough to satisfy the electricity needs of 59,000 homes, the company said.
Sixty to 70 wind turbines, each capable of putting out 3 MW of electricity, would be erected, according to media reports.. The tip of their blades would reach 570 feet into the air. The tallest turbines I remember hearing about are those in Cohocton, Steuben County that are visible from Interstate-390; they’re about 420 feet high.
The wind farm would be built in the neighboring towns of Somerset, Niagara County and Yates, Orleans County.
The exact location hasn’t been disclosed, but presumably the turbines would sit atop the well-known ridge that’s a mile or two south of the Lake Ontario shoreline. That would give maximum exposure to southwest winds off Lake Erie, some 65 miles away, and northwest-to-northeast winds off Lake Ontario.
It also would be relatively close to the big electric substation at the Somerset power plant in Niagara County; that’s where the wind energy from Lighthouse would be funneled into New York’s power grid.
Apex also has filed paperwork for permission to build the 73-MW Stockbridge Wind farm in Madison County. It’s the only company to propose new wind farms in New York this year, according to the New York Independent System Operator’s project list.
Apex would need several years, at least, to obtain approvals and to construct either farm.
I haven’t seen anything in news reports about opposition in Orleans or Niagara counties to the proposed project there, though one persistent critic of wind energy in upstate New York sent a blast email that called it “unbelievable.”
“This is the ‘green’ insanity going on in Upstate New York,” wrote Mary Kay Barton, who lives in Wyoming County near the location of a failed wind project.