Over the last decade, there has been a lot of talk about constructing wind towers in Chautauqua County.
There was a proposal to put in wind turbines in the Westfield and Ripley area. Then there was talk about constructing wind turbines in Arkwright. A lot of residents protested, claiming the towers would hurt both migrant birds and the view. Others lobbied hard in favor, saying the wind towers would generate both individual and tax revenue. In fact, officials in Arkwright, at one point said the taxes generated from the wind towers would cover all town taxes.
In the end nothing materialized in any of those towns.
The state did eventually construct wind towers at the Thruway entrances, but those are around 120 feet tall.
Now the talk for wind turbines is returning.
The Cassadaga Wind Project is proposing 126 towers about 330 feet in height. The majority of the proposed turbines would be constructed in Cherry Creek and Charlotte, with one in Arkwright.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also recently announced funding to build a 100 MW wind farm in the towns of Villenova and Hanover.
Neither project is expected to begin construction before 2017 and wouldn’t be up until 2018. But the question remains – will residents protest these projects or will they embrace them?
It would be worthwhile for local officials to visit places like Lackawanna, as well as Clinton, Franklin, and Wyoming counties to see what they’re like first-hand. That will give a better picture of what a wind farm will look like locally.