Swanton residents voted 731-160 against a proposed wind turbine project on Rocky Ridge.
Developers want to build seven 499-foot-tall wind turbines in the town. The turbines would be the largest in the state and close to neighborhoods, something residents said is bad for their health.
“You get a sound, it’s like an airplane going over head but it never goes away,” said Swanton resident Christine Lang who says she lives 2,000 feet from where the project would go.
“We started to do a lot of research and we found research issues with health, issues with infrasound, issues with shadow flicker,” Lang said.
Residents voted on two resolutions: Whether to approve or reject the project as proposed and if residents support state legislation that would give towns the chance to oppose projects in the future.
State officials warned that the results of the two proposals are not binding. Developers said the wording of the proposals would make it difficult to get a fair vote.
“The wording of it focuses on the aesthetics of the project the number of towers and how tall they will be. There’s no information given to the viewers about substantial amounts of clean energy that this project can generate to kept the lights on in area homes and to provide affordable, stably priced clean power over the long term,” said Anthony Iarrapino with Swanton Wind.
Townspeople currently don’t have a say in area wind development. Residents voted 744-142 to support legislation giving towns the ability to oppose future projects.
There is strong opposition to the plan. Residents protested renewable energy last month. Proposal supporters said clean energy will power nearly 8,000 homes.
Even with voting results, the state can still move forward with the development plan.
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