SOMERSET – Apex Clean Energy has divvied up funding for attorneys and engineers to review its preliminary scoping statement pertaining to the Lighthouse Wind turbine project.
As required by state law, Apex allocated the intervenor funds – money used to pay for the reviews – between the towns of Somerset and Yates and the citizen group Save Ontario Shores. Administrative law judges from the state Department of Public Service made the decision on how much each would receive Thursday.
The judges determined that Save Ontario Shores would receive $9,500; Yates would receive $20,500; and Somerset would receive $40,350.
Initially, Somerset requested $70,350, although officials project a total of $95,550 of expenses.
The Save Ontario Shores group requested $19,430, which would be used to pay for studies on acoustic and electrical grid impacts of the wind turbines. Studies would also look at viable alternatives, how wildlife is impacted, and other water resources and biodiversity studies. Yates requested for a total of $26,381 for similar studies.
The amounts were calculated based on an assumption that 25 percent of the funding would be left available for local parties. The remaining 75 percent was supposed to be split between Yates and Somerset.
However, since the amount requested by Somerset is the entire intervenor fund amount, the amounts requested by each group could not be granted.
The state Department of Public Service said the funding will be used to pay for services incurred as of the date the preliminary scoping statement was filed, which was Nov. 23.
The judges suggested to the towns and Save Ontario Shores they work together in order to get the “best bang for their buck.”
In addition, the administrative law judges of the Department of Public Services moved to deny the motions made by the town of Somerset to strike the preliminary scoping statement from the record. Somerset made the request because officials felt there weren’t enough details in the document and wanted to have Lighthouse Wind to file a new, more detailed statement.
The decision to deny the motions was made because there is no provision under the regulations that would procedurally allow that the statement be stricken. Apex now has until Feb. 11 to summarize and respond to comments.
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