The APEX wind farm project should not proceed. Without tax and ratepayer subsidies APEX would never come to New York. The wind farm will obliterate property values and lower assessments over a minimum area of 12 miles-by-3 miles or 36 square miles. Wind is a highly variable generation resource and cannot be relied upon to be available to meet the long-term needs of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).
New York nuclear plants run above 90 percent availability; the NYPA Niagara Hydropower Project has a “plant availability factor” of 87.4 percent. Reliability and availability are essential factors in power generation. APEX’s proposed 201 mw farm is mostly offline 75 percent of the time, rendering maybe 50 mw. Fifty megawatts is a meaningless, insulting addition to New York’s existing 38,000 mw plant facilities. Wind cannot be stored; one must “use it or lose it.” Niagara Hydropower has a huge water storage reservoir for peak demands.
Also, Niagara Hydropower occupies a mere 3.6 square miles, generating a “net dependable capacity” of 2,680 mw. That amount of power spread over 3.6 square miles makes sense. Fifty megawatts spread over 36 square miles is nonsense. Put another way, it would take wind about 1,900 square miles to generate 2,680 mw. You would have the wind farm laid out in an area 44-miles-by-44-miles. Niagara Hydropower, with the Power Vista, is a tourist attraction, while the APEX wind farm would be an eyesore forever, and drive people away.
In summary, the APEX smart people seek to lay waste to 36 square miles of precious land for a very undependable 50 mw while next door we have an underutilized but very dependable 2,680 mw hydroelectric power plant taking up only 3.6 square miles of land. Low-cost hydropower drives businesses, while high-cost, unreliable windpower hurts residential and business customers alike.
One wonders, where do they find these smart people, and why wasn’t this pipe dream dead on arrival? Common sense should prevail. APEX should pack up and leave.
Gregory G. Woodrich
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