Apex Clean Energy disclosed this week that it’s examining the feasibility of a potential wind energy project in and around the Town of Barre, in central Orleans County.
Apex representatives have spent the past few years working in Orleans County, where they have talked to hundreds of local residents who are interested in bringing more wind energy to their county, according to company president and COO Mark Goodwin.
The county has a strong wind resource, Goodwin said in a press release.
Apex is not releasing possible numbers of turbines, expected megawatts, et cetera, at present. It says it is looking to launch a “synchronized communications effort to stakeholders” in and around Barre, in order to gauge the feasibility of what it has dubbed Heritage Wind.
A Public Involvement Plan for Heritage Wind will be submitted within the next six months, and the company will determine what specific studies are needed to assess the appropriateness of siting a wind energy generating facility in the Barre area, according to Goodwin.
Currently Apex is pushing two proposed wind projects through the Article 10 siting process in New York state: Galloo Island Wind in Jefferson County and Lighthouse Wind in Niagara and Orleans counties.
Lighthouse Wind tentatively is composed of up to 70, 600-foot-tall turbines placed over a 12-mile swath of land near the Lake Ontario shoreline. According to Apex it would generate 200 megawatts of wind energy.
The proposal has generated stiff opposition not just from Somerset and Yates (Lyndonville area) residents but also organizations such as the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce and defenders of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
Asked by the US&J on Thursday, Apex spokesman Taylor Quarles declined to say whether Apex is pursuing Heritage Wind in substitution of or in addition to Lighthouse Wind.
Pam Atwater of Barker, president of the grassroots opposition group Save Ontario Shores, responded to Apex’s announcement by cautioning Barre residents to get “educated” about wind energy and the particulars of Heritage Wind.
“I hope the citizens of Barre will become educated on the many facets associated with this proposed project and take the time needed to make informed decisions, because they will have lasting effects in their community,” she said.
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