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Taking a stand: Save the River comes out against Horse Creek wind project

It can’t be easy for environmentalists to oppose a project centered on renewable energy.

But members of Save the River, Clayton, have taken a stand against the proposed Horse Creek wind project. In an article posted Tuesday on the website for North County Public Radio, the group said the plan is too large for its proposed location.

Iberdrola Renewables is moving ahead with an Article 10 process led by the state Public Service Commission. The wind project would be built in Clayton and is expected to incorporate the towns of Orleans, Lyme and Brownville.

There is significant opposition to this plan. The town of Orleans last month passed a six-month moratorium on wind projects. The Jefferson County Planning Board voted April 26 to recommend that the Clayton Town Board extend its proposed moratorium on wind projects from six months to one year.

Representatives of Save the River, which works to enhance the quality of the St. Lawrence River, were on the fence for a while regarding the proposed wind project. Encouraging the use of wind power as a renewable source of energy would be in keeping with the sentiments of the group’s members.

But the organization found there are other factors to weigh. Wind projects raise serious questions about how the presence of huge turbines would affect the value of waterfront properties and what financial benefit they would offer the impacted communities.

Inconsistent generation from wind means users must rely on greenhouse gas-emitting power sources to maintain energy levels. Turbines also harm bats and birds, which may affect the ecology.

We agree with Save the River that the proposed Horse Creek wind project is not a good fit for its designated site. Let’s hope the organization’s voice is taken into consideration with all the others who oppose an idea that will tarnish the aesthetics of this area and add virtually no jobs to the local economy.