It was a meeting like many others, with dozens of residents upset over a proposed wind farm along the St. Lawrence River in northern Jefferson County.
“Before you know it, it’s the land of the 1,000 turbines, not the the land of the 1000 islands,” Chaumont resident Don Metzger said. “They will be the most predominant, conspicuous feature in the area.”
Wednesday night was a public hearing was about a proposed law in Clayton to regulate wind energy projects in the town. It’s called Local Law Five and it specifies how tall certain turbines and towers can be, as well as regulating noise and other potential environmental impacts.
However, it doesn’t ban wind projects from being built in Clayton. Town’s Supervisor David Storandt says the law is legal protection in case a wind developer goes through the state to build a project in a process called Article 10.
“We make it easy for the political component of Article 10 to review and analyze the law,” Storandt said. “We can try to balance the needs of the community versus the state.”
Avangrid is trying to build Horse Creek Wind Farm in river towns including Clayton.
“It makes more sense for the town and the company to work together towards reasonable objectively derived standards for wind development,” Avangrid senior business developer Scott McDonald said.
Most residents at the hearing say they don’t want the town working with wind companies at all.
“Don’t let the developer bully you to act before you are good and ready,” Clayton resident Gunther Schaller said.
“Please consult with true wind energy experts and come back with a properly updated version,” said Three Mile Bay resident Kathleen Dillon.
Storandt says the county and town zoning boards have to review Local Law Five before any further action is taken.
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