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Opposition to Iberdrola’s Horse Creek project soars

The following objections were recently sent to the New York State Public Service Commission:

Our family on my side and my husband’s have been life-long residents of Fishers Landing, Wellesley Island and Clayton area.  Most natives and year-round residents here make their living from the tourist industry.  We do not wish to have these gigantic whirling wind towers in our view.  The 1000 Islands/St. Lawrence River is the most beautiful, pristine area in the country, if not the world.  Please do not destroy this by siting these towers in this district.  Certainly there are other places that would not be as adversely affected by them for the next 60 plus years.  Our governing boards have spent many hours with zoning laws that were put into place to protect our residents only to have them over-ridden by outside interests who know nothing of the beauty of our precious area.  Thank you for your consideration.

The map that Avandgrid/Iberdrola/Atlantic Wind LLC filed on 8/22/16 on this site, under “Horse Creek Revised PIP” on page 23 shows a much clearer picture than their earlier one that they originally submitted, but I still take issue with that they have neglected to properly label the significant wildlife areas that are exactly right next to this proposed Horse Creek project.  Directly to the south of the prosed project is the 7,862 acre DEC Perch River Wildlife Management area.  There was certainly room in the large green area to label this valuable land correctly.
And then immediately north west of the proposed project is the world famous Chaumont Barrens Preserve which is owned and protected by the Nature Conservancy and is one of the last and finest examples of alvar grasslands in the world. Alvar barrens are highly unique, prairie-like landscapes that rest atop a foundation of limestone bedrock.  Avangrid/Iberdrola/Atlaantic Wind LLC had room in this green patch to also correctly identify this valuable and unique area.

It is a flat rocky terrain of grasslands, limestone woodlands, cedar forests, pavement barrens and globally rare plant communities.  Alvar communities are adapted to survive extreme conditions: shallow soils, regular spring flooding, and summer drought. This particular landscape developed after the last glacier retreated from this area some 10,000 years ago.  Melt water pummeled the landscape, cutting deep fissures into the bedrock.  Over time, a striking, linear pattern of vegetation mosaic includes fossilized bedrock, deep fissures, rubbly moss gardens, and patches of woods, shrub savannas, and open grasslands.
The bedrock found throughout the Chaumont Barrens is about 450 million years old.  Scientists say that at that time, Chaumont was at the bottom of a shallow tropical sea near the equator.  If you look closely, you can find the remains of primitive marine animals, such as cephalopods, that lived in the ocean.  These creatures were the top predator of the marine food chain and are related to the modern day squid and octopus.
On the site, “Trails.com” they describe the Chaumont Barrens as “An easy self-guided loop examines the mystery and beauty of this globally significant habitat.  Special attraction: limestone bedrock fissures, marine fossils, rare native grasslands, rubbly moss gardens, shrub savannas, spring and autumn wildflowers and birdwatching.”  This site and others (DEC and The Nature Conservancy) even offer free maps and guides that tell you about the unusual plants and wildlife you will see there.  There is a well maintained two mile walking trail for all to enjoy.

Please do not subsidize foreign companies (e.g. Iberdola) whose projects will negatively impact the following, tourism, Fort Drum expansion, animal habitats, and local property values.  Decisions of the type must the made by local citizens and goverments, not politicians in Albany.

The area proposed for the Horse Creek Project is already highly populated with homes and people. The people should be protected from the negative effects of industrial wind. Please consider the health of the people and young children: MY nieces and nephews, living here. They NEED to come first and be protected. Thank you.

Please do not use tax dollars to subsidize foreign energy companies whose projects will have a negative impact on the tourism industry, Fort Drum expansion and local property land values. Decisions of this magnitude should be left to local goverments and the people directly impacted.

PSC Comments
I have been a resident of Clayton for 17 years.  I have been impressed by the sheer natural beauty and character that is the Clayton community and Thousand Islands region.  The community relies heavily on tourism, and any threat to this livelihood or property values is something that should be considered first and foremost before ANY sort of foreign industrial corporation’s profit.  
I sat on the original Wind Committee that was seated in 2009 to study and make recommendations regarding the proposed Horse Creek Wind Project.  I was chosen as one of the two undecided votes, and sought to understand the potential benefits and downsides to siting and Industrial Wind Project in the Town of Clayton.  In our studies, many layers of information were uncovered, and several facts emerged quickly.  One of the most concerning issues was the anticipated negative impact on property values.  It was understood by our committee that this project would have the effect of greatly diminishing property values, and even in 2009 had stalled any potential real estate transactions in the proposed project overlay district.  This was of major concern to us, as the town’s first job is to “do no harm”.  And many property owners would be harmed by the siting of the project in the proposed area.  As a businessman, and former Chairman of the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce, I see major commercial downsides to such a project in the form of plummeting real estate values, and a disastrous loss of tourism income.  These are not in the interest of the Clayton community.
Another area of concern was the potential negative health impacts such a project could carry.  One of our committee members was John Jepma, MD, who presented a number of studies that were done regarding the effects of low frequency sound waves, shadow flicker, and other Industrial Wind Project impacts.  Our committee was alarmed that many studies indicated that a distinct negative impact on the quality of life was strongly suggested.  As a committee, we resolved that the potential negative health impacts were to be taken seriously,and any perceived Wind Project benefits were heavily outweighed by potential health impact on our citizens and particularly our children.
Environmental impacts were also of grave concern.  Migration paths would be potentially interrupted for many species.   Also, a large number of bats and birds have been shown to be decimated by the placement of Industrial Wind Turbines, and the Thousand Islands has long been revered as a sanctuary for many prized and rare species.  
Our committee was resolved to protect the citizens of the Town of Clayton and submitted our findings.  These can be found below my comments in this post.  I fall well within the mark by saying that our committee was united in our opposition to the siting of an Industrial Wind Project in the Town of Clayton.  The only voices in favor of the project were those citizens that had already signed leases to Iberdrola (the company identified as the developer in the original Horse Creek project).  There can be little doubt of their conflict of interest.  Is spite of any opposition, we were still able to get the entire committee to make the recommendations shown below, even those in favor of the project saw the need for great citizen protections.
Please consider our comments on this site, but more than that, put yourselves in our shoes.  How would you react if your family’s health and financial well being were threatened by a state mandated Industrial project?  We both know that answer to that, and we are therefore confident that the PSC will do the best thing for everyone, and shut down the proposed Industrial Wind project for Clayton.

I am opposed to this wind farm as being environmentally and economically bad.  It will harm our pristine land and force electrical rates to climb.  Just look at California which has some of the highest rates in the country!

The area proposed for the Horse Creek Project is already highly populated with homes and people. The people should be protected from the negative effects of industrial wind. Industrial wind turbines do not belong in the beautiful Thousand Islands, or surrounding our home and four children. I am concerned for their health, well-being and quality of life being disrupted. Below are just a few negative effects that wind turbines can have on our health:
“People who live or work in close proximity to IWTs have experienced symptoms that include decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction. Some have also felt anger, grief, or a sense of injustice. Suggested causes of symptoms include a combination of wind turbine noise, infrasound, dirty electricity, ground current, and shadow flicker.”
[1. Havas M, Colling D. Wind turbines make waves: why some residents near wind turbines become ill. Bull Sci Technol Soc. 2011;31(5):414¿26.]

Horse Creek Wind Farm proposal just will not work for this pristine tourist area.  Do not allow the proposal to move forward and pay attention to local government laws and desires.

The installation of windmills has been controversial.   The return on investment can only be justified with government subsidies. There are windmills sitting idle in the southern tier due to economics. Any windmill project needs to evaluate costs cradle to grave. What if the windmill company goes bankrupt? Can this farm impact Fort Drum? What are the potential health hazards? What if government subsidies cease? What is the potential impact on the tourist industry? Without the facts, it appears that there are more negatives than positives.

I oppose industrial wind in the Town of Clayton, NY.

I am against industrial wind the the Town of Clayton.

I would rather see a nuclear plant rather than an Industrial Wind facility.  At least a nuclear plant will actually produce power in an amount that will make a difference. Wind does not create enough power to make a difference in relation to the negative effects it causes.

I have a piece of property which was a part of my family’s farm.  I plan to build a home on the property within the next two years.  IF this wind facility is built I will be in the middle of 500 to 600 foot wind turbines.  Since Iberdrola first came to our community there have been 9 new homes in all phases of construction within 2  miles on the road where my property is.  This wind farm did not belong here among all the residents then and certainly with 9 more homes really does not belong here now.  Too many people would be affected.

I feel it worth mentioning that at the Town of Orleans board meeting this month that  some of the council members were not happy that Iberdrola is disregarding the wind overlay district that is a part of the local law.  It truly was not surprising to many residents as we know Iberdrola has no regard for the members of our town.

The potential ecological impact on the Adirondack to Algonquian migration of wildlife is greater then the benefits of the turbines on the environment in the Thousand Islands region.

I am an avid hunter.  Not only do I enjoy hunting to provide food for my family but I also enjoy sitting and watching the many species of birds and animals within the proposed site.  Please do not allow all of this to change.

I am very concerned that if this industrial wind facility is allowed in our beautiful Thousand Islands it will never be the same.  It will ruin our tourism industry.

My husband and I are building a home here on Tubolino Rd. I was informed that our home is right in the middle of this wind project. If I would’ve known that this project was coming back we never would’ve built our home here. I don’t find any benefit to having this wind project in our area.

I am an avid hunter.  Not only do I enjoy hunting to provide food for my family but I also enjoy sitting and watching the many species of birds and animals within the proposed site.  Please do not allow all of this to change.

I am very concerned that if this industrial wind facility is allowed in our beautiful Thousand Islands it will never be the same.  It will ruin our tourism industry.

I am opposed to the Hose Creek Industrial Wind Farm.  It is wrong for Lyme, wrong for Clayton, and wrong for Orleans and Brownville.  Please do not let this project proceed.  We, the people, and the birds and bats are counting on you!

While I can understand the landowners’ wish to receive lease monies for their land that will be home to these gigantic structures, the down sides to this plan are many and very serious. The health risks are many for the people and animals that are living under these towers, not to mention the danger to the migrating birds from the blades. On an aesthetic concern, the towers will be visible for miles around, including the river…………this is a scenic area, people have spent thousands of dollars on their vacation homes which would suffer in value. Ecologically there would be severe consequences, supports for the towers underground, transmission lines etc. We cannot let this happen to spoil this beautiful area of our country to add only a small amount to our energy grid, especially since the homeowners and business owners will not benefit from the wind power generated in this area. If they are built, the people of the 1000 islands will have to live with them for decades, long after their useful lives or the technology is improved to produce faster and better energy. The process of fracking has been outlawed to protect the lives of people living near proposed gas wells and they dont pose the danger that the turbines do. Their footprint when complete is very small and virtually unseen. Give the people of the 1000 island region the same protection.

Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess,
  Ten years ago foreign wind developers came into Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties of upstate New York to start their projects and plans, WHICH INCLUDED MY OWN PROERTY in the Town of Lyme, Jefferson County, NY.
  Immediately, I started a study of the many aspects of the wind industry: planning, zoning permits, land leases, construction, transportation/logistics, ancillary infrastructure, operations, impacts on humans (infrasound/shadowflicker),
AM/FM/VHF/UHF radio reception, property values, EFFICACY OF ELECTRICAL PRODUCTION, impacts on military and weather radar, PILOTs, tax abatements, lawsuits, Article 10, subsidies, tax credits, surcharges, decommissioning, etc.
  I am opposed to the Horse Creek Project based on my years of studying commercial industrial wind projects and to the Horse Creek Project in particular.

How can the people in these areas to be possibly affected by turbine installations make it be clearly obvious to the PSC and other regulatory commission that we do not want them or their companies in this area?

As a year round resident of Jefferson County, I am opposed to any and all wind turbine farms being built in the most scenic areas of our county and state. We have all heard the financial benefits these turbines will provide to the few landowners that will lease their land. These benefits do not outweigh the detriment to the health and welfare of residents, and wildlife, living near these turbines. All residents will feel the negative impact from declining homes values and scenic opportunities.  Please DO NOT approve the Horse Creek Wind Farm project!

PLEASE do not allow industrial wind farms in Clayton, New York.

I have been visiting the Thousand Islands region for 45 years. I visit the region to enjoy the NATURAL beauty of the area, and I do NOT want industrial wind turbines ruining the natural aesthetics of the area.

Please be good stewards of our beautiful 1000 Island Region and do not desecrate it with industrial wind.

PLEASE DO NOT allow industrial wind farms in the Town of Clayton or Town of Lyme or Town of Orleans.  As we are not in favor of having Industrial Wind Farms destroy the natural beautul of our hometowns.  Please listen to our voices and stop trying to push Industrial Wind Farms down our throats even after we have made it so clear that we the citizens of these areas DO NOT want them.  The fact that an Article 10 procedure is even an option for these foreign owned wind farm companies is beyond comprehension.  When did we turn from “we the people” to “who cares what the people want”.

You can enter your comment into the public record by visiting the PSC Horse Creek matter at this link: