Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo traveled to Long Island during his State of the State Road Show to promise a 90-megawatt offshore wind turbine project 30 miles away from the tip of Long Island in the Atlantic Ocean far from the line of sight of some of New York’s richest residents. He called upon the Long Island Power Authority to approve the off-shore project’s plan to locate 15 turbines powerful enough to generate electricity for 15,000 homes.
Just the day before, Mr. Cuomo had reassured fearful New York City residents that Indian Point Nuclear plant would close. But the promise made at Farmingdale College makes no dent in the loss of electricity to New York City when the nuclear plant is closed.
And he reiterated his pledge that half the electricity required by the Empire State in 2030 must come from renewable resources. That will require a lot of windmills.
Most importantly the governor crowed that the project would be invisible to residents of Long Island.
“Not even Superman standing on Montauk Point could see these wind farms,” he told an audience of well-heeled Long Island summer residents who want green power but do not want their views of the ocean to be dotted with 550-foot high turbines.
It is heartening to know that the governor is so concerned about the visual impact of wind turbine development off Long Island. Now he needs to focus on the potential wind turbine projects proposed in the north country and the south shore of Lake Ontario. Each of them will be visible from land and is located in some of the most scenic areas of New York state.
Towers on Galloo Island will be visible from six townships in Jefferson County, from Ellisburg to Cape Vincent. The project at Horse Creek will be visible from many of the Thousand Islands in the heart of the St. Lawrence River – one of New York’s unique, pristine and special view sheds. Residents of Orleans County are vigorously objecting to a 50-turbine development along the south shore of Lake Ontario.
Mr. Cuomo needs to visit the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and see for himself the negative effect that looming wind turbines will have on the landscape. He should observe the relationship of water and clear avian flyways on endangered species.
He should listen to residents here who just successfully persevered in a decadelong effort to correct the negative environmental effects on the shoreline by an antiquated water level control plan on the St. Lawrence River. The governor was conspicuously absent during the entire debate over water level controls, and he should not be absent in this important debate about the impact of 550-foot high turbines.
The time is ripe for Northern New Yorkers, year-round and summer residents alike, to directly comment to the Public Service Commission – which controls the Article X wind power siting process.
Here is contact information to direct comments for or against the projects. What is most important is that local voices be heard.
Go here to post a comment on the Galoo project: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=15-F-0327
Go here to post a comment on the Horse Creek (Brownville, Clayton, Lyme and Orleans) project: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=12-F-0575
Also write the governor and thank him for his concern about protecting state residents from visual pollution in pristine areas. And ask him to do the same for New Yorkers who live in the north country.
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