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Opinion: Wind towers expensive, damage roads and bridges, says Colton resident

In response to Frank and Kelly Potenzano’s Letter to the Editor (“Readers Say Wind Tower Ad Misleads” Feb. 1-7), we think it is only fair to let your readership know that they have been leaseholders since December 2010, and, as such, would most likely be expected to promote the proposed North Ridge Industrial Wind Project.

We feel that it is in the public’s best interest that we clarify and correct various comments that were made in their letter. First of all, tax assessments are based on two things: 1) the property itself, and 2) the value of improvements placed on the property. Obviously, since the industrial wind turbines would not actually be owned by the property owners, then it would be the wind developer (i.e. Iberdrola) who would be taxed. The total cost of a 3-megawatt industrial wind turbine is approximately $4-6 million dollars installed according to Windustry.org; therefore, each turbine should be assessed and taxed on the value of said improvement.

Secondly, we feel it necessary to clarify the use of coal when talking about industrial wind development. One hundred and fifty tons of coal are required for raw materials and resources, suppliers, manufacture, transportation, and construction of each 3 megawatt industrial wind turbine; therefore, the more turbines, the more coal that is required. (www.vestas.com) “Because the output is highly variable and rarely correlates with demand, other sources of energy cannot be taken off line. The industry is unable to show any evidence that wind power on the grid reduces the use of other fuels.” (www.wind-watch.org)

Regarding trees, we know of a couple who live in upstate New York who own a sugar bush. They decided that they would have one turbine constructed on their property. They were told by the wind developer that they would need to construct an access road 20′ in width. Imagine their shock when 40′ of mature maple trees were “removed” without their prior knowledge or permission.

On the subject of roads, at a recent meeting of the St. Lawrence County Legislators, they received a request from the County Superintendent of Highways to fill two laborer positions. The Resolution to Authorize this request read, in part, “Whereas forty percent (40%) of county bridges are deficient and seventy percent (70%) of county roads have sub base deficiencies, with thirty percent (30%) of those roads having major deficiencies…” The trucks needed to deliver turbine sections, tons and tons of cement, generators, giant cranes, and other industrial construction equipment would damage roads in all townships they traverse.

Cement, yes. Lots of cement, concrete, ready mix, whatever term you prefer, it requires lots of water to produce and diesel to deliver. Secondly, it can change/disturb groundwater flows if it is in a long (transmission line) dike. Thirdly, it is extremely difficult (and costly) to remove and that is why wind developers prefer to leave all of the concrete in the ground and cover with a few feet of soil. Why do we care ? Eventually the land will belong to new owners. What about the future development of our towns? Many of us have actually constructed homes in areas of abandoned farm land. How would you feel if you purchased a parcel of land, hired someone to dig your basement or foundation, and they hit an enormous area of buried concrete that will now add to your construction expenses?

Concerning birds, in August of 2016, Iberdrola, the company seeking to build this industrial facility, sued the State of Ohio to block the release of their bird kill data to the public.

Since our group first gathered in August of 2016, we have done all we can to inform and involve the public, including leaseholders, in the process. We continue to research industrial wind generation and find the same problems and industry tactics being utilized in other parts of New York, throughout the United States, and around the globe. We are not opposed to green energy; however, based on the unbiased studies that we have reviewed, this project is yet another attempt to foist an inefficient, heavily subsidized, and possibly outdated technology onto our unsuspecting and trusting communities.

Believe it or not, we do not harbor any animosity towards leaseholders. We are actually trying to protect you from a huge, international company that is only interested in their profit margins.

Luke Dailey