A coalition of environmental and local groups opposed to Lighthouse Wind, the proposed wind farm in Somerset and Yates, met with state Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Mike Norris recently to voice their opposition to the project.
The Protecting Ontario’s Waters, Environment and Resources (POWER) coalition, a group of a dozen conservation and local groups opposed to the project, argued at the Sept. 17 meeting that the proposed turbines pose too large a threat to populations of migrating birds.
The extent of the damage to migrating birds is a matter of ongoing debate, often pitting animal conservation groups against pro-green energy groups.
Apex’s plans call for 40 to 50 wind turbines that could be as tall as nearly 600 feet, but the project’s specifics have yet to be revealed to the public. The company will unveil its project layout at an Oct. 2 forum at Stroyan Auditorium at L.A. Webber Middle-High School, 25 Housel Ave., Lyndonville.
POWER stated the meeting was requested by Ortt, who has been critical of Apex’s plans. In January 2017, Ortt proposed legislation that would ban wind turbines from being erected within 40 miles of a military installation. Such a bill would have made the Lighthouse Wind project illegal.
“The green energy goals set up by Gov. Cuomo will require significant construction of industrial wind turbines to meet the current and future demand,” Ortt said in a statement provided by POWER. “It’s essential that local communities have input before these massive structures start popping up across upstate and Western New York State – as is currently planned.”
Norris also said he supports the residents’ opposition to the project. This past January, the Somerset town board passed a series of zoning laws that ban industrial wind turbines in the town.
But New York State Public Service Law gives a state-appointed siting board the authority to review and permit major (25 mW or more) electric generating facilities.
“The citizens of Somerset have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to this project,” Norris said in a statement. “I strongly believe in local control and respecting the voices of the individuals and advocacy organizations who are so greatly affected by such an invasive project.”
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