The Town of Lincoln, Madison County, NY, is siting a wind farm in an area littered with homes. Setbacks will average 1,414 feet from fifty homes and 2,507 feet away from 119 homes in one mile. Some homes will be only 857′ from 500′ turbines. Originally the developer specified ten turbines with the FAA but scaled it back to six apparently to avoid a lengthy New York State Article 10 proceeding. The developer, Optimum Renewables, and the owner, Building Energy, told the town that approval needs to be soon in order for them to be eligible for 2021 federal tax credits. The developer requested that the town simply change the zoning in order for construction to begin.
The town is avoiding due diligence by ignoring the impact on Amish farmers who are directly adjacent to the area, ignoring multiple reports of bald eagles, not requiring compliance with the state’s Code of Conduct, ignoring dynamite blasting at a nearby quarry, and ignoring repeated requests by John Droz, of Wiseenergy.org, to present relevant information such as the $5 MILLION dollar per year negative impact over 20 years. The only thing being seriously investigated is that turbines will be located within 500′ of the county 911 radio microwave path. Town Supervisor Yvonne Nirelli said in May that she would like to form an advisory committee to advise the board and said she would notify residents via the town’s Facebook page. However she failed to publicize it on Facebook, on the town’s website, or in the newspaper in the two months since. Nirelli is up for re-election in November but is unopposed.
Nirelli and the town board have also not considered the impact on the nation’s premier U.S. Air Force radar test site, Rome Labs and it’s nearby Stockbridge test site. The Air Force describes Stockbridge as follows: The facility is used primarily to obtain (radar) antenna patterns and to perform isolation measurements on full size tactical aircraft such as the F-35, F-22, A-10, F-15, F-16, various helicopters (Blackhawk/Seahawk), remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) sections of the B-1B, KC-135, C-130, and future aircraft prototypes. Retired Lab engineers believe that ignoring Stockbridge could weaken the lab itself in future BRAC (base closure) hearings. The lab employs 1,200 people and contributes $500 million per year to the regional economy.
Nirelli ‘negotiated’ a 20 year PILOT. In some years the town will receive as little as $11,000 total. The town’s concessions are approximately $1.25 MILLION not including the $20 MILLION net negative impact. One (1) job is expected to be created.