Some people fear a new state law will revive a wind farm project in Parishville and Hopkinton. It also could impact solar projects planned in Canton, Massena and Potsdam.
There aren’t many signs that say ‘no wind turbines’ in Parishville and Hopkinton anymore. But you could soon see more. A new state law nixes many local hurdles to building renewable energy projects.
“My fear is with Parishville Hopkinton … they may be able to come right in here and start putting wind towers up at all the places without any say of the local jurisdiction,” said Rick Perkins, St. Lawrence County legislator.
“They” is Avangrid Renewables. Two years ago they called off a major wind farm project when the towns enacted local restrictions. The new law will replace those restrictions with new state standards.
“We were told this is a democracy and the way we’re getting this handed to us is more like having a dictator,” said Luke Martin, Concerned Citizens for Rural Preservation member:
The new law was rushed through the state Legislature. It establishes a new state office to oversee the siting process. An oversight committee that included local citizens is done away with.
“They’re just taking the say away from all of us. We have no say at all,” said Perkins.
Avangrid Renewables did not return calls for comment on Friday. The law would also apply to major commercial solar projects planned for Canton, Massena and Potsdam.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal is to have 100 percent of the state’s electricity produced from renewables by 2040 and that’s a stated purpose of the new law.”
Avangrid still holds some land leases in Parishville and Hopkinton. Some farmers favor the project. They say the lease fees Avangrid pays would help stabilize their farm income.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding