Turbines May Come Closer Than You Think
A letter in the November 4, 2016 Daily News brought to light important concerns about the plans and actions of Apex Clean Energy, Inc. The letter was written by John Riggi and Jim Simon, two members of the Yates Town Board who have been following Apex’s second industrial wind project in Orleans County - Heritage Wind in Barre.
Apex filed the Public Involvement Plan (PIP) for the Heritage Wind project - the first step required by the Article 10 process (search for case number 16-F-0546 at http://documents.dps.ny.gov.). The PIP Apex filed includes a map that we have attached below, showing the project boundary where the industrial wind turbines will be located and also showing the five mile “buffer” boundary that extends in 5 miles in all directions around the Barre Heritage Wind project. The term “buffer” is used on the map however our research shows this is actually a “heavy impact” zone, and as you will see below, potentially a buildable zone for more turbines.
Save Ontario Shores discovered with the Apex Lighthouse Wind Project some of the 5 mile “heavy impact” zone became part of the Lighthouse Wind “project” area where turbines may be located if the project is ultimately approved. This means that the project is changing and potentially moving as leases are signed. These other areas could become part of the project with turbines in Ridgeway, Shelby, Carlton and other locations in the general area. The same will likely be true for the Heritage Wind Project. Save Ontario Shores hopes that people in the entire region will be engaged and educated about industrial wind.
The Heritage Wind project PIP map below shows the “Project Boundary 5 Mile Buffer” as the heavy impact area 5 miles around the Barre project boundary in all directions including:
• Towns of: Barre, Albion, Elba, Oakfield, Byron, Bergen, Basom, Alabama, Shelby, Ridgeway, Gaines, Murray and Clarendon
• Villages of: Albion, Elba, Oakfield, Medina, Holley, Fancher, Eagle Harbor, Knowlesville
The map shown below shows the project area in red and the study area in gray. The original map is located in the Heritage Wind PIP Exhibits filed on the DPS website:
By comparison, the Apex's Lighthouse Wind Proposal included:
• Town of Somerset, Town of Yates – original project/study areas
• Villages of Lyndonville, Barker – original project/study areas
• Village of Olcott – study area
• Towns of Newfane, Hartland, Ridgeway and Carlton – study areas
Both the Lighthouse and Heritage Wind PIPs include language that indicates these “buffer” heavy impact areas are considered by Apex as potential project areas, where turbines may be built. In the Lighthouse Wind industrial wind project, Yates and Somerset have leaseholders with signed leases within the study area and beyond the original project area. Apex has incentive to consider these new areas, backed by Governor Cuomo's announced intentions and the federal subsidies available. In the map below shows the red Public Involvement Plan proposal from October 2014 and the black Preliminary Scoping Statement project plan from November 2015. The shaded areas are the locations of property owners who have signed leases. The map shows leases that have been filed with the counties (Orleans and Niagara) as of October 2016.
Apex has been advertising on at least one local radio station stating their intention to accelerate Governor Cuomo's plan to have New York State using 50% renewables by 2030. They see this as a green light to move forward with plans to build towers now being estimated at up to 700 feet.
As was said at the recent October 31 press conference, the energy is not needed here; the Somerset plant and Niagara Falls power are not running near full capacity. Currently, any energy produced by wind turbines cannot be transported because there are insufficient transmission lines to move the power generated downstate. New transmission lines will be yet another encroachment on rural property and property values. The turbines threaten jobs, they don't create them, and that includes any jobs that might spin off the STAMP project, such as new restaurants, shops, and wineries, and orchards that attract people from outside the area. Who is going to want to come and invest here with these giants towering above?
Public Information Event: If you know of someone who is just now learning about these projects and wants more information, encourage them to attend the Save Ontario Shores Public Information Event at the Town of Newfane Community Center, 2737 Main Street at 7 p.m. on Tuesday December 13. As Apex spreads its industrial zone across the rural landscape, we need to continue to educate people about the issues.
This is serious. Plans for these industrial wind projects are moving ahead. But they have not been approved. There is time to engage in this process if you act now. If you or someone you know has an interest, be it health, the environment, property values or in maintaining this area as a rural, scenic place to live, work and recreate, it is time to take action. Save Ontario Shores needs your help.
Let's work together to make certain that turbines are kept out of our region: http://lakeontarioturbines.com/contact.php.
If you, or members of your family have not written a letter to the Department of Public Service Lighthouse Wind website, now is the time. This is a long haul. Thank you for your ongoing support!
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Lyndonville, NY 14098
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