Impact on People and New York
Megan McElligott and Jason Gotte feel as though nobody is considering the possible negative impact of Airtricity’s plans to construct 55 to 80 wind turbines in the towns of Gaines and Albion within the next few years.
To educate others about the environmental and economic impacts of the 400-foot towers, the couple will host an informational meeting Saturday at the Quality Work Life hall in Albion.
Speaker Jerry Borkholder from the Wind Tower Committee in Hamlin, who is considered a local expert on wind energy issues, will address the topic and answer questions.
“I’ve been on the Internet reading everything and anything I can and I’m really very concerned,” said McElligott, a home health care aide. “I don’t think this is the future. If this is the future, we’re going to have a lot of problems.”
The majority of the Gaines Wind Advisory Committee said at Wednesday's meeting that they don't believe wind energy is in the best interest of the Town of Gaines. ...Concerned Gaines residents filled the town hall to capacity Wednesday evening as they listened to prepared statements from each of the committee members listing worries about noise, costs, property values, vibration effects and the impact on wildlife.
Of the eight-member board, two said they would be in favor of the 400-foot wind turbines. The remaining, including alternate Ted Swierznski sitting in for Royce Klatt, voiced opposition to the towers, while acknowledging their research is incomplete. "Federal and state subsidies are the only reason wind energy is taking a foothold in this country," said advisory member Marilynn Miller.
Plans to run power from a wind turbine project in Lake Ontario through Oswego County are meeting surprise and resistance.
"It'll ruin my property value," said Kathleen Schneider, who with her husband owns 55 acres on Castor Road in Albion.
The Schneiders received a letter last month from Upstate NY Power Corp. telling them they would be contacted about selling a right of way on their land. They threw it out.
Later they learned that Upstate NY Power has applied to install 77 wind turbines on Galloo Island, 12 miles off the shore of Lake Ontario. ...Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann, R-Altmar, was upset that no one involved in the project told the county. "They haven't bothered to contact us," he said.
Blades have begun to turn on 121 wind turbines here and in neighboring Ellenburg, a 35-minute drive northwest of Plattsburgh. Saturday, they turned with a soft whush, whush, whush.
"Whush, whush, whush, all day long, all night long - I moved here because it was so peaceful and quiet," groused Allen Barcombe as he pointed to the nearest tower, jutting up 400 feet into the sky behind his house. ...The New York turbines, in two projects developed by Noble Environmental Power, are the first of nearly 400 expected to go up in five towns on a windy plateau just south of the Canadian border.
When completed, the development about 90 minutes from Burlington will represent the largest concentration of wind turbines in the eastern United States.