Articles from New York
The Town Board voted Monday to hold a public hearing on a proposed six-month moratorium on the installation of ground-placed solar panels in the town. ...“Basically, we have no law. We have nothing on the books,” Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said. “We think that’s not really appropriate.”
The Franklin County Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors on Monday took the next step toward making the Jericho Rise wind farm project a reality.
HENDERSON HARBOR — Apex Clean Energy contends flawed methodology was used by a study that predicts impact of the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm on property values in the town of Henderson.
Town of Orleans residents met Thursday to discuss the future of wind power in the town. That's because of a request from Iberdrola Renewables to build a controversial wind farm along the St. Lawrence River.
The Clayton Joint Planning Board tabled a decision on whether to grant a permit for two meteorlogical test towers at its Apr. 7 meeting. An application for a third tower was also considered.
"Thanks for the assistance." Yes, that's the message Taylor Quarles, Apex Clean Energy's project manager, sent to the Millwright's Local 1163 the day after Somerset had its public hearing on its new wind law. Quarles was thanking the union for sending 40 to 50 union men to occupy seats, so many seats that Somerset Town Supervisor Dan Engert had to ask everyone in attendance at our small town hall to get back into their cars and drive over to the Barker school cafeteria, to reconvene the meeting, so that everyone could have a seat. These guys marched into our meeting with new hats from Apex -- embroidered with orange wind turbines -- and "Fear Not the Wind" stickers on their jackets. Quarles' letter of thanks of Feb. 2, the day after the hearing, to Brian Scruton, Millwrights Council Rep, stated that he was "personally grateful" for "our strongest showing ever for a public event." Quarles added "those who are opposed to progress in this area" (that's apparently anyone who opposes Apex's 620-foot industrial wind turbines here) "will stop at nothing in their attempt to keep renewable energy projects from coming to upstate New York. You heard the mis-information and the attacks on working people and the farmers of our area. Your ongoing support will be important as we move forward." Wait. People who oppose this project will "stop at nothing?" Now there's an accusation. We are not The Mob. We're just residents who don't want our raptors chopped, our lands blighted, and our residents' health possibly affected by hulking towers amid our homes. Yes, our voices are strong, but hey, when you work hard for what you have, and suddenly some Virginia company comes around and tells you what's going to go down in your neighborhood, you will speak out strongly. Quarles' letter also implies that if Somerset residents don't want wind turbines here that we are attacking "working people and farmers." We also work. We also appreciate the hard work of those who farm in Somerset. Now the Town of Yates has scheduled its own public hearing April 21 on its own newly revised wind law. Two surveys in that town revealed that Yates residents are also strongly opposed to Apex. The letter mentions"continued ongoing support". Is this a hint that Yates will see these and more union guys at this next hearing? Anyway, the Yates Town Supervisor is prepared, since he has scheduled the public hearing at the Lyndonville school auditorium. This way there will be enough seats, both for residents of Somerset and Yates, and for any out-of-town Apex "guests". Apex is trying hard to create the illusion of public opinion beginning to turn in their favor. There is good news in all of this: On March 28, former NYS Attorney General Dennis Vacco, presently the attorney for the Town of Somerset, has requested Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to begin a formal investigation of Apex Clean Energy for their deceptive business practices. There are more Apex hijinx. Anyone who wants interesting reading can view more of the accusations as well as the Exhibits -- like Quarles' letter -- on the NYS Public Service Commission's website, Case 14-F-0485. It remains to be seen whether Apex will clean up its act and follow NY State's Code of Ethics for wind companies, or continue business as usual, just skipping the telltale thank you notes. -- Christine Bronson is a Barker resident
In response to the proposed Black Oak Wind Farm in Enfield introducing plans that include one wind turbine site in Newfield, the Newfield Town Council will vote at its next meeting on whether or not to place a 90-day moratorium on wind energy development in the town.
The board had been wrestling with what to do about Black Oak Wind Farm's proposing a windmill site in Newfield, and it’s likely that the board will vote to instate a 90-day moratorium on any wind energy development in the town so that local laws can be reviewed.
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced on April 7, 2016, the release of a revised Code of Conduct for the wind energy industry in New York State.
Vacco, who is representing the town of Somerset where some of the turbines will be located, asserted that Apex has been “astroturfing” meetings, or bringing in paid employees to act as local residents supportive of the project or to flood state offices with letters of support. According to a letter Vacco wrote to Schneiderman, the town is worried that Apex is intentionally misrepresenting and inflating support for the project.
The landscape has shifted for the Clayton Town Council, which is now considering multiple approaches to combat the Horse Creek Wind Farm.
Because Henderson wouldn’t receive any tax benefits from the wind project, its impact would be largely negative — especially for the value of waterfront properties. The analysis of property values in Henderson was based on a review of the impacts of the Wolfe Island Wind Farm on properties in Jefferson County, ...Based on the sale of 26 properties in Jefferson County with a view of the turbines on Wolfe Island, the analysis found that the value of the properties depreciated by about 15 percent after the wind farm became operational in 2009.
“If the wind companies can meet, or are willing to meet our requests, and can provide written proof of financial gain to the community, then I welcome a discussion,” he said. “One fact stands; this will and has repeatedly divided communities. Friendships have been lost, families torn, and for what gain? That’s the big question.”
According to Brett Ewald, a biologist and naturalist of Lakeshore Nature Tours, Western New York is the top raptor migration flyway in eastern North America. Raptors migrate from the south to the north to breed in the spring.
“The tax exemption made available by Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law shall not be applicable within the boundaries of the Chateaugay Central School District with respect to any solar or wind energy system constructed subsequent to the date of this resolution,” the board resolution states.
We who oppose the Apex “Clean Energy” project Lighthouse Wind, a proposed 600-foot, 70-unit commercial wind turbine installation in the townships of Somerset and Yates, have been accused of repeating myths about wind power that have been discredited by scientific research. Wrong!
The group’s report claimed that the Somerset-Yates project would interfere with migratory songbirds and raptors, which “concentrate within six miles of the shoreline during spring and fall of each year.” Also, it would be built “close to breeding habitat for declining grassland birds,” which could be displaced, the conservation group claimed.
"Your permit for this tower leads to an industrial wind development," he said. "We want to be very sure we have everything in our community set to the benefit of our community before we make any proceeding that goes toward this wind tower industrial development." Barton said the zoning board is going to take the time to be sure the Randolph code is going to protect the property owners around the wind towers, as well as the people who have them on their land.
The hard reality is that the anti-wind backlash in New York and elsewhere exposes wind energy’s practical limits. Wind may be popular among urban voters, but landowners in towns like Yates and Somerset aren’t going to accept lots of new turbines. Not without a fight.
The nationwide survey by the ABC listed the vast numbers of migratory songbirds and raptors which rely on this area, as well as the proximity to the breeding habitat for declining grassland birds for why the Lighthouse Wind project is on the list. “(United States Fish and Wildlife Service) has expressed serious concern about this project, warning the developer that this is an area of extremely high avian use,” ABC said regarding the proposed project.