Apex leaves many unknowns with proposed MET tower in Yates

Posted 12 August 2017 at 9:11 am


The following comments were read into the record at the August 10, 2017 Yates Town Board meeting.

Since December 2014, the Town of Yates has been embroiled in a battle with Apex Clean Energy regarding the Lighthouse Wind Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Project. Fully 84% of residents have been and remain steadfastly opposed to this project as exhibited in both surveys and in public comments on the Lighthouse Wind Project made to the New York State Department of Public Service.

The reason for publishing my Board meeting comments in this forum is to ensure that the reader understands the business practices of Apex Clean Energy.

This is a cautionary tale that could be titled:

“NIMBY – Next It Might Be You”

“This evening we continue the Public Hearing on the Austin MET tower Special Use Application. While the Board may or may not decide to close the hearing, there are a few things my fellow Yates residents need to know.

At the close of the July Town Board meeting, I presented a list of questions relating to the Austin MET Tower Application to the Apex representative in attendance.  My stated expectation was that Apex would diligently and meaningfully respond to the questions presented, as per the public outreach and informational requirements of Article 10. I believed that my expectation was well founded as Apex has many times stated their desire for the constituency to have all of the information needed to make decisions.

On Monday, August 7th I received a letter from our Special Counsel Dan Spitzer.  The letter was sent electronically to Mr. Spitzer from a Mr. Robert A. Panasci of Young / Sommer LLC – Counselors at Law. You may remember Young / Sommer as the Albany-based legal representatives of Apex in regards to the Lighthouse Wind Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Project. I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Spitzer for his efforts to forward the letter on Monday, August 7th, as letter was sent via Postal Service to the Town Board and received only this morning.

The important issue here is the content of the Apex letter. Apex, through counsel, flatly refused to answer any of the questions posed to them regarding the Austin MET tower Special Use Application and associated documents. Of course, they stated at the end of their letter:

“In sum, Lighthouse submits that its application documents accord with the requirements set forth in the applicable laws and regulations and provide sufficient information for the Town Board to issue a final determination of the application.”

So, I guess that the constituents are allowed to have questions, but Apex believes that, by law, they are under no obligation to provide meaningful answers. Let me put a finer point on the summary statement I just read to you from Apex’s counsel to Mr. Spitzer. In essence, Apex has total disregard for these public hearings proceedings and they will be providing no answers to any questions raised herein.  Evidently APEX sees these proceedings as pointless and meaningless – a waste of their time.

I would respectfully submit that the Article 10 regulation requires Apex to provide the opportunity for clear, ongoing and meaningful dialog on the Lighthouse Wind Project. I also submit that Apex is in breach of Article 10 Public information/input requirements by its flat out refusal to provide meaningful responses to a constituent’s questions regarding this disruptive and unwanted project.

Remember also that Apex has, as yet, not answered any of the questions posed by the constituency at last month’s initial public hearing session. So, we are all being ignored by this company, as it seems to be their belief that the “juice isn’t worth the squeeze” in expending the effort answer our questions, requests and concerns in a meaningful way.

Simple questions and requests like:

  • We would like to see the data Apex has generated from the first MET tower and wind results calculated by algorithms.
  • How many MET towers are you planning and what MET tower phase are we currently within?
  • If Apex’s meteorological tower and wind measurement expert, as per their sworn affidavit, clearly states that indirect wind measurements are not as accurate as direct measurements, how much more accurate is wind measurement at actual wind turbine height?

They have flatly refused to answer even these simple questions and requests!!

I am INCENSED by the injustice that Apex visits on my fellow Yates residents by their continuing refusal to cooperate and answer substantive questions regarding the Austin Met Tower Special Use Application and related documents.

I urge my fellow Board members to join with me and require full and substantive responses to all questions posed by the public, prior to any vote on the MET Tower.  The importance of this decision requires the Board be fully informed and satisfied that all required information is received for review. An uninformed decision is a decision we will all regret.


The results are clear.  The residents of the Town of Yates categorically reject the Lighthouse Wind Project and will continue the battle until APEX goes elsewhere to peddle their destructive wares.

Governor Cuomo, ARE YOU LISTENING?

Thank you,

John Riggi

Councilman, Town of Yates