Apex should abandon plans for Lighthouse Wind

Posted 12 March 2019 at 6:52 pm


Many of us from the townships of Somerset and Yates were heartened by the news that Apex “Clean Energy” had withdrawn its application to construct a 108-megawatt, 30-turbine industrial wind turbine complex on Galloo Island, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.

Public concern and involvement did stop an ill-cited major industrial wind turbine project. The Galloo project has fluctuated through several variations over the last 12 years. The withdrawal has come, unfortunately, with the caveat that Apex is “open to initiating the project (again) when the time is right.” When does no really mean NO!

When does the bullying and harassment of a small rural community by huge billion-dollar companies stop!

Lighthouse Wind, like Galloo, is the wrong project in the wrong place. More than 5 years have passed since Apex ”Clean Energy” solicited their first secretive 49-year leases in the Town of Somerset. The citizens of Somerset and Yates have in that time period educated themselves about the alleged benefits and potential hazards and negatives of an industrial wind turbine project.

It has been overwhelmingly concluded after three independent surveys, countless public meetings, public hearings and an Apex forum, that residents feel the risks are far too great and the benefits are nil.

There are better ways to “save the Planet and protect our children and grandchildren” than cluttering up the landscape with huge grotesque structures that threaten the health, welfare and lifestyle of residents.

Mothers Up Front should make note of the following: The Nature Conservancy, a widely respected environmental organization, has concluded that “conserving and restoring forests, grasslands and wetlands can deliver up to 37 percent of the emissions reductions needed to curb the climate change predicted by 2030.”

We are blessed with those features in our area. Preserving and enhancing the growth and preservation of forests, grasslands and wetlands has been public policy for years dating in Somerset, back to the original Comprehensive Plan of 1972.

Local ordinances of both towns have codified this policy. We in Somerset and Yates are well aligned with those who desire a “cleaner, healthier Earth.” The proposed Lighthouse Wind project is in direct conflict with this and is in violation of Town Law. Ignoring this, Apex “Clean Energy” continues to bully our community in the hope that the Article 10 Siting Board will disregard long-standing policy and current law and approve Lighthouse Wind.

Tragically, organizations that could support this open space policy have recently bought in to supporting Lighthouse Wind. Specifically, the Sierra Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club have endorsed Lighthouse Wind. These organizations have strayed far from their original roots and have lost their way and damaged their creditability.

Perhaps it is because the vast majority of the membership will never live among industrial wind turbines and is therefore content to  clutter someone else’s backyard. The NIMBY movement is alive and well among the supporters of Lighthouse Wind.

It is time for Apex “Clean Energy” to reassess the risks and rewards associated with the development of Lighthouse Wind as they have done for the Galloo Island project and terminate all effort.

James C. Hoffman