Apex won’t be submitting application for Lighthouse Wind this year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 April 2019 at 2:39 pm

Yates, Somerset town officials call on company to abandon project

YATES – Apex Clean Energy announced today it won’t be submitting an application this year to build 47 wind turbines in the towns of Yates and Somerset.

The company isn’t giving up on the project, which Apex says “has the potential to provide significant economic development investment to the Somerset and Yates communities.”

The company also is closing its office in Barker and consolidating its Western New York operations in Albion at 49 North Main St. Apex also will continue to keep its website active for Lighthouse Wind.

“Though we are not able to offer a more specific application timeline, we will provide stakeholders with updated information regarding permitting actions, adjustments in design, and anticipated scheduling as that information becomes available,” said Cat Mosely, Apex’s public engagement manager. “We look forward to identifying the proper time to advance those benefits to the region.”

Apex last October presented a layout for the turbines with 39 in Somerset and eight in Yates.

Paul Williamson, an Apex project manager, in January said at an Albion meeting the company expected to submit its application to the state for Lighthouse Wind this summer. The company also is working on a project for 33 turbines in Barre.

The company’s Lighthouse Wind project has been bitterly opposed by many in Yates and Somerset, who said turbines over 600 feet in height were way out of scale with a rural community by the lake. Residents also have concerns the turbines would affect public health with noise and shadow flicker, and also negatively impact wildlife and property values.

‘We lived under the dark cloud of this Virginia-based company’s ill-sited industrial wind proposal for five years,’ – Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon

Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon issued a statement today, calling on Apex to remove the proposal from the Article 10 process, where projects are reviewed by a state Siting Board.

“We lived under the dark cloud of this Virginia-based company’s ill-sited industrial wind proposal for five years,” Simon said. “By announcing they are closing their Lighthouse Wind office in Barker, Apex is signaling their confirmation of rumors flying across the Town of Yates the past seven days that they are no longer pursuing this disruptive project.”

Dan Engert, Somerset town supervisor, also has been vocal opponent of the project, saying Apex has caused “extreme division and turmoil” in the community.

Engert wants Apex to abandon the project, and is asking Gov. Cuomo and the Siting Board to tell Apex “enough is enough.”

Simon echoed Engert’s call for Apex to “step away once and for all.” Simon said Mark Goodwin, Apex CEO, should “do the right thing out of professional courtesy — cancel Lighthouse Wind.”

Save Ontario Shores, a group of local citizens, also has been steadfast in opposing the project. Save Ontario Shores issued this statement today:

“We renew our call for Apex to end this project immediately. Today’s announcement causes further havoc, anxiety and unrest among residents who have clearly said they oppose installation of these massive industrial wind turbines. The turmoil Apex has caused in our communities is despicable and is the absolute opposite of corporate responsibility. Apex is not saying they’re pulling this project; once again, they’re simply pushing it back, as they’ve been doing for years. Apex refuses to admit this project is done. It’s time to end it, once and for all.”

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