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Turbine project will leave huge carbon footprint

Posted 22 February 2016 at 12:00 am


Our community has been deluged by Apex “Clean Energy” with claims as to the positive environmental effects of Lighthouse Wind, ignoring and/or minimizing other aspects of the project that make it unacceptable to the majority residents in the towns of Somerset and Yates and the surrounding area.

As an example, nothing is mentioned about the huge carbon footprint of this project. Carbon footprint being a measure, developed by the environmental community, of the environmental impact of an operation in tons of carbon dioxide, a “greenhouse gas” released to the atmosphere.

The construction phase alone will be nothing more than an environmental and physical disaster to our area, no matter the measurement.

Consider, the 70 huge foundation pits to be dug and filled with tons of concrete and rebar necessary to support these 600-foot monsters.

Consider, the miles of access roads to be constructed for oversize and overweight equipment necessary to assemble and service 70 of the 600-foot monsters scattered along a 12-mile stretch of Lake Ontario shoreline.

Consider, the miles of trenches to be dug and the cabling required to connect 70 of the 600-foot monsters to each other and to the grid at Somerset Station.

Consider, the fabrication and transportation of 210 composite blades weighing many tons each and 150 feet or more in length necessary to “harvest the wind.”

Consider, the tons of steel in the towers required for each of the 600-foot monsters.

Consider, the thousands of gallons of diesel fuel consumed by the equipment necessary to deliver and assemble all of the above.

There is more to consider, much of it yet to be disclosed by Apex “Clean Energy” as they attempt to convince the public, without full disclosure, of all the benefits of Lighthouse Wind. The carbon footprint of Lighthouse Wind is none the less HUGE. Much research confirms this fact.

The counter argument from those who “Fear Not The Wind” is the fuel is “free” and produces no “greenhouse gas” emissions. To support this argument one has to ignore the huge carbon footprint of construction and ignore the collateral damage associated with the operation of the 70 turbines.

Collateral damage of the 70 operating turbines includes but is not limited to, visual pollution, noise, vibration, shadow flicker, ultrasound, killing of birds and bats, loss of forestland and wildlife habitat, destruction of property values, disruption of normal farming operations, controversy among neighbors, groundwater pollution, electromagnetic interference with communications and threats to public health and safety. For those intent on saving the planet there are better ways.

The Apex “Clean Energy” Lighthouse Wind project power is neither clean, necessary, nor desirable in our community. Three independent studies conducted in the towns of Somerset and Yates and the surrounding area have shown that our community opposes Lighthouse Wind by an overwhelming majority of 2:1. Lighthouse Wind should be canceled. It is the wrong project in the wrong place.

James C. Hoffman
Town of Somerset