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Many reasons to say no to Apex turbine project

Posted 17 November 2016 at 8:17 pm

Editor:

Certainly, everyone has a right to their opinion on the proposed wind turbine project but there have been two arguments used in favor of the project that I am compelled to address.

The first argument is that landowners have the right to do what they want with their land. In all seriousness, that is not true; we have zoning laws to protect neighbors and communities from people doing whatever they please! No one can do whatever they want with their property.

I am not allowed to build a small shed within 15 feet of my property line but Apex and a leaseholder should be allowed to put a 65-plus story building across the street from me? I was at a Planning Board meeting where a local business owner, planning to build a cold storage unit, was reminded that he had to follow the 35-foot height restriction. Thirty-five!

But seventy 650-foot or taller structures are OK? What is right or fair about that? No one property owner should be able to profit at the expense of their neighbors or community, period.

Secondly, I am appalled by the disdain shown for our concern for birds. Of course, more birds are killed by buildings and cars; there are billions of cars and buildings around the world. Certainly if they were all as tall as skyscrapers, the effects would be devastating. I also don’t understand that logic.

So, because so many birds are already being killed, it’s OK to kill more? Also ignored is the fact that this project is proposed in one of the largest migratory flyways in North America! That makes this an even more important issue, which is why the American Bird Conservancy has named this proposal one of the ten worst sited projects in the country. In addition, as noted by the Audubon Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wind turbine projects should avoid migratory pathways and certain landscape features, such as wetlands and migratory stopovers, where birds gather. I think these three organizations know more about the plight of birds than Apex on this subject.

In fact, neither of these arguments is at all able to counter the overwhelmingly negative effects this project would bring on our environment, wildlife, health, quality of life and property values. That is why the majority of us do not want them.

We have done the research; the unreliable and small amount of energy that would be generated is far outweighed by the negative consequences this project would bring. This is especially true when one considers that we have an excess of energy in our area and that there are transmission problems with getting this energy to where it is actually needed.

When Apex tells you that this project would power a little over 50,000 homes; those homes aren’t here and that is only when the wind is blowing at a certain speed! In New York State that averages less than 24% of the time.

Data from the Federal  Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows that no wind farm in New York has achieved a 30% generation rate, compared to its rated or “installed” capacity, and most produce slightly above or below 20%. It has recently been as low as 13%. In addition, turbine manufacturer GE Energy reports that while utility-scale wind turbines have a capacity of 30%, their effective capacity is 10% because most of their contribution to the electricity grid occurs during off-peak times (at night and in the winter) when it’s not needed. Would you buy anything that only works that often?

There are more efficient, effective and less destructive ways to help our climate and environment.

In fact, the true reason this project is proposed is so that Apex can make millions of dollars with our tax subsidies.

Donn Riggi

Lyndonville