PSC reps will be at Barker meeting on wind project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2015 at 12:00 am

Local governments have little say in permitting process

Apex Clean Energy – A 200-megawatt wind farm is eyed for the towns of Yates and Somerset along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

BARKER – Officials from the state Public Service Commission will be in Barker on Wednesday to detail a new process for permitting wind farms, a process that gives more control to the state.

A proposal for 60 to 68 wind turbines in the towns of Yates and Somerset would be the first wind project through the state’s new Article 10 process, which Orleans County officials say takes away home rule in permitting of the turbines.

Residents who oppose the project in the two towns have formed Save Ontario Shores. They have been attending many local government meetings, posting on social media and writing letters to the editor against the project.

“They’re putting pressure on the locals and they have no control,” Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative, said at Friday’s board meeting for the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Apex Clean Energy is working on “Lighthouse Wind,” and the cluster of turbines collectively would generate about 200 megawatts of power, enough to power 59,000 homes, Apex officials said.

The company will be available to discuss the project from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Barker Firehall, 1660 Quaker Rd.

Public Service Commission representatives will also discuss the state’s role in the permitting process. The PSC will give presentations at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.