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State gives more time for comments about wind energy project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2015 at 12:00 am

YATES – The Public Service Commission has extended the public comment time for a proposed wind-energy project in the lakeshore towns of Yates and Somerset. Town and state officials pushed for more time to review and comment on the project.

Kathleen H. Burgess, secretary of the Public Service Commission, announced on Tuesday the deadline for comments has been moved from mid-December to Jan. 6.

“Having considered these requests, and in order to provide for the fair, orderly and efficient conduct of the proceeding, the comment period is extended ” Burgess wrote.

Apex Clean Energy, developer of the proposed project with up to 71 wind turbines, also will have more time to respond to the public’s comments. Normally, the developer of a large-scale wind energy project would have 21 days to comment, but Apex will have 30 days until Feb. 5.

Burgess in her letter notes that the Town of Yates sought a 42-day extension of the comment period and James Simon, town supervisor elect, requested an additional 90 days. State Sen. Robert Ortt also said the comment period should be extended.

Apex is eyeing 12 miles of Lake Ontario shoreline for the wind turbines on land approximately 3 to 4 miles south of Lake Ontario. Lighthouse anticipates that the project will consist of up to 71 wind turbines.

The company said the design and layout of the project, including all turbine locations as well as alternative locations, will be presented as the application moves along in the process.

Burgess, in her letter on Tuesday, said Lighthouse states that the design and layout of the project will be informed by a number of factors, including environmental studies, wildlife studies, electrical studies, land leasing, cultural assessments, and public input.

Comments may be submitted electronically by visiting the Public Service Commission’s website at www.dps.ny.gov. Click on the “Post Comments” button in the upper part of the screen.

The proposed project has been bitterly opposed by a citizens group, Save Ontario Shores, which will have a 7 p.m. public meeting at the Barker Fire Hall on Dec. 8.