Too many negatives for Lighthouse Wind to move forward
The Apex “forum” on the proposed Lighthouse Wind Project held on October 2nd at Lyndonville High School met all the criteria of a staged propaganda event.
This was no forum. It was slick, tightly controlled, and well organized in an effort to indoctrinate the public and suppress comment and reaction. It marked the culmination of a month-long barrage of mailings by Apex intended to convince a community overwhelming opposed to the project, of the benefits of an Industrial Wind Turbine Complex. The crowd estimated at 125 was orderly and respectful. The outside demonstrators against Lighthouse Wind far outnumbered those who supported the project.
The project, as proposed, is illegal per town laws in Somerset and Yates. These laws were carefully crafted to protect the health and welfare of the citizens and the surrounding environment. Lighthouse Wind therefore cannot be approved for construction in its current proposed form without the Article 10 Siting Board taking action to nullify Town law.
Forty-seven 591-foot-tall wind turbines will dominate the landscape of Somerset and Yates. They will be visible for miles in the flat topography of the area. Residents will be forced to view these grotesque structures every day for 30 or more years no matter which way they turn.
It was apparent from the “forum” that Apex is in denial and completely tone deaf over the numerous negative aspects surrounding Lighthouse Wind brought to their attention over the past 5 years by an educated public.
Noise, shadow flicker, bird/bat kill, infrasound, degradation of property values and health issues were glossed over or totally ignored. A lesson was given in “acoustics 101” and we were told how silent the proposed wind turbines will be. The countless complaints of excessive noise from those who live among the turbines in other active Industrial Wind Turbine complexes were ignored. It is noteworthy that the turbine model selected, the Vestas V150 4.2, produces a sound power level of 104.9dB(A) per manufacturers specifications. This sound level is equivalent to the noise generated by a chain saw and is damaging to the human ear.
Apex vice president of Environmental Compliance and permitting spoke and continued to ignore the existence of a letter directly to him in May of 2015 from the US Fish and Wildlife. This letter was a recap of a meeting he attended, warning of the severe effects Lighthouse Wind will have on bird and bat migration.
Also recommended was a 3-mile setback of the industrial turbines from the Lake Ontario shore. Our Town laws contain these recommendations. Apex is ignoring them. With respect to bird kill, using the figures quoted of a national average 3 to 5 fatalities per megawatt per year, it can be expected that between 16,000 and 30,000 bird kills will occur over the 30-year life span of the turbines. Do the math! These estimates are low as the Lake Ontario shoreline is anything but average as US Fish and Wildlife has noted.
A tax payment of $1.5 million per year was offered as an economic benefit to the community, not mentioning that it would be divided among 6 taxing jurisdictions. Why is Apex deciding what their tax levy should be? This figure is based on a PILOT that will not be granted and is evidence that Apex is trying to get by “on the cheap” rather than paying full assessed value of their property.
It is past time that Apex cease all activity related to Lighthouse Wind. The power is not needed, the power is not clean, the project as proposed is illegal as it violates local law and the towns of Somerset and Yates are geographically the wrong location. Residents realizing all the negatives associated with Industrial Wind Turbines have overwhelmingly voted to keep them out of our community numerous times. We do not want to leave an unhealthy, polluted, distorted. noisy, bird carcass-littered landscape to future generations. There are better ways to save the planet.
James C. Hoffman