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Wind company plans open house April 1 in Barker

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2015 at 12:00 am

BARKER – A company looking to build 60 to 68 wind turbines in the towns of Yates and Somerset will have a public meeting April 1 about the project.

The open house style meeting will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Barker Fire Hall, 1660 Quaker Rd.

Apex Clean Energy will discuss areas being considered for the project – “Lighthouse Wind.” The turbines collectively would generate about 200 megawatts of power, enough to power 59,000 homes, Apex officials said.

Each turbine would generate about 3 megawatts of power, up from the 1.5 to 1.8 megawatts with turbines about a decade ago. The Apex turbines would also be more than 100 feet taller than the ones in Wyoming County. The Apex turbines would be about 550 feet high from the ground to the top of the turbine blade.

The projects would bring the prospect of significant revenue to the towns, school districts and Orleans and Niagara counties, while also paying landowners to have the turbines on their land.

“Both the landowners and towns stand to profit,” Taylor Quarles, development manager for Apex, said during a public meeting Dec. 9 at Yates Town Hall.

Many residents in the two towns have formed an opposition group, Save Ontario Shores. That group believes the turbines pose many negative impacts, including reduced property values of nearby residents, noise and shadow flicker, disrupted wildlife and other issues.

“We are concerned about the wellbeing of all the residents, including the wildlife,” wrote Save Ontario Shores President John Riggi and Director Roger Barth in a Feb. 20 letter to the editor on the Orleans Hub. “We want to ensure that landowners are protected and that our towns clearly understand the health risks, lifestyle changes, and transformation of the character and ecology of the entire area prior to making decisions and signing contracts.”

For more information about the project, click here.