Yates town supervisor says he’s heartened by Siting Board decision to respect local wind energy ordinances

Posted 20 January 2018 at 9:30 am


Now in our 4th year of the Lighthouse Wind industrial wind turbine Article 10 proposal, I took great interest in the Cassadaga Wind decision just issued by the NYS Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board).

In the final public hearing of EverPower Wind’s Chautauqua County project, the Chairman of the Siting Board, John Rhodes, said that Cassadaga Wind was deemed, “appropriately sited,” and that it will, “protect and accommodate the concerns of local communities and of the New Yorkers who live in them.” Chairman Rhodes added that it is, “…noteworthy and positive that the project is consistent with all local laws and ordinances.”

In my opinion, the Lighthouse Wind proposal for the Town of Yates is not, “appropriately sited,” does not, “protect and accommodate the concerns,” of the town, and is most definitely not, “consistent with all local laws and ordinances.”

From when Apex Clean Energy filed its Public Involvement Plan (PIP) for Lighthouse Wind on October 31, 2014, to when they submitted their Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS) in November 2015, and through to the present, it has been very clear that Apex has little regard for our community’s concerns and intends to get NY State to override our local ordinances.

In its PSS, to cite but one glaring example among dozens, Apex stated that they plan to ask the Siting Board to rule that the Town of Yates’ law requiring turbines not to exceed 420 feet is unduly burdensome. Their PSS calls for 71 turbines ranging from 480 to 620 feet. So much for accommodating our concerns and working with our town to ensure their proposal is consistent with our local law.

Since the inception of the Apex Lighthouse Wind Project, the Yates Town Board has endeavored to expand its knowledge of these types of industrial-scale projects. As such, we amended our Wind Energy law in 2016, and we are proposing further amendments to our law as our understanding deepens. This is our obligation. We are called to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens for current and future generations and to preserve the rural, agricultural and leisure-based character of our community.

I am heartened to know that the Siting Board has set a legal precedent in Cassadaga Wind to honor local New Yorkers’ concerns and to uphold our local ordinances.

I am hopeful to learn that Governor Cuomo will preserve and protect all New Yorkers’ constitutional right to home rule by allowing each town – in the spirit of environmental justice – to determine how they will contribute to a more sustainable future.

Finally, I am eager to hear Apex Clean Energy publicly acknowledge the right of the Town of Yates to enact reasoned, scientifically-based ordinances concerning the use of our land.

Jim Simon


Town of Yates

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