YATES, N.Y. (WIVB) — An Orleans County town is still fighting to keep wind turbines out of their community.
Leaders in the Town of Yates have amended a law to more strongly oppose turbines.
Apex Clean Energy wants to install as many as 71 industrial wind turbines along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Orleans and Niagara counties for their “Lighthouse Wind” project.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says turbines shouldn’t go up within three miles of the shoreline because they could threaten the habitat of birds.
The town is also worried about decreasing property values and the effect it could have on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
Lighthouse Development Manager Taylor Quarles released the following statement on Monday:
“We are disappointed in the town board’s second revision to the wind law in two years which is very clearly aimed at banning residents from ever having the opportunity to benefit from a wind project and totally discounts the agricultural community on which the area was built. Lighthouse Wind’s significant support in Yates and Somerset includes more than 100 signed landowners representing 10,000 acres of land and numerous non-landowners who understand the economic benefits and tax relief the Lighthouse project would bring to two towns, two counties and two school districts.”
Apex Clean Energy also said that the three-mile setback rule in the Town of Yates is based on an “outdated recommendation that has since been shown to be unsupported by repeated studies of operating projects in similar settings.”
“Lighthouse Wind has worked closely with the USFWS and the NYDEC to completed detailed studies of avian activity at the site and continues to work with these agencies to implement siting and operational protocols to ensure the project meets the regulatory standards governing wildlife and other natural resources of concern,” the statement said.