Meeting on wind turbines in the works
South Bristol, NY — A coalition of groups concerned with industrial wind turbine development in the Finger Lakes region will bring together state and federal elected officials at a conference next month at Bristol Harbour Resort. Hosting the event will be Naples Town Supervisor Frank Duserick, with U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, D-Corning, as keynote speaker.
“We want a sane, rational energy policy,” said James Hall, a Cohocton resident with the event’s sponsor, Citizen Power Alliance. The alliance works to hold public officials and regulators accountable, while seeking to protect the public interest.
The goal of the invitation-only event is to get all the elected officials representing the region in the same room, he said, to discuss the effects of wind turbines, share insights regarding current regulations and offer recommendations for federal and state policies.
“These alternative-energy projects would not exist without federal and state government,” said Hall, referring to government subsidies. For example, he said, the company that put up wind turbines in Cohocton, south of Naples, received a cash grant of nearly $75 million in federal stimulus funds. Fifty turbines in Cohocton became operational last year.
Two other neighboring towns, Prattsburgh and Italy, are in disputes with wind turbine companies. In Prattsburgh, wind farm issues are back to square one. The Town Board earlier this month rescinded a legal settlement with wind farm developer Ecogen Wind LLC and took the first step toward enacting a moratorium on any wind farm-related development for six months.
In Italy, the Town Board late last year rejected an application by Ecogen to erect 17 turbines. Ecogen responded by filing an Article 78 action in state Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the board’s decision to stop the project by denying approvals and placing a moratorium on its development.
Hall said an attorney will also speak at the Feb. 16 conference, addressing legal issues with turbines. “There is an attempt to iron out realistic, protective laws that make sense,” said Hall.
By Julie Sherwood, staff writer, Messenger Post