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Greece Says No

Greece says no to wind farm in Lake Ontario

The Greece Town Board has become the first elected body in Monroe County to voice an opinion on offshore wind turbines.

That opinion was a resounding no. In a 5-to-0 vote Tuesday, the board said it opposed the New York Power Authority's current proposal to site one or more wind farms in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie.

Authority officials are considering five proposals from private wind developers to erect offshore turbines, which likely would be more than 400 feet high and at least two miles off shore. A farm could have from a few dozen turbines to more than 100.

Homeowners along Greece's nearly eight miles of shoreline made it clear to town leaders they weren't interested in turbines, said Supervisor John Auberger.

"That's a residential area, and from an aesthetic standpoint, residents didn't want development into what they consider a national treasure, Lake Ontario," Auberger said. He also said the authority hadn't given the public enough information about the project.

Authority officials won't say where the developers are proposing to put turbines, though the authority earlier indicated that the Monroe shoreline from Greece to Webster was suitable for a wind farm.
Winning proposals are expected to be chosen by early next year.

The Democrat and Chronicle has filed a Freedom of Information Law request for material from the proposals. The authority turned down that request, and an administrative appeal is pending.

The authority says a farm would help meet a demand for non-polluting electricity. Offshore is desirable because winds blow stronger and more persistently over water.

County lawmakers in Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson and Chautauqua counties have voted to oppose the authority's project, while Niagara County legislators have endorsed it.

County Legislator Rick Antelli, a Republican whose district includes Greece shoreline communities, is seeking support from lawmakers for a resolution of opposition.

"I'm pleased with the Town Board," Antelli said Wednesday. "I believe they're answering the call of the constituents also."

By Steve OrrDemocrat & Chronicle staff writer

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