Why We Oppose Industrial Wind Turbines
SIZE – The industrial wind turbines (IWTs) proposed for this project would be the tallest in the United States. There are 15 buildings taller than 300 feet in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Calpine plans 27 structures in these two small towns that would be between 600-700 feet tall.
NOISE AND INFRASOUND – Existing smaller IWTs cause noise and inaudible infrasound that can harm human health. A percentage of people all over the world who live near IWTs complain about migraines, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, ear pressure, heart palpitations, sleep disturbances and other issues.
BIRDS AND BATS – This project is proposed right in the middle of an important migration corridor for raptors. The local Audobon Society has commissioned and published studies that prove Bluestone's numbers for 'eagle kill' are grossly underestimated. There are huge data gaps in their studies as well. We have wintering Golden Eagles as well as migrating Eagles. All of which are threatened with brutal slaying. Bats, which are very important to the agricultural industry, are attracted to the turbines and killed in large numbers by the air pressure of the blades as well as impact.
TOURISM - The rural beauty of the area is priceless. 600 foot tall spinning towers topped with blinking lights would eliminate the dark skies and destroy the “non-industrial” rural nature of our towns, making the area less attractive to tourists.
SUBSIDIES AND TRANSMISSION - Wind projects are built because federal and state subsidies and tax incentives are given to companies that build them. Placing them far away from the energy needs of New York City requires the construction of an entire infrastructure of transmission lines – destroying more of our rural and wild spaces. Presently they don't even have enough HV transmission lines to bring all the energy they want out of the 'renewable wind projects' to downstate and through the grid.
PROPERTY VALUES - It stands to reason that properties next to 600 foot high structures that are noisy, create health problems, produce shadow flicker, create safety issues, and obstruct the view would cause property values to decline. Numerous studies from around the world support this position. Property values drop 20-70% and homes close to turbines are unsalable.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES - We are robbing Peter to pay Paul. The recent UN report about immediate threats to human and animal life, places global warming lower on the list then habitat destruction and species going extinct. Wind turbines have negative environmental impacts during manufacture, construction, and operation that need to be considered. They use energy to run and they produce electricity intermittently throughout the year. Backup energy sources are needed, typically fueled by coal or natural gas, to maintain a consistent electrical supply. Habitat fragmentation occurs when forests are cut down to create pathways which is the leading cause of species decline. Potential polution of ground water and pristine streams, wetland destruction... They need to blow up mountain tops and pour massive amounts of concrete. This is a permanent destruction of the earth that will never be rendered back to it's 'pre-existing condition' - even after the trubines might come down.
SAFETY ISSUES - Fires atop wind towers have scattered burning debris, and local fire departments are not equipped to handle fires 600 feet in the air. Wind turbine blades can fail and break apart and be thrown hundreds of feet. Entire wind turbine structures have collapsed. Ice is thrown from the blades in winter which can harm people and buildings. Adequate safety setbacks would make the project not feasible in these towns.
PILOTS AND TAXES - PILOT payments represent only partial compensation for real property taxes to the local government. The bulk of the money goes to the counties, then the schools, then a small portion to the towns. The resulting small decline in town taxes may only last a few years and then taxes rise again. Also, properties that decline in value will pay lower taxes which will have to be made up by increasing taxes on other residents in the town.