Residents speak out against clean energy project

Local News
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BARKER, N.Y. (WIVB) — Some residents say they don’t want a clean energy project ruining their waterfront properties in Niagara and Orleans counties.

One company is attempting to put up a series of large wind turbines, and if they become a reality, they’d power up to 53,000 homes in the area, generating millions of dollars in the community.

The company says the money could be used within the communities, but some neighbors say it’s not worth it. They commented while they project is still in its infancy.

Project organizers say there’s a lot to organize still before making any final decisions on the project. Apex Clean Energy, an independent renewable energy company, says it needs more property owners in the towns of Somerset and Yates to sign leases allowing the company to put up the windmills on their waterfront property.

Some at the meeting in Barker don’t like the way the windmills look or sound. They say property values drop when the windmills go up.

Brian Poch lived on a farm near 20 windmills in Wyoming County.

“When those turbines were running, it sounded like 20 dryers with sneakers in them,” he said. “All day, all night long.”

Kathy Oar says she’s read studies about health impacts.

“The infra sound causes headaches, stress and not sleeping,” she said.

But Apex representatives say not everybody has the right idea.

“I think a lot of the other concerns people have are sincere, but are based on inaccurate information,” Dahvi Wilson, Apex Clean Energy representative, said.

One man said Apex approached him, but he turned an offer for a lease down.

“If they want my property, they’re going to have to come and buy it from me because if the windmills come, I’m going to move,” he said.

Apex Energy says local payments to the community for using the land could total more than a million dollars each year.

“Those payments go to the counties, the school and get divided up according to decisions made locally,” Wilson said.

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