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Oswego County Learns About Wyoming County’s Experience With Wind Energy

OSWEGO – A small group of Oswego County representatives recently met with their counterparts in Wyoming County to discuss land-based wind energy. Information from this trip will help guide county leaders should wind power become a consideration in their efforts to help protect the environment and reduce energy costs to taxpayers.

EXPLORING WIND POWER – Oswego County government learns about additional green energy alternatives. A small group recently traveled to Wyoming County to meet with local officials and visit two wind farms.
EXPLORING WIND POWER – Oswego County government learns about additional green energy alternatives. A small group recently traveled to Wyoming County to meet with local officials and visit two wind farms.

Led by two Oswego County legislators, Amy Tresidder, District 16, and James Karasek, District 22, the group included Paul Forestiere, Oswego County Cornell Cooperative Extension; Jonathan Schell, Oswego County Cornell Cooperative Extension; Carl Salvagin, Oswego County Environmental Management Council; Erica Schreiner Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District; Nancy Weber, Oswego County Farm Bureau; and Karen Noyes and Kelly Jordal, Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

“We are on a fact-finding mission,” said Legislator Karasek. “We want to get ahead of the curve and uncover the pros and cons of wind power to help us make future decisions.”

Legislator Tresidder added, “We are being proactive so that we will be in a position to help our own residents should a project arise. We will be better prepared to protect ourselves with a good background of information on the subject.”

The group met with A. Doug Berwanger, chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, Town of Arcade; Joseph Kushner, Town of Eagle; James Brick, Town of Perry; Tom Dixon, Town of Gainesville; Shawn Tiede, Wyoming County Cornell Cooperative Extension; and Joan Petzen, Wyoming County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The trip was arranged by Paul Forestiere, director of the Oswego County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

“This was a great opportunity for us to meet with a county that has experience in wind energy,” said Forestiere. “Our goal was to gain unbiased information to help us form a better picture of the project so that we can initiate our best management practices.”

The visit included stops at two wind farms and an open conversation with local officials. Discussion items included the decision to take on the project; the implementation process and the impact on the community.

LEARNING ABOUT GREEN ENERGY – Oswego County legislators James Karasek, District 22 and Amy Tresidder, District 16 stop at a wind farm in the town of Eagle, Wyoming County to check noise and vibration levels from a turbine.
LEARNING ABOUT GREEN ENERGY – Oswego County legislators James Karasek, District 22 and Amy Tresidder, District 16 stop at a wind farm in the town of Eagle, Wyoming County to check noise and vibration levels from a turbine.

Several years ago, two companies, Noble Environmental Power and Invenergy, approached Wyoming County residents about the installation of wind turbines. The residents then went to their town boards to discuss the proposal. Some of the towns were opposed to the installations while others approved the projects. The towns of Eagle, Sheldon, Weathersfield and Orangeville are now home to the only four windmill farms in the county.

As the towns moved forward, consultants were brought in to evaluate environmental studies and financial reports while legal representatives worked to draft road and licensing agreements and site plans. Others worked with individual residents to develop out their property contracts. These agreements all vary from town to town and from resident to resident.

Wyoming County officials said the turbines are located primarily on poor farm lands where crops will not grow. Occasionally, they are constructed in cornfields or cow pastures. They told the group that neither farmers nor their cows, along with deer and other wildlife, are hampered by the turbines in their daily routines. They also reported that claims of noise pollution are unsupported based on their sound studies.

The impact of the wind farms on the community itself has been largely divided. Job opportunities for residents with these companies are limited as many local people do not have expertise in the field of wind energy.

There are no reports of ill health as a result of living with the turbines. Town officials in Wyoming County have discovered that, when it comes to wind energy, people are either for it or against it.

4 Comments

  1. All of the facts that were stated in your newspaper article are not all true. There have been negative side effects to the turbines. Shadow flicker, noise and property values have effected the residents of the communities of Wethersfield, Sheldon, Eagle and Orangeville. I suggest you look into the zoning laws of the Town of Castile and the Town of Perry for consideration into your research.

  2. The Wyoming County officials identified in the article ignored both the reasonable criticisms of the setbacks adopted by each host town, and the comments on each project by NYSDEC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife which, at the time, had hands tied to assert its authority to protect excessive avian and bat mortality that results from such projects if not properly sited. NYSDEC found project sponsors noise assessment were flawed. World Health Organization, French National Academy of Medicine and numerous independent acoustic experts in this country now recommend setbacks of more than one mile from industrial wind turbines after repeatedly finding such flaws, and finding that wind farms in densely populated rural areas like the northeast cause intolerable impacts to at least 10% of the residents. Oswego County officials should look at some of the comments that were submitted on Wyoming County wind projects before they leap.

  3. they should have came to my home they could have felt the walls vibrating I like the fact they always come in the day time try the roar of the turbines at nite !

  4. here in Orangeville, once the turbine testing began we found out instantly that we no longer had “free/over the air” television reception. Yes, Invenergy will compensate you for the cost of satellite/dish reception, but you have to sign off on a very vague contract that includes a vague “gag order” within its contents. After 30+ years we must now pay in order to watch even local stations for news or entertainment. We are also anticipating what will happen as the seasons change…. so far flicker hasn’t been a problem, but once the sun starts setting later in the day we anticipate issues. Of course they tell you that they will pay for blinds and window treatments, but if you are living in the country surrounded by nature, trees, hills and wonderful natural light …. do you really want to have to close off all you windows just to sit comfortably in the home you have lived in for all these years? In theory wind energy is a great idea, but away from residential property – like they do it out in the mid-west. For us, well, we feel like we worked hard for a peaceful, calm and natural space and now we are in the midst of an industrial park.

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