WBEN Photo/Matt Moran

Jacobs Shares Collins' Concern About Lake Erie Wind Farm

Wants to ensure more local say in regard to wind farm placement

July 30, 2019 - 11:28 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - On Tuesday, Congressman Chris Collins announced that he's pushing for legislation that would prevent off-shore wind turbines from being installed in Lake Erie, given the news of downstate wind farms.

Collins cites border security as the main reason behind his lack of support.

"We have to look at the all the unintended consequences," Collins said. "In this case, it's real. It would put our border at risk."

It's worthy to note that there is no current proposal to install a wind farm with dozens of massive turbines in this neck of the lake, and New York State even released a statement confirming such:

"New York’s development of offshore wind is focused in the New York Bight region of the Atlantic Ocean. The New York State Offshore Wind  Master Plan did not assess the Great Lakes nor are such projects currently eligible under New York’s offshore wind standard."

However, locals aren't so sure.

"With the money that they put into them, the return is almost nill," said Charter Captain Jim Hanley. "It's government subsidized, and these compnaies are jumping on board to try and get that government subsidy with the turbines to put them in, but people need to be aware of it - a lot of people don't think it's going to happen, but it's definitely in the works."

State Senator Chris Jacobs shares concerns with Collins and Hanley, and he says he's ready to support legislation that would impede the ability of the state government to install a wind farm in Lake Erie.

"I am supportive of legislation to amend the process to make sure, at a minimum, there's more significant local say when something of this magnitude - 50 industrial scale wind turbines going in a certain area - and right now, I'm not satisfied that there's sufficient ability of local input here to substantively make the say on whether this could happen," said Jacobs, who noted the inland turbines along Route 5.

"I think the issue about that is that there's at least been some local say in the siting of those, a local say in the revenue generation - Lackawanna generated a lot of tax revenue," Jacobs added. "I don't think there's any of that being discussed here with these farms; an outside entity is going to come in, locate them, and the energy, I think, is going to go somewhere else than our area, and I have not heard of any revenue sharing." 


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