DEPOSIT, NY – The Calpine Bluestone Wind Farm project may have passed in the state, but it continues to draw high levels of opposition from people who would be immediately affected by the move.
The plan does have some support, and neither side is willing to budge.
The project approved this past Monday has drawn sharp criticism from citizens, while it has garnered some support from labor unions and government leaders in Broome County.
Those in favor of the plan say the farm will create new jobs and a new source of clean energy production and power for all of New York State.
They also say the economic boost for the project will be long term, with some supporters saying the area could take in significant tax revenue over the next several years.
Those against the plan, however, say the detriments far outweigh the potential rewards.
Broome County Concerned Citizens Co-Chair and Spokesperson Anne Lawrence says environmental impacts would be dangerous for an area that prides itself on its nature.
“We have a beautiful, pristine mountain area. Just because of the eagles alone, they shouldn’t be built here, but the applicant says ‘no, but we did a study, and we think it’s okay, but the wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife did a study and they call it the Baysian Risk Model. These projections are in the double digits of eagle kills which is totally illegal,” saw Lawrence.
Other issues Lawrence says plague this project include Infrasound, which is a low-octave sound the turbines would produce while under power.
She says the noise the mills would produce can carry for six miles, affecting the sleep habits of anyone in range.
Lawrence also warns that if animal populations deteriorate, like that of the golden eagle, central New York nature would be thrown off balance.
Supporter of the plan Adrian Miller disputes that theory, saying eagles are perfectly capable of caring for themselves.
“If that eagle can see a mouse at 5,000 feet and catch it, what makes you think he can’t miss a turbine?” says Miller.
Miller adds that property values may drop while the mills are under construction, but they will stabilize and eventually start to rise again.
He says Deposit, Sanford, Windsor, and other surrounding towns badly need an economic jump, which this project will provide.
Calpine did receive the permit and the go-ahead on the project.
If you would like to make your voice heard, officials say you may call Calpine.
An appeal would require legal processes with the state.