Cohocton Wind Watch: A ‘bait and switch’ in Orangeville
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Saturday, June 18, 2011

A ‘bait and switch’ in Orangeville

On May 5, 2011, the Orangeville Town Board held the first of five work sessions for the Stony Creek wind turbine project. The project details given to the Town Board by Invenergy is not the same project as proposed in the original plans. The only thing the same is the name.

The new plans were incomplete but any issues could not be discussed because the public is forbidden to speak at these work sessions. Eric Miller of Invenergy stated one of the major changes was the increase in turbine size. Mr. Miller stated it was minimal and only 7 percent increase. Mr. Miller was correct to a point. Each blade will be 29 feet longer and compared to the total turbine height it is 7 percent.

In comparison to the original turbine in the DEIS this new model turbine is closer to 45 percent larger in area, thus much noisier and this turbine is going from the original 1.5 MW to 1.6 MW. This will also change the shadow flicker duration and ice shedding distance as well. The towers also had to be moved and transmission lines relocated. To put it bluntly it’s not the same project.

Invenergy’s Mr. Miller produced computer-generated photos of the larger turbines. Views with turbines carefully positioned by trees, buildings, hazy days and even from other towns miles away. We don’t live miles away. The turbines will be 1,320 feet from our homes, 700 feet from our property lines and 477 feet from the center of the roads. Mr. Miller says they tried to take the pictures on clear days but ...

Larger, noisier turbines require larger set backs. Mr. Miller said they did noise studies but would not disclose when and where and the results. We the people of Orangeville want to know the locations of the studies and done by who? Have any of these new, larger turbines been installed in any wind projects? Have any noise studies been done under actual conditions and not some computer-simulated report using ideal conditions?

The residents of Orangeville at the April 14 Town Board meeting were lead to believe that the new, revised maps of the project, changes in the locations of the turbines, transmission lines, modifications to the turbines to be used by Invenergy, etc., would be available on Invenergy’s website for the public to review. Nothing in regards to the Stony Creek project has been updated.

Again the public is being kept in the dark about the bait and switch. As a concerned Orangeville resident I asked Invenergy’s Michael Mulcahey if I could have a one-page copy of the project site and I was denied. Why? The new maps were to be displayed on the conference table at the Orangeville Town Hall and that has not been done.

There have been substantial changes in the project and no public input allowed at the work sessions. Not that the Orangeville Town Board and Invenergy are trying to slip this through real fast but they cut the work sessions to four meetings because “they made so much progress at the first meeting.” In less than two hours digested hundreds of pages of information. I must say, amazing ... I would hope the Orangeville Town Board would request the complete and accurate information and get advice from an independent source for the good of Orangeville.

Paul Jensen

Orangeville

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