By Andrew Harris
As wind energy developers start taking a hard look at southern Allegany County, taxpayers and politicians are taking notice and being compelled to act. Many of these town governments have been putting local wind energy on the agenda and considering local laws.
The reason for that is simple; as the green energy sector has expanded into Allegany County, solar has been the dominate interest in the southern part of the county. In the past, wind projects have been in focused in the northern portions of Allegany County. That development has largely been driven by ‘wind map’ location, or places that are reliably windy.
Previously, the southern half of the county was considered ill-suited for the massive, 600 foot wind turbines. Apparently a new analysis has located a “channel” that runs up the Trapping Brook corridor, east of Wellsville. A Canadian firm, Liberty Energy, has been contacting landowners in that area about land leases and potential installation sites. Full disclosure, I am one off those landowners.
While that isn’t the only wind project on the horizon in Allegany County, it is drawing lots of attention from landowners and local governments. The Town of Independence had a public hearing last week on a draft law. Town Supervisor Jeri Reichman reported it was a good meeting:
“The Town of Independence Town Board was very pleased with the turn out at the window law public hearing. Board members were appreciative of information that was shared by guests and residents. We will be reviewing the draft of the local law and taking into consideration suggestions. Our next meeting will be on December 28th at 5pm. We hope to vote at that time.”
The Town of Wellsville Planning Board is about to take up the matter and the Town of Andover is certainly aware of the looming issue.
Our NY State Senator, George Borrello, has established a clear position and made that know to Allegany county in a recent letter to Chairman Curt Crandall and the Allegany County Legislature. In the letter, Borrello lays bare the concerns that many have about installing dozens of 600 foot windmills in southern Allegany County. Read that letter below, along with a link to a recent article by a group of property owners opposed to the wind energy development.