United States

United States

Opposition builds to NYPA Great Lakes offshore plan

US: State lawmakers are voicing opposition to the New York Power Authority's plans for a 120MW to 500MW offshore wind farm on the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes: opposition builds to NYPA plan
Great Lakes: opposition builds to NYPA plan

State senator George Maziarz told Windpower Monthly he would be opposed to any wind farm off the coast of Niagara, on Lake Ontario. "I just don’t think it’s an appropriate place at all," he said.

Maziarz said Lake Ontario is ill-suited to an offshore wind farm because of its deep waters and importance in shipping.

State assemblywoman Francine DelMonte is also opposed to a wind farm on Lake Ontario, according to the Niagara Gazette.

And the paper said that county legislature vice-chairman Clyde Burmaster plans to attempt to rescind a Niagara County resolution offering tax breaks and financial incentives to a Lake Ontario wind farm.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is considering five proposals for the Great Lakes Offshore Wind project, which would see turbines placed in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie or both.

A review of the five proposals began in early June and is expected to take six to seven months.

Maziarz criticised NYPA for not publishing any information from the bids.

"I understand they may want to keep financial information private, but their mantra is to go in a cave and not give any information, which in the long run creates a lot more problems," Maziarz said.

But an NYPA spokeswoman said: "We keep bids confidential until the trustees make a selection. The reason NYPA uses this process is to evaluate each bid clearly and objectively without any outside influences, which is the fairest way to treat each bidder."

She added that the selection will be followed by a two-year environmental and regulatory review period. "That will have plenty of opportunity for public input to be incorporated into the proposal," the spokeswoman said.

It plans to select a preferred developer or developers late this year or early next year.

On the Canadian side of the Lakes, opposition is also building to creating offshore wind farms. Ontario's environment ministry recently issued draft regulations governing offshore developments on the Canadian side of the lakes. These include a requirement that turbines be at least five kilometres from shore.

But a NYPA spokeswoman said: "We keep bids confidential until the trustees make a selection. The reason NYPA uses this process is to evaluate each bid clearly and objectively without any outside influences, which is the fairest way to treat each bidder."

She added that the selection will be followed by a two-year environmental and regulatory review period. "That will have plenty of opportunity for public input to be incorporated into the proposal," the spokeswoman said

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