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Friday, April 22, 2016

As Niagara County’s largest business advocacy organization, the Niagara USA Chamber tackles ome difficult issues between businesses and the communities they impact.  One such issue is APEX Clean Energy’s Lighthouse Wind Project which would be located within the towns of Somerset and Yates.

There are many lingering questions regarding this project, including the final number of turbines, their size and actual location.  The Towns of Yates and Somerset are right to do their due diligence in relation to protecting the rights of their residents and businesses.  Without adequate information on the financial return to the local economy it is too speculative to gauge the benefit of this project, if any, within these communities.  The long term effects also must be addressed.  Most notably, what happens to these turbines in terms of upgrades, maintenance or removal if APEX ceases to be the owner either by selling their interest in this project or by closing their doors?   The financial burden, if it should fall to the community, would be One of the other major issues surrounding this project is the use of Article X Legislation allowing an appointed State committee to decide the fate of this project for the community.  Home rule has been removed from the process, rendering the opinions of the host communities largely irrelevant.  With a project of this scope and magnitude, one that can forever change the landscape of these towns, the use of Article X legislation as the sole driving force in the decision-making process is unfair. Local businesses must adhere to the community’s laws and codes.  Allowing an outside business to circumvent those codes is unfair.  Limited input from local stakeholders is wrong.

The Niagara USA Chamber stands with the communities of Somerset and Yates in opposition to APEX Clean Energy’s Lighthouse Wind Project.

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