March 13, 2014
Wind turbine company, NextEra Energy, is considering a $200 million dollar wind energy project in the town of Catlin in Chemung County. The town board enacted a moratorium a year ago to investigate the proposal. The town board is now set to pass a law that could allow the project to move forward.
At a public hearing on new zoning rules covering any wind farms built in Catlin, town board members sympathized with residents’ concerns.
They’re worried about a project’s potential effect on property values, the increase in noise caused by turbines, and other effects on the environment.
But the officials stressed that the local moratorium will end in May. And without rules, the town will have little say in what happens next.
Charles Tinker is on the town planning board. He says,“The company could come in and have free rein to do anything they wanted to do concerning wind energy generation in the town of Catlin.”
He says the proposed law would protect the town from any negative impacts from the wind farm.
“We have to have our wind law in affect prior to them actually signing any leases,” says Tinker.
Dan Teed lives near the crest of a hill, the most likely spot for the wind farm. Teed’s already had company men inquire about leasing his land. He isn’t against the idea. But he’s not sold on the idea either.
“Do I really want to look at that thing forever? Or do I want my children, who will probably inherit the farm, to look at that thing forever?"
The town board is set to meet tonight and is expected to pass the new regulations. But that doesn’t mean NextEra Energy can start installing turbines just yet. All landowners living around the site must agree to allow the farm to be built there.
Dan Teed says he’ll need to do some more investigating before he’s ready to sign on.