General Project FAQs
1. What types of economic benefit will Lighthouse Wind bring to the community?
- Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with the local tax jurisdictions that would provide over $1.6 million annually in revenue for 20-30 years
- Host Community Agreement (HCA) with the towns of Yates and Somerset.
- Hundreds of jobs during construction and up to 13 full time jobs for operations and maintenance.
- Annual lease payments to local landowners with wind facilities on their property. These payments will continue over the projected 30-year lifespan of the wind farm, injecting millions of dollars into the economies of Niagara and Orleans Counties to support local merchants,contractors, equipment suppliers, auto dealers, etc.
2. How much electricity will the project produce?It is anticipated that Lighthouse Wind will provide enough clean, renewable energy to power over 53,000 average New York homes.
3. How much land would be needed in Somerset and Yates for a 200MW solar farm producing the same amount of energy as Lighthouse Wind?A 2013 report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed that on average solar installations needed between 6 and 8 acres per megawatt, meaning that in order to produce the same amount of energy as the 200 megawatt Lighthouse Wind project, there would need to be somewhere between 1,200 and 1,600 acres covered completely with solar panels. In comparison, each wind turbine at Lighthouse Wind will take up less than ½ acre, and allow farmers to continue their operations. Read the report here.
4. How will the wind farm change the existing rural landscape?Wind turbines are certainly tall, but many people appreciate their presence on the landscape. As part of our formal application process through Article 10, we will be working with third-party modelers to create visual simulations of the project from various vantage points once we determine where turbines could be located. This will help local residents understand how theproject will appear on the local landscape. On average, the footprint of wind facilities occupiesless than 2% of the total land leased, with each wind turbine typically requiring less than ½ an acre of land.
The need for other new infrastructure for the project is quite limited due to the existing high-voltage power lines and highways in Somerset and Yates. We intend to bury the large majorityof power lines which connect turbines to the project substation underground, keeping themout of sight and from having any impact on farming operations.
The construction of a wind farm in Niagara and Orleans Counties will help maintain agriculturalland and open space by providing new economic stability to local farmers. Wind turbines complement working farms, because they allow for existing agricultural operations to continue around them.
5. How far will turbines be sited from the lake?
6. How will Apex safeguard local taxpayers against decommissioning costs?
- Statewide electrical capacity.
- Ecology, air, ground and surface water, wildlife, and habitat.
- Public health and safety.
- Cultural, historical, and recreational resources.
- Transportation, communication, utilities, etc.
- Cumulative emissions on the local community according to environmental justice regulations.
- More information about getting involved with the Article 10 process, and instructions for how to share opinions or suggestions is available here.
8. Are landowner agreements a secret?
9. Will Apex sell the wind farm once it is built?
Tax Subsidy FAQs
1. What is the Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC)?
farm is operating. The PTC was signed into law in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush.
2. Do other energy sources use tax subsidies?
Wind Turbine FAQs
1. When will the public be able to see a draft turbine layout?As technical studies are completed and additional public comment is collected, turbine locations will be adjusted in accordance with the information we receive. The modified layout will be included in the Article 10 Application that is submitted to the Siting Board. Based upon the review of the Application, additional changes in the layout most likely will occur. Most wind farms modify their project layout multiple times. Final locations will be dependent upon discussions with each landowner, feedback from the State Siting Board, as well as the turbine that is selected, the wind resource, geo-technical conditions, the presence of any cultural artifacts, and required setbacks from buildings, roads, waterways, and wetlands. To the greatest extent possible, we strive to incorporate landowner requests into the final siting of the
2. Will the turbines be 600 ft tall?
We do not yet know the exact turbine model we will be using, but it is possible for the turbines to be around 600 ft (from base to tip of blade). There are many benefits to having taller turbines. Taller turbines produce more energy, which means fewer turbines in the project, and less land disturbed. The exact turbine model, size, and location will be presented in the Article 10 application, which will be open to agency and public review for at least a year.
3. Will the turbines have lights on them at night?
Yes. Lighthouse Wind will consult with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to receive site-specific project lighting requirements. The project’s proximity to airports and naval bases and the height of the turbines will help determine the specific lighting requirements for Lighthouse Wind. Typically, it is not required that every turbine in a project be lit. When lights are required, they are placed on the top of turbine nacelles and blink in a regular pattern.
4. Does the manufacturing of a wind turbine use more energy resources than it saves in its lifetime?
A recent study of the “energy payback” time for an average turbine showed that this period is around 3-6 months. According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), “Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacturing, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest 'lifecycle emissions' of nearly all energy production technologies.” Read the study here.
5. Will the concrete from the turbine impact groundwater?
- A single 1-megawatt wind turbine can displace 1,800 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 1 year (equivalent to planting 1 square mile of forest).
- Achieving a 20% wind energy by 2030 scenario would reduce cumulative water use in the electric sector by 8%, or 4 trillion gallons.
1. Will the wind farm impact local wildlife?Properly sited wind energy projects protect birds and wildlife by producing no dangerous pollutants or carbon emissions. While birds do occasionally collide with turbine blades, modern wind farms are far less harmful to birds than buildings, communication towers, power lines, and vehicles. In fact, turbines account for only a small fraction, about .0003%, of all human-related bird deaths.
Wind energy is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of electrical generation on the planet. That is because wind energy emits no air or water pollution, requires no mining or drilling for fuel, uses virtually no water, and creates no hazardous or radioactive waste. Clean, renewable wind energy also displaces harmful emissions from fossil fuel power plants and offsets carbon emissions, making it a safer generation option for people, wildlife, and natural ecosystems.
2. How will Apex protect wildlife from project impacts?
Apex coordinates with federal and state wildlife agencies to make sure the project is sited inareas where impacts to birds or bats are minimized and appropriately mitigated if necessary.
The following wildlife studies will be completed for Lighthouse Wind:
- Breeding Bird Survey
- Raptor Migration Survey
- Winter Grassland Raptor Study
- Year-round General Avian Use Survey
- Year-round Eagle Use Survey
- Acoustic Bat Activity Survey
- Federal/State-listed Bat Presence/Absence Surveys
3. How will the wind farm impact local deer populations and hunting?
The operating wind farm will have no impact to deer populations and hunting. Just as the deerpopulation adapts to construction of new homes, buildings, and other new sights and soundsnear their habitats, deer also become accustomed to wind farms. It is not uncommon to finddeer and other wildlife feeding or resting near the bases of turbines. Cattle, horses, goats andother livestock are also 100% compatible with wind energy technology.
|Town||Turbines||Year of Operation||Deer Take Rate 2007||Deer Take Rate 2014|
|Town||Turbines||Year of Operation||Deer Take Rate 2007||Deer Take Rate 2014|
Property Values and Health FAQs
1. Will the wind farm decrease property values?
As the development of utility-scale wind energy projects has become more prevalent in this country, evidence to answer this question has become easier to find. Over the last several years, researchers have been scientifically analyzing the data to find a reliable answer this question.
In 2013, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) completed the most extensive study to date on property transactions near wind farms. The conclusion states, “the core results ofour analysis consistently show no sizable statistically significant impact of wind turbines on
The study data shows that even homes within ½ mile of a wind turbine are not affected by its presence.
About the Study:
- Researchers analyzed 51,276 home sales near 67 wind farms in 27 counties across 9 U.S. states.
- All homes were within 10 miles of wind facilities· 1,198 sales were within 1 mile of a turbine
- 331 sales were within 1/2 mile of a turbine
- Data was collected before, during, and after wind farm construction
2. What is low frequency sound and how will this affect the local community?
- Knopper and Ollson, “Health Effects and Wind Turbines: A Review of the Literature.” Environmental Health 2011, 10:78.
- Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council. “Wind Turbines and Health”. Mar 2014.
3. Do wind farms create any health risks to humans?
More than 48,000 wind turbines are in operation in the United States today, safely generating electricity for our nation. In fact, wind energy is one of the healthiest forms of energy generation in the world, because it releases no greenhouse gases, soot, or carbon into the atmosphere, nor does it consume valuable fresh water or produce water pollution.
Government and university-sponsored studies around the world have repeatedly confirmedthat modern wind turbines pose no threat to public health.
“There is no evidence for a set of health effects from exposure to wind turbines that could be characterized as a ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome."
- Massachusetts Dept of Public Health, “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel,” January 2012.
Article 10 Process FAQs
1. Why are the turbine model and locations not represented in the Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS)?
2. What is the purpose of the PSS?
The PSS is a document prepared for the PSC Siting Board, the public and other participating agencies to show the applicant’s intent for submitting an Article 10 Application. The document's purpose is to show what the project is planning to study in order to show the environmental setting of the project area, the potential impacts from the project, and how those impacts will be mitigated. The PSC Siting Board, agencies and public are given 21 days to comment. The comment period is necessary to bring to light project concerns so that we can address them in the extensive application. The PSS makes for a more thorough Application.
3. When is the final Article 10 application expected?
The final application will be submitted in summer of 2016. The application will include all of the project component locations, the turbine model and size, and the results of all the studies which are described in the PSS. The application will be open to stakeholder review for up to a full year.
4. Who makes up the Article 10 Siting Board?
The Article 10 Siting Board is made up of 5 permanent members and 2 ad hoc public members.The permanent members of the Siting Board are the Chairmen of the Department of PublicService, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner of the Department of Health, Chairperson of the New York State Energy Research and Department Authority (NYSERDA), and the Commissioner of Economic Development. In addition the board will have two local ad hoc members.