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Deception in Clayton on Iberdola project

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Many of us have closely followed the nearly decade-long history of proposed wind development in the Thousand Islands region and hated what we have seen.

People on the lakeshore with views of the Galloos and residents of Lyme, Cape Vincent and Hammond have been put through hell trying to beat back ill-conceived wind projects in their towns.

There is yet another wind project in the area that many had been led to believe was dormant, if not off the table altogether.

This project, known as “Horse Creek,” is proposed by Iberdrola. Iberdrola has been very quiet lately about its plans for Horse Creek, but the government of the town of Clayton has been even quieter, making no effort to keep people informed.

The common thought around our area was that this project was being set aside as Iberdrola took steps recently to shrink its wind business nationwide. However, an interesting letter has just emerged.

Inconspicuously posted on the Public Service Commission website is a letter that was only first noticed recently. There is a letter from Iberdrola dated Dec. 14, 2012, to the Public Service Commission with copies to Clayton Supervisor Justin Taylor and Roland Baril, chairman of the Clayton Planning Board. The letter formally and officially gave notice to the PSC of Iberdrola’s “Election to Proceed” with their Horse Creek project under Article 10.

A renewed major wind project proposal within the St. Lawrence River valley and yet we hear nothing! Was this official correspondence read in a Clayton town board meeting? Certainly the significance of this news would qualify for such disclosure.

More digging into this project proposal has caused us only now to learn that Iberdrola sought support last May for the Horse Creek project through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Energy Highway Initiative.”

Wind power has been the most controversial public policy issue along the St. Lawrence River for the past decade. In Clayton a major wind developer gives official notice of intent to proceed under Article 10 and seeks support through the governor’s Energy Highway for a project up to four times larger than originally planned that will include not only Clayton but also Brownville, Orleans and Lyme.

This is no oversight. Iberdrola has made no attempt at public disclosure. Perhaps we shouldn’t expect better from them. But the Clayton Town Council and Planning Board are inexplicably mum about the disclosure they have been given! Adjoining towns are given no notice at all!

Can’t we fairly ask, “What’s going on here?” And expect some answers?

Judy Tubolino

LaFargeville

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