Apex says removal of tower does not mean end of Lighthouse wind project in Somerset

Jul 23, 2020

A final meteorological tower has been taken down in the Town of Somerset, but a spokesman for Apex Clean Energy says that does not mean their plan for nearly four dozen wind turbines in the Towns of Somerset and Yates has been abandoned.

Published reports Thursday noted the last of three such towers had been removed from the Town of Somerset. Town Supervisor Jeffrey Dewart told the Lockport Union Sun & Journal that he has urged Apex Clean Energy to give up the Lighthouse Wind project, which he told the newspaper has divided people in his Niagara County community.

But Apex spokesperson Brian O'Shea, speaking with WBFO Thursday, said the removal of the tower does not mean they have given up on Lighthouse. The tower's removal, he explained, comes after it collected six years worth of weather data and was no longer needed.

The next step is awaiting the state's permit process to continue.

"The permitting process in New York is obviously in flux right now, and they're writing new rules at the state level about how these types of projects are permitted," O'Shea said. "So, we're going to continue to have the project on hold and evaluate how the rules take shape in in New York. So at this time, there are no new updates. The project is still in development."

Apex Clean Energy wants to build 47 wind turbines in the Town of Somerset and in the neighboring Town of Yates, located in Orleans County.

WBFO's call to the Town of Somerset Supervisor's Office was not answered Thursday.

O'Shea said Apex's Heritage Wind project in the Orleans County community of Barre is also still moving ahead.