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California company eyeing Lake Erie for wind farm

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 23:40:07-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We know wind power in Western New York. Just south of downtown Buffalo there are 14 turbines right on the lake shore. It's a 35 megawatt project.

But offshore could be the home to 50 plus wind turbines. A California company called Diamond Generating Corporation held public hearings in Evans about the turbines this past spring.

On Monday, State Senator Chris Jacobs said he is opposed to any plans involving offshore wind in Lake Erie.

“If we're going to do it the right way, we're going to need to involve the community that is going to be impacted. And these communities like Evans will be impacted,” said Jacobs.

Senator Jacobs says he's taking a stand early, even before a plan has been released, because large scale energy projects can easily pass through the state. Something called Article 10 allows projects to be passed without local approval.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to Diamond Generating to get a better picture of what they're planning. They did not immediately respond to our calls.

Jacobs says no proposals have officially been filed with the state. He has one other qualm with the plan, some believe the towers could create radar shadows for the Border Patrol.

“If these windmills are put up, because of the massive shadowing that it will create, it will nearly disable that radar,” said Jacobs.

We know of no time-table yet. A wind project off the coast of Cleveland just got the OK from the Army Corps of Engineers. Construction there is expected to begin in 2022.

Congressman Chris Collins is expected to announce federal action to prevent the turbines on a federal level, Tuesday.