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Some oppose new wind farm in Lewis County

Updated: Aug. 6, 2019 at 5:43 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Deer River wind project calls for 25 new wind turbines in the towns of Harrisburg and Pinckney. There are potential economic and environmental positives, but on Tuesday, some people seemed fed up with the amount of turbines they're seeing.

“Look what you see. Drive the countryside from the Canadian border down to Syracuse in every direction, and look at what you’re seeing,” said Al Butler, who attended a ‘public statement’ hearing about the project.

Lewis County is no stranger to wind turbines. You’ll find them in Copenhagen and in Lowville.

And more may be on the way soon.

The company Avangrid is the one trying to develop the Deer River wind project.

It plans to put 21 turbines in the town of Pinckney and four in the town of Harrisburg.

Walter Meisner with Avangrid says the project benefits the community.

“The economic benefits for a project, we would estimate to over $39 million over the course of 30 years,” he said.

But Butler believes wind turbines will ultimately lower property values. He also expects the turbines to hurt the area’s wildlife population.

“You’re in their home. You’re in their area. What do they do? They’re going to move. They’re going to move. And they’re going to move where the food is. They’re going to move where they’re less disturbed, they feel less threatened,” he said.

Meisner says the project will have a positive effect on the environment.

“The project will actually offset, maybe power 25,000 homes over the course of a year and so, that’s a pretty big carbon offset,” he said.

Avangrid hopes to begin construction of the project late 2020. If all goes according to plan, the 25 turbines will be operational in late 2021.

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