Category Archives: Galloo lslands

Dec 7, 2011 – East Lake Ontario

Below is a click-to-enlarge composite of the 4 wind energy projects that are at least far enough along to have definite numbers and placements of turbines.  The 4 projects are Wolfe Island, Amherst Island, White Pines and Ostrander Point.  All of these are Important Bird Areas.  And Ontario isn’t done.  There are plans for additional projects in the remaining gaps.  Look and weep.

Big Galloo Island

Galloo Island is located in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario, governed by New York. A developer named Upstate New York Power Corp has proposed a wind energy project that will essentially cover the entire island.  It is listed at 82 turbines with a capacity of 246 MW (down from 84/252). It is also referred to as the “Hounsfield Wind Farm”, after the township that Galloo Island is in. There’s been a fair amount of controversy about this project. Some of that controversy was about the environmental aspects of it – there’s lots of bird life that passes through Galloo and the Ducks on its way across the lake. But most of the controversy seems to be over who gets the spoils – the PILOT payments and taxes – from the project. As of mid-2010 the project was delayed due to a lawsuit being filed (the link to the story has gone dead) between two towns over the power line and there’s been little movement since then.

Below is a clickable picture showing the extent of the project.

For an awareness of what this translates to, here are a couple of Google Earth pictures of what the Island ends up looking like. I did some measuring and the turbines are accurately sized.

Charles Parcells, who is active at a Maine anti-wind site, created these. The complete set of original images are at at that site.

I received a study authored by Bill Evans, noted bird person from NY, on the bird populations on Galloo Island, from 2008. It makes interesting reading – there’s a lot of traffic over Galloo during the nesting season from a wide variety of birds, some of which have major nesting grounds nearby on Little Galloo.

Reference Links
The project developer, Upstate NY Power Corp, has a web site and from there you can drill down to the different permits. If you’re interested in the latest about the project, I’d first google “galloo wind farm” and you can also search the news at The Watertown NY Daily Times carries the news items about this project. Some of the more interesting details are below.

  • Incidental “take” permit. This is a very discouraging document. In section 3.0 DEC is admitting they are allowing the killing of these threatened birds (including the bald eagle!) because of all the “benefits” of wind energy. They’ve even included how much GHG emissions it will save, based on the proponents calculations, which have never been empirically demonstrated.
  • Daily Times article about the 5 permits that were issued. Water, docks, birds, cement. Backup link.