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Collins' bill could hamper Lake Ontario wind project

Legislation to block tax breaks for installation of wind turbines near military bases was formally introduced by Rep. Chris Collins and two other congressmen in Washington.

The legislation would bar wind production tax credits for projects built within a 50-mile radius of a military installation, Collins announced in a statement. Companion legislation is also being introduced in the U.S. Senate.

"Massive wind turbines built in such close proximity to military installations, such as the ones being proposed in Western New York, can negatively impact a base's daily operations and future viability," the Clarence Republican said.

[Related: Winds of discontent blow over Lake Ontario towns eyed for turbines]

If approved, the bill could affect Apex Clean Energy's plans to construct its proposed Lighthouse Wind project that calls for about 70 industrial-sized wind turbines to be built along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Niagara and Orleans counties.

Apex's plan has sharply divided the towns of Somerset and Yates in recent years between supporters and opponents of the project.

The company said it's been working closely with military officials to make sure its projects don't impact its missions.

"Lighthouse Wind has been consulting with the Department of Defense and Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Station to ensure that any concerns regarding the base’s operations are resolved before the project is built," Apex officials said in a statement.

The company added that it "received a letter directly from the DoD Siting Clearinghouse stating the project is 'unlikely to impact military testing or training operations in the area.'”

"According to the military’s own experts, Niagara County residents can be confident that Lighthouse Wind will pose no current or projected mission impact on Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, which is more than 20 miles from the Lighthouse Wind project area," Apex officials stated.





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