Legislation could bring new wind turbines to Lake Erie
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--In the most recent legislative session in Albany, some New York State lawmakers introduced legislation to establish a wind turbine pilot program in the Great Lakes intending to progress the state's climate goals.
Some lawmakers against this legislation introduced a bill that would put a moratorium in place on the building or placement of wind turbines in lakes within the state.
"What this plan is, is to jam industrial wind turbines into the water which means that they’re going to have to upset the lake-bed, they’re going to have to run transmission lines and everything else,” said Sen. Borrello (R-57th Senate District).
In the late 1960's Lake Erie was declared a "dead lake." In recent years, some environmental advocates said Lake Erie has started to come alive again and new wind turbines could potentially cause negative impacts for the lake's health and the drinking water that comes from the lake.
“It has a rich industrial history that plagued it with pollution and Lake Erie is finally turning around and to move too quickly on another industrial activity puts the lakes at risk,” said Margaux Valenti, Legal Director for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.
Other environmental advocates said the wind from the Great Lakes can provide hundreds of gigawatts in renewable energy. One gigawatt is equal to one billion watts of electrical power.
“When we’re fighting against the climate crisis, we need as many tools in the toolbox as possible. Great lakes wind provides tremendous potential to create clean, renewable energy to help alleviate the climate crisis,” said Brian Smith, Associate Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Both pieces of legislation are currently in Senate committees.