Friday, May 1, 2015

Lighthouse Wind finances to consider

The Lighthouse Wind project (up to 70 turbines 570' tall) in Niagara and Orleans counties New York (brought by Apex Clean Energy LLC) is a fraud. Some Lighthouse Wind finances to consider.


Assessments will be impacted by the LW project
Owners of homes and property located near turbines will demand a lower assessment because of the noise, health and other major problems brought about by the presence of Lighthouse Wind turbines. They will likely bring their assessment issues into court since it's likely the town assessors will refuse to reduce assessments because an assessment reduction would snowball within the community. If and when assessments are reduced because of the turbines - either the town budget would need substantial reduction or the tax rate would need to go up as a result of lower assessments.  Assuming the tax rate would go up - then all the property owners within the town would automatically need to pay more in taxes. Lowered assessments mean a higher tax rate. Property owners living miles from the Lighthouse Wind project would be required to pay more in taxes due to the lowered assessments of those living close to the turbines.

Wolfe Island Wind Farm - Look at what happened on Ontario's Wolfe and Simcoe Island wind project at the east end of Lake Ontario near Kingston after (86)   2.3 Mw Siemens turbines were commissioned in June 2009. This is the largest wind project in Canada to date.

Here are the addresses of residents (near the wind project) who were granted assessment reductions of over $100,000 each in the Township of Wolfe Island from 2008 until Jan. 2012. Assessments were reduced by over $3M total.
Assessment reductions:
·   82  – Oak Point Rd.:           -$118,000
·   23 –  Nine Mile Point Rd.   -$143,000
·   429- Nine Mile Point Rd.    -$119,000
·   433 -Nine Mile Point Rd.    -$117,000
·   496 -Nine Mile Point Rd.    -$107,000
·   136 – Lucas Point Lane      -$101,000
Few or no home sales on Wolfe Island and a large avian slaughter as well.

Turbines their end of life
There are approximately 15,000  worn out unproductive wind turbines now visually polluting California, and other places in the USA,  because there is no money to remove them. Some states have laws and regulations on the state or county level pertaining specifically to the decommissioning of wind factories but NYS is not one of them. Although towns are now more cautious about decommissioning wind factories than they were years ago - there's still the heavy risk that wind projects just being commissioned right now may face the same problems in the future and become abandoned or bankrupt. Wind project owners change often over time and Apex is a company that history shows will not own this project for long before it changes owners. When the wind turbines eventually wear out it's possible the (foreign) owner will simply walk away from the project leaving the eyesore for someone else to deal with. Removal of the worn out turbines then becomes the responsibility of the land owner and removing these at a cost about $.5M each in today's money simply won't happen. The land owner trusted that the decisions he made when leasing the property for the project would resolve this decommissioning problem when the time came and now the land owner is on the hook. If there is no cooperation from the turbine owner to remove dead turbines its then the land owner's problem. The land owner couldn't even pass the farm along to his offspring with a liability like the presence of a wind turbine. What land owner would the spend $.5M each to remove dead turbines as their scrap value would not come nearly close to cover the cost of taking down the eyesore and disposing of unrecyclable worthless materials, the foundation demolition, cable removal,  and restoring the landscape to what it was before the project even began? Scrap value cannot begin to cover decommissioning costs. Who pays for the restoration of the highways from heavy construction equipment damaging the town roads again a second time as they did when the project was built? The community at large pay for the road damages? And these companies are [limited liability companies], so if they do fold up, there are no assets to cover the decommissioning costs. The truth is - nobody will have the money to remove the eyesore dead turbines so they lurk there for decades until somehow they get removed. And who do you think will be responsible to pay the property taxes including the taxes for the dead turbine? Who is liable for injures suffered from the time the turbines are shut down to the time they are taken down? Would the property owner be smart enough or capable to buy increased liability insurance coverage to protect himself?

PILOT - an acronym for payment in lieu of taxes - Somerset, NY has a poor history of being a victim of PILOTS. Twice Somerset has been ripped off by the 675Mw AES coal power plant and here Somerset will soon to be faced with another suitor, Apex Clean Energy LLC, telling them how much money Apex will be bringing into town with a PILOT agreement while the exact opposite is precisely what will take place. Apex will be asking the Somerset & Yates to sign up for a PILOT and forgive Apex for maybe 70% of the taxes they would pay if assessed for 100% of the value of the Lighthouse Wind project. And then they'll create a photo opportunity when they hand over a check to the towns for a fraction of what they should have been paying and laugh all the way to the bank over how much they skimmed the towns for. Does the town make you pay 30% of the assessed value of your home in taxes? No? Then why should Apex get away with paying a fraction of their share while polluting the town with an energy project that won't work 75% of the time that divides and desecrates the community and impacts your health to boot?

 People won't build new homes or locate businesses in a divided community like Somerset or Yates  and go elsewhere for good reason. Persons who perceive that their property values will fall will be less inclined to invest in their properties, which will inevitably lead to lower property values in the long run and hurt the community.



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