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Borrello blasts ‘waste’ on towers

New York state Sen. George Borrello called the dismantling of the turbine at Exit 59 of the Thruway “a symbol of the ridiculous boondoggle and taxpayer-funded investment scam that industrial wind and solar have become in our state.”

Borrello was contacted Wednesday after crews took down the tower that has not been operating for at least six years. “I guess the Thruway Authority is finally sick of the embarrassment caused by these albatross wind turbines that are a monument of how they were scammed by a fly-by-night ‘green’ energy company,” he said. “So now they are wasting even more toll-payer money to take them down.

His frustrations mounted when he questioned increases that were passed on to motorists in the past year. “The Thruway Authority raised tolls because they claimed they are facing a multi-year, multimillion dollar deficit starting this year,” he said. “Yet, when I asked the acting Executive Director, in the budget hearings, how much money was wasted on those nonworking turbines he refused to answer.

“The cost to do this was massive. All of the engineering, all the site planning, all of the electrical infrastructure needed, the cost of bringing these foreign-made wind turbines in and then assembling them. Along with everything else that went into putting up these monstrosities far exceeds whatever deficit the Thruway is facing this year, of that I am certain.”

A spokeswoman for the Thruway Authority said four turbines were removed in recent weeks. “The Thruway Authority recently removed four decommissioned wind turbines along the Erie section of I-90,” she said.

The turbines were installed in 2013-2014 as part of the state’s renewable energy initiative and went offline in 2017-2018 due to various mechanical issues. In 2018, the Authority filed a lawsuit against the companies involved in the project to recover the cost of the investment. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2022.

A fifth wind turbine in Westfield remains operational.

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