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Gone with winds: Fredonia bashes lake turbines; Thruway piece comes down

Submitted photo Mark Twichell snapped this photo Wednesday of workers cutting up a wind turbine that formerly stood at the Fredonia exit of the Thruway.

Fredonia has joined the anti-Lake Erie wind turbines movement of Western New York municipalities. Meanwhile, an ill-fated turbine at the Thruway exit is now gone.

The village Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution against the turbines this week. The measure is backed by activist group Citizens Against Wind Turbines in Lake Erie (CAWTILE). Mark Twichell, a Fredonia member of the group, is married to Trustee Michelle Twichell.

On Wednesday, Mark Twichell emailed photos showing that a wind turbine next to the Thruway was taken down by workers Wednesday morning.

The turbine next to the Fredonia exit was supposed to help power state Thruway Authority operations but never worked properly. New York wound up suing the contractor who erected it.

“Although I rarely find myself agreeing with Congressman (Nick) Langworthy, in this case, he’s absolutely right. That’s the worst place to put wind turbines,” said Trustee Ben Brauchler at Monday’s meeting.

The resolution notes Langworthy “has voiced deep concern on the addition of wind turbines and introduced legislation to curb this negative development… (to) protect our environment and local economies from ill-conceived wind energy projects on these waters.”

The measure references the state’s push for renewable energy. However, it also notes the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority determined in 2022 that wind turbines should not be built in the lake at this time.

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