February 20, 2016
STEUBEN COUNTY, NY – Wind companies Next Era and Everpower might use Article 10, for proposed wind projects in Hartsville and Hornellsville. The Hartsville town board has put up resistance to wind companies for the last decade. Since wind projects started popping up in New York State, it has been local town boards, working with their zoning and planning boards, that approve or reject a town resident’s applications for wind and other projects. While town boards can still vote yes or no on wind, wind companies can also use Article 10 to get a wind project going, in spite of the town board. Article 10 is a state law that’s been in place in 2011, that allows a siting board, to decide on where wind turbines will be placed.
The Article 10 siting boards are made up of leaders from several state agencies: the head of the Public Service Commission, the head of NYSERDA, the Energy Research and Development Authority, the D.E.C. commissioner, the head of the state Energy and Research Authority and the state Health Commissioner. Also on the siting board: two local people from the town where the wind project will be located, named by a local town supervisor, who are approved by the state senate, one appointed by the state assembly.
Critics of Article 10 say the law stacks the deck in favor of wind energy in towns where wind farms are not wanted, and takes away home rule, or voter’s rights. Supporters of Article 10 argue that it prevents protesters from blocking progress.