Upstate wind power debate, island style

Aug 4, 2010

Ahh, Galloo Island: a distant gem in the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. Home to an historic lighthouse and not much else. Said to be the second largest private island in the United States.

You can stay on Galloo if you want. It’s managed by a German company for now. And when I called their Hamburg offices they said I was the first person this season to inquire about the place. List price for a long weekend: $9,000.

But, alas, this is not a travel blog. Galloo piqued the Innovation Trail’s interest because it’s the site for a proposed wind farm that could power 100,000 homes.

Even for an island eight miles off shore, issues that have crippled many a wind power project are slowing this one too.

Supporters of the project say Galloo is uniquely positioned to maximize the region’s wind power potential. It’s out of the way, and it offers the perks of offshore wind without the associated difficulties of building wind turbines in the middle of a lake.

Opponents of the project say Galloo will still require unsightly overland transmission lines and that the industrial scale of development will spoil the region as an outdoor destination. Critics also fear it will open the way for more wind power projects in the area, which is known as the Golden Crescent.

But what’s reasoned argument when you can watch this video that compares the project to Pearl Harbor.

More to come.