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Decade-Long Opposition to the Iberdrola Horse Creek Wind Project, USA

Iberdrola's proposed Horse Creek Wind Project in the environmentally sensitive and scenic 1000 Islands Region is generating widespread organized opposition from community groups, local governments, environment organizations and other stakeholders.


The Horse Creek Wind Project (HCWP) is a proposed 60-72 turbine, 205 megawatt industrial wind turbine facility encompassing a 124 km² / 48 sq mi  project area in the 1000 Islands Region of Jefferson County, New York.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Decade-Long Opposition to the Iberdrola Horse Creek Wind Project, USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:New York
Location of conflict:1000 Islands Region Towns of Clayton, Orleans, Brownville and Lyme, Jefferson County
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale wind energy plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

205 Megawatt Nameplate Capacity

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Project area:12,400
Level of Investment for the conflictive project200,000,000-300,000,000 USD (Estimate based on turbine number and nameplate capacity)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:16,000 (Permanent) 50,000 (Seasonal Estimate)
Start of the conflict:06/01/2005
Company names or state enterprises:Avangrid Renewables from United States of America
Iberdrola from Spain
Atlantic Wind LLC from United States of America
Relevant government actors:New York State Public Service Commission
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:American Bird Conservancy
Audubon New York
Onondaga Audubon Society
Ontario Bays Initiative, Inc.
River Residents Against Turbines - River RATs
Thousand Islands Land Trust
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsHabitat Fragmentation, Edge Encroachment, Rare Landscape Degradation (Alvar), documented threats to threatened and priority bird and bat species (Northern Harrier, Henslow's Sparrow, Upland Sandpiper, others)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Given the ongoing status of the proposed Horse Creek Wind Project, it is not yet possible to make an outcome determination in regards to environmental justice.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Siting and regulatory approval of industrial wind energy facilities in New York (25 MW or greater) is governed by an administrative law process called Article 10. This is a relatively new siting procedure that removes historical project approval authority from local towns ("Home Rule") and transfers project approval to the Public Service Commission located in Albany. The address below is a link to the Case File for the Horse Creek Wind Project.
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February 2nd, 2016: Developer re-evaluating Horse Creek Wind Farm in Clayton
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June 1st, 2016: Developer sues Clayton over moratorium on wind energy projects
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July 29th, 2017: Fort Drum officials talk wind turbine challenges, plans to work with developers
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August 16th, 2017: Group Speaks Out Against Wind Project
[click to view]

July 15th, 2017: Residents and business form River RATs to oppose horse creek wind farm
[click to view]

August 15th, 2017: Nonprofit dedicated to bird protection opposes Horse Creek Wind Farm
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October 15th, 2016: Clayton town board and developer reach settlement on moratorium
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April 18th, 2017: Land trust opposes wind development in the Thousand Islands
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

August 16th, 2017 Television Report: Group Speaks Out Against Wind Project
[click to view]

River Residents Against Turbines - RATs Facebook Page
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJAtlas collaborator
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2998
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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