A New York board has approved plans to build 27 wind turbines in Eastern Broome County in spite of last week’s passage of a new local law in the Town of Sanford to strictly limit just where wind turbines could be place in relation to private property.

Getty Images-Ian Forsyth

The state's Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment approved the 124-megawatt Calpine wind farm in Sanford and Windsor on December 16.

Sanford’s new zoning law effectively banned the project but board Chairman John Rhodes said environmental impacts would be minimized, based on plans by developer Calpine.

The state Public Service Commission says the decision demonstrates how the state is working to achieve Governor Andrew Cuomo's goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040.  But pushback is coming quickly from Republican State Senator Fred Akshar of Binghamton.  He issued a statement blasting the decision by the siting board saying:

"The Town of Sanford unilaterally passed specific local regulations on land use to address the many concerns of local community members, but rather than respecting the wishes of these local communities and working with them, the politically appointed Board proceeded to steamroll over their input and force this project through.

In the coming days, I’ll be cosponsoring legislation requiring approval through local public referendum for major projects like this."

Southern Tier Solar Works, meanwhile called the decision "Great news" and said Southern Tier residents "will get to see up close and personal what wind power is really about."