Environmental group supports proposed wind power project
Joel Stashenko The Business Review
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater endorsed a proposed wind turbine park on the north side of Gore Mountain and called on other environmental groups to do the same.
Adirondack Wind Partners is proposing to put up to 10 of the 280-foot-high turbines in Johnsburg. The turbines and their 115-foot long blades would potentially produce 27 megawatts – enough renewable electricity to power more than half the homes in Warren County.
The wind power would be transmitted to the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. grid through an existing 34.5 kilovolt line that runs through a former garnet mine on the mountain.
Adirondack Wind Power says the proposed site is desirable because it has average sustained wind speeds of 18 miles an hour at the 280-foot hub height of the turbines.
Sloop Clearwater Executive Director Andy Mele said the aesthetic concerns of siting the tall turbines have to be weighed against the benefits of the "clean" electricity they would produce.
"We need to shift our sense of aesthetics to include the social value these wind turbines provide," he said. "They are tall and graceful and can be seen as beautiful."
Mele said Gore Mountain already has other large structures such as ski lifts and a fire tower.
Adirondack Wind Partners have yet to file a formal request with the state for an environmental review of the Gore Mountain proposal.
On Wednesday, state Business Council President Daniel Walsh said wind turbine power can be an important contributor to the state’s tight electricity supply – if citizens are willing to accept seeing turbine towers from their backyards.
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