Stamford town officials agreed last week to propose a 2,500-foot setback requirement in an ordinance they are creating to regulate wind-turbine installations.
“It’s the strictest I’ve seen,” said Dave Groberg, director of business development for Chicago-based Invenergy, LLC, which hopes to install a line of turbines along a mountain ridge between Stamford and Roxbury.
Town officials have been working on the ordinance since last year, and regulations are still in the early stages. A year-long moratorium on the wind-turbine development expires in February.
Stamford Town Clerk Diane Grant said Tuesday the finished ordinance will be reviewed by the county attorney and planning board and be open for comment at a public hearing before becoming law.
In addition to the setback, officials are also proposing regulations that will limit the number of turbines and the noise they generate, and, after a separate study, will decide issues of “flicker.”
Flicker is the shadow caused by the rotating blades,.
Groberg said his firm will need to review and analyze the setback requirement decided last week. The company’s plans were originally designed with a 2,000-foot setback allowance from the nearest residence of a nonparticipating landowner, he said.
The additional 500 feet will involve more properties and may reduce the size of the project, Groberg said. There are about 25 landowners involved.
Invenergy has not submitted proposals to planners in Stamford or Roxbury. However, the project announced last year called for siting 34 industrial wind turbines on the 6-mile Moresville ridgeline.
In all, according to Invenergy’s representative, the turbines will occupy a “Y”-shaped parcel of about 100 acres in length. Individual turbine sites are approximately 1Â½ acres, excluding access roads.
The turbines, as proposed, are 410 feet in height.
There are several state and federal agencies involved in approving the final project. Environmental and archaeological studies must be completed, and because of the turbine’s height, the Federal Aviation Administration must also sign off on the plans.
Groberg said the construction project, valued at between $150 million and $200 million, can be completed in a single building season.
Wind farms are also being considered in Andes, Bovina, and Meredith, and each of the proposals has met with opposition. Those opposed believe the proposals will spoil the natural beauty of the region, while proponents cite the need for reducing the country’s reliance on imported oil.
By Dana Cudmore
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