One of two citizens’ groups that staked a claim in the future of wind turbines in northeastern Delaware County has agreed to drop its opposition to plans by developers.
In exchange for a financial contribution with which to create a conservation trust, the Roxbury Association for Environmental Preservation said Thursday it agreed to not oppose plans by Invenergy LLC to site 34 turbines along the six-mile Moresville Range between Stamford and Grand Gorge.
“I’m outraged that they would sell us out like this,” said Carol Mangan, a spokeswoman for another citizens’ group, the Western Catskills Preservation Alliance. The WCPA continues to oppose the wind farm’s development, she said.
Claudio Gatti, president of RAEP, said funds from Invenergy will be used to purchase conservation easements along the southern mountain ridge leading to, and including, the Denver-Vega valley.
Those easements, he said, will be used to “forever protect” wind turbines from being located there.
Dave Groberg, director of business development for Invenergy, said he would not disclose the amount of the contribution. The association, he said, would not want landowners to know how much they had to spend to buy the easements.
Gatti, a New York City resident who maintains a second home in Roxbury, said he and others formed the association “a few years ago” when plans were announced to site wind turbines along the southern ridge and Denver-Vega area.
“We did not favor them,” he said.
Gatti said the association conducted surveys, held meetings, and placed newspaper advertisements to gauge residents’ attitudes on the turbines, which can reach 410 feet in height.
The association found, according to Gatti, that residents of the Denver-Vega area were unanimously opposed to the turbines, while those along the Stamford to Grand Gorge corridor “didn’t seem concerned.”
Plans never materialized for a wind farm along the Denver-Vega route, but RAEP started negotiations with developers.
“We started looking at a compromise to limit development to protect the larger, southern ridge,” Gatti said.
Gatti said RAEP’s membership endorsed the decision to not oppose the northern Moresville range project. There are about 200 members of the association, Gatti said in a prepared statement.
“They’ve shoved it in our face,” said Mangan. “The nearest turbine will be 15 miles from the village of Roxbury,” she said. “They won’t have to look at it.”
“We have always believed that our objectives and that of the Roxbury Association are mutually beneficial, Groberg said.
The company wants, though, to build 34 industrial wind turbines on the six-mile Moresville ridgeline, company officials said, and the “moderate-size” wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 45,000 “typical” New York homes.
By Dana Cudmore
24 February 2007
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