More than a third of the 35 proposed windmills in the second phase of the largest wind farm in Pennsylvania will be constructed in Cambria County, while the remainder will be placed in neighboring Blair County, local officials learned.
Of the 13 planned for Cambria, nine will be in Portage Township and four in Washington Township, Terry Nicol, a representative for wind-energy developer Gamesa Inc., said of the North Allegheny Wind Farm LLC.
“We will be building further west than last year,” Nicol told Washington Township supervisors.
The nine planned for Portage Township also will be built further west, toward the Lilly area, Nicol said.
In a request for approval of local ordinances needed for construction, Nicol outlined details of the second phase for officials in the two townships.
As part of the process, supervisors in both townships approved development agreements with Gamesa.
Property setbacks, allowable noise levels from the turbines and decommission guarantees mirror pacts between the municipalities and Gamesa that were reached two years ago for Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC, the first phase.
In addition, Gamesa agrees to pay each municipality an annual fee of $3,000 for each of the towers.
When the second phase is completed, 23 turbines will be in Portage Township and 14 in Washington.
Nicol said timber removal for the second phase could start when weather permits.
A third phase, Allegheny Wind Expansion, would put 15 more turbines on the ridge dividing Cambria and Blair counties. Construction could start next year, though Nicol said plans are not definite.
Few problems have been reported on Route 164, the main access route to the first and second phases of construction in Portage Township.
While in Washington Township, the contractor again will be allowed to use Mountain Road, but only if Gamesa is more responsive than last year in dealing with dust problems from the un-paved section, Supervisor Ray Guzic said.
The supervisors fielded complaints from residents about road deterioration and dust issues. While Gamesa made corrections, local officials said the response was too slow.
“Many phone calls were made to you. One of the biggest problems was the dust,” Washington Solicitor Thomas Swope told Nicol and Ellen Lutz, Gamesa’s director of development. “There were multiple requests for water trucks that never came.”
Lutz said Gamesa will make sure contractors know dust control is a priority.
By Kathy Mellott
22 March 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding