The developer of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm is looking to put up another 40-turbine farm in the town of Martinsburg, just southwest of the current one.
“This is probably a 2009 project, assuming we can find common ground with the Nature Conservancy and the permitting agencies,” William M. Moore, director of development with PPM Atlantic Renewable, said via e-mail.
The proposed 80-megawatt project – called Roaring Brook in honor of the nearby waterway – would consist of 40, 2-megawatt turbines on about 4,000 acres owned by Zeager Partnership Ltd. of Middletown, Pa., Mr. Moore said.
The partnership’s principal owner, Charles B. Zeager, last fall entered a five-year, $7,500 lease agreement with Atlantic Wind LLC, a subsidiary of PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., for wind farm development on 27 parcels in the town of Martinsburg, according to documents filed last week in the Lewis County clerk’s office. The agreement allows for optional extensions of 25 and 26 years, respectively, from the beginning of commercial operations, creating a maximum lease term of 56 years.
The Zeager family also owns the Deer River Ranch deer farm off Route 177 in the town of Pinckney, along with many other Tug Hill land tracts.
Flat Rock Windpower – a joint venture of PPM and Horizon Wind Energy of Houston, Texas – last year put the finishing touches on a $380 million, 322-megawatt wind farm in the towns of Lowville, Martinsburg and Harrisburg.
Unlike Maple Ridge, the Roaring Brook project is being developed solely by PPM.
With 195, 1.65-megawatt turbines, Maple Ridge is the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi River. It is expected to provide more than $10 million annually to local taxing jurisdictions and more than 75 landowners.
“Working with local landowners is the fun part of my job,” Mr. Moore said. “But having just one 4,000-acre participant has some advantages, no doubt.”
Mr. Zeager’s property – classified as private forest and rural vacant land – is south of Flat Rock Road and west of Carey Road and the ends of French and Maple Ridge roads. The southernmost towers of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm are just north of Flat Rock Road.
Mr. Moore said he is in discussions about siting issues with officials from the Nature Conservancy, which owns land just south of the proposed wind farm, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He also made a preliminary presentation last week to the Martinsburg Town Council.
Owing to the preliminary nature of the proposal, council members haven’t given it too much thought yet, Deputy Town Supervisor John A. Karelus said.
“I don’t think anybody on the board would be against it,” Mr. Karelus said. “But we haven’t discussed it as a board yet.”
The Roaring Brook project would require a five- to six-mile transmission line to connect with National Grid’s Porterville-Boonville transmission line in the town of Martinsburg somewhere east of West Road, Mr. Moore said. Several different routes are being considered, he said.
Electricity produced at the Maple Ridge Wind Farm travels through a 10.3-mile transmission line – dubbed the “world’s longest extension cord” by Mr. Moore – into the town of Watson, where it enters National Grid’s 230-kilovolt Adirondack-Porter transmission line.
PPM Atlantic Renewable is also working on two other wind farm projects: the 120-megawatt Horse Creek Wind Farm in the town of Clayton between Depauville and Gunns Corners and the 100-megawatt Hardscrabble Wind Farm in Herkimer County near Fairfield.
By Steve Virkler
Publication: Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY)
Publication Date: 03/29/2007
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