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Wind-farm economic impacts being assessed  

The director of the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency will study the benefits and negative impacts of two proposed wind farms.

Brad Jackson says he needs to see the final environmental-impact statements associated with the proposed Noble Chateaugay Windpark Inc. and proposed Noble Bellmont Windpark Inc. before he can begin a cost-benefit analysis.

That analysis will determine the impact wind farms would have the towns, village, county and school districts and begin the process to negotiate agreements for payments in lieu of taxes. The environmental review of the projects will be the topic of another public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at the Town Hall in Brainardsville.

The joint effort between the towns of Chateaugay and Bellmont would see 86 towers erected south of Route 11 on 8,623 acres behind the state drug-rehabilitation prison in Chateaugay to Route 374.

Chateaugay, which hosted a public hearing on the environmental report last week, would have 72 of the towers and Bellmont the other 14.

Each tower would be nearly 400 feet tall, with a giant nacelle on the top, which holds a trio of fiberglass blades that are 270 feet across.

The power generated by capturing the wind velocity will be transmitted through underground electrical lines to on-site substations and then delivered to the National Grid transmission system.

Similar projects are under construction in Clinton County in an effort to ensure, under an order by former Gov. George Pataki, that 25 percent of all New York’s power will come from renewable energy sources by 2013.

A draft State Environmental Quality Review application was put before the public last week in the Town of Chateaugay, where the members of each community’s town council heard comments from residents.

Jackson attended that hearing but made no remarks.

However, he said he will attend and speak at the Town of Bellmont hearing next week.

He recently received permission from his Board of Directors to proceed with the cost-analysis report as soon as the SEQR process is complete.

Jackson said it will take about six weeks to crunch the numbers because the IDA wants to be sure the projects are studied thoroughly.

With many more steps to go in the process, such as approval of the PILOT terms by the impacted entities, he does not think Noble Environmental Power will be able to move forward with construction for at least five months.

By Denise A. Raymo
Staff Writer


11 April 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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