May 11, 2007

Glenmore board alters wind turbine permit

The Town Board changed some stipulations Thursday on a permit granted to Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind LLC for eight wind turbines.

The biggest: changing wording saying a third-party electrical engineer would certify that the $40-million project will be free of stray voltage.

“That person doesn’t exist,” Emerging Energies principal Tim Osterberg said, emphasizing the risk it would mean for an electrical engineer to put his personal guarantee on such a big project.

The board removed “certify” and left in that the engineer would inspect and review electrical plans.

Another change: removing a line that said the wind company couldn’t appeal an arbiter’s decision in a dispute between the company and a resident.

Ed Ritger, attorney for Emerging Energies, said that constituted “interference” and, by state law, health and safety reasons are the only reasons anyone can interfere in a wind energy project.

Glenmore attorney Ken Calewarts said he’d prefer that the wording stay in, but he couldn’t force the other side to agree to waive the right to appeal.

By Lee Reinsch

11 May 2007

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