A bill proposed in the state Senate would put an 18-month hold on new wind farm projects in Madison County and the rest of the state.
While it wouldn’t affect the Munnsville Wind Project under construction, it could delay other proposed projects.
“There’s another one in the permitting stage that would run down through northwest Stockbridge and northeast Smithfield, that would be stopped in its tracks until 2009,” said Jack Miller, Madison County’s planning director. That project is being proposed by a company called AES, a global power company with headquarters in Arlington, Va.
He said that Green Power Energy is considering a project in the southern end of Fenner, near the existing one.
According to Miller there have also been discussions between Empire State Wind Energy, of Oneida, and the towns of DeRuyter, Georgetown and possibly Nelson.
“If something were to develop between them, a moratorium would be an obstacle,” he said.
While the moratorium doesn’t kill the projects entirely, it does put a hold on them and Miller fears that wouldn’t be good for the industry.
“It would put a real damper on enthusiasm for developing Upstate New York,” he said.
The following justification for the moratorium is given in the bill:
“Although the recent growth of the wind industry is welcomed by many in New York, local authorities and residents in wind-rich counties are concerned about their ability to address existing or anticipated proposals from wind energy developers interested in installing projects within their jurisdiction. With modern wind turbines standing between 200 and 400 feet tall, wind energy projects can have a major impact on the surrounding area. These wind energy production facilities have the potential of causing a significant negative impact on the scenic and historic character of our highways and byways.”
Sen. David Valesky said he hasn’t heard much support for the bill around the Capitol.
“I’m definitely opposed to this piece of legislation which would impose a moratorium on any siting of new windmill projects,” he said. “I can’t imagine why we’d want to be having a moratorium on projects that certainly we in Madison County know have great potential in terms of our energy future.”
The board of supervisors agrees with Miller and Valesky’s opposition of the bill and voted unanimously to pass a resolution that states it.
Copies of the resolution will now be forwarded to the appropriate legislators.
By Leeanne Root
Dispatch Staff Writer
13 June 2007
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