The New York Public Service Commission on Aug. 15 gave conditional approval to two proposed wind energy facilities.
UPC Wind Partners, through subsidiaries Canandaigua Power Partners LLC and Canandaigua Power Partners II LLC, has proposed the Cohocton and Dutch Hill wind projects, both of which are to be located in Steuben County, N.Y.
According to UPC Wind’s Web site, the Cohocton facility has capacity for 82.5 MW while the Dutch Hill facility has 42.5 MW, a combined total slightly less than the 127.5-MW capacity that PSC described the project as having.
The PSC, in granting certificates of public convenience and necessity to the two projects, included conditions such as environmental mitigation measures to be taken by the town of Cohocton and commitments by the companies to adopt and enforce certain operations measures.
The PSC concluded that the companies would provide safe, reliable and adequate service based on the evidence presented in their petition and supplemental material and at the evidentiary hearing.
The two projects, which had strong local opposition, were approved by a 4-0 vote, with one abstention, by the board of the Town of Cohocton, N.Y., on Aug. 1 and by the town planning board unanimously on Aug. 2.
The project developers will be seeking permits, including for wetlands and stream crossing, from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and an agreement to build a substation to accommodate a 115-kV line from the projects, said Canandaigua Power Partners’ attorney Ruth Leistensnider of Nixon Peabody LLP.
Another Steuben County project, a 70-MW wind farm being developed by EverPower Wind LLC, is currently “in the latter stages of going through the SEQRA [State Environmental Quality Review Act] process,” project manager Kevin Sheen said. The Howard project has found strong local support, with only some small opposition, he said.
“We find that in any wind project the majority [of local people] are in favor of the project, but that tends to be overshadowed by a vocal minority that gets the attention,” Sheen said. The opposition EverPower has heard, however, has been “nothing like the opposition in Cohocton,” he said.
The opposition group in Cohocton is now fielding candidates for the local offices, including two on the Town Board, which will be up for election in November.
The order granting certificates of public convenience and necessity in New York PSC Case 07-E-0138 will likely be posted on the PSC’s Web site within 10 days, spokeswoman Anne Dalton said.
By Susan Nelson
16 August 2007
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