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Work to start on wind projects; Legal challenges to be filed  

Construction is scheduled to begin today on the Cohocton Wind and Dutch Hill windmill projects in the northern Steuben County town of Cohocton.

Jim Schroeder, project site manager for owner Canandaigua Power Partners II of Newton, Mass., said it’s uncertain how soon the windmills could begin to generate electricity.

“The normal construction process is five to six months,” Schroeder said. “We don’t know at this point because of what Mother Nature delivers to us.”

Schroeder said work will begin first on the Dutch Hill project. It covers about 2,650 acres of leased land off Shultz Hill Road, Fleishman Road, Dutch Hill Road, Davis Hollow Road, Drum Road, Atlanta Back Road, Zeh Road, state Route 271 and Edmond Road.

Dutch Hill will include approximately 16 wind turbines, each with a generating capacity of 2.5 megawatts.

The Cohocton Wind project will include 35 2.5-megawatt wind turbines, with the primary array on Pine Hill and Lent Hill northeast of the village of Cohocton. Three of the turbines will be on Brown Hill near an existing New York State Electric & Gas Corp. transmission line. The project will be built on 4,800 acres of leased land.

The maximum height of the turbines for both projects will be 420 feet. They will have blades 315 feet in diameter.

Opponents of the projects said the town of Cohocton has acted too quickly by approving the projects without securing the necessary permits.

“As far as we are concerned, several permits are required before construction can happen,” said James Hall, a spokesman for Cohocton Wind Watch.

Watson said the projects lack workers’ compensation permits, a number of building permits and permits from the state Department of Transportation.

“The Public Service Commission has given only conditional approval, with one of the conditions being sufficient lease easements for the power lines,” Hall said. “They don’t have that.”

Hall said there are “substantial, multiple” court challenges in the works that will be filed “in the not-too- distant future.”

He said a number of individual property owners plan to file suits.

“There will be a parade down to the courthouse on this matter,” Hall said.

Canandaigua Power Partners II also has proposed a wind project in the town of Prattsburgh, but has not received a permit to begin construction there.

“We’ll start with the Cohocton projects and move into Prattsburgh after that,” Schroeder said.

The draft environmental impact statement for the Cohocton Wind project said it would generate enough electricity to meet the needs of 39,500 homes. Dutch Hill would provide enough power for approximately half as many homes.

Canandaigua Power Partners II is expected to negotiate payments in lieu of taxes, which could be a significant source of income for local governments and school districts.

All electricity generated by the wind turbines will be sold on a wholesale basis, Canandaigua Power Partners II said in documents filed with regulatory agencies.

By Larry Wilson
Star-Gazette Corning Bureau

stargazettenews.com

27 August 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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