As Empire Wind Energy moves closer to a project with five central and northern Wayne County towns, Tom Golisano’s company seems to have blown off its interest in Lyons.
Last week, Empire sent a letter to Lyons officials indicating it is no longer exploring a project just for that community, citing the lack of an economically viable way to connect to the power grid.
Terry VanStean, who chairs the Alternative Energy Taskforce of Wayne County, said he’s not sold that it’s a power grid issue, even though that’s what Empire
VanStean said windpower efforts would continue for Lyons; his committee is talking with other companies to see if they might be interested in projects in the town. Empire, which is working with Sodus, Huron. Butler, Rose and Wolcott to develop a project, could also potentially include Lyons in that as well.
Empire, which is financed by Golisano, was supposed to build test towers this summer to measure wind speed in areas in Lyons, but VanStean said nothing was done. The committee sent a letter to Empire in June and didn’t receive a response until late August, when the company indicated it was no longer interested.
Last fall, it was standing room only it the Ohmann Theater in Lyons when Golisano presented plans to harness wind energy to Wayne County. No specifics were given at the meeting regarding the size, location or scope of a possible project.
President and CEO of Empire State Wind Energy LLC Keith Pitman said the company will only develop projects that are acceptable and beneficial to the overall community stake-holders.
He said the company would also take risks, citing large up-front development costs that place the investors at risk.
The company had been considering a 30-megawatt project in the northern part of the town and a 5-to-10-megawatt project in another location.
September 5, 2007
Louise Hoffman Broach, Wayuga Editor
Wayne County Star
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