The village of Cape Vincent has discussed building a dock at East End Park large enough to handle incoming commercial wind turbines, but not everyone supports the idea.
In its last fundraising mailing, the Wind Power Ethics Group included a list of questions that it believes must be answered before a large-scale dock is built, including who will finance it. The group also asked how big the turbine parts coming in at a dock would be, and whether the dock could be used to supply wind farms throughout Jefferson County.
There are three wind farms proposed in the county. The St. Lawrence Wind Farm, with 96 proposed turbine locations, and Cape Vincent Wind Farm, which has not released turbine location maps, are in Cape Vincent. The proposed Horse Creek Wind Farm would bring 62 turbines to Clayton and Orleans.
The village had Bernier, Carr & Associates, Watertown, draft conceptual drawings of a 700- to 800-foot dock that would be parallel to the shore at the park, along Route 12E. The drawings were presented to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which would have to approve such a structure, Mayor Timothy D. Maloney said. The water is about 24 feet deep where the dock would be constructed, he said.
Mr. Maloney said that Parks and Recreation informed the village that the concept of building of dock where turbine parts would be unloaded for a specific period would be acceptable. If a dock 700 to 800 feet long were to be constructed, the village would expect St. Lawrence Wind Farm to foot the bill, which is estimated to be about $8 million, Mr. Maloney said.
“It’s not something that would ever be built unless the wind farm company said, ‘We could build this,'” he said.
Urban C. Hirschey, chairman of the ethics group, worries about the impact of loading and unloading large turbine parts, and the equipment needed to do so.
“This would be disruptive to the village and it would subvert the original purpose of the park,” he said.
Barbara M. Steinhouse, a village resident who said she is not in the ethics group, said it is frustrating to be told that plans for a dock lie in the hands of a wind farm developer. She worries that industrial lights will be used 24 hours a day if the facility is used to unload turbine parts.
Mr. Maloney said there is a possibility that lights could be used at night, but the issue as to when unloading would take place has not been discussed.
If St. Lawrence Wind Farm doesn’t want to build the dock, the village most likely will construct a smaller, 270-foot facility, large enough for small cruise ships and pleasure boats, Mr. Maloney said. The village would seek grants for a smaller dock, which is estimated to cost about $1 million, he said.
Todd R. Hopper, project manager for St. Lawrence Wind Farm, could not be reached for comment. Bryan W. Stumpf, who staffs the company’s office, said it is too soon to tell if the company would be interested in building a dock in Cape Vincent, and where the turbine parts for the proposed wind farm would come from. The company is still finishing studies for its environmental review.
Mr. Stumpf said turbine parts could come from Europe or the United States.
When Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County was developed, turbine parts, including 130-foot-long blades, were shipped from Europe and delivered at the Port of Oswego, then trucked to Lewis County.
There also are large docks available at the Port of Ogdensburg, which is equipped with a 1,250-foot wharf with a depth of 27 feet, according to the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s Web site. In Clayton, there is the 364-foot Thousand Islands regional dock, where water is about 26 feet deep.
Watertown Daily Times
5 October 2007
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