HAMMOND – A town committee envisions having regulations on the books before a formal wind farm proposal comes here.
“Our general goal is to be ready when they do come,” wind power committee member Ian L. Paddock said. “We would definitely like to see it happen, but we want to do it right.”
Paddock, a former Hammond resident who lives in Phoenix, Oswego County, makes the nearly 100-mile commute to attend committee meetings. An alternative-energy supporter, he believes that a wind farm could be an economic windfall for the town of Hammond, which has about 1,200 people.
“I’m still close to a lot of people there,” Maddock said. “I’d like to see it come in for the benefit of the community.”
The committee was formed this summer to examine the effect that wind turbines would have on the community. The committee, composed of community residents and alternative-energy experts, is using a model wind farm ordinance created recently by the St. Lawrence County Planning Board and Environmental Management Council as a guide.
The model will help it create regulations for wind farms, including setbacks and heights for turbines and locations for them.
“Right now, we’re just looking for more information,” Paddock said.
Paul E. Carr, an engineering professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, will discuss the wind power issue at the committee’s Oct. 25 meeting. A location for the meeting is being finalized and the public is welcome to attend.
Carr, a Lyme resident, has spoken on wind power several times earlier this year to a few municipalities around Jefferson County.
PPM Atlantic Renewable, a partner in Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, is considering constructing a wind farm here. The project would be a first in St. Lawrence County.
The company has a test tower to measure wind speeds on property near the St. Lawrence River on County Route 6, but no proposal has been presented to the town about a wind farm.
Some advantages to having wind turbines include royalties from towers for property owners who host them, property taxes that the school district, town and county would receive on the development, and the addition of renewable power to feed the grid.
Proponents of wind farms believe that the turbines are more environmentally friendly energy sources than fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Opponents say that windmills towering 400 feet above farm fields are an eyesore and a danger to birds and other wildlife, and that the power generated is not reliable enough to retire carbon-fueled power plants.
By David Winters
Watertown Daily Times
11 October 2007
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