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New rural view: Area wind projects in various states of approval SCIDA looking at several next month

As Cohocton wind turbines are being built skyward, local projects are still on the road to final approval.

The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency will discuss projects in Cohocton and Howard at its next board meeting, Dec. 20, according to Executive Director Jim Sherron.

The board will mull over the final project resolution on the 51-turbine Cohocton and Dutch Hill projects at the meeting, and Sherron believes the board will put it to a vote.

“(UPC Wind) completed their final environmental impact findings,” Sherron said, adding only the Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement is left before the board can look at approving the final resolution.

The PILOT agreement was discussed at the September board meeting, but was tabled after local union officials filed complaints that the lead contractor on the project, Mortenson Construction, was not hiring local workers for the project.

The SCIDA board also will look at results from a state environmental quality review study at the meeting from the 62.5-megawatt Howard Wind Project being developed by EverPower Renewables. EverPower signed a 10-year agreement with the Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative in the end of October to purchase power from the turbines when they are constructed.

One project that has been quiet lately is the proposed Airtricity project in Hartsville and Hornellsville. According to Sherron and Airtricity Project Manager Bob Sherwin, the project is currently stalled.

“The project is in hold for development,” Sherwin said, adding the company is still looking at the feasibility of the project.

“It’s been pretty much inactive,” Sherron said. “They completed the scope of the review, but there has been no environmental impact statement.”

Airtricity, an Irish company that operates wind farms in the United States and three other North Atlantic countries, sold its North American division to E.ON, a German utility, for $1.4 billion in early October.

By Bob Clark
Staff Writer

Hornell Evening Tribune

30 November 2007