Unlike past meetings dealing with Arwkright’s proposed wind power project, Monday night’s session was a piece of cake.
There were no confrontational questions about and no obvious objections to the board’s actions regarding applications filed by Horizon Wind Energy for the New Grange Wind Farm the company wants to construct in Arkwright.
“I am very pleased with what occurred tonight. I view it as an indication the Arkwright community is coming together (about the proposed wind farm),” Supervisor Fredric Norton said.
The town also received a check for $25,163 from New Grange Wind Farm for applications that cover a wind overlay zone, a special use permit and three meteorological towers.
As icing on the cake, the town clerk was also given a $50,000 check to be held in escrow to cover the cost of attorney and engineering fees associated with the required environmental impact study.
Town Attorney Daniel Spitzer said the escrow agreement between New Grange Wind Farm and Arkwright, provides funding for the legal and engineering services up to half of 1 percent of the project’s total cost.
“There will be no cost to the town for this service,” Norton said.
The environmental impact study will precede the SEQRA review the project also requires.
Horizon project manager Tom Stebbins said he expects the draft environmental impact study to be completed by February.
“We will then present it to the town board and a public hearing will be scheduled,” he said.
A copy of the application Horizon filed with the town for the wind overlay and special use permit will be available for public review at the town clerk’s office.
Stebbins said the Horizon Web site will also provide internet access to a copy of the application and the draft environmental impact study.
“As soon as we get this on the Web site, the public will be made aware of it,” he said.
In a news release, Horizon director of development Patrick Doyle said Arkwright has all the makings of a successful wind farm.
“First and foremost, the data we have been collecting since 2004 shows that Arkwright has a powerful wind resource; we have received positive feedback from the interconnection request we filed in 2005 to give the project access to the grid.
“And, lastly, we have seen the community express tremendous interest and support for wind energy.”
New Grange expects the proposed wind farm to include up to 47 turbines that will deliver up to 80 megawatts of power to the grid.
In a listing of the benefits the project would provide the community, the company said payments to the town through a host community licensing agreement and payment in lieu of taxes to the county, town and school districts will amount to an estimated $640,000 per year.
Payments will also be made to the landowners hosting the project’s towers and to their neighbors, where applicable.
Horizon also estimated that the 80 megawatts of power the project will produce will displace 87,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
This is equivalent to the approximate emissions of 17,000 vehicles, the Horizon news release said.
By Joan Josephson
15 January 2008
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