The Upstate New York Power Corp (UNYPC) presented a PowerPoint to Oswego County legislators Thursday outlining their proposed wind farm project.
Robert Burgdorf, of the Law Office of Nixon and Peabody, presented the powerPoint on behalf of the UNYPC, an electrical corporation formed to develop clean, renewable energy projects in the New York energy market.
The presentation outlined the specifics on a proposal for the Hounsfield Wind Farm on Galloo Island in Jefferson County, and the installation of a land-based transmission line necessary to transmit the wind power to an already established power grid.
The focal point of his presentation was to gain support of the legislators of the specific towns that this land-based transmission line is being proposed to cross through.
According to Burgdorf, the use of a landline is necessary, since a submarine line from Galloo Island to Oswego “would not be economically feasible.”
The route that this proposed transmission line would proceed through is still in its planning phase.
If the proposal is approved, approximately 10 miles of cable would be installed at the bottom of Lake Ontario from Galloo Island to the town of Henderson in Jefferson County.
The cable would then travel overland through the Town of Ellisburg, and the towns of Sandy Creek and Albion in Oswego County.
The overhead line would then connect with the New York State Electric and Gas 345 kV line in the town of Parish. From there, the power would be channeled into the proper facilities. The length of the transmission line is approximately 41 miles long.
Legislator Jack Proud R-Mexico, is a strong advocate for the wind farm, as well as the transmission line.
“I think there’s an inexhaustible source of power there (Galloo Island) and we should take advantage of it,” Proud said. “We’ve got to move away from petroleum however we can,” Proud said.
He believes that we are not doing enough with wind power and we should harness it any way we can wherever we can.
The UNYPC has approached up to 200 landowners in the projected path of the line and received mixed reactions. They are currently doing a survey of the respective towns, which the line will pass through one-by-one to determine the best route.
Local legislators also urged Burgdorf to ensure that the transmission line has the capacity to support further projects up north, so there won’t be the need for more lines.
UNYPC is still in the process of finalizing the route of the transmission line and the current route is still subject to change.
According to the UNYPC Web site, the construction and operation of the transmission line is received through the Article VII process under the New York State Public Service Commission. Article VII requires a full environmental and public health and safety review of a proposed facility.
According to Burgdorf, there are several contributing factors that the UNYPC must take into consideration when mapping the transmission line’s course. This includes avoiding sensitive environmental areas, avoiding wetlands, avoiding any sensitive historical properties and avoiding any impacts on agricultural resources.
According to the UNYPC, the Hounsfield Wind Farm Project includes the construction and operation of up to 90 wind turbines, the installation and operation of associated collection lines and related facilities.
Benefits of the project include meeting the energy needs of approximately 100,000 households, the prevention of releasing 1 million tons of CO2, allowing New Yorkers to decrease their reliance on expendable resources such as oil and to help New York meet its goal of increasing its renewable energy to 25 percent by 2013.
If established, the wind plant will produce 250 megawatts of power. It will also provide up to 250 jobs during construction, as well as up to 25 full-time post-construction jobs that are well paying.
By Alex Drake
11 July 2008
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