BP Alternative Energy will announce the siting of 95 turbines for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm at a public session July 30.
The forum will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Cape Vincent Recreation Park, 602 S. James St.
BP will show the layout for the 95 turbines, explain where the studies stand and answer questions on the project. Dereth B. Glance, program director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, will give a 6 p.m. presentation on wind power.
“It’s still somewhat of a draft,” BP project manager James H. Madden said. “But we’re getting to the point where things are firming up.”
Mr. Madden said there are 68 landowners hosting the 95 turbines in the Cape Vincent agricultural area. Each turbine will be a GE 1.5-megawatt turbine, giving the farm a capacity of 142.5 megawatts.
“We’re still in discussion with a few landowners and working on a few good-neighbor agreements to possibly add a few more turbines,” Mr. Madden said.
That must be finalized before the final environmental impact statement is submitted, sometime near the end of the year.
The plan includes two possible routes for a transmission line from the project to a substation on Route 179 near Chaumont. The preferred route is 6.5 miles and would follow an abandoned railroad bed.
The cons to that line are the difficulty in getting an easement from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the narrowness of the easement. Because it is only 50 feet wide, the developer would have to put in more towers, which costs more, Mr. Madden said.
But the benefit is that BP has been negotiating with Acciona on splitting the cost for the line, so that it also would serve the St. Lawrence Wind Farm in the northern part of the town’s agricultural district. BP’s project is planned for the southern part of the town’s agricultural district.
“It becomes more difficult with timing,” Mr. Madden said.
The developer’s other option is a more zigzagged route that follows Swamp Road to Lyme and then cuts through fields to the substation. It would be more expensive and would run for 8.5 miles.
The project’s substation will be near the intersection of Swamp and Burnt Rock roads. The temporary batch plant for the concrete tower bases will be off Route 12E, about one-half mile north of the Lyme town border, and the operations and maintenance facility will be near Route 12E and Bedford Corners Road.
Now that the site plan is somewhat settled, BP has started the remaining studies. This includes a biological assessment for the federally listed endangered species Indiana bat and remaining sound and photographic simulations. The simulations will include the view from sites with historical significance.
The studies also include archaeological tests and marking wetland boundaries, which will begin the first week of August.
After that, the developer will submit the final environmental impact statement by the end of the year.
In the fall or spring, BP will conduct a geological study to see how much rock will be trenched or removed. This study will lead to a general stormwater State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit application to DEC.
“It did take a long time getting the array plan draft,” Mr. Madden said. “We’re hoping to get somewhat back on track.”
Though he does not expect to complete construction next year, Mr. Madden said, BP could begin construction in fall 2009.
By Nancy Madsen
Times Staff Writer
23 July 2008
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