JORDANVILLE, N.Y. – The controversial Jordanville Wind Farm, which when built could initially generate an up-front $250,000, and $100,000 annually over the next 15 years, has been put on hold by the developer, Iberdrola Renewables.
Town of Warren Supervisor Richard Jack said the project “is at a standstill” at least until May or June while the developer re-evaluates the proposal which has been in the discussion stage for several years. Jack indicated that a combination of factors have caused the delay, including the economic slowdown, the unfinished review and permit process. Details of an environmental impact statement (EIS) and PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement are still to be worked out.
The facility, consisting of about 40 turbines, would be located on private dairy farms in southern Herkimer County and was originally slated to be up and running by the end of 2008. It was originally projected this farm would produce 150 megawatts but was reduced voluntarily by Iberdrola to 136 megawatts, or by two turbines.
The project has been vigorously opposed from the outset by Otsego2000. This group, after some independent studies, concluded that the project “would have a significant impact on scenic, cultural and historic resources and may affect resources that have not yet been documented.”
But regardless of this group’s opposition, more than 90 percent of the residents of the two towns support it, according to Bruce Bants, a Jordanville dairy farmer.
He and his family came to this area from Pennsylvania in 1977 and purchased a large dairy farm on Aney Hill Road. He said opponents “seek to destroy this environmentally-sound project which by its very nature preserves a strong ‘critical mass’ of dairy and general farms in the southern Herkimer county area.” The wind farm, he said, would be barely visible from Cooperstown, which is 14 miles south of the Jordanville site.
For years the state of New York has encouraged wind energy and has offered incentives to companies to develop this renewable source – largely through the New York State Energy Research Authority (NYSERDA). This agency said New York State has an abundance of land that can be used for this purpose. Currently there are more than 700 megawatts of electricity being produced as a result of windpower in New York State, officials said.
Eligible firms that meet NYSERDA’s requirements for education, training, experience, insurance and other criteria) who install end-use wind energy turbines for all sectors (including, but not limited to, residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional, educational, not-for-profit and government-owned facilities) are encouraged to apply for the incentive.
The incentives (up to $100,000 per installation) are paid to eligible installers. Incentives are based on a percentage of the installed cost, ranging from 50 percent of costs for systems of 500 Watts to 10,000W (10kW), to 15 percent for systems larger than 80 kW. Larger incentives of up to 70 percent of costs are available for commercial farms, and for school applications where wind energy study is incorporated into its curriculum.
While the Jordanville Wind Farm has been in the planning stages, other wind farms have been developed throughout New York State. One of the largest is on Tug Hill near Lowville, where nearly 200 wind turbines have been or are in the process of being erected.
Further to the east, there are several small wind generator farms along the Route 20 corridor at Sangerfield, Munnsville and Fenner.
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