JORDANVILLE – Two of the 37 wind turbines for the Hardscrabble wind farm project now stand on the hills within town limits.
Fairfield Town Supervisor Richard Souza said people have been “impressed” with the turbines as they are being built.
“There were 25 to 30 cars with people watching on Barto Hill,” he said, after the first turbine was erected last month.
Souza said the turbines are about 475 feet high, including the blades.
Souza said the project is temporarily employing about 200 people in the area for field work, and that they are being hired by a Minnesota firm.
He said 12 people will be employed regularly for maintenance once the project is completed.
“I’m happy to see them up,” town Councilman Edward Blake said. “We’ve been waiting for this for five years.”
The Hardscrabble wind farm project is the work of Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdola Renewables.
After five years of legal negotiations and getting approval from town, school and county boards, the project began the construction phase earlier this summer.
Large tractor-trailers transporting parts and materials associated with the project have been seen passing through municipalities surrounded by “oversized load” caution vehicles.
“With a construction project this size, there’s been the usual hiccups,” said Souza, noting weather and some scheduling as some factors.
Plans to have the last turbine erected by Friday, Dec. 10, and the project should be operational by the start of the new year.
The project will feature 37 2-megawatt wind turbines – 25 in the town of Fairfield, and 12 in the town of Norway.
The project also includes:
* 14 miles of gravel access road.
* 20 miles of buried electrical lines.
* An interconnection facility in the town of Little Falls.
* Two permanent 77-meter tall meteorological towers and an operations and maintenance facility.
The revenue-sharing agreement includes:
* An annual per megawatt payment of $8,000.
* A cost-of-living adjustment for those payments between 2.5 percent and 5 percent.
* A $400,000 payment to be made to the county within 60 days of the start of construction.
* The project also stands to be awarded state subsidies after energy production begins.
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