Bath, NY – An energy company wants to add more wind turbines proposed for the Town of Howard, a change that could bring in more local revenue without altering plans.
EverPower now wants to build 27 wind turbines in the town, it was disclosed in a public hearing on the project Monday morning.
The hearing was to hear comment on the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency being the lead agency on the project and go ahead with an environmental review.
SCIDA Executive Director Jim Sherron said the hearing went “relatively well,” and added some residents opposed the project.
Kevin Sheen, EverPower’s senior director of development, said the company is moving to begin construction this year as soon as roads are passable. Trailers are in place, roadwork has been completed and construction crews were cutting down trees Monday, Sheen said.
However, EverPower has not yet learned whether it will receive state backing for the project, Sheen said later.
EverPower was poised last year to begin construction when it learned it had not been awarded crucial renewable energy credits from the state Energy and Research Agency (NYSERDA).
Competition in recent years has been stiff for the energy credits issued to projects using “green energy” methods to generate electricity. The credits can be traded and sold on the open market, generating millions of dollars in revenues.
Sheen would not comment on whether EverPower would proceed with the project if the credits are not awarded to his company this year.
“I can say we are as committed to the project as ever,” he said.
SCIDA’s action Monday means a full scale environmental review of the two new turbines, with a public hearing on the findings likely to take place in March, according to Frank Pavia, a consultant on the project.
Adding the two turbines also may change slightly EverPower’s tax incentive with SCIDA.
The tax break for EverPower’s 25 turbines calls for nearly $14 million to be split during a 20-year period between Howard, the Canisteo-Greenwood Central and Hornell City school districts and the county.
Under the 20-year payment plan, Howard will receive 51.5 percent of total, or $7.1 million, and the county will take in 16.5 percent, or $2.3 million. The schools districts will split the remaining 32 percent, with the amount determined by the location of the turbines.
More information on the project can be found at www.howardwind.com.
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