Fairfield, N.Y. – The wind turbines of the Hardscrabble Wind Farm are currently in operation.
Fairfield Town Supervisor Richard Souza said the official start date was Feb. 23 – about two months later than expected – and things have operated fairly smoothly.
“There’s been some complaints of noise,” said Souza. “But we are in the process of doing a study on noise level. We’re doing that to correct any problems. Otherwise, we’re moving right along.”
Norway Town Supervisor Judy Gokey said the wind turbines in her town are more “centralized” and affect four homeowners, whereas the ones in Fairfield are more spread out.
“We have not had a lot of complaints from them,” said Gokey. “It is kind of new to the people who have them on their property. But overall, it has not been bad.”
The 37 2-megawatt wind turbines – 25 in the town of Fairfield and 12 in the town of Norway – now make up part of the Herkimer County landscape. They were connected to the power grid earlier this year and officials on the project began testing in February.
Construction of the wind turbines occurred over the summer of 2010 after representatives from the county Industrial Development Agency and Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, signed the closing documents for the Hardscrabble wind project in May.
In November, construction was temporarily halted because the concrete foundations did not meet company standards. Paul Copleman, spokesman for Iberdrola Renewables, said the foundations have since been modified and engineered to retrofit the concrete foundation. He said the 15 foundations that needed modification now “meet and exceed strength criteria.”
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.
Both towns will start seeing revenues next year from the wind farm.
Souza said the potential revenue for the town of Fairfield starting next year is $170,000.
“We can cut some more taxes with the revenue,” he said. “We can do things we wouldn’t normally be able to do without raising taxes.”
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