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Wind firm shows interest in Troupsburg; Ridgeline Energy plan study

Troupsburg, N.Y. – Studies on wind power may be coming to Troupsburg in the upcoming months.

The Troupsburg town board heard a presentation from Tim Ahrens at Wednesday’s board meeting. Ahrens, a project manager for Seattle-based wind company Ridgeline Energy, told the board the company is interested in doing a project in the town.

After the meeting, Supervisor Fred Potter said the company is looking to do wind studies in the town for a year before deciding whether a project in Troupsburg is feasible.

He added that the study, and the project itself, is far from certain.

“It’s exploratory, is the best way to put it,” he said. “They study for a year. They need wind conditions, the right layout in close enough proximity to the power grid. That’s what they’re looking at.”

Potter added that the company is looking to put up a temporary tower to measure wind patterns.

A potential stumbling block for the study is it will be conducted on private property. Ridgeline Energy would need to get permission from property owners before beginning the study, said the supervisor.

“They’ve got to find property owners who will let them do the study, and property owners in areas feasible to put turbines. If they find the area isn’t feasible, there’s no point in going further,” he said.

Even if the town wanted to stop the company from speaking with property owners, there isn’t much they can do, said Potter.

“It’s private property. As long as whatever parts of the study that are constructed aren’t in violation of building codes or environmental regulations, it’s okay,” he said.

This isn’t the first time a wind company approached the town. A representative from a different wind company contacted the supervisor several years ago, but Potter never heard more from that company.

Right now, the board is keeping an open mind on the project.

“It can be good or bad for the town. It depends on how things work out with the company proposing the project. It’s not just the town, they need to work with the (Steuben County) IDA too,” said Potter. “It’s in the investigative stages. It could be a plus for the town from revenue, but a lot of people in some areas have been opposed to it.”