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Cambria adding wind farm  

Credit:  By David Hurst, The Altoona Mirror, www.altoonamirror.com 15 May 2011 ~~

PATTON – A New York wind energy company is working with township property owners on a 13 to 16 turbine wind farm that would extend from north of Carrolltown toward Hastings and Patton.

It’s still a work in progress, but its planners and township officials from West Carroll, East Carroll and Elder townships confirmed current plans would plant energy-generating turbines in all three townships, creating green energy for the state and bringing thousands of dollars annually in lieu of taxes for each community.

Developers say it would be, in part, a community-owned commercial farm.

“The farm itself could [generate] between 25 and 35 megawatts,” said Christine Karlovic, senior business manager for New York-based OwnEnergy, which is developing the farm.

OwnEnergy is working with landowners, including Patton area farmers Marty Yahner and Rich Yahner, whose property may house up to two turbines.

The pair have been minor partners in the project for two years, Marty Yahner said, working with fellow landowners and potential leaseholders to tout the project and make it happen locally.

“The local aspect does give us a bit more control than we might have (with another commercial developer). But we’re also the boots on the ground here, explaining the project and getting questions answered for those who might have them,” he added.

Marty Yahner said land leases have been in place for some time to place the turbines, and waivers are now being finalized with neighboring property owners to allow turbines to be properly sited according to local regulations.

“For a little township like ours, it’s pretty big news,” Elder Township Chairman Bob Kopera said.

“There’s still a lot of paperwork to process permits to obtain, but it’s moving forward,” added East Carroll Chairman Drew Bassett, whose township is expecting to get at least two turbines.

Kopera expects eight to 10 turbines will be sited in Elder, saying the per-megawatt annual payout could mean about $25,000 in new revenue annually.

West Carroll stands to see as many as six turbines, although plans could change.

The project is still moving through the somewhat lengthy state permit process before any work can begin, including the need for approvals such as wastewater and environmental impact, said Yahner and Dennis Govachini, solicitor for Elder and East Carroll townships.

Both townships regulate windmill placement, requiring setbacks from the nearest home – 2,500 feet, for example, in Elder – as well as other restrictions, Govachini said.

Bassett said current plans call for a turbine to be sited near Kline and Sunset roads and another near Tower Road near an old church.

Kopera said current plans would put turbines north of Patton near Route 36 on mostly farmland.

Planners, including Yahner, said exact turbine size and mega-wattage are still being determined. It is also not yet known if it will be Gamesa blades or ones from another company that will be used.

Source:  By David Hurst, The Altoona Mirror, www.altoonamirror.com 15 May 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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