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Public Service Commission approves installation of largest New York wind turbines  

Credit:  North Country Gazette, www.northcountrygazette.org 16 June 2011 ~~

ALBANY— The New York State Public Service Commission has voted to approve a modification to the plans of the Marble River Wind Farm in the Towns of Clinton and Ellenburg, Clinton County. The decision will allow the wind farm owners to install the largest wind turbines in New York State.

“The changes we are approving to the Marble River wind farm will help maximize project efficiencies to reduce construction and operational costs while continuing to minimize environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable,” said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. “The installation of these state-of-the-art turbines will maximize energy production, while significantly reducing the number of turbines needed due to the more efficient use of the region’s wind resource.”

The 3 megawatt (MW) turbines to be installed at Marble River are 492 feet tall, significantly larger than previous models proposed for the site, and are designed to achieve greater efficiencies of production by utilizing new gearbox and control designs, and by increased height and blade swept area to maximize generation potential at low and medium wind speed sites.

Earlier this year, wind farm developer Marble River LLC requested modification of the plan previously approved by the Commission. The company said its construction schedule must proceed by early July, 2011 to accommodate planned outage on the New York Power Authority’s 230 kV interconnection line later this year, and to maintain the viability of financing the construction of this 216 MW wind energy plant. The Marble River project is owned by Horizon Wind Energy and EDP Renewables, a subsidiary of Energias de Portugal.

Based on the decision, Marble River will site and operate 72 Vestas V112-3 MW turbines with a total maximum generating capacity of up to 216 MW. Marble River was previously authorized to install up to 109 2.1 MW wind turbines, with a rated project output of 229 MW. The turbines are the largest ever approved for use in New York State.

In addition to installing fewer, larger wind turbines, the project as now configured will include significant reductions in the length and area of access roads, a reduction in the length of underground electrical collection lines, and elimination of overhead collection lines, with overall disturbed areas and wetlands impacts significantly reduced.

In New York, Horizon is the co-owner of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, a 322 MW facility located in Lewis County, and the owner of the Madison Wind Farm, an 11 MW facility in Madison County. Horizon is developing a number of other sites in New York that may be suitable for wind generation facilities. Clinton County will host the most wind generating installed capacity in New York with over 500 MW installed.

The Commission’s decision today, when issued, may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.state.ny.us and entering Case Number 07-E-1343 in the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number”. Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission orders may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500).

Source:  North Country Gazette, www.northcountrygazette.org 16 June 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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