The Thruway will soon be a green way when plans for green energy move forward.
Recently several town boards have discussed letters received from the New York State Thruway Authority notifying them of its intention to construct wind energy conversion systems (WECS), or wind mills, at five locations along the I-90 Thruway.
Public Information Officer at the NYS Thruway Authority Betsy Feltstien confirmed the Thruway Wind Energy Project.
“This project is in a very preliminary design stage,” she said in a phone interview.
According to Feltstien, the five prospective locations for construction of windmills will be the Dunkirk Interchange exit 59, the Eden/Angola Interchange exit 57A, the Silver Creek Interchange exit 58, the Ripley Toll Barrier and the Westfield Maintenance Facility near exit 50.
At a recent board meeting Town of Dunkirk Supervisor Richard Purol said that the town had received a letter from the Thruway Authority indicating that the Dunkirk exit will likely be the first site to receive a windmill.
Feltstien, however, said that due to the preliminary nature of the project, no start dates have been set and the list of locations is not in the order to be constructed.
The town of Hanover also discussed the letter it received from the Thruway Authority at a recent workshop meeting.
The question both boards asked was whether the local WECS laws apply to the Thruway Authority.
When asked this question Feltstien said, “The windmills will be owned and operated by the Thruway Authority … (and) I have nothing more to tell right now.”
Dunkirk Clerk Jean Crane said that she was not given an answer to the question after calling the Thruway Authority when it requested the WECS law.
Both boards reported sending the local laws anyway, whether they apply or not.
Feltstien said the Thruway will be using Clough, Harbour and Associates as the engineer for the project and that an official press release will be available when the project is further along.
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