Twenty-five down, two to go.
Construction of the last of the twenty-five wind turbines in the Town of Howard was finished over the weekend, but the behemoths probably won’t become fully operational until the end of the year, according to Everpower and The Delaney Group officials.
Turbine construction began in July after site roads were finished in May, according to Delaney Project Manager Kyle Settle. The turbines will be plugged into the grid in October for testing.
In the meantime, electrical work and work on the underground collection system will continue.
The project was completed on schedule despite a damp spring, said Settle.
“The wet spring was a challenge. We still ended up where we needed to be at this time of the year,” said Settle.
The final construction stages marks the end of a controversial project. Residents opposing turbine installation brought a lawsuit against the town, which was dismissed several years ago.
Project work started in December 2004 but ended up taking several years longer to complete because of the recession, said Everpower officials at a groundbreaking ceremony in June.
The project generated over $20 million in new employment revenue and will produce $8.5 million over 20 years in revenue divided between the Town of Howard, Steuben County, and the Canisteo-Greenwood and Hornell City School Districts.
Howard received 51.5 percent of the funds from the 20-year PILOT agreement with Everpower, with Steuben County pulling in 16.5 percent, the Canisteo-Greenwood School District 29.44 percent, and the Hornell City School District 2.56 percent.
Though the 25 turbines are constructed, two more are still on the docket. The Howard planning board approved the two additional turbines, to be built on Everpower property on Spencer Hill Road, in August.
Following the August planning board meeting, Jim Fodge, who acts as chairman in wind farm issues, said he wasn’t sure how the two additional turbines would impact the PILOT payments, but that the figures would increase.
Everpower Site Manager Charles Weber said he wasn’t sure of the construction timetable for the two additional turbines, and that the type of turbine still needed to be determined.
The identity of the contractor for the two additional turbines remains unclear. Weber said there’s a possibility the contractor who will build turbines for an Everpower project in Olean will build the two additional turbines in Howard.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding