Prattsburgh, NY — The Ecogen wind farm project in the town of Prattsburgh is the subject of a special town board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night, Feb. 20.
Town officials said the meeting was called to develop an agenda of topics that need to be discussed with wind developer Ecogen. review information on the 16-turbine project.
Ecogen and the town have been in court for the past few years over the developer’s proposed 16-turbine wind farm there. Ecogen reportedly unsuccessfully presented an incentive package three weeks ago to Prattsburgh’s neighbor, the Town of Italy.
Italy is the anticipated site for 18 turbines and a substation in the total Ecogen project, which was originally proposed 10 years ago.
That project has met stiff resistance in Italy from the start, with opposition gaining strength later in Prattsburgh. The result has been a series of threatened – and real – lawsuits filed by Ecogen against the towns.
The impasse between Prattsburgh and Ecogen appeared to be resolved a year ago. State Supreme Court Justice John Ark ordered the town to resolve its road use issue with the developer, and gave Ecogen roughly five months to establish vested rights to the project.
The Prattsburgh town board approved the road use agreement shortly after Ark’s ruling, although Ecogen has not moved forward on the project it claimed has been “shovel-ready” for two years.
However, since his original ruling last year, Ark has not signed the order required to put his ruling ineffect. Ecogen recently submitted its version of Ark’s order, and former town Councilman Steve Kula maintains the town submitted its version shortly after Ark ruled, in February 2011.
Ark also has not yet ruled in the lawsuit Ecogen filed against the town of Italy.
What may be a factor in the developer’s relationship with the towns is the resurrected “Article X” – a state regulation setting up a panel to review all wind projects’ environmental impacts. It is unclear what effect the state’s review would have on the Prattsburgh-Italy project, or whether new plans and a new study would be required for the windfarm.