If OwnEnergy has its way, 50 windmills will spring up in the Lewis County town of Denmark.
Jerry Wichelns, the local representative for OwnEnergy, says he has drawn up leases with almost all of the private landowners he needs to and it wasn’t difficult.
“You read the papers about Clayton and Cape Vincent and they’re negative about wind and the town of Denmark is very positive. I’ve gotten very little push back,” said Wichelns.
The windmills will be located west of Route 26.
Tom Fleming, the supervisor for the town of Denmark, says he’s in favor of a wind farm if zoning requirements are met.
“This could be a benefit to the farmers in times when things are tough. And it’s their land and they have a right to that as long as it doesn’t harm someone else,” said Fleming.
That benefit could be a yearly payment anywhere from $9,000 to $12,000 for each windmill on a land owner’s property.
That’s not all.
The company is setting up a committee called WinDenmark, made up of eight local residents, and giving that committee $10,000 to $20,000 a year to spend on community projects.
“People will submit projects, for example, a walking trail,” said Wichelns.
Talks about tax breaks and tax distribution have yet to begin.
The company also needs to undergo an environmental review of its project.
Wichelns estimates it could be 2 years before you see turbines over Denmark.
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