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Wind company approaches Orleans

LaFargeville – industrial wind company Iberdrola Renewables is reconsidering expanding the Horse Creek Wind Farm into the town of Orleans. The company had initially shown interest in Orleans, the withdrew plans for the project last year.
Iberdrola’s senior business developer Jenny Briot met with Orleans supervisor Kevin Rarick and Councilman Thomas Johnson on May 1 two inform the town that the company may possibly proceed with an application under an Article 10 filing with the New York State Public Service Commission.
Ms. Briot said the company is still gathering data on the viability of constructing a portion of the proposed Clayton Horse Creek project to overlap into Orleans, and there are still factors for the company to consider. One is whether landowners are willing to sign leases to have the 497 foot tall wind turbines constructed on their properties.
During the meeting, which lasted a little longer than an hour, Ms. Briot said that if the company were to proceed in Orleans, she anticipates that between eight and 13 turbines could be sited there.
She said a map showing the layout is not available yet, since they do not have all the leases in place.
According to supervisor Rarick, she indicated that the company would like to have setbacks of between 700 and 800 feet from property lines.
The Orleans Wind Energy Facilities Law restricts siting the turbines closer than 2250 feet from property lines, public roads, the St. Lawrence River or state and federal wetlands. It also restricts turbine height to not more than 400 feet.
The wind company would have the opportunity to prove the NYS electric generation siting board that the Orleans law is unreasonable and restrictive.
A wind law adopted by the Orleans town board in 2007 was replaced with a more comprehensive law, adopted on November of 2011. The newer law was based upon the recommendations of a citizen wind committee that was charged with studying and reporting on the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Orleans.
Supervisor Rarick provided a copy of the town wind law to Ms.Briot. She indicated that more information will be available at either the June or July town meeting.
He will discuss his meeting at the next town board meeting scheduled for May 9, at 7 PM., at the Orleans town offices.