ALLEGANY, N.Y. – A company proposing to construct more than 100 utility-scale wind turbines in Champaign County has dropped plans to build a similar installation in western New York, according to the Buffalo News.
EverPower Holdings, a Pittsburgh-based maker of utility-grade wind turbines, will not file a permit extension to develop the Allegany Wind Farm project, which called for 29 turbines to be built on the hills above Chipmonk Road. The company blamed backing out on delays in the embattled project’s progress and turbine costs that have risen by millions of dollars in the intervening years.
“We’re hoping to make a fresh attempt next year,” EverPower Chief Development Officer Chris Shears told the newspaper for an article published Oct. 25.
The original permit was granted in 2011 by the Allegany Town Planning Board. Cattaraugus County residents raised concerns about quality of life issues associated with noise and visual clutter associated with the turbine project. That and other considerations kept EverPower from beginning construction in 2012.
“We didn’t have certainty of our ability to connect into the grid system at the end of 2012,” Shears told the Buffalo News. Earlier this year, EverPower filed a lawsuit against the Town of Allegany and the Allegany Planning Board, claiming the board’s request for a supplemental review of noise impacts, in light of the wind power company’s request to use larger turbine blades, was arbitrary. That suit was dismissed by State Supreme Court Justice Michael Nenno, who said EverPower’s conduct was willfully obstinate.
EverPower has six commercially-operated wind projects and 15 projects in eight states in various stages of development totaling more than 2,100 megawatts (MWs).
Currently, EverPower has two projects proposed for Champaign County. The first project is preparing to seek Champaign County Commissioners’ approval for a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) option. EverPower’s second project has been approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board and has the potential for appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court by intervenors who oppose the state siting board’s decision.
Combined, the two installations could tally up to 110 turbines across a swath of eastern Champaign County – each turbine potentially reaching nearly 500 feet tall from base to blade tip. The turbines would be sited on privately-owned land and leaseholders would receive payments from EverPower.