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Pendleton plans windmill ordinance

PENDLETON – The town board wants rules for windmills and wind turbines.

The board asked the Planniong Board to draw up an ordinance after the board was asked to consider whether to allow Mapleton Road resident Thomas Izard to erect a 100-foot tower with a wind turbine on top.

Padma Kasthurirangan of Niagara Wind & Solar, the contractor on the project, told the board that the tower would have guy wires and would be topped by a three-pronged windmill with a turbine tail.

The system would produce a maximum of 5 kilowatts of electricity, which Kasthurirangan said would be enough to power Izard’s home.

Supervisor James A. Riester told her that some regulation seems to be called for.

“Having an ordinance helps,” he said. “If there is no ordinance, people put things on their roofs.”

And that would risk collapse and injury, Riester said.

“Maybe some people would say we shouldn’t allow windmills. I don’t think we can do that,” Riester said.

Councilman Ronald Morris said, “I don’t have a problem with windmills as I do with somebody getting their own kit and building their own Mr. Wizard windmill.”

Kasthurirangan said her company installed a windmill at Arrowhead Winery in Cambria, after winning a legal battle against the town. She concurred that an ordinance governing wind power installations would be a positive, and handed the board members a copy of a model ordinance.

Riester said he was sure he would be provided with copies of laws from other towns.

Kasthurirangan said Federal Aviation Administration rules limit the height of windmills to 195 feet without an FAA permit. Nor are homeowners allowed to install them as money-makers with the notion of selling excess power.

“You can’t put in a turbine that generates more than 10 percent of what you used last year,” Kasthurirangan said.

She added that some of the funding can be obtained from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which is funded by a fee on utility bills. Federal grants also are available for wind power.

Riester said Izard has plenty of room to build a safe tower.

“He’s got 60 acres. He’s not close to the (Starpoint) school,” the supervisor said.