BELLMONT – The wind turbine towers planned for the towns of Bellmont and Chateaugay as part of the revived Jericho Rise project will be somewhat different from those proposed in the original project.
The eight to 10 towers planned for the town of Bellmont will be in excess of 500 feet tall, Bellmont Supervisor H. Bruce Russell said Monday, although New York state law limits such structures to 400 feet. Representatives of EDP Renewables, the company that has taken over the Jericho Rise proposal, have said they plan to seek a variance from state law in order to build the taller towers.
The number of towers is also different from what EDP officials were proposing as recently as June. In a Notice of Intent filed by EDP that month, the company said it was planning to erect 19 towers in Bellmont and another 34 in Chateaugay.
Russell said EDP officials are also planning to create larger buffer zones around the towers than originally planned, in an effort to reduce the impact on nearby residential properties. The company has been scouting possible tower locations about one mile from county Route 24, in the same vicinity as the original project developer was looking 15 years ago.
Russell’s presentation was the latest in what government and company officials say will be a concerted effort to make the development of the wind farm as open a process as possible. Russell has said he wanted an open process to prevent some of the problems that arose with the development of the Noble Environmental Power wind farm.
Russell also spoke of the possible conflict of interest some local officials may have with EDP or any wind power company. The supervisor noted the importance of revealing if there is any conflict between any member of the Town Board. “We have a standing conflict” since Bellmont Councilman Harley E. Titus has property adjacent to the windmills, Russell said.
Russell said that Titus cannot participate in any discussion or vote on the wind farm proposal due to the conflict. “This is for your information, so you don’t have to worry who is making money from this,” Russell said.
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