CASSADAGA – Bill Spencer of Everpower was on hand at a recent Cassadaga Valley Board of Education meeting to update the board on progress regarding the Cassadaga Wind Project.
The Cassadaga Wind Project is a proposed 126 megawatt wind farm located in the towns of Arkwright, Charlotte and Cherry Creek, according to Everpower’s website. The project will be located on primarily farmland and could include up to 62 turbines when completed.
The project’s point of interconnection is said to be housed within the existing Niagara Mohawk Power substation on Moon Road in the town of Stockton. A turbine height of 100 meters is expected.
“Right now we are in the permitting phase of the project,” Spencer said. “One turbine is proposed for Arkwright and the rest are for Cherry Creek and Charlotte. The reason Stockton is included in the project is because we plan to run a transmission line from Charlotte over to the substation on Moon Road.”
Spencer told the board the documents for the preliminary scoping statement were filed earlier this month.
“The preliminary scoping statement was filed Sept. 3,” Spencer said. “There is a 21-day comment period and anybody can make a comment on the project through the webpage. We are required to answer all of the comments whether you have questions or comments regarding the project.”
One question asked during the meeting was in terms of taxation. Spencer explained Everpower has met with the IDA regarding payment in lieu of taxes, asking to pay a lump sum to certain taxing jurisdictions as opposed to an ongoing tax on the turbines.
Everpower will be submitting an application to the IDA for a PILOT rate on a per megawatt basis. The IDA will arrive at the final number based on a going rate of property tax across the state.
Another question came in the form of transmission lines, which Spencer said will be buried 4 feet underground in a circuit between turbines with a 5-mile stretch of overhead lines on 50-foot poles running along Moon Road to the substation.
In the end, Spencer emphasized that the project is still early in its stages and if all goes as planned, the project will begin construction in 2017.
“The school board is a stakeholder; in other words you have a vested interest in this project because we will be located in your school district,” Spencer told the board. “If we submit the application it will go in the beginning of 2016. How long that process will take is unknown, but if everything goes as planned we should be building in 2017 with turbines up in 2018 depending on if all the issues people bring up have been resolved.”
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