NEW BOSTON – Iberdrola Renewables is eyeing another potential Tug Hill wind farm site, even as it continues work to bring a nearby, nine-year-old project to fruition.
The Oregon wind developer is seeking to install a 197-foot-tall meteorologic tower off Route 177 in the town of Pinckney, near the Harrisburg town border, at the Deer River Ranch owned by Zeager Partnership Ltd. of Middletown, Pa.
The tower – slated for review by the Lewis County Planning Board at 2:30 p.m. today – would be used to test wind conditions for a new project called Deer River that could be developed in the towns of Pinckney, Harrisburg and Montague, just west of the 195-turbine Maple Ridge Wind Farm, according to Paul N. Copleman, spokesman for Iberdrola. No other details – including possible scope or number of turbines – have yet been determined, he said.
“We’re essentially right at the beginning of the process,” Mr. Copleman said.
Iberdrola is part-owner of the massive Maple Ridge Wind Farm, which includes towers in the towns of Martinsburg, Harrisburg and Lowville.
The company, under the auspices of Atlantic Wind LLC, in 2007 proposed a 39-turbine project called the Roaring Brook Wind Farm on 5,280 acres in the town of Martinsburg just south of Maple Ridge. That project – slated to include 30 turbines on land owned by Zeager Partnership and nine on adjacent parcels – received site plan approval from the Martinsburg town Planning Board in December 2009. However, the company in summer 2010, citing a weak electricity market, said construction of the Roaring Brook project would be delayed indefinitely.
Mr. Copleman had no specific update on Roaring Brook but said it remains a good project and that company representatives in the north country are “still working to figure out the best way to bring it to market.”
Iberdrola is constantly evaluating wind projects throughout the country, and “part of that process is always to be looking for new sites and new opportunities,” he said.
Mr. Copleman said the five-year renewal of the federal wind and solar tax credit is certainly positive for the wind industry. but he noted that benefits decrease through each year of the extension.
Brooklyn developer OwnEnergy, with local partner Jerry B. Wichelns, is also working on a project to the north of Maple Ridge called the Copenhagen Wind Farm.
That project, slated to feature 40 turbines on roughly 6,605 acres of leased private land in the town of Denmark, recently received site plan approval from the town but remains in the planning stages.
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