MOOERS – The Bull Run Wind Energy Center has announced an expansion of their wind energy project.
Invenergy representative Jon LaBarre announced at last week’s Mooers town board meeting that more turbines will be placed in the town, along with the other participating towns: Ellenburg, Altona and Clinton.
Around 125 to 140 turbines will be put up, compared to when the project first called for 50 to 100.
Initially, the project called for 300 megawatts. Now, since the project is calling for more electricity, 400 to 449 megawatts are required.
The increase, LaBarre said, is due to the need of wind power to match the Vermont Green Line Project, a proposed electronic transmission line running from Beekmantown to the Green Mountain State.
The development of these turbines is part of an effort to bring clean and affordable onshore wind and hydropower energy to New England.
The structures within the four towns, along with ones in Franklin County, will provide the wind power, while hydropower will be supplied from Quebec.
Wind power will be transported through a 400 megawatt high power line through an underground cable to southern New England communities.
The cable will go 6.7 miles through Beekmantown, 40 miles under Lake Champlain and 13.3 miles to a station in New Haven, Vermont.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Two temporary towers for testing purposes are currently up in Clinton and Ellenburg. With this expansion, four additional towers will be placed: two more in Clinton, one in Altona and one in Mooers.
The exact cost of the wind energy project is unknown, LaBarre said, because it is too early in the process.
LaBarre hopes the layout of the wind farms will be completed by the end of this month.
He said the center should know if they received an RFP, or request for proposal, by this summer.
The project, he said, should be implemented by 2020.
The estimated $600 million project, overseen by National Grid and Anabaric, is looking at a 2017/18 start date and being in service in 2019/20.
With the Vermont Green Line project alone, Joe Rossignoli of National Grid said the project not only will create approximately 300 jobs throughout the construction process, but will guarantee a tax payment to the town of $69,913,240 over the first two decades of use.
Over that time, the tax will be split upon the school district, town and its special districts.
The school district will receive approximately $62 million and the town will receive about $5 million. The remainder will go toward the town’s fire and water districts.
Clinton County will receive $22 million on top of the $70 tax payment to Beekmantown – totaling a $90 million taxable asset.