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No plans for wind power in Marcy

MARCY – More wind energy projects could be on tap for the state, just not in Oneida County.

This week, high-voltage transmission line developer Empire State Connector Corp. entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Invenergy, a Chicago-based energy storage and power generation company that is developing a portfolio of new Upstate New York wind energy generation projects.

Empire State Connector Corp. hopes to deliver the energy from those projects to downstate electricity customers through a proposed transmission line that would run between Marcy and New York City.

Despite plans to start the transmission line at a converter station in Marcy, it looks like the wind projects will be headed elsewhere; town officials say no wind projects are being considered at this time.

“The most promising sites seem to be in Tug Hill,” said town Planning Board Chairman Robert Lambe. “The hills in Marcy could come under discussion, but any projects would need town approval first.”

Currently, there are no proposed commercial wind farms anywhere in Oneida County, said county spokesman James Genovese. Aside from one farm in Augusta and some private, residential turbines, the bulk of the wind farms in the area are in Madison County.

But the recent agreement with Empire State Connector confirms Invenergy’s intention to deliver competitively-priced renewable wind generation to customers in New York City on the Empire State Connector transmission project, officials said.

Plans for the $1.5 billion transmission line project, announced in late April, have been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the company expects to file with the state Public Service Commission by the end of this year.

If approved, the line would be operational in 2021. The transmission cables are expected to run underground or underwater in the Erie Canal and the Hudson River to eliminate any visual impact.