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Local residents get first look at Deer River Wind Farm plans

COPENHAGEN – About 40 people on Thursday ventured into the Maple Ridge Wind Farm to get a look at preliminary information on the proposed Deer River wind project nearby.

“It’s early, but we want to engage early,” said Paul N. Copleman, spokesman for Avangrid Renewables, a company created through the December merger of Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corp.

Mr. Copleman and other company representatives spent more than an hour at the Harrisburg Town Hall fielding questions individually on various aspects of the project, including project area, tower siting, permitting timeline and environmental studies. Rather than listening to a formal presentation, attendees were able to come and go as they pleased and speak individually with project officials.

The Deer River Wind Farm, to be located in the towns of Pinckney, Harrisburg and Montague, is to include up to 40 turbines and create about six permanent, full-time jobs and about 125 temporary jobs during construction, according to a fact sheet handed out at the event.

The wind project, if completed, would also pay more than $500,000 annually to local landowners through lease, easement and good-neighbor agreements and about $750,000 per year to local taxing jurisdictions, it states.

The company this spring was permitted to install a 197-foot-tall tower off Route 177 in Pinckney, near the Harrisburg town border, at the Deer River Ranch owned by Zeager Partnership Ltd. of Middletown, Pa.

Avangrid officials hope to complete the state’s Article 10 siting process on the project some time in 2018.

The wind company recently opened an office in Lowville at 7650 S. State St., although regular hours haven’t yet been set. The telephone number is 874-4231.

The Deer River Wind Farm would be located to the west of the 195-tower Maple Ridge Wind Farm in the towns of Martinsburg, Harrisburg and Lowville, which is partly owned by Avangrid.

The company since 2007 has also proposed a 39-turbine project called the Roaring Brook Wind Farm on 5,280 acres in the town of Martinsburg, and officials said that project remains under consideration for construction.

Meanwhile, OwnEnergy is working on a 40-turbine Copenhagen Wind Farm in the town of Denmark, while Invenergy Wind North America has recently begun work on the 35-to-50-turbine Number Three Wind Farm in the towns of Harrisburg, Lowville and Denmark that could also include up to 100 acres of photovoltaic solar panels.