All signs point to smooth sailing for a wind energy facility in northeast Potter County.
Hector Township Supervisors will hold a special public meeting at 6 pm Tuesday, July 12, at the township building on Phoenix Run Road in Sabinsville to act on plans submitted by the developer, Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, for its Big Level Wind Project.
At last report, the company plans to erect 26 tall wind turbines on a 7,000- acre forested region in the Dodge Hollow/ White Knoll area off Rt. 49. Eolian has struck a deal with a John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company forestland investment subsidiary to build the generating facility.
The turbines will be in excess of 600 feet high. Electricity will be fed into the grid through a First Energy line.
Hector Township has its own Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance which requires local approval of the project. Authorization for some elements is also required from the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Potter County Conservation District.
Some individuals have expressed concern about the potential impact of this project on the Cherry Springs State Park Gold-Level International Dark Sky Park.
Hector Township Secretary Bonnie French said there has also been some pushback from local property owners.
One who has misgivings is Carl E. Geesaman of Hummelstown. He sent a letter to township officials urging them to impose tougher restrictions to protect neighboring property owners from noise and potential long-term health effects.
“Most of the resistance is coming from residents who are closest to the proposed towers,” said French. “Nothing has been finalized yet. There are still public meetings scheduled between the township, our solicitor and Big Level’s attorneys.”
Big Level Wind has a price tag of about $150 million. Sparsely populated Hector Township will receive an annual host agreement fee and annual payments based on the amount of electricity that is generated.
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