The company developing a large wind farm in Orleans and Niagara counties said Monday that it is working toward a second large wind development in Orleans.
Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy said the new development, Heritage Wind, would be in the town of Barre in the southern part of Orleans County, between Albion and Batavia. Apex also is developing Lighthouse Wind in the northern Orleans town of Yates and neighboring Somerset, Niagara County.
Lighthouse Wind has local support but also has faced a well-organized opposition. It remains to be seen whether similar opposition will develop around Heritage Wind, which Apex said has evoked “widespread interest” among residents in the Barre area.
Both projects are envisioned to be able to generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power approximately 53,000 homes. If built as planned, they’d be among the largest wind farms in terms of generating capacity in New York.
The Heritage Wind project would have approximately 70 turbines, in locations that are not yet determined. The town of Barre has an ordinance that prohibits turbines taller than 500 feet, the company said. Lighthouse Wind’s turbines could be up to 600 feet tall.
Apex said Monday it had filed a draft public involvement plan with the state Public Service Commission, the first of many steps in the process that must be followed to site a new generating plant in New York. The plan spells out how the company will gather comment from the public and other interested parties.
Heritage Wind representatives began talking about the project with local officials and residents in April. If all were to go as planned, a final decision on the project from state regulators is two to three years away, the company said.
The Lighthouse Wind project filed its public participation plan two years ago. It is midway through the siting process laid out by state law, negotiating the details of studies that must be performed before final approval can be sought.
The public participation plan can be viewed, and public comments on it submitted, via the Heritage Wind docket set up by the PSC at its online site.
Apex has or will lease thousands of acres as prospective turbine sites for each of the projects. Landowners would receive lease payments, and local governments would receive an estimated $1.6 million a year in payments in lieu of taxes, according to the company.
Apex also is developing a slightly smaller wind farm on Galloo Island at the east end of Lake Ontario.
Another company, EDP Renewables North America, has proposed a wind farm in the Genesee County town of Alabama, to the southwest of the Horizon Wind site.
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