CHATEAUGAY – Work continues on the Jericho Rise Wind Farm, with wind – ironically – causing an occasionally slowing of construction.
Sandy Sayyeau, an engineer from GHD Consulting, visited the Chateaugay Town Council Monday evening to provide an update on the progress of the wind farm Project. GHD Consulting was hired by the towns of Bellmont and Chateaugay to provide technical expertise on the project.
Twenty-one of the planned 37 wind turbines had been completed as of Monday, according to Sayyeau – all eight of the turbines in Bellmont, and 13 of the planned 29 turbines in Chateaugay.
Work on raising the wind towers had been slowed recently, said Sayyeau, due to the high speed winds the area had been receiving lately. The winds made it unsafe to attempt to load the blades and other components into place.
“They have cutoff points for placing certain components … it’s really quite a process,” Sayyeau said.
The project is still planned to be completed by the end of the year, but Sayyeau said that the exact date of completion has not yet been determined.
The Jericho Rise wind farm project was first proposed roughly 15 years ago but had lain dormant from 2009, when then-developer Horizon Wind Energy of Houston put the project on hiatus. It was revived in late 2014, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced it was one of four renewable energy projects that would share in $206 million made available through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
In the interim, Horizon had been purchased by Energias de Portugal, which is developing the project through its EDP Renewables subsidiary. Within about seven months of the funding announcement, EDP had filed a notice of intent to move forward with the project, which had originally been proposed as a 53-turbine facility.
Work on the project began in April, with the clearing of access roads and turbine sites. At the time, company officials said they hoped to have the turbines operational by November, but a delay in the receipt of a required permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forced the developers to suspend work for roughly a month.
EDP Renewables signed a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency last month that distributes about $310,000 per year among the towns, Franklin County and the Chateaugay Central School District. The towns would also split an additional “host community” payment of about $389,000 per year under the agreement.
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