NEW BOSTON – Atlantic Wind is moving forward with its Deer River Wind Farm project, having recently filed a preliminary scoping statement as part of the Article 10 pre-application process.
“We’re still very early in a long, data-driven process designed to be transparent, invite community participation and that, we hope, results in a wind farm that would create lasting economic opportunities for the local community,” said Paul N. Copleman, spokesman for Avangrid Renewables, of which Atlantic Wind is a subsidiary.
Atlantic Wind is proposing to install 39 turbines in the towns of Pinckney, Harrisburg and Montague. The proposed wind farm would connect with National Grid’s Lighthouse Hill-to-Black River 115-kilovolt transmission line in the town of Rodman.
While the project area is now more than 44 square miles, a constructed wind farm would use fewer than 100 acres of land, according to a description of the project.
A 170-page preliminary scoping statement document, compiled by Stantec Consulting Services Inc., Rochester, was filed last week with the state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. Comments from state agencies, local municipalities and any other interested parties will be accepted through June 5.
“The preliminary scoping phase will determine the nature and scope of the studies Atlantic Wind must undertake to develop the information that must be included in its formal application,” a letter from the siting board said. “In general, such studies will identify and evaluate the potential impacts of a project on the environment, public health and other public interest factors. State agencies and other interested persons are encouraged to engage in discussions with the project developer during this phase to reach agreements, called stipulations, regarding the details of these studies.”
While company officials have said construction could begin as soon as 2019, Atlantic Wind must first navigate through this phase, then submit an application to the state and continue through the Article 10 review process.
Mr. Copleman said the scoping period will help identify stakeholder concerns, potential environmental impacts and measures that could avoid or mitigate impacts.
According to the statement, items to be studied include potential impacts on bird and bat species; wetlands; water resources and aquatic ecology; communications; transportation and utilities; cultural, historical and recreational resources; visual, including potential for shadow flicker; sound; electromagnetic fields, and the statewide electrical system.
That would include any potential impact on a National Weather Service radar station in Montague, a couple of miles from the project area.
An Article 10 application also would include “a discussion of potential impacts to Fort Drum, via consultations with the FAA and the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as nearby airports, helipads, and communications resources,” the statement said.
With the filing, Atlantic Wind was required to provide $35,000 in so-called intervenor funds.
That money may be requested by municipalities and other local parties to help pay for attorneys and consultants during the pre-application review process.
Avangrid has a local office at 7650 N. State St., Suite 1, in Lowville, with office hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The telephone number is 315-874-4231.
For more information on the project and to view the preliminary scoping statement, visit www.avangridrenewables.us/deerriver.
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