There are questions when it comes to developing wind farms in the North Country.
“I’m very concerned about it, especially if it does interfere with flights and whatever impact of the economy of Fort Drum,” said Avangrid Renewables Communication Manager Paul Copleman.
Avangrid hosted an open house Wednesday to try and answer questions about the Mad River Wind Farm project.
“We want to incorporate those questions into the process so we’re studying what people are concerned about,” said Copleman.
The project is in its early stages. Right now, developers are looking to build in the towns of Worth and Redfield, spanning two counties. About 125 turbines will be constructed.
“It’s, again, a draft. That could change depending on the size of the turbine and a result of continuing studies that we need to do as we evaluate this property and better understand what it means to put a wind farm on this property,” said Copleman.
It’s not just energy being generated: Roughly 370 permanent and temporary jobs could be created.
“We really need to get into this early on so we have a seat at the table,” said NYS Laborers Organizing Fund Regional Organizer Tom McHale.
Dozens of people came to the open house with their questions. McHale is lobbying the developer to keep potential construction jobs local.
“Put it this way: Whether it’s five jobs or 50 jobs, every job is significant when you have members who aren’t working,” said McHale.
And Worth resident Norman Paradis wanted to know more about potential impacts on Fort Drum and the environment.
“But I think I really need to learn more about what’s going on with it, because it’s only in its early stages and it’ll be quite a few years before we get to the final stage,” Paradis said.
“A lot of this are issues that we have to look at closely, very scientifically and in partnership with Fort Drum and the towns,” said Copleman.
The next two Mad River Wind Farm open houses will be held Thursday. Each will be held at the Redfield Fire Hall, with one at 2 p.m. and another at 6 p.m.
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