The developer of the Galloo Island Wind project will not move on to the last stretch of the Article 10 review process until it addresses several deficiencies in its project application.
John B. Rhodes, chairman of the state Public Service Commission, Friday said developer Apex Clean Energy’s application didn’t comply with state Article 10 law, meaning it was incomplete, in a letter to the developer’s attorney, James A. Muscato II with Young/Sommer LLC. [Download the letter.]
The Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, which reviews Article 10 applications, said in a background statement that Apex is required to make the changes requested by Mr. Rhodes, who also chairs the board, before that application can be deemed complete and a public hearing for the 108.9 megawatt project can commence.
“It was a nearly 5,000-page document, so we expected some deficiencies to be highlighted,” said Neil T. Habig, senior director of project development for Apex, adding that the developer will “address the noted deficiencies.”
The letter included more than 20 pages of issues with several exhibits Apex provided in its application including exhibits of preliminary design drawings, noise and vibration, effects on transportation, visual resources and terrestrial ecology and wetlands.
Mr. Rhodes’s request for Apex included providing an analysis of two alternative turbine layouts, including more details about the reviews conducted by the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration on the project, recalculating certain types of potential noise levels, providing a mitigation plan to help prevent potential adverse affects on endangered or threatened species, giving an additional explanation for why the project would only create a low risk for 11 avian species identified during site surveys and other additional information and revisions.
The letter also states that Apex must provide additional reviews of the Housfield’s zoning laws and Sackets Harbor’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to address potential concerns.
The siting board said in a background statement that Apex has no deadline for addressing Mr. Rhodes’s comments. The chairman also doesn’t have a set time line for responding to Apex’s revisions.
“However, based on our actions in (the Cassadaga Wind LLC project in Chautauqua County), we were able to deliberate on the supplemental filing in about 45 days,” the siting board said.
Mr. Habig still needs to review all of Mr. Rhodes’s comments, but he said he hopes to address all of them by the end of next week.
“When you dig down, some of the comments are very simple” to address, Mr. Habig said. “Some are more substantial.”
Apex Clean Energy plans to build 30 turbines that would be 586 feet tall on Galloo Island as well as a 32-mile underwater transmission cable that will interconnect with a substation in Oswego.
The developer previously submitted an application to the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, but then asked the agency to table PILOT discussions to give officials from the affected taxing jurisdictions time to research whether the project would affect Fort Drum. Apex’s decision was made in October, not long after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said his office would review the adverse effects wind turbines could have on Fort Drum’s radar capabilities.
“We’re still in that phase,” Mr. Habig said.
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