LOWVILLE – One month after submitting an Article 10 application for the proposed Number Three Wind Farm, Invenergy officials held another set of open houses Thursday to give residents a project update.
With the application involving roughly 2,000 pages of information, developers felt that “kind of warranted an open house” so local residents could hear first-hand about the project’s current iteration and the process moving forward, Invenergy representative Marguerite Wells said.
Around 20 people attended the first two-hour session, most of them local landowners within or in the vicinity of the project area, Ms. Wells said.
An evening session was also held at the local Invenergy office, 7568 S. State St..
Invenergy, based in Chicago, is proposing between 31 and 43 turbines in the towns of Lowville and Harrisburg, with a 115-kilovolt substation to tie into the power grid proposed on farmland owned by Earl Nolt off Route 812 just northeast of the village of Lowville.
The final number will primarily depend on whether the majority of turbines used are 2.5-megawatt models or 3.6-megawatt ones, Ms. Wells said.
While turbine blades at the adjacent 195-turbine Maple Ridge Wind Farm reach up to a height of 400 feet, tip blade heights are roughly 500 feet for 2.5-megawatt turbines and nearly 600 feet for the large ones. Regardless, there probably will be a small number of 2.3-megawatt turbines in the mix, as Invenergy already has some available, Ms. Wells said.
The company filed a preliminary scoping statement in late 2016 with the state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment as part of the state Article 10 review process, and the application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need on the 105.7-megawatt project was filed Jan. 5. That made it the first wind project in Lewis County to reach that stage in the state Article 10 review process.
The project area is sandwiched among three other proposed wind projects – Copenhagen Wind Farm, Deer River Wind Farm and Roaring Brook Wind Farm – on the Tug Hill Plateau. Access road construction has kicked off on the Copenhagen Wind project, which was reviewed locally by the Denmark town Planning Board since it was proposed before the Article 10 process was implemented, and turbine installation is expected later this year.
Invenergy officials are awaiting comments on its application from various agencies, then the submission will hopefully be deemed complete by the siting board, Ms. Wells said. Once that happens, the board has one year to review the project, she said.
The 126-megawatt Cassadaga Wind Farm in Chautauqua County last month became the first project approved through the Article 10 process, and a few others, including the Galloo Island Wind project in Jefferson County, submitted applications last fall. While reviewing how other wind projects have been handled should help navigate the process, Ms. Wells said Article 10 is still relatively uncharted territory.
As the process moves forward, Invenergy may hold an additional open house this fall, and those interested may also stop into the local office whenever it’s open, she said.
“It helps to have this office here,” Ms. Wells said.
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