The public has been granted three more days to comment on the preliminary scope of a proposed $570 million industrial-scale electrical generating facility planned to operate along remote hilltops in the towns of Arcade, Centerville, Freedom, Farmersville and Rushford beginning in 2020.
Alle-Catt Wind Energy LLC, an affiliate of Invenergy Renewables LLC, updated its preliminary scoping statement on Jan. 17, seeking public comments to be posted to an internet website by Feb. 12. The project was first announced in 2015.
Residents of the largely rural project study area submitted comments on the website and, citing spotty internet service, twice requested extensions. A representative of an Old Order Amish settlement in Farmersville also complained that they were excluded from electronic participation and had little information. Extensions of the electronic filing deadline were granted twice, first to Thursday, then to a 4:30 p.m. deadline Monday.
The project, which was unveiled at several public information sessions last summer in the host towns, must be approved under Article 10 of New York’s Public Service Law, governed by the state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. It is expected the company’s application will be filed with the state Department of Public Service 90 days after the scoping statement is made public.
The preliminary scoping statement describes rough plans for a 108-turbine wind farm to generate 380 megawatts of wholesale power, utilizing a substation, a 345 kV switchyard and interconnection lines, operating at more than 115 kV, to existing substations on Stolle Road near Arcade and the Five Mile Road in Hinsdale.
Related transmission facilities will be located in the towns of New Hudson and Yorkshire and must be licensed under a separate process governed by the Public Service Law.
The scoping statement also notes that the company has obtained leases for 69 percent of the properties needed to place the turbines. The exact size, make and model of turbine will have to be chosen by the company, but they could by placed on towers between 262 feet (80 meters) to more than 360 feet (110 meters) tall, sporting rotor diameters between 380 feet (116 meters) and nearly 450 feet (137 meters). Each turbine could generate between 2.3 and 3.63 megawatts of electricity.
According to the scoping statement, the models will be those available at the time of the projected 2019-20 construction window and will be fully described in the application, which will also contain the results of studies on the impacts of turbines of that size and generating capacity.
The scoping statement contains a list of general topic headings, proposed exhibits and regulatory procedures and permits to receive a full treatment in the future application. Pages 6 and 7 provide general references to state and local laws governing permits, authorizations, existing rules for height limitations and setbacks for wind farms. Three maps are included depicting the 67,000-acre project area and a surrounding 5-mile study area, a two-page preliminary layout of the turbine array.
Local government officials were asked to provide the names of local people who could be appointed to serve in ad hoc positions on the siting board. Nominations were submitted to the state Senate president pro tempore and speaker of the Assembly by the county administrators of Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, the chairman of the board of supervisors of Wyoming County and the supervisors of the towns of Arcade, Centerville, Farmersville, Freedom and Rushford. Those chosen for the positions have not been announced.
In addition, the local governments and parties who qualify were invited to apply for intervenor funding by submitting a request by Wednesday. The requests, along with discussions regarding stipulations to aspects of the project, will be heard by administrative law judges at an 11 a.m. conference March 20 in the village of Delevan’s municipal building at 85 S. Main St.
In the case of inclement weather the meeting will be held at the same time the following day, March 21, but in the Yorkshire Town Hall across the street, at 82 S. Main St. The Department of Public Service’s web page, www.dps.ny.gov, and the siting board’s web page, www.dps.ny.gov/SitingBoard, provide more information about the intervenor funding process and Article 10.