A massive wind turbine project plotted across 7,000 acres in Hector and Harrison townships has been slowed in the pre-construction stages by environmental regulations.
Canadian energy giant Trans-Alta is preparing sites for the 26 towers to harness the wind. Potter County Conservation District has been overseeing the work. “There are several streams wildlife habitats need to be monitored and protected from any ill affects from erosion or any other issues,” said PCCD manager Jason Childs. “We do not want to stand in the way of progress. We just want to ensure, through the permitting process, that things are done in a responsible manner.” Access roads have to be carved through the forest land to accommodate the turbine parts and related equipment. Childs said the target date for completion of the energy generation plant has been pushed back to 2019. Federal Aviation Administration has signed off on the project, centered in the Dodge Hollow/ White Knoll area off Rt. 49. Its consent was required because wind turbines will be nearly 660 feet high, which will rank them among the tallest in the world. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet from the ground to the top of its torch.
Developers struck a land surface use deal with the property owner, a forestland investment subsidiary of John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. Electricity will be fed into the grid through a First Energy line.
At last report, the project had an estimated price tag of about $150 million. Sparsely populated Hector Township will receive an annual host agreement fee and annual payments based on the amount of electricity that is generated.
TransAlta, formerly Calgary Power, is Canada’s largest investor-owned renewable energy provider.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding