GREENWOOD – With simultaneous wind power projects in the works for the Greenwood area, Town officials have been buried up to their necks in legal negotiations.
Attorney Aaron Mullen is negotiating language in the municipal host agreement with the Eight Point Wind Project, which he reported is moving along quickly.
Several changes to the agreement were announced at Thursday’s Town Board meeting, beginning with the project’s official start date. Now, construction is tentatively slated to begin in 2020, instead of in 2019.
Another major change to the agreement would make payments based on input capacity, rather than production. The terms would mean that the community would get paid whether or not a working turbine was turned on and generating power.
Mullen expressed concern about existing “broad language” especially regarding Eight Point’s ability to terminate the agreement should the Town try to block development mid-stream.
Instead, he insisted on inserting a “opportunity to cure” problems – a 60 day notice to remedy a breach of the terms before the agreement can be terminated.
Additionally, the town has requested that the company renew a host community agreement when a proposed payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) period ends.
“If they start paying taxes, you don’t need a host agreement as much,” Mullen told the board.
Other provisions would assure that work is performed in accordance with public service law; that the company will comply with town laws regarding decommissioning and restoration of turbines; and further contractually obligated Eight Point to the town, so that it has enforcement power over the agreement, rather than just the siting board.
“It was most of what we asked for, so I think we’re pretty close to having it done,” Mullen said, noting that the company had yielded to, or come much closer to the payment figures requested by the town.
While negotiations are moving right along on the Eight Point Wind Project, Mullen said that the Canisteo Wind Project was “moving slowly.”
A representative for the Canisteo Wind Project’s parent company, Invenergy, was on hand to update the board on its progress, noting that several surveys to lease holders are complete or in progress, including archeological, bird and bat, road condition, plants and wetlands identification, boundary and ambient noise surveys.
A map of proposed sites and access roads for the Canisteo Wind Project was presented to the board.
In other news
The board considered initiating a referendum, shortening the terms of its members from four years to two years.
Total general vouchers of $1,125.07 were audited and approved for payment by the board.
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