Sponsors of the 124-megawatt wind farm planned for eastern Broome County will locate 29 of them in the Town of Sanford and four in the Town of Windsor, according to plans filed with the state.
Exact locations of the towers were revealed for the first time in preliminary documents filed with the state Public Service Commission, which will review the application for final approval.
At some sites, it appears the turbines will be visible from Route 17. All locations are north of Route 17 in an area about eight miles across and about four miles wide.
In the Town of Windsor, two turbines will be north of Page Road and two with be north of Sky Lake Road.
Towers will be spread across the Town of Sanford, with 18 turbines west of Route 41 and 11 to the east.
Aside from the towers, the project will include access roads to the turbines, along with electrical collection lines, a substation, among other facilities to be included in construction.
“Positive impacts of the facility include diversification of energy supplies, introduction of an innovative battery component, new employment opportunities (both temporary construction employment and full-time jobs), and increased revenues to county and local tax bases,” the sponsors said in the submission.
Named Bluestone Wind, the wind farm is a project of Calpine Corp., a Houston-based electric generation company owned by a consortium of investors.
A formal application, containing more details such as the projected environmental impacts, is expected to filed by the end of this week. From the time of formal application submission, the state’s Department of Public Service has a full year to review the project and issue a formal ruling in a quasi-judicial process.
A project price tag has not been released. Electricity to power an estimated 20,000 households won’t be generated from the project until at least 2020, if approved.
In prime natural gas drilling territory, New York is encouraging the development of renewable energy projects with incentives and tax credits under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to produce 50 percent of the state’s electric needs from sustainable sources by 2030.
Ironically, some of the same landowners pursued by Calpine are among same group that signed a $90 million, $2,411 an acre deal from XTO Energy for natural gas drilling lease rights in May 2008. Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas was barred in New York four years ago, and the natural gas lease rights for the property have since expired.
Calpine will lease land for the turbines, some of which can reach nearly 600-feet in height from base to top tip of the blade. A previously-released disclosure document indicates lease payments for land owners hosting the turbines will be between $2,500 and $30,000 annually by Calpine for the right to build a turbine on their property.
“The applicant has attempted to minimize the impacts to land associated with the facility by limiting the disturbance to forested lands and wetlands to the maximum extent practicable,” the notice to the PSC said. “However, the construction and operation of the facility may result in minor environmental impacts.”
Calpine is committing $124,000, half to be allocated to municipalities, to assist interested parties in paying expenses, including legal fees, during the application review process.
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