The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) today granted approval to Eight Point Wind LLC to build and operate a wind farm facility in Steuben County.
The Siting Board’s decision follows a rigorous review and public participation process to ensure that the wind farm meets or exceeds all siting requirements.
“In keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to develop clean energy resources in New York State and nation-leading Green New Deal, we are proud to approve construction of this appropriately sited wind farm,” said Siting Board Chair John B. Rhodes. “Wind energy is a clean fuel source. It doesn’t pollute the air like power plants that rely on fossil fuels and it’s renewable. Our decision today demonstrates once again that renewable energy works in New York and creates clean energy-economy jobs.”
The 101.8 MW Eight Point wind farm as approved will consist of 31 wind turbines to be located on leased or purchased land. In addition to the wind turbines, the project will also include the construction of access roads, a collection substation, mostly underground 34.5 kilovolt (kV) collection lines, up to two permanent meteorological towers, temporary staging and laydown areas, an operations and maintenance building, and related facilities.
The project will be located in the Towns of Greenwood and West Union in Steuben County, New York. Eight Point Wind proposes to construct an approximately 16.5-mile overhead 115 kV transmission line that would interconnect the project with New York State Electric and Gas Corporation’s existing 115 kV Bennett substation in the Town of Hornellsville, Steuben County.
The proposed transmission facility will be subject to review pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law and was not reviewed as part of the proposed project in this proceeding. The Siting Board examiners determined that the wind farm will be a beneficial addition to the electric generation capacity of the State and is consistent with the State’s energy policy and planning objectives.
The facility will also serve the goals of improving fuel diversity, grid reliability, and modernization of grid infrastructure. The Siting Board’s decision to grant the certificate is subject to lengthy and detailed conditions that will address the concerns of the parties and ensure that, as built and operated, the project will be consistent with the findings and conclusions of the Siting Board.
As described by the developer, the project would have major positive economic impacts on the host communities. Construction of the project is expected to create 103 direct construction-related jobs, estimated to pay $17.5 million in local payroll. Eight Point Wind also expects that six permanent jobs will be created during operation, with an associated local payroll of approximately $500,000.
Additionally, Eight Point Wind expects to pay upwards of $25 million to participating landowners and millions to the local community through PILOT payments. Eight Point Wind will also separately pay the towns upwards of $300,000 each year through host community agreements. Today’s decision is a testament to how New York is working to achieve Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal – the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, putting the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state.
Additionally, the recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates the Green New Deal’s national leading clean energy targets: nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, while calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy.
Eight Point Wind filed its formal application with the Siting Board in November and December of 2017