The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, known as the Siting Board, says it approved Bluestone Wind, LLC, to build and run a wind farm in Broome County.
Following the approval Monday in Albany, the board says the 124-megawatt Bluestone Wind Project will include up to 27 wind turbines; 23 of those in the Town of Sanford and four in the Town of Windsor. These will join a slew of other towers, roads and lines associated with the project.
The board says the developer estimates the project will create 150 construction and construction related services jobs in the state, plus seven more for the operation of the facility.
The project as a whole has received mixed reaction from both community members and local, elected officials.
Democratic Broome County Executive Jason Garnar commented on the approval Monday saying, “It’s going to provide hundreds of jobs in Broome County, millions of dollars of tax revenue, economic development opportunities for years to come, I think it’s really important that we work to bring these projects into our community.”
At a Sanford Board meeting on Dec. 10, new restrictions were introduced and passed to limit the distance turbines can be placed from personal property and noise frequencies.
The Siting Board referenced this aspect of the process, saying in a statement Monday in part:
“In its decision, the Siting Board waived compliance with a Town of Sanford law prohibiting construction of the project because it was found to be unreasonably burdensome under Siting Board rules. The Siting Board noted that Town of Sanford, a party in the case, did not make any objections regarding issuance of the initial certificate and enacted the moratorium after the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing and the filing of post-hearing briefs.”
Republican State Senator Fred Akshar spoke out against the approval saying in a statement Monday:
“Even through the most contentious and divisive issues facing our communities, it’s government’s role to listen to the people they serve and work together to find a path forward. That didn’t happen today. Once again, bureaucrats in Albany chose to steamroll over local laws passed by the people and local governments they serve in favor of their own political agenda.
Today, the New York Siting Board ignored the objections of the only two board members representing the local communities affected by the proposed 27-tower wind turbine project in Sanford.
The Town of Sanford unilaterally passed specific local regulations on land use to address the many concerns of local community members, but rather than respecting the wishes of these local communities and working with them, the politically appointed Board proceeded to steamroll over their input and force this project through.
In the coming days, I’ll be cosponsoring legislation requiring approval through local public referendum for major projects like this.”
The entire statement from the Siting Board can be read here.
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