Concerning Movement

Boards Recommend Windfarm Construction; Public Comment Due Nov. 28

Seen are images from a wind farm construction site off of Center Road in Arkwright.
Photo by Damian Sebouhian

Seen are images from a wind farm construction site off of Center Road in Arkwright. Photo by Damian Sebouhian

CASSADAGA — The New York State Board on Electric Generation and the Environment (Siting Board) recently issued a public notice regarding a recent wind farm decision made by judges from the Department of Public Service and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The two departments are recommending that the Siting Board grant a certificate to Cassadaga Wind LLC, allowing the construction and operation of a wind farm in the towns of Charlotte, Cherry Creek, Arkwright and Stockton.

According to the Siting Board’s notice, the wind farms would consist of “up to 48 wind turbines and associated facilities, with numerous conditions designed to minimize the impacts to the local community.”

As part of the Article 10 process for public engagement, the Siting Board is calling for public comments on the recommended decision. All comments should be submitted by Nov. 28.

The notice includes information about the Cassadaga project application, filed on June 16, 2016.

“The application sought approval for the construction and operation of a 126 megawatt wind energy project, including the installation and operation of up to 58 wind turbines with associated underground and above-ground transmission lines, access roads, meteorological towers, operation and maintenance building, collection and point of interconnect substations, and related facilities.”

The Siting Board will review and vote on whether to issue the certificate, with the final decision scheduled to be made in January.

Currently there have been 71 public comments posted to the DPS case file page, the majority voicing opposition to the project, although many are multiple arguments coming from various members of Concerned Citizens and don’t represent 71 individuals.

Those voicing their support for the project have generally cited the economic benefits they believe will come with the wind farms.

“The local economic boost to the communities and residents far outweighs any negative impact,” stated Cherry Creek resident Tom Reynolds.

“It will bring tax revenue, help landowners with additional income to support their farms. … Our local businesses will see an increase in business during construction, and even after with product and services needed to maintain the wind farm,” commented Merle Goot Jr.

On the other side, many opposed to the wind farm projects cited negative impacts on health, property values, wildlife, agricultural lands and much more.

“Industrial wind power has the effect of increasing rather than decreasing the emissions of conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases because they are so unreliable they have to be backed up with conventional coal or gas fired power plants. Gas or coal plants have to be cycled up and down depending on wind conditions,” stated Mayville resident Karen Engstrom. “The cycling of the backup plants means they have to be run inefficiently, which increases their emissions. Engineering studies in Colorado and Texas have found exactly that. Once wind power reaches a certain market share, about 10 percent more emissions occur than if an equal amount of power was created without wind power.”

According to the notice, the public may submit comments directly into the case file by locating the case via the home page of the Department of Public Service’s website, www.dps.ny.gov, by clicking on “Search,” and entering “14-F-0490” in the “Search by Case Number” field. In the open case, access the screen to enter comments by clicking on the “Post Comments” box located at the top of the page.

Comments can also be made by calling the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This line is set up to receive in-state calls 24-hours a day. Callers should refer to the case number or the applicant’s name, Cassadaga Wind.

COMMENTS