Three north country wind farms reach home stretch

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The winds are rising for three north country wind farms as the developers who have pushed them through the pipeline for years make the final strides toward their completion.

Towers, blades and nacelles for the three turbines have reached EDF Renewables’s construction site for its Copenhagen Wind Farm, which is slated to become the second industrial-scale wind farm operated in Lewis County.

Project manager Guillaume Devienne said the developer will receive nine truckloads of parts daily for the other 37 turbines starting today. Freighters from Quebec have shipped blades and nacelles to the Port of Ogdensburg to be transported to Copenhagen, while trucks have been delivering the towers from Quebec as well.

More than 200 workers have spent the week pouring the foundations for the turbines, building the transmission line, installing the collector system and substation for the 80 megawatt project in the town of Denmark. While EDF Renewables still has two months of component deliveries left, Mr. Devienne said they should begin erecting the turbines this week .

“Right now is a busy time in terms of the number of workers at the site,” he said.

Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., which EDF Renewables contracted to build the wind farm, began construction in September and is expected to finish in two months.

The developer plans to begin operating the wind farm Nov. 30, but it must first test the facility’s connection to the electric grid and ensure it can transfer the power it generates safely.

“We are definitely on track,” Mr. Devienne said. “Everyone is working very hard on site.”

The developers behind other industrial-scale wind farms have been working through the state Article 10 review process, which state officials use to determine whether to permit electricity generating facilities that are 25 megawatts or more. The project by EDF Renewables pre-dates the Article 10 review process.

Apex Clean Energy made another major step in the final stretch of the review process for its Galloo Island Wind project after the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment deemed its formal application compete. The developer submitted its application last year, but had to address several deficiencies on three separate occasions.

Apex’s planned 108.9 megawatt project wind farm in the town of Hounsfield became the second wind farm to have an Article 10 application deemed complete, according to the siting board.

“We’re glad to have it deemed complete,” said Neil T. Habig, senior director of project development for Apex.

Examiners helping to oversee the review will host a procedural conference to discuss the next steps in the process at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 15 at the Henderson Fire Hall, 8939 Route 178.

According to a notice from the siting board, the examiners, who serve as administrative law judges for the state, will determine which interested stakeholders will become parties, who will have the opportunity to receive intervenor funding to assess the project; discuss the application review schedule, ask Apex questions and possibly make rulings on funding requests.

Prior to the hearing, the examiners and Apex will host informational forums about the review process and the Galloo Island wind project. The sessions will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Henderson Fire Hall.

“This is the first of its kind and I think it’s just an opportunity for the applicant to describe the project for the benefit of the public,” Mr. Habig said about the informational sessions.

Public statement hearings will follow the informational sessions at both 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, providing the public an opportunity to ask questions and make statements.

The second north country wind farm to have an application submitted and enter the final leg of the Article 10 review process is the Number Three Wind Farm.

Invenergy, developer behind the proposed 105.7 megawatt project in the towns of Lowville and Harrisburg, submitted its application in January, but the chairman of the siting board, John B. Rhodes, noted several deficiencies with it in March.

The developer provided additional documentation to address the issues in May, but the siting board sent another notice last Monday with additional shortcomings. The board also required Invenergy to submit a list of adjacent and contiguous property owners.

While it took Invenergy a couple of months to assemble the documents required to address the siting board’s first letter, spokeswoman Marguerite Wells said she expected a faster turnaround to address the second letter, which had a shorter list of deficiencies. The developer also plans to include the list of adjacent and contiguous property owners the board requested.

“My expectation is two to three weeks,” she said. “We’re interested in moving the project along and we’re doing our darndest to get it (complete).”

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