Cohocton Wind Watch: Reduced Jordanville Wind Project Fine, Iberdrola Tells Packed House
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reduced Jordanville Wind Project Fine, Iberdrola Tells Packed House

Spanish multi-national Iberdrola unveiled a slimmer version of the Jordanville Wind Project before a packed town-hall meeting Monday, Nov. 10.

It was unclear, though, if anyone has changed his or her mind on an issue that divided the townspeople of Warren and Stark, where the wind project is planned, and Herkimer from Otsego counties; the northern county gets the benefits, and two counties share the impacts.

And while the prospective wind project has a new owner, some of the faces remained the same. For instance, Iberdrola’s vice president in charge of the 40-turbine project is Skip Brennan, the same Skip Brennan who was promoting the original wind farm for Community Energy as it shrank from 75 turbines to 68 to 49.

The current project, which was described as achieving a “suitable balance” between those pro and con in the community, also happens to top out at 80 megawatts; if it were a watt higher, it would fall under the review of the state Public Service Commission, which has issues strongly worded opinions about the shortcomings.
Since it escapes PSC review, the hearing the other night was to solicit public comment on Iberdrola’s revised filings required under SEQRA, the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The company’s revised arguments, detailed by Brennan and emphasized on poster board across one wall, state:

• The project has gone though an exhaustive environmental review, dramatized by a pile of bound volumes a table long and three feet high, although it turned out those documents were actually for the Maple Ridge Farm near Lowville, the biggest in the state and now home to almost 200 turbines.
• The 28 eliminated turbines (from the 68-turbine version) is a 41 percent reduction, (although only an 18 percent reduction from the 49-turbine level set by state Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood in response to an Article 78 challenge.)
• Eight turbines were removed to the south, creating a five-mile buffer strip between the project and the Glimmerglass National Historic District.
• Four turbines were removed north of Holy Trinity Monastery, creating a one-mile buffer.
• A PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) has been negotiated, which will generate $640,000 in local revenue annually, half of which would go to the Owen D. Young Central School District. Landowners would share $240,000 a year.

Some 36 people were scheduled to speak, five minutes each.

Representative of the anti side was Susan Marquardt, who cited low energy usage in the two towns, and called for “a unifying energy alternative” to the wind farm.
Troy Hugick was among the pros, quoting president-elect Barack Obama, “we have a righteous wind at our back.” He concluded, “and I believe we do.”

Brennan encouraged people with questions to visit the project description on Iberdrola’s web site.

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