Cohocton Wind Watch: Howard officials dig right in
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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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Howard officials dig right in

Howard, NY — Shovels dug into the ground Friday in Howard, kicking off construction for a renewable energy project seven years in the making.

Everpower Wind Holdings and Howard officials broke ground on the $100 million Howard Wind Project where 25 wind turbines will be built and possibly two more in the future.

“This is a great project for the town and a great project for landowners. I think when we’re done, everyone will be happy,” said Kevin Sheen, of Everpower.

Along with creating renewable energy, the project is a revenue windfall for the community. Howard, Steuben County, and the Canisteo-Greenwood and Hornell City School Districts will split $8.5 million over 20 years paid by Everpower.

Howard will receive the lion’s share – 51.5 percent.

“This is a rural community. We don’t have coming in and helping us with taxes,” Howard Supervisor Don Evia said Friday. “We’ve never seen something like this that can help offset land taxes. This will bring us some relief for 20 years, and hopefully into the future after that.”

The project wasn’t without a mix of controversy and misfortune.

Residents opposing the wind farm brought a lawsuit against the town, which was dismissed several years ago. And while work started on the project in December 2004, the economic recession slowed completion.

Now construction begins on building electricity-generating turbines that stand 375 feet high.

Components will be received on-site by the end of June, with construction scheduled for completion by the end of August or early September, said Everpower Construction Manager Joe Pariano.

The turbines are expected to tie into the grid in mid-October, with an anticipated starting date of mid-December.

Two additional wind turbines might be constructed on 39 acres of private land south of Spencer Hill and South Woods roads, bringing the total number to 27.

The turbines will be constructed on 5,000 acres of farm land leased from private landowners.

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