Article

Proposed windfarm to come back in April

BEEKMANTOWN -- The first in a string of hearings for Windhorse Power's proposed wind farm on Rand Hill Road was heard Wednesday by the Beekmantown Zoning Board at a meeting that lasted for hours.

The proposal will be reviewed in full at the April 26 meeting.

"There will be other public hearings," said C.J. Madonna, who was serving as Zoning Board attorney after Tom Murnane removed himself because of a conflict of interest with his firm and the wind company.

Madonna wanted more time to review the issue, as did the board.

Windhorse Power LLC, headed up by a partnership of John Warshow and Per White-Hansen, was asked to do more studies and present them to the board by the next meeting.

Company representatives brought studies they had done since October to show effects on the surrounding area, covering wind impact, visual impact, wildlife, endangered species, wetlands and noise.

Well over 80 residents and a handful of visitors crammed into the small upper meeting room.

"It's very crowded in here," Code Enforcement Officer Alan Corron said. "Please keep the doorway open, and don't everybody jump up and down at once or we might be having this downstairs."

Windhorse Power discussed its studies and gave a slide presentation on the proposed impacts of the turbines.

All the wind energy will be placed into the New York State Electric & Gas power grid, with no initial direct benefit to town residents.

... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The proposal will be reviewed in full at the April 26 meeting.
 
"There will be other public hearings," said C.J. Madonna, who was serving as Zoning Board attorney after Tom Murnane removed himself because of a conflict of interest with his firm and the wind company.
 
Madonna wanted more time to review the issue, as did the board.
 
Windhorse Power LLC, headed up by a partnership of John Warshow and Per White-Hansen, was asked to do more studies and present them to the board by the next meeting.
 
Company representatives brought studies they had done since October to show effects on the surrounding area, covering wind impact, visual impact, wildlife, endangered species, wetlands and noise.
 
Well over 80 residents and a handful of visitors crammed into the small upper meeting room.
 
"It's very crowded in here," Code Enforcement Officer Alan Corron said. "Please keep the doorway open, and don't everybody jump up and down at once or we might be having this downstairs."
 
Windhorse Power discussed its studies and gave a slide presentation on the proposed impacts of the turbines.
 
All the wind energy will be placed into the New York State Electric & Gas power grid, with no initial direct benefit to town residents.
 
Warshow talked about how the state is trying to increase the use of alternative energy.
 
"New York state, they are really keen to getting wind energy," White-Hansen said.
 
"It's a small wind farm," Warshow said, noting that other wind projects proposed for the North Country are nearing 70 and 100 turbines.
 
"This project is the smallest proposed in the North Country."
 
The 13 proposed turbines will be located over about 700 acres that the company has options on. Together, they will generate 20 megawatts of power for the NYSEG grid.
 
The turbines will have no visible wires up to 1,000 feet away from the substation. The power lines will all be underground up to that point.
 
The studies that were completed by Windhorse Power show little visual or noise impact on nearby residents.
 
"With the leaves on these trees, it would be different," White-Hansen said, pointing to the projection of three simulated wind towers on the horizon. "You will drive, and they will be there. You drive, and it will be gone."
 
He said that with the nearest residence being 2,600 feet from the towers, sound would not be an issue. At this distance, White-Hansen said, the sound level would be 37 decibels.
 
"You can't hear it because it is background noise."
 
A 67-signature petition opposing the project was entered into public record at the Zoning Board meeting.
 
The main topic during the public hearing was that Windhorse Power has applied for an Essential Service designation because it would be providing energy to a utility. The Zoning Board will decide at the next meeting whether the power company meets the standards that would allow it to be built in the residential area as an Essential Service.
 
Resident Tom Flynn stood before the crowd and asked Rand Hill residents: "How many of you moved there because of the beautiful view?"
 
A majority raised their hands.
 
"How many of you would have bought homes if there was a wind farm there?"
 
Not a hand was raised.
 
"We need alternative energy," resident Russ Hartung said. "Now, I find myself fighting something that is actually a goal."
 
He, like many of the residents, felt ill-informed and worried about the impact of the proposal.
 
Robert Manor of Gen. Leroy Manor Road came to the meeting representing his family's heritage.
 
"I completely disagree with the decibel analysis," he said. "Our ability to sleep will be affected."
 
Manor also felt wildlife would be affected, regardless of what was said.
 
Cindy Baker was worried about her animals and property.
 
"I am very concerned that I'll have to leave the house that I have loved for 28 years."
 
David Manwell held a different view of the proposed wind turbines. He spoke of the current energy production of oil, coal and natural gas.
 
"They kill people," he said. "How does looking at something compare with death?"
 
Many residents said they would be returning for the April 26 meeting. They still have questions they want answered.
 
"I think that is evident tonight, and that's just the beginning," said Dale Sears.


Source: http://www.pressrepublican....

MAR 24 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1900-proposed-windfarm-to-come-back-in-april
back to top