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Scaled-down Perry wind farm project mitigates concerns

The document outlines changes to the project representing a scaled-down version of what was originally proposed four years ago by Horizon Wind Energy. The new project would include 38 turbines in Perry and Covington, instead of the 60 turbines originally proposed. It would be rated to generate up to 79.8 megawatts instead of the original 120 megawatts.

PERRY -- The revised Dairy Hills Wind farm would include significant reductions in noise, land conversion and other issues, according to the project's Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The document outlines changes to the project representing a scaled-down version of what was originally proposed four years ago by Horizon Wind Energy.

The new project would include 38 turbines in Perry and Covington, instead of the 60 turbines originally proposed. It would be rated to generate up to 79.8 megawatts instead of the original 120 megawatts.

Each turbine would be 410 feet tall when blades are included. The town of Warsaw is no longer included in the revised project.

The study was conducted by Environmental Design Research of Syracuse.

Other findings include:

* The study identifies significant reductions in permanent land conversions and vegetation clearing compared to the original project.

Shadow flicker would also be reduced, and the study indicates no projected situations with more than 30 hours per year at any residence, meeting town of Covington requirements.

Significant reductions would also include noise, which likewise wouldn't exceed 50... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

PERRY -- The revised Dairy Hills Wind farm would include significant reductions in noise, land conversion and other issues, according to the project's Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The document outlines changes to the project representing a scaled-down version of what was originally proposed four years ago by Horizon Wind Energy.

The new project would include 38 turbines in Perry and Covington, instead of the 60 turbines originally proposed. It would be rated to generate up to 79.8 megawatts instead of the original 120 megawatts.

Each turbine would be 410 feet tall when blades are included. The town of Warsaw is no longer included in the revised project.

The study was conducted by Environmental Design Research of Syracuse.

Other findings include:

* The study identifies significant reductions in permanent land conversions and vegetation clearing compared to the original project.

Shadow flicker would also be reduced, and the study indicates no projected situations with more than 30 hours per year at any residence, meeting town of Covington requirements.

Significant reductions would also include noise, which likewise wouldn't exceed 50 decibels, meeting Perry and Covington requirements.

* The project would require 56 parcels of leased land covering 4,560 acres. That compares to the originally-proposed project including 96 parcels covering 7,300 acres.

A total of 12 miles of access roads would be required, compared to the original 21 miles. The project would likewise require 22 miles of buried cable, instead of the original 38 miles.

* Instead of two project staging areas, a single location would be used near Route 246 south of LaGrange Road. It would cover 10 acres, compared to the 20 acres originally planned.

A one-story operations and maintenance building would be constructed north of Burke Hill Road. It would cover 5,000 to 8,000 square feet.

* Road upgrades would be needed at six intersections including LaGrange Road and Route 246; LaGrange and Silver Lake roads; Silver Lake and Cowie roads; Cowie and Van Allen roads; Burke Hill and Brown roads; and Burke Hill and Perry roads.

* Blasting may be required for some bedrock. Any such work would be monitored before and afterward; no significant impact is expected toward wells, foundations or septic systems.

* A 35-foot clearing -- maintained as shrubs -- will be needed for underground cables. That compares to the original project which called for a 25-foot clearing, which would be allowed to redevelop as trees.

Officials decided to use a larger clearing and shrubs to prevent any damage to the cables by deep-growing tree roots.

* Total wetland disturbance would be up to 2 acres, with total forested wetland conversion up to 2.5 acres. A total of 45 acres of wildlife habitat would be permanently lost, but the project notes the majority is in croplands, which are of limited wildlife habitat value anyway.

A total of 41 acres of forest would be maintained for the life of the project, and the study found overall cumulative habitat loss would be "not significant."

* Positive benefits would include Payments-In-Lieu-Of-Taxes; community host-service agreements; individual lease payments; and the creation of 10 to 15 new jobs, with total wages described at $600,000 annually.

A total of 160 to 180 full time, short-term construction jobs would be created. The study predicts Perry's population loss will continue if the project does not go through.

If accepted, the SDEIS would pave the way for the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which could eventually lead to a decision on the project.

A public hearing to discuss the project's supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be conducted at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 in Perry High School Auditorium. Written comments are already being accepted through Aug. 31.

Compact discs and a set of study books are available for public review at the Town Hall, though it's requested people call for an appointment. A set of study books is also available at Perry Public Library.


Source: http://www.thedailynewsonli...

JUL 16 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21229-scaled-down-perry-wind-farm-project-mitigates-concerns
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