Article

Power project in the wind

An Irish company wants to erect about 20 wind towers in Saratoga County, the first such power project to be proposed within the immediate Capital Region.

Airtricity Inc. wants to build the 40-megawatt project on private land near Lake Desolation, in the town of Greenfield, north of Saratoga Springs.

But first the company needs approval from the town to erect two 198-foot test towers this summer to measure wind directions and speeds. The company hopes to gather a year's worth of data before starting the permitting and environmental reviews, said Declan Flanagan, Airtricity general manager for North America.

If it likes what it sees, and it gets the necessary approvals, Flanagan said the company could build the roughly $60 million project in 2008.

"New York may not be the windiest state -- it's not as windy as Midwestern states," Flanagan said. "'But given the price of natural gas in New York, wind power is very competitive."

Town Supervisor Al Janik couldn't be reached Wednesday afternoon. He and other town officials were scheduled to be at a public hearing on the proposed project, first reported by The Saratogian newspaper, in the town community center Wednesday night.

Wind power has the potential to deliver reliable electricity without any air pollution. The 40-megawatt system Airtricity proposes could power... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Airtricity Inc. wants to build the 40-megawatt project on private land near Lake Desolation, in the town of Greenfield, north of Saratoga Springs.

But first the company needs approval from the town to erect two 198-foot test towers this summer to measure wind directions and speeds. The company hopes to gather a year's worth of data before starting the permitting and environmental reviews, said Declan Flanagan, Airtricity general manager for North America.

If it likes what it sees, and it gets the necessary approvals, Flanagan said the company could build the roughly $60 million project in 2008.

"New York may not be the windiest state -- it's not as windy as Midwestern states," Flanagan said. "'But given the price of natural gas in New York, wind power is very competitive."

Town Supervisor Al Janik couldn't be reached Wednesday afternoon. He and other town officials were scheduled to be at a public hearing on the proposed project, first reported by The Saratogian newspaper, in the town community center Wednesday night.

Wind power has the potential to deliver reliable electricity without any air pollution. The 40-megawatt system Airtricity proposes could power about 40,000 homes. The state already has 246.1 megawatts of wind power online, and another 33 about to be added, said Colleen Ryan, a spokeswoman with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

But towers are not without detractors.

Reunion Power LLC wants to install 10 turbines along Pete Gay and Gore mountains, near the Gore Mountain ski resort, in Warren County, but has run into criticism in part over the potential impact the nearly 400-foot-tall towers would have on views and migrating birds.

But Flanagan said the company has heard and addressed concerns in projects in Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere in the U.S.

"Its not something that we're in any way complacent about," he said. "It's a substantial piece of infrastructure, so one has to do a substantial amount of planning and permitting work to ensure that it's compatible."

Dublin-based Airtricity is already supplying about 45,000 customers in Ireland with green power and is working on developing more in Ireland, Great Britain and the United States. It has permits in hand for a 40-megawatt project in Madison County. And it erected test towers in the fall in Steuben County for a possible project there.

The company is building two projects in Texas and has others in development in Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

Kevin Harlin can be reached at 454-5442 or by e-mail at kharlin@timesunion.com.
 


Source: http://timesunion.com/AspSt...

APR 27 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2352-power-project-in-the-wind
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